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The Republic of Weimar (IGCSE)

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The Republic of Weimar project

The Republic of Weimar

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

There is some basic information you should know about this period What kind of system? Periods

1st period:ProblemsWhy was the RoW so unpopular?Attempts to overthrow the RoWWho was against Weimar?1923: The turning point: Ruhr crisis and hyperinflationSamuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

What kind of system?Parliamentary democracy: The most democratic system in the world !Right to vote over the age of 20 Proportional systemPresident + Parliament + Chancellor (Division of powers)

Constitution. Main points:Art. 2: Proportional sytemArt. 48: Emergency cases

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

ProblemsYou have to understand why the Weimar Republic was so unpopular in Germany in the 1920s

Try to distinguish between the general problems (i.e bad economic situation) and the facts in order to have a clear idea.

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

What kind of problems?Reparations

Stab-in the back idea

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

What kind of problems?Economic crisis

Distribution of wealth

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Why was Germany in such a bad situation?Treaty of Versailles terms:

Germany lost 10% of land12 % of population48 % of the iron industry (in favor of )African colonies (Togoland and Cameroon)

Germany had to accept the blame for the warThe army was reduced to 100,000 men (no possibility of defense)

Why was the Treaty considered negative for Germany?

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Treaty of Versailles. German reactionDiktat: Germany had no option to negotiate the conditions. They even did not participate in the discussions.

How did Germans feel about this?--- We are not obliged to follow these rules if we have the chance

Can you argue something against this argument?

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Diktat

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Treaty of Versailles.Loss of territory:Germany lost 10% of the territoryIt,s important because many German population was living in this territories. They had two options:

Stay as a minoritiesMove to Germany

It,s not just a question of prestige, it,s also a personal question.

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Treaty of Versailles. DisarmamentGermany Army was reduced to 100,000 men. Why was this decision a problem for Germany?

G could not start a new warG had problems to maintain the order in the country (extremely weak country)

How would be the disarmament fair?

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Treaty of VersaillesWar guilt (Art. 234 Treaty of Versailles)The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed on them by the aggression of Germany andher allies

Germans felt this was very unfair.Also, blame meaned in real terms .

MONEY

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Were the Germans right?Partially YESIt is true the conditions of the Treaty were hard for Germany

Partially NOFrance wanted to divide Germany into small states, even higher reparations and the complete elimination of the German Army (It could be worse)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

So many people were conspiring against the democracyAt that moment, there were different opinions in Germany:

Those in favor of democracy (Majority of population)

Those against the democracy (Extremists: Ultranationalist and Communist, they hated each other)

-- Common features: -- They believed in violence as the best way to obtain the power-- They were against democracy (they preferred authoritarian regimes)Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

In favor of democracyThe main party was the Social-Democrat Party (left-wing party), ruled by EbertThere were also right-wing parties (DDP) and central parties (Zentrum, Catholic Party)

They had different ideas, but they accepted democracy as the best system of governmentThey represented 80% of German population

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Those against democracyLeft-wing extremist:

They tried to establish a communist rule in Germany1917: Russian revolution so why not Germany?

Who --- Working class (they had bad conditions of life, so they did not care about liberties, they just want an equal share of the wealth)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Against democracySpartacist Revolution (1919)

The Communist tried to seize the power and launch a revolution in GermanyThey were able to declare the Independent Socialist Republic of BavariaThe Government used the Freikorps and the Army to counteract the rebellion

Result --- The rebellion failed and the communist leaders (R.Luxemburg and Liebknecht) were assassinated

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Those against democracyRight-wing Nationalist:

They thought the Treaty was a complete humiliation for Germany They wanted an authoritarian and strong regime (similar to the previous situation before the war)

Who --- Mainly composed by ex-soldiers who did not accept the end of the war. They were organized in the Freikorps.

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Right-wing extremist. The Kapp Putsch1920Kapp was a general and he tried to take over the power with 5,000 FreikorpsThe government asked for the aid of the workers and they reacted with a general strike

Kapp left the country and the rebellion failed

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

1923. A key yearThe situation was quite unstable the first years of the Republic of Weimar, but 1923 will be a special year for several crisis:

The Ruhr CrisisThe Munich PutschHyperinflationSamuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

The Munich Putsch (Beer Hall Putsch)An unknown Adolf Hitler tried to take the control of the country in a rebellion in Munich

Nazi Party was not very popular at that moment (less than 3% of votes) so he failed (He was able to control a brewery)

He went to prison (11 months) when he wrote Mein Kampf with the main ideas of the Nazis

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Ruhr crisisPrevious situationGerman solutionHyperinflation

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Previous situationThe reparations commission had determined that Germany should pay 132 billion gold marks in 42 years to the Allied powers

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

SituationThe French were anxious to enforce the reparations for two reasons:

They hated GermansThey needed the money to pay the American loans

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Ruhr crisisGermans had problems to pay the demanded amount of money, so the French decided to take a hard line approach to Germany: the best way to make Germany pay was

MAKING USE OF THE FORCE ---- French and Belgium troops invaded the Ruhr (the industrial area of Germany) to receive the paymentWhat would you do if you were a German worker?

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Ruhr crisisAs Germany had almost no army (Treaty of Versailles) France took the outputs of the factories and mines of the Ruhr, and shipping them to its territory.

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Ruhr crisisWhat was the German reaction?

German workers refused to cooperateSabotage (Flooding of mines, burning factories, destruction of railroads, etc.)

French fought against that. They had the complete control of this area!

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Ruhr crisisWhat was the German reaction?The Government supported the workers in their strike and sabotage actions. How?

It printed money to pay them. PROBLEM --- The value of the money decreased because it was an artificial measure ---- HYPERINFLATION

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Consequences of the HyperinflationThe middle class lost its economic power (the money they saved) so they became:

Cynical to democracyMore interested in extremist ideologies (Nazis tried to seize the power in 1923)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

So, the Weimar Republic was in a serious troubleHyperinflation and bad economic situationChallenged by the Left and Right extremistWithout a clear answer to the problems of the country

So in this difficult situation, a new president (Stresseman) took the power after the first years of Ebert.

Would he be able to change the situation?YES, the Golden Years (1923 1929)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

The Golden Years (1923 1929)After an initial crisis, the Weimar Republic was able to overcome most of the problems in the period from 1923 to 1929 (the Golden Years)The key figure of this period was Gustave Stresseman (the Minister of Foreign Affairs)

Germany got important achievements in:The economyCulturePoliticsSamuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

EconomyHe found a solution to solve the problem of HyperinflationFirst, he created a new currency

If Germany was in bad situation, the world would be in a bad situation (because of the reparations) so

Dawes Plan: Reparations payments were spread over a longer periodThe USA gave loans to Germany

Germany spent the money in infrastructure and modernization of old equipment (good investments) so the quality of life increased (better salaries) --- The economic situation improved so G. could pay the reparations.

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

37

Dawes Plan

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

butThe German economy was completely dependent on American loans, so

The unemployment began to raise at the end of the Golden Years (social unrest)

Peasants and small business were not especially benefited by Weimar policies

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

CultureDuring the Kaisers time --- Dictatorship and censorshipWeimar Republic brought the freedom of speech --- Cultural Renaissance

George Grosz and Bauhaus design

The cinema industry was the most important in Europe (F.Lang and M.Dietrich)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

George Grosz

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Bauhaus movement

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Fritz Lang. Metropolis

The first science fiction movie!!

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

But The rural Germany saw the new culture as a symbol of decadency

Wandervogel movement: Return to the countryside values (kind of Boy scouts)

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

PoliticsThe extremist (left and right wing) were weaker during this period (Nazis got 5% of the vote, and Communist did not go further than 15% of the vote)

A GrossKoalition was formed with all democratic parties, so the government was strong

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

butExtremist parties were not banned, even if they were against democracy ---- They could establish an organization for the future

People started to accept extremist parties as part of the system

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Foreign policyStressman reached the Locarno Treaties (1925) where:Germany recognized the Western borders after the warThe Eastern borders were not defined (Why was this a problem for the future?)Germany was accepted in the League of Nations

Young Plan (1929): Less reparations for Germany and the foreign troops left Germany

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Locarno Treaties

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

ButOf course, these agreements were criticized by the right-wing and left-wing extremist:

For the right-wing extremist, the agreements were a recognition of the Versailles TreatiesFor the left-wing extremist, the agreements were seen as an approach to the capitalist countries

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)

Golden Years Periodhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbW8mA_cdFg

Samuel Perrino Martnez. ISU. Republic of Weimar (1919 - 1929)