Problems of the early Weimar Republic


Mind Map on Problems of the early Weimar Republic, created by Mimi Pearson-Gee on 10/06/2017.
Mimi Pearson-Gee
Mind Map by Mimi Pearson-Gee, updated more than 1 year ago
Mimi Pearson-Gee
Created by Mimi Pearson-Gee over 6 years ago

Resource summary

Problems of the early Weimar Republic
  1. The German Revolution of 1918
    1. There was a huge amount of damage and losses from WW1 and the peoples reaction to it caused the revolution.
      1. There was a general strike in Berlin, armed workers and soldiers roamed the street. The Social Democrats were afraid that the communist might sieze control. So they announced that the Kaiser had abdicated and that a new German Republic would be set up.
        1. 10th November 1918 - Kaiser Wilhelm II fled to exile in Holland. 11th November 1918 - An armistice was agreed between Germany and the Allies.
    2. The Strengths and Weaknesses of the new Constitution
      1. Strengths: every German citizen got freedom of speech, men and women over 20 were given a vote. There was an elected president and an elected Reichstag which made the laws and appointed the government, which had to do what the Reichstag wanted.
        1. Weaknesses 1 : Proportional representation - which means you can vote for a party instead of a leader. Which resulted in dozens of tiny parties, with no party strong enough to get a majority, and, therefore, no government to get its laws passed in the Reichstag.
          1. Weakness 2: Article 48 said that, in an emergency, the president did not need the agreement of the Reichstag, but could issue decrees. The problem with this was that it did not say what an emergency was, and in the end, it turned out to be a back door that Hitler used to take power legally.
          2. The Treaty of Versailles
            1. 1. Germany had to accept the blame for starting the war
              1. 2. Germany had to pay £6,600 reparations
                1. 3. Germany’s military was restricted to 100,00 men - 6 battleships - no submarines - no airforce - no oversea colonies
                  1. 4. Germany lost 13% of her land and 6 million people because of territorial losses. The Saarland and Rhineland was taken over by the allies
                    1. 5. They had not been allowed to negotiate.
                      1. The Germans HATED the Treaty of Versailles
                      2. The Spartacist uprising and the Kapp Putsch
                        1. The Spartacists were communists, who wanted Germany to be run by the working classes. They believed that power and wealth should be shared equally among the population.
                          1. There was a general strike in Germany from 4th to 15th Jan 1919. Workers went on strike. There were 5,000 in number and it was led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebernecht (who were both then murdered) The strike failed.
                          2. The Kapp Putsch were extreme Nationalists led by Dr Kapp.
                            1. Dr Kapp led 5,000 Freikorps towards Berlin. The Weimar Government fled from Berlin because they were scared at the size and strength of Kapp's unofficial army. However, Kapp was defeated by the people of Berlin. Berlin ground to a halt. There was no water, electricity or gas. Banks refused to give Kapp the money. Thus, on the 18th March, he and his supporters fled abroad. So, they failed aswell!
                          3. French occupation of the Ruhr
                            1. In 1923 German government was unable to pay the reparations required under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The French and Belgian governments responded by sending in 6,000 troops to the Ruhr, the main centre of Germany's coal, iron and steel production.
                              1. The Weimar government could not use its army to stop the French invading the Ruhr (because it was too small after the Treaty of Versailles). So it ordered its workers to use 'passive resistance' against the French.
                              2. Causes and effects of hyperinflation
                                1. Hyperinflation was caused by the sudden flood of paper money into an economy weakened by war, combined with the general strike.
                                  1. The inflation rate rose so dramatically that the German currency lost virtually all value. Paper money was practically worthless (eg. a loaf of bread which cost 250 marks in January 1923 had risen to 200,000 million marks by November 1923).
                                    1. The elderly suffered greatly as their income was fixed - Germans who were paid monthly were also affected- There was food shortages as businesses did not have enough money to purchase produce from farmers- There was a rise in crime as Germans became desperate.
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