The 'Golden Era' of the Weimar Republic

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A breif overview of how political, social, economic and foreign relations changed and improved during the 1920s (The 'Golden Era' of the Weimar Republic). It gives advantages and disadvantages to these four aspects.

Resource summary

The 'Golden Era' of the Weimar Republic
  1. Social
    1. Advantages
      1. Berlin had 100s of nightclubs. It became famous for its daring nightlife. Cabaret artists performed sings and shows that would have shocked earlier generations and would not have been allowed in the Kaiser's Germany.
        1. Writers, poets, painters and architects had more freedom. A new style of design and architecture developed called 'Bauhaus', with famous people like Kandinsky, Klee and Gropius.
          1. The Weimar constitution allowed more cultural freedom than had existed under the Kaiser. There was no longer strict censorship. Berlin became the cultural capital of Europe.
            1. The 1920s were a golden age for German cinema. Directors like Fritz Lang and actors like Marlene Dietrich became international stars.
            2. Disadvantages
              1. Some Germans wanted to return to simple country values. One such organisation was the Wandervogel.
                1. Many Germans felt that the new freedom in German culture was bad for Germany. They felt it led to moral decline,
              2. Economical
                1. Advantages
                  1. By 1928 industrial production surpassed pre-WW1 levels. By 1930 Germany was once again the 2nd greatest industrial power. Exports rose.
                    1. The Dawes Plan spread reparations over a long period. It also lent Germany 800 million marks (from the USA) to invest in rebuilding German industry and commerce.
                      1. The German govt was able to pay reparations. It was even able to increase welfare benefits and wages for state employees.
                        1. German industrial workers' wage increased. Many Germans enjoyed a higher standard of iving.
                          1. The govt also introduced a number of public work schemes, such as building apartment blocks, swimming pools and sports stadia. These not only improved facilities but created jobs.
                          2. Disadvantages
                            1. Germany's recovery was based on loans, which might be recalled at any time.
                              1. Although big business and industrial workers benefited the farmers in the countryside, the middle class did not. Many small businesses were threatened by the growth of department stores. Many farmers were over-producing and food prices were falling.
                            2. Foreign Relations
                              1. Disadvantages
                                1. Many Communits opposed the Locarno treaties. They said it was a western plot against communist Russia.
                                  1. Many nationalists in Germany were angry that Germany had joined the league of nations. They felt that this was accepting the T of V, when they should have been fighting it.
                                  2. Advantages
                                    1. In 1929 the Young Plan led to a reduction in the Reparations and the removal of British, French and Belgian troops from the Rhineland
                                      1. In 1926 Germany was allowed to join the League of Nations. This also improved Germany's international status.
                                        1. In 1925 Germany signed the Locarno Treaties. They promised to stick to the boundaries laid down by the T of V. This led to better relations between Germany and the other Great Powers (GB and F).
                                      2. Political
                                        1. Disadvantages
                                          1. Even during these stable years, there were 4 different chancellors. Governments still had to be formed out of coalitions, which were held together by the influence of party leaders.
                                            1. The Right wing parties were starting to co-operate and make themselves seem more respectable: there votes were small but growing.
                                              1. In 1926, Hindenburg was elected as President. He was known for being opposed to democracy. He even wrote to the Kaiser in exile for approval before taking up the post.
                                              2. Advantages
                                                1. The major political parties were more willing to co-operate with each other
                                                  1. In elections, most people voted for moderate parties who supported the republic. The extremist parties, like the Communists and the Nazis did not get many votes
                                                    1. German politics became more stable: there were no more attempted revolutions or uprisings after 1923.
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