The Weimar Republic Section 1 1918-24

Megan Booth
Mind Map by Megan Booth, updated more than 1 year ago
Megan Booth
Created by Megan Booth about 4 years ago


AQA History A LEVEL and AS Weimar Republic NOT FINISHED

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The Weimar Republic Section 1 1918-24
1 The Impact of the Versailles Settlement on Germany
1.1 The Peace Settlement of Versailles 1919
1.1.1 The war ended with the armistice agreement on 11 November 1918. In January 1919 in Paris, there was a conference to settle the peace terms between the Allied powers and Germany. Germans were not allowed to hear the terms of the treaty until 7 May and Germany suggested changes to the treaty but the Allies agreed on very few. On 16 June Germany was given 7 days to except the terms of the treaty. This lead to a political crisis in Berlin and led to the formation of a a coalition government and on 28 June the ToV was signed by all powers. It opposed much harsher conditions on Germany than expected. Many Germans regarded the ToV as a diktat (dictated peace). There was hatred towards the politicians who signed it through the life of the Weimar Republic.
1.1.2 The terms of the treaty Territorial losses Removed over 13% of German territory and its overseas colonies Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France and land was given to Poland, Denmark and Belgium and Lithuania. Additionally, Danzig (a city with a majority German population) became a free state under the League of Nations. All of this meant that Germany lost 75% of iron ore, 68% of zinc ore, 26% of coal and 15% of its arable land.All of Germany's overseas colonies in Africa and the Fat East were put under control of the League of Nations. Disarmament of Germany Germany had to surrender all heavy weapons and remove armed forces from the Rhineland. Conscription to the German armed forces was forbidden and the German army was limited to 100,000 men and tanks and gas was forbidden. The German navy was restricted to 15,00 men. The navy was allowed to a maximum of 6 battleships and o submarines and a small number of coastal defence vessels. Germany was forbidden from having an air force. War Guilt Under Article 231 of the treaty, Germany had to accept responsiblity for starting the war. The 'war guilt clause' made Germany liable to pay reparations to cover the costs of damage suffered in war. The final amount of reparatioms for Germany to pay was £6.6 billion. The Rhineland The left bank of the Rhine and a 50 km strip on the right bank was demilitarised. Allied army was based in the Rhineland to ensure Germany fulfilled its treaty obligations. The Saarland This area contained large reserves of coal and was taken from Germany and placed under the control of the League of Nations for 15 years so Germany would supply France, Belgium and Italy with free coal as part of the reparations agreement. Other terms of the treaty Austria was forbidden from uniting with Germany and Germany was not allowed to join the LoN. Some germans were put on trial for war crimes.
1.1.3 German reactions to the treaty Many Germans were in disbelief by the governments decision to sign it. Until 1914, Germany had been one of the greatest military powers in Europe. German people before the treaty were under the impression that Germany were winning the war s treaty came as a huge shock and they felt humiliated. The German objections to the treaty focused on how it denied Germany of national self-determination which was emphasised as important in Wilson's fourteen points. In the treaty millions of German speakers were placed under the control of non-German states. e.g. Poland and Czechoslovakia. Additionally, the 'war guilt clause' was seen as unjust national humiliation as they felt that they were forced into a just war by the Allies who encircled Germany. Moreover, the reparations caused a lot of anger in Germany as they felt it was too high and would cripple the economy. The French were also given control of the Sarrland and there was allied occupation of western Germany which outraged German nationalists. Finally, the disarming of Germany and its exclusion from the LoN was viewed as unjust discrimination.
1.2 The political impact of the Versailles Treaty in Germany
1.2.1 The Political crisis of June 1919~ Scheidemann resigned as he wanted to reject the treaty and a new cabinet led by Gustav Bauer was formed and they signed the treaty
1.2.2 The reaction of pro-republican parties Most thought that signing the treaty was the most sensible thing the Reich could do. They believed in the policy of fulfillment where they would obey the terms of the treaty. However, the treaty turned some against the republic. The treaty caused political demoralization which led to association of the Republic with weakness and failure.
1.2.3 Reaction on the Right German nationalists could not accept the fact of Germany's military defeat nor the establishment of the new republic. The signing of the ToV led many to join groups trying to overthrow the Republic. Many nationalists belived that those that signed the treaty betrayed the 'Fatherland' and were labeled as the 'November Criminals'. Their actions of betrayal was referred to as 'the stab in the back'. This myth was actively promoted by Lundendorff and led to attacks from nationalists on the Republic. Many soilders gravited towards more extremist views when they returned from Germany. Some turned to the Freikorps and right-wing nationalist groups. Due to this, in the early years of the Republic, politics were under threat form violent nationalist groups.
1.2.4 Reactions from abroad Britain~ The british public were satisfied that Germany had lost its overseas empire and large fleet. However, Lloyd Gerogre belived that they shouldn't of been so harsh on Germany as they needed Germany as a strong trading partner. Many in Britain saw the French as being greedy. Some also believed the reparations level was too high. France~ The French believed that they suffered the most out of all the nationals and were determined to get revenge on Germany. France's main points were met; the demilitarization of the Rhineland; the return of Alsace-Lorraine and the payment of reparations. Despite this, many still believed they were too lenient on Germany and the President Clemenceau was defeated at the next elections in 1920. The United States~ Reactions to the Treaty of America were generally negative, many thought that the treaty had been unfair on Germany. The USA refused to join the LoN and retreated from involvement in European affairs.
2 Economic and social problems in Germany 1919-24
2.1 Financial problems in the aftermath of the war
2.1.1 Germany's defeat plunged the finances of the state into crisis. The war effort required unprecedented levels of government spending. Germany paid for the war effort through printing more money and increased borrowing which put the government in more debt and the value of the currency fell. in 1919, the new government was faced with a debt of 1.44 billion marks. To deal with the debt the government could either/and raise taxes or reduce spending. However, raising taxes would risk alienating support for the new republic and it was also very difficult for governments to reduce spending. Even though the military expenditure was reduced, civil servants still had to be paid. As the republic didn't want to lose support they decided to instead just print more money which lead to inflation rise at a dangerous pace. Nevertheless, inflation did have some effect on the national debt and German industrialists were benefiting from inflation. Also, unemployment was only at 1.8%.
2.2 The impact of reparations
2.2.1 The political impact of reparations A reparations commission was set up to decide the scale of damage caused by German forces in Allied countries. They concluded that Germany should pay £6.6 billion in annual installments. The German government was presented with this amount in 1921 with the ultimatum to accept, it caused a political crisis in Germany however there was no alternative. This was the start of the Policy of Fulfillment in which the German government wanted to with the sympathy of the Allies and a revision of the terms when they could see that full payment was beyond Germany's capacity. In 1922 the Reparations Commission granted a postpone on payment as Germany was having great economic difficulties. In July there was further suspension. In November 1922, Germany asked for a loan of 500 million gold marks and a further postpone of 3 or 4 years to stabilize its currency. This made the French deeply suspicious and viewed it as an excuse and refused to agree.
2.2.2 The economic impact of reparations Reparations resulted in making huge government debt even harder to pay. Additionally, German gold reserves and coal reserves were inadequate for the scale of reparations payments . Germany couldn't make payments on manufactured goods and the Allies hampered Germany's export trade by confiscating its entire merchant fleet and imposing high tariffs on imports of German goods.The German response to gaining money was to print more which made inflation worse.
2.3 The hyperinflation crisis of 1923
2.3.1 The Franco-Belgian occupation of the Ruhr By the end of 1922 Germany had fallen seriously behind on its payment of coal to France. Therefore, The French and Belgians sent a military force of 60,000 men to occupy the Ruhr
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