Was the political calm in the Golden Years?


Arguments for and against political calm in Weimar Germany 1924-29 (Edexcel A2)
Elizabeth Carr
Mind Map by Elizabeth Carr, updated more than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Carr
Created by Elizabeth Carr over 9 years ago

Resource summary

Was the political calm in the Golden Years?
  1. No
    1. Coalition governments
      1. Specific governments
        1. June 1924: DDP, Centre, DVP
          1. Jan 1925: DDP, Centre, DVP, BVP, DNVP
            1. Jan 1926: DDP, Centre, DVP, BVP
              1. May 1926: DDP, Centre, DVP, BVP
                1. Jan 1927: Centre, DVP, BVP, DNVP
                  1. June 1928: GRAND COALITION
                  2. Each government was only in office for an average of 11 months
                    1. 4 of 6 governments were minorities
                      1. Only half of governmental changes were due to elections
                        1. Collapsed over flag use (national or imperial)
                          1. Collapsed over creation of religious schools
                          2. Product of proportional representation system
                            1. Co-operation was difficult
                              1. Politicians stuck to political principles rather than compromise for effective government
                          3. Political system and parties
                            1. Parliamentary system failed to build on changes of 1918
                              1. No development of original constitutional ideals
                                1. Did not strengthen the political structure
                                2. Parties still acted as interest groups rather than national parties of government
                                  1. Narrow sectional interest parties grew
                                    1. Reich Party for People's Rights and Revaluation
                                      1. Wanted to compensate losers from hyperinflation
                                  2. Differences
                                    1. Large differences between parties
                                      1. Sometimes street fights
                                        1. Nazis and KPD
                                      2. Internal divisions
                                      3. No shared political outlook
                                        1. No party was passionately committed to the republic
                                          1. Opposition from left and right remained
                                        2. SPD
                                          1. Opted out of middle class coalitions
                                            1. Keep trade unions' support
                                              1. Prevent workers defecting to KPD
                                                1. Created centre-right coalitions wary of left-wing
                                                  1. Political instability
                                                2. Remained largest party in Reichstag
                                                  1. Agreed to join Grand Coalition
                                                    1. Polarisation made a stable majority government unlikely
                                                    2. Divided
                                                      1. Desire to uphold working class interests
                                                        1. Feared coalitions would weaken principles
                                                        2. Commitment to democracy
                                                          1. Wanted a say in government to influence decisions
                                                          2. Moderates vs extremists
                                                        3. Election of Hindenburg
                                                          1. Ebert's death made Presidential position uncertain
                                                            1. No commitment to the republic unlike a socialist
                                                              1. Influenced membership of coalitions
                                                                1. Excluded SPD
                                                                  1. Included DNVP
                                                                    1. Ruled out 'grand coalition' across political spectrum
                                                                    2. Did not want powers in Article 48 to be reduced
                                                                    3. Opposition from elites
                                                                      1. Industrialists
                                                                        1. Resented burden of welfare state
                                                                          1. Wanted greater control of wages
                                                                            1. Landed aristocracy lost influence
                                                                            2. Generals
                                                                              1. Wanted army to be above politics
                                                                                1. Sought a more authoritarian system
                                                                                2. Judges, state employees and civil servants
                                                                                  1. Found democracy distasteful
                                                                                  2. Church leaders, teachers and newspaper editors
                                                                                    1. Did not aim to win support for democracy despite influence in society
                                                                                      1. No progress in political education
                                                                                      2. Promoted conservatism
                                                                                        1. Growing contempt and cynicism for party politics
                                                                                          1. Weimar still blamed for Treaty of Versailles
                                                                                            1. Stab in the back myth
                                                                                            2. Anger about continued reparation payments
                                                                                              1. Lack of heroes or commemorative days lost public support
                                                                                          2. Yes
                                                                                            1. Pro-Weimar Parties
                                                                                              1. Majority in 1924 and 1928 elections
                                                                                                1. Support grew from 52% to 73%
                                                                                                2. System of government seemed well established
                                                                                                  1. Stable when compared to previous years
                                                                                                  2. Political extreme
                                                                                                    1. No attempted coups, assassinations or challenges
                                                                                                      1. By 1928, left and right extremists held 30% of vote combined
                                                                                                      2. Hindenburg and the elites
                                                                                                        1. Elites supported democracy because they feared a worse alternative
                                                                                                          1. Hindenburg's election attracted conservatives because of his army background
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