Developments in West Germany (FRG) 1949-1971

Eva Clifton
Mind Map by Eva Clifton, updated more than 1 year ago
Eva Clifton
Created by Eva Clifton over 6 years ago


A Levels History (Germany - Divided and Reunited 1945-1991) Mind Map on Developments in West Germany (FRG) 1949-1971, created by Eva Clifton on 04/20/2014.

Resource summary

Developments in West Germany (FRG) 1949-1971
1 Economic
1.1 By the late 1950s the FRG had the second largest share of world trade (after the USA)
1.2 The FRG had no armed forces until 1955 - this freed up money
1.3 1949 - Ludwig Erhard introduced a 'social-market' economy - private businesses were allowed but the government would monitor them to prevent monopolies. This system lasted until the 1970s
1.4 1950s - massive economic growth and improved living standards, the FRG had recovered from WWII
1.4.1 The economy was so successful that they became short of labour
1.5 1960s - world's third richest nation
1.6 The FRG had received $1.4 billion in Marshall Aid - helped the FRG to recover from the War
1.7 The FRG had plenty of raw materials, low inflation and a constant supply of cheap labour from Southern Europe and Turkey
2 Political & Social
2.1 The FRG became a democratic capitalist country - the constitution was laid out in the 1949 Basic Law
2.2 The electoral system was Proportional Representation - like the one used in the Weimar Republic but there was a special clause in the Constitution to stop anti-democratic parties
2.2.1 Any party with less than 5% of the vote could not sit in Parliament
2.3 The FRG portrayed East Germany (GDR) as a repressive dictatorship and a puppet of the Soviet Union - emphasised lack of freedom and speech
2.4 The FRG made formed concentration camps into memorial sites to 'apologise' for Nazi actions - Holocaust survivors were compensated
2.5 Relations between employers and employees were good - a law was passes in the early 1950s gave workers representation at management level in large companies
2.5.1 There were very few strikes in the FRG
2.5.2 The government introduced a 5-day week
2.6 The FRG had stable leadership - e.g. Adenauer (leader of the CDU) was Chancellor for 14 years (1949-1963) - he was strengthened by a lack of opposition and the FRG's prosperity
2.6.1 Threat from Eastern Europe and the USSR gave him the appearance of a 'safe' leader
2.7 1950s-1960s - the youth criticised the government for the consumer society - foreign workers had low living standards
2.8 The FRG passed the '131 law' which allowed ex-Nazis to work in government - caused tension in young people
2.8.1 One member of Adenauer's government had helped to write the Nuremberg Race Laws
2.9 1950s - FRG government was accused for being too conservative, as they banned the Communist Party in 1956
2.10 The FRG became an independent country in 1955 (before that it had been controlled by the Western Powers)
3 Foreign Policy and the Military
3.1 1949 - Hallstein Doctrine was introduced, this meant that any country that recognised the existence of the GDR (except Russia) would be seen as unfriendly
3.2 1965 - established full diplomatic relations with Israel - made the FRG unpopular in the Middle East
3.3 1955 - compulsory military service introduced - Adenauer believed that the FRG needed armed forces to protect themselves against the GDR and Soviet Union. This was not well received in the FRG, people felt like the USA wanted to use the FRG against Russia
3.4 1955 - the FRG joined NATO - many West Germans felt threatened by this because of the Cold War
3.5 The FRG's military had limitations placed on them - no troops in West Berlin
3.5.1 1970s - 500,000 people in the FRG armed forces
3.5.2 A civilian service was set up - proved popular
3.6 The FRG showed its peaceful intentions - refused to get involved in the Vietnam War
3.7 1949 - Adenauer agreed to international control of the Ruhr - unpopular in the FRG but helped gain support of countries such as France
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