The Second Reich began to collapse in the final weeks of the war. The country shifted towards democracy and to some extent saw a social revolution with a weakening of aristocratic power. However, the German revolution was not a total revolution, as many elements of the old regime remained.
1.1 Generals advised Wilhelm to negotiate an
armistice & form a new civilian gov. containing
members of the Reichstag. On Oct 3, Prince
Max of Baden formed a new gov. containing
liberal & socialist members of the Reichstag
1.2 Democratic Revolution
1.2.1 Authoritarian military rule
1.2.2 Reichstag deputies
formed part of the
1.2.3 New gov. included members of the
SPD (largest party in Reichstag)
1.2.4 New gov. and army & navy
were now accountable to the
1.3 Social Revolution?
1.3.1 Government was no
aristocrats & Junkers.
Now contained the
middle classes as well.
1.3.2 New gov. was accountable to
the Reichstag, which
represented the middle &
2 Revolution from below 31
Oct- 8 November 1918
2.1 Democratic Revolution
2.1.1 Many ordinary Germans
were involved in the
2.2 Sailors in Kiel mutinied against orders to put
to sea. Mutinies soon spread to other ports
throughout Germany. Soviets sprung up
across the country, and there were riots in the
Ruhr, Berlin, Cologne, Dresden, Leipzig &
Stuttgart, Government had lost control.
2.3 Social Revolution?
2.3.1 The sailors & workers' soviets
represented new & radical forms of
political organisation which saw
power in the hands of the working
3 Abdication of the Kaiser and
declaration of a republic
3.1 Hindenburg advised the Kaiser to abdicate fearing a violent
revolution. He fled to Holland: the Second Reich was at an end
and a government of SPD and USPD members was formed.
3.2 Democratic Revolution
3.2.1 The unelected, hereditary
monarch was gone, and
elected politicians replaced
him in political leadership.
3.2.2 The dominant figure in
government, Ebert, was the leader
of the largest party in the
3.3 Social Revolution?
3.3.1 The man at the pinnacle of the class
system was removed, and was
replaced by politicians of working class
origin, such as Ebert
3.3.2 The government was formed of representatives of the
working class rather than the aristocrats
4 Armistice 11 November 1918
4.1 The government signed an armistice
agreement with the Allies
5 Revolution contained 10 Nov
5.1 Ebert was an
determined to prevent a
civil war. He did a deal with
the army to gain their
support & called for early
5.2 Democratic Revolution
5.2.1 Elections held in Jan 1919 on the
basis of universal suffrage
5.2.2 Elections produced a constituent
assembly which wrote the new
5.3 Social Revolution?
5.3.1 The Junker class remained dominant
in the judiciary and civil service & the
army remained unreformed.