German Revolution 1918-1919

Mind Map by elspeth, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by elspeth about 6 years ago


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.

Resource summary

German Revolution 1918-1919
1 Revolution from above 29 Sept-3 Oct 1918
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 was ended
1.2.2 Reichstag deputies formed part of the government
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 democratic Reichstag
1.3 Social Revolution?
1.3.1 Government was no longer solely aristocrats & Junkers. Now contained the middle classes as well.
1.3.2 New gov. was accountable to the Reichstag, which represented the middle & working class
2 Revolution from below 31 Oct- 8 November 1918
2.1 Democratic Revolution
2.1.1 Many ordinary Germans were involved in the disturbances.
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 class
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 Reichstag.
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 1918-Jan 1919
5.1 Ebert was an anti-communist, & determined to prevent a civil war. He did a deal with the army to gain their support & called for early democratic elections.
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 constitution
5.3 Social Revolution?
5.3.1 The Junker class remained dominant in the judiciary and civil service & the army remained unreformed.
5.3.2 The Soviets did not gain power
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