1919-1929: The Weimar Republic

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A-Levels History Mind Map on 1919-1929: The Weimar Republic, created by amma on 05/16/2013.

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Created by amma over 6 years ago
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1919-1929: The Weimar Republic
1 The Consitution
1.1 President
1.1.1 To be elected every 7 years
1.1.2 Had the power to select and dismiss the Chancellor; was the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces; Could dissolve the Reichsrat and Reichstag under article 25; could rule by decree under article 48
1.2 Chancellor and Government
1.2.1 Where accountable to the Reichstag and had to resign if they lost their confidence
1.2.2 The Reichstag
1.2.2.1 To be elected every 4 years. Universal suffrage for people over 20
1.2.2.2 Party list system was used for elections - proportional representation meant that government was often formed from coalitions between parties
1.2.2.3 Political Parties in the Republic
1.2.2.3.1 Right
1.2.2.3.1.1 DVP: Support base was those with business interests, industrialists & white-collar workers. Was ambivalent toward the republic; would have preferred a more autocratic system of govt. Domestic policy was anti-union & pro business
1.2.2.3.1.2 DNVP: Consistantly hostile to the republic - thought it was illegitimate. Wished for the return of the Kaiser and the Kaiserreich. Support base was conservative, nationalists, landowners & middle-classes.
1.2.2.3.1.3 NSDAP (Nazi Party): Extremely hostile to the republic, condemning the 'November Criminals'. Had a support base of ex-servicemen, radicals and anti-semites. Domestic policy focused on the restructuring of society on racial grounds and the creation of a people's community
1.2.2.3.2 Left
1.2.2.3.2.1 Centre Party: Represented German Catholics. Initially strongly supportive of the Republic as a barrier to revolution; from 1930 onwards, was less supportive of democracy. Supported social reform but socially conservative
1.2.2.3.2.2 DDP: Support base were those in the middle class, business interests & intellectuals. Were fully supportive of the republic & constitution until 1928
1.2.2.3.2.3 SPD: Support base was mainly urban industrial workers & craftsmen. Divided opinion toward s the republic; some saw it as a 'bourgeois democracy'. Supported social reform & policy of fulfilment
1.2.2.3.2.4 USPD: Support bas was industrial workers disillutioned by the polices of the SPD. Wanted the replacement of parliamentary democracy with workers soviets. Party splits with left wing joining the KPD in Oct 1920 & right wing merge with the SPD in 1922
1.2.2.3.2.5 KPD: Communist Revolutionaries. Support Base was largely working class; attracted many ex-members of the USPD. Hostile to the republic, commented to overthrowing the republic and dedicated to exploiting the working class
1.3 The Bill of Rights: rights which were enshrined to the people
1.3.1 Freedom of Speech, Association and Religion
1.3.2 The right to work; government was to provide everyone a job, or failing that, provide financial assistance
1.3.3 A provision giving workers special protection in the new state
1.3.4 Welfare Rights
1.3.5 The right to own property - businesses could not be nationalised without compensation
1.4 The Reichsrat
1.4.1 Germany was to be a federal state - allowing the 18 states to have their own parliament and local powers
1.4.2 Filled with state representatives, they could propose amendments or delay legislation passed by the Reichstag
1.4.3 Upper house but with less power than the Reichstag
2 Initial Problems 1919-1922
2.1 WW1
2.1.1 Politicians had no real choice but to sign the armistice in Nov 1918. Many Germans blamed the democratic politicians for the defeat and labelled them the 'November Criminals' due to the 'Stab in the Back' myth created by Ludendorff, which blamed German loss of the war on internal enemies such as socialist politicians and communists. Undermined support for Weimar Germany
2.1.2 Treaty of Versailles
2.1.2.1 Terms
2.1.2.1.1 Military
2.1.2.1.1.1 German army was to be restricted to 100,000 men
2.1.2.1.1.2 Only 6 battleships; no submarines or air force were permitted
2.1.2.1.2 Land
2.1.2.1.2.1 Lost overseas colonies
2.1.2.1.2.2 West Posen and West Prussia were given to Poland
2.1.2.1.2.3 Alsace Lorraine was given to France
2.1.2.1.2.4 Anschluss was banned - article 80
2.1.2.1.2.5 Rhineland became a demilitarised zone
2.1.2.1.2.6 Lost 13% of territory and 12% of it's population
2.1.2.1.3 Economic
2.1.2.1.3.1 War Guilt
2.1.2.1.3.1.1 Germany was to accept responsibility for the outbreak of war and all damage caused during the conflict, as stated in article 231 in the 'War Guilt' clause
2.1.2.1.3.1.1.1 Forced to pay reparations for the victors damages. 1921: Reparations amount was set at 269 billion gold marks (£6600)
2.1.2.1.3.2 Lost 20% of coal production and 15% of agricultural resources
2.1.2.2 Impact on Gemany
2.1.2.2.1 Seen as a 'diktat - reduced public support of the Republic further'
2.1.3 Cost of WW1 produced inflation due to the Kaiser's decision not to increase tax revenue
2.2 Threat from the Conservative Right
2.2.1 Judiciary maintained their independence from the state - this was often used to undermine the spirit of the Republic
2.2.1.1 Judiciary's interpretation of the constitution posed a threat to the republic
2.2.1.2 Many judges showed leniency towards those on the right - 1922 a left wing figure was given 11yrs for violating press laws whilst Hitler was given 5yrs for high treason in 1924
2.2.2 Army was unreliable - wanted to protect their own interests
2.2.2.1 KPD attempts to unleash a revolution were crushed quickly in 1923, but the 1923 Munich Putsch, General von Lossow made it clear he would disobey the Republics' orders
2.2.2.2 Ebert-Groener Pact
2.3 Threat from the Extreme Left
2.3.1 Spartacist Uprising 1919
2.3.1.1 Newspaper offices were seized & revolutionary committees formed - uprising was poorly planned and easily crushed by troops from the regular army & Freikorps
2.3.2 1919 Spring
2.3.2.1 Industrial areas of Germany were wracked by radical unrest. Wave of strikes occurred in the Ruhr mines central Germany & Berlin. Strikes occurred in the Ruhr mines, central Germany & Berlin. Strikers demanded shorter hrs, socialisation of industry & a government based on councils.
2.3.3 1921: KPD rushed into a poorly organised uprising
2.3.4 1923: KPD organised another uprising but it was too late to capitalise on the opportunity of the mass protests of 1923.
2.3.5 Wave of protests were unorganised, 'radical' leaders did not provide much direction or stategy and Army and Freikorps easily suppressed rebellions
2.3.6 WEIMAR POLITICAINS OVERESTIMATED THE THREAT FROM THE LEFT
2.3.7 Red Bavaria 1919
2.3.7.1 The assassination of the leader of the USPD in Bavaria combined with the news of a soviet revolution in Hungary, triggered a revolution in Bavaria
2.3.7.2 6th April: Bavarian Soviet Republic was declared
2.3.7.3 Early May: The Army and Freikorps sent a force of some 30,000 troops into Bavaria and the Soviet Republic was crushed
2.4 Threat from the Extreme Right: Political Assasinations
2.4.1 Politicians feared being assassinated due to the Freikorps murdering Erberger, an advocate of the Republic in 1921
2.4.2 Right wing Germans resorted to murder to weaken the regime - this was reinforced by lenient judges. The Republic lost hundreds of devoted servants
2.4.3 Assassinations were carried out by the Consul organisation
2.5 Kapp Putsch 1920
2.5.1 Angry at army reductions due to the Versailles Treaty, a group of soldiers wanted to overthrow the Republic & reject the Treaty
2.5.2 Led by Kapp, Ludendorff & Luthwitz; started because of Ehrharat & Berlin, the Freikorps were ordered to disband
2.5.3 12/13 March: Luthwitz led the Freikorps to Berlin; the govt. appealed to the workers to strike & so they paralysed the capital. The army refused to fire fellow Germans
2.5.4 Army were reluctant to aid the govt. Emphasises the unification of the right in undermining the Republic
2.6 1923 Munich Putsch
2.6.1 Rohm developed an armed wing of the party known as the SA
2.6.2 8 Nov: In a beer hall in Munich, Hitler and Rohm, with the backing of ex-military lead Ludendorff, took control of a conservative political meeting and Hitler announced a national revolution.
2.6.2.1 Hitler hoped to unite right-wing nationalists in an armed march to seize control
2.6.3 Failed as the conservative politicians upon whose support Hitler had counted on reported the plot to the authorities and the Bavarian police were able to stop the Putsch as its participants marched through Munich on 9 Nov
2.6.4 Hitler used his trial and time in Lansburg Prison as a platform to express his anti democracy opinion and convey his ideology to the public
3 1923: Hyperinflation Crisis
3.1 Causes
3.1.1 Long Term (pre 1918): No financial provision made for a long drawn out war - Kaiser decided against raising taxation; national debt was allowed to grow (84% of war expenditure was borrowed). Shortage of consumer goods pushed up prices
3.1.2 Medium Term (Weimar Policies): Policy of deficit financing meant that tax was not increased to reduce the government deficit; allowing inflation to continue. Reparations committee stated that reparations had to be in hard currency - govt. printed more money, reducing it's value
3.1.3 Short Term (1922-3): July 1922, Germany asked for another 'break' from reparations payments. The French responded by occupying the Ruhr. Policy of Passive Resistance was put in place - workers were paid to go on strike. The German govt. were unable to collect taxes from the Ruhr area & the French prevented coal deliveries being made. By Autumn 1923, German currency ceased to have any real value.
3.2 Impact
3.2.1 Civil Servants: Income fell sharply 1914-1920, but made real gains in 1921-2. Suffered in 1923 because of fixed salaries
3.2.2 Industrial workers: 1923, trade unions were unable to negotiate wages that kept place with inflation. Fewer savings meant they lost less. Unemployment rose to 4.1%
3.2.3 Decline in law and order; growth in suicides; increase in death through hunger; decline in 'morality' (more prostitution); decline in health; increase in prejudice & tendency to fine scapegoats; Decreased support of the Republic
3.2.4 Businessmen & Junkers did well - bought up property with worthless money & paid off mortgages
3.2.5 Retired suffered badly as fixed pensions became worthless
3.2.6 Mittelstand: Shopkeepers & craftsmen did fine, able to exploit market demands
3.2.7 Peasants coped reasonably well - food remained in demand & they were self sufficient
3.3 Recovery
3.3.1 Summer 1923, Cuno was forced to resign & Ebert appointed Stresemann as Chancellor in Aug 1923
3.3.1.1 Policy of passive resistance was ended
3.3.1.2 13 Oct 1923: Stresemann was granted emergency powers
3.3.1.3 15 Nov 1923: govt. established a new immediate currency the 'Rentenmark' - this halted inflation. In 1924 it was to be replaced by the Reichsmark as the new official currency
3.3.1.3.1 To ensure the new currency worked and stopped inflation, the govt. pursued any violation of currency regulations; slashed public payroll by a quarter; cut subsidies & payments to the poor & unemployed; industry was given greater power to fine workers & return to longer working days
3.3.2 Agreed to send goods from the Ruhr to the French as reparations payment - French and Belgian troops left the Ruhr after the agreement of the Dawes Plan
3.3.2.1 American banker Charles Dawes led an international committee which redesigned reparations. The annual payment of gold marks was reduced to 1mil. rising to 2.5mil. from 1929. An international loan was made available to help Germany pay
4 The Golden Years 1924-1929
4.1 Politics
4.1.1 Increased political stability - no putsch attempts; no political assassinations; the creation of the Grand Coalition in 1928
4.1.1.1 led by the SPD's Muller, was a coalition of the late, right & centre & commanded a secrue majority (over 60%) in the Reichstag
4.1.1.2 Political parties did not co-operate well. The SPD were often reluctant to work with others while governments were sometimes brought down by apparently trivial issues
4.1.1.3 Forming stable coaltion governments proved difficult: the centre right & right could agree on domestic policies but not foreign policies, while the centre right and left could agree on foreign policy but not domestic policies. There were consequently seven government during 1923-1929 & some governments did not have majority support in the Reichstag
4.1.2 The Role of Hindenburg
4.1.2.1 1928 chose a SPD Chancellor in spite of his hostility o socialism
4.1.2.2 Hindenburg was hostile to the idea of working with the SPD before 1928 & until that time insisted that the far right DNVP be included in coalitions
4.1.3 Increased acceptance of democracy: By 1928 election 76% of people supported pro Weimar parties. Support for the Nazis was low, the obtained only 2.6% of the vote in 1928.
4.1.3.1 Extremist Support: Support for extremists reduced but remained high with a quarter of people voting for parties that wished to see Weimar democracy end: the KPD, obtained 10.6% of the vote in 1928
4.2 Economics
4.2.1 Economic growth & development
4.2.1.1 By 1928, production equalled that of 1913. By 1928, GDP was 12% higher than in 1913; the chemicals industry became the largest manufacturer in Europe; Exports rose by 40% between 1925 & 1929; Loans from the international community, particularly the USA, financed development of infrastructre in Germany: 25.5bil marks were loanded between 1924 and 1930 - inflation remained low and unemployment ran at a relatively low level
4.2.1.2 Agriculture was in recession from 1927; Depended on US loans & investment, leaving Germany vulnerable to US economic problems; unemployment did not fall below 1.3mil. and levels were climbing before 1929; tensions reamined high between workers & business owners - industrial disputes were common and many industrialists resented the system of arbitration
4.2.2 Improved living standards: wages rose every year between 1924 & 1930
4.3 Foreign Policy
4.3.1 Stresemann pursued a policy of fulfilment.
4.3.2 1924 Dawes Plan & 1929 Young Plan
4.3.3 1925: Stresemann agreed to Germany's post war borders with France as part of the Locarno Pact
4.3.4 Admitted to the League of nations in 1926
4.4 Culture & Society
4.4.1 Acceptance
4.4.1.1 Liberal & tolerant atmosphere
4.4.1.1.1 gay life flourished & women were able to be independant
4.4.2 Rejection
4.4.2.1 Saw cultural changes & freedoms as decadent; prefered traditional cuture & roles for Women and did not tolerate homosexuality
5 'A Republic without Republicans' - Rathenau

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