What Problems Faced The Weimar Republic and How Far Were These Problems Overcome by 1929?

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Note on What Problems Faced The Weimar Republic and How Far Were These Problems Overcome by 1929?, created by livi.11 on 12/30/2013.

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 The Weimar Republic faced opposition from the outset in 1919, after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Economic hardship affected the whole nation and led to uprisings and assassinations.In 1923 the Weimar Republic was teetering at the brink of a very large cliff with problems such as hyperinflation, attempted revolutions and public discontent, pushing it increasingly towards the edge.Wilhelm II or William II was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. After the Kaiser gave up his place on the throne (abdication), it was up to the politicians to sign the armistice in November 1918, which became known as the Weimar Republic. The Weimar Republic had one main flaw. Proportional representation, this was when the Germans voted for a party. Each party was then allocated seats in the Reichstag exactly reflecting the number of people who had voted for it. It was a disaster it resulted in lots of tiny parties, with no party strong enough to get a majority vote, therefore, no government to get its laws passed in the Reichstag. The Weimar Republic was also responsible for signing the peace treat (Versailles) and accepting the conditions attached (reparations, war guilt etc). November criminals is a term usually associated with Hitler and the Nazis who believed Germany was stabbed in the back by the politicians, that Germany was not defeated and could have continued the fight (and maybe ultimately won). The Treaty  of Versailles was a document drawn up but the League of Nations, mainly influenced by Britain, France and the U.S.A after the ending of the First World War. The treaty was hated so much by the German public as it  restricted what Germany could  do with regards to the economy, military and land that they own. The whole point was to weaken Germany to that they didn't have enough power to attack and by this, Britain, France and U.S.A had a bit of 'revenge'.One of the main features what made the Treaty so unpopular were the millions of pounds of reparations which Germany were made to pay back to all the countries they had fought for all the damage caused. This huge bill made the German economy go into Hyper-inflation were the value of money decreased massively, to the point where the money wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. This is when the first crisis hit Germany. The occupation of the Ruhr. This was caused because Germany didn't keep up with its reparation payments, so the French were seizing raw materials such as coal for themselves. The French occupied Ruhr, Germany's most important industrial region. This was legal under the Treaty Of Versailles. The German government replied by issuing orders such as, not to work for the french authority put up passive resistance-the German public went on strike, they didn't want anything to do with the French it meant that the French and Belgian soldiers in the Ruhr weren't actually stopping anything in Germany, it was pointless. Hyper-inflation proved that the old mark was of no use. a new currency was needed. In September 1923, Germany had a new chancellor, Gustav Stresemann. He called off the passive resistance and ordered the workers in the Ruhr to go back to work and the mark was replaced with the Rentenmark. Then, in 1924, the Dawes plan was announced. This was created by Charles Dawes who was American, set realistic targets for Germany's reparation payments. This one action stabilised Weimar Germany and over the next five years, 25 million gold marks was invested in Germany. The economy quickly got back to strength, new factories were built, employment returned and things appeared to be returning to normal. Stresemann gave Germany a sense of purpose and the problems associated with hyperinflation seemed to disappear. The years 1924-1929 are know as the Golden Age of Weimar.  The Young Plan was made in 1929 during Weimar's Golden Years. On the other hand to the Golden Years, the reparations still remained a big issue even before the October 1929 Wall Street Crash. When the Wall Street stock market crashed in October 1929, the world economy was plunged into the Great Depression. By the winter of 1932, America was in the depths of the greatest economic depression in its history.

The Spartacist rising was one of the first threats; an attempt by left-wing revolutionaries in Berlin (including Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg) to overthrow the Ebert. They believed that Ebert would not improve the lives of working class people. They wanted a Communist revolution like the Russian Revolution in 1917. They believed in public ownership of property/equality between all classes and that all resources of a country belonged to everyone, socialism.The Spartacists tried to turn protests by workers in January 1919 into a revolution. they took over the government's newspaper  and telegraph headquarters in Berlin in hope protesters would join them to take over other buildings, but this did not happen. No mercy was shown to the Spartacists/Communists whose leaders were murdered after being arrested. The Freikorps was better organised and armed - they also had a military background. The majority of the Spartacists were civilians. No-one doubted who would win. This threat was overcome by as the government ordered the army to stop the Spartacists rising, with the help of Freikorps (army of ex-soldiers used on the right wing to create fear and terror who were anti-Communist). This, also added to the unsuccessful uprise which was badly planned and didn't have a lot of support from any other left-wing groups. Over 100 workers were killed. With the deaths of Liebknecht and Luxemburg, the party fell into temporary disarray though the Communist Party gained strength in the 1920's.

The Red Rising in the Ruhr in 1920 were groups of workers led by members of the Communist Party; throughout 1919 workers had been protesting in anger due to the bad working conditions and bad pay tat they were receiving. In 1920, Rhur was occupied by the 'Red Army', consisting of 50,000 workers which gained control of its raw materials. Ruhr was one of Germany's main industrial areas. The German army and the Freikops stopped the Red Rising and this time over 1000 workers were killed, unlike the crushing of the Spartacists. What also helped to crush this threat was that the Communist Part had a weak leadership and no clear  plan. In addition to the Spartacists, they did not have full support off other people, which therefore meant that the minor strikes and demonstrations which took place never really threatened the Weimar government.

The Kapp Putsch rebellion took place in the same year as the Red Rising, 1920. The Kapp Putsch was to set up a new government as the rebels were angry at them for signing the Treaty of Versailles, the members believed in class differences, there will be elites at the top and other classes at the bottom.. Wolfgang Kapp was a right-wing journalist who opposed all that he believed Ebert stood for especially after what he believed was the humiliation of the Treaty of Versailles.The Kapp Putsch was a direct threat to Weimar’s new government. Kapp received support from one of Germany’s foremost military officers – General Erich Luderndorff. But the main officer corps of the German Army failed to follow Luderndorff’s lead. The Wolfgang Kapp led Freikorps, consisting of around 12,000 men to march into Berlin, hence the fleeing of the government which resulted in the Freikorps putting forward Kapp as the new leader of Germany. Furthermore, the Freikorps and Kapp failed to gain much support off the German public, leading to workers in Berlin striking in protest at the putsch. This resulted i it being impossible for the Kapp to rule and after four days he soon fled from Berlin. After the Kapp's flee, Ebert's government returned, taking back their power. This strike does indicate that the people of Berlin were willing to support Ebert’s government rather than a right-wing government lead by Kapp. So, thherefore it can be argued that Ebert had the support of Berlin public.

the Nazis were just a terrorist group. Hitler assembled a large group of unemployed young men and former soldiers, known as the storm troopers (the SA), which attacked other political groups. Hitler hoped to take power by starting a revolution. During the crisis of 1923, therefore, Hitler plotted with two nationalist politicians - Kahr and Lossow - to take over Munich in a revolution.The Munich Putsch in 1923 was led by Adolf Hitler and General Ludendorff (popular World War One hero who was involved in the Kapp Putsch). The Nazi's their own private army called the SA, consisting of 55,000 members. The Nazi Party planned to take over the German government and make General Ludendorff as the leader of Germany because Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party believed that democracy only led to a weak government. Therefore this meant that there should only be one political party with one leader. Due to this, the Munich Putsch began. Hitler burst into a meeting where the leader of Bavaria was speaking. They forced Kahr (the leader) the support their plan to take over the government. Hitler attempted the Munich Putsch because by 1923, the Nazi party had 55,000 members and was stronger than ever before. The Weimar Republic was in crisis and about to collapse. Also, in September 1923, the Weimar government had called off the general strike, and every German nationalist was furious with the government. In addition to Hitler being stronger than ever before, he had a huge army of storm troopers, but he knew he would lose control of them if he did not give them something to do.Like the Spartacist Rising, The Red Rising in the Ruhr and the Kapp Putsch, The Munich Putsch was badly planned. This threat to the government was overcome by them ordering the army to crush the rebellion. Armed Nazi's marched into a military base in Munich Putsch where they were met by armed police and soldiers. The leader of the putsch was arrested and Hitler was sent to prison for five years, but only served nine months of them. During his time in prison, the Nazi's fell apart without him. To keep the support of the army, who were strongly right-wing, the government gave orders that left-wing state governments in Saxony and Thuringia should be deposed. This resulted in making it easier for the government to get the army to act against the much more dangerous right-wimg nationalists in Bavaria.  

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