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What were the strengths and weaknesses of the Weimar republic Weaknesses: TOVWeimar republic was always going

to be associated with the treaty of Versailles and the failure it symbolized-establishment of democracy still resulted in Germany getting shafted. 1918 REVOLUTIONThe revolution came about as a complete surprise , there was no sustained revolutionary agitation and strategy preceding it-no one took credit for the revolution. Absence of a clemenceay who could have instilled the nation with faith in republican democratic insititutions-no strong sense of commitment to parliamentary democracy and the republic among military officers, the police, the judiciary and the administration and civil service. This lack of republican spirit would be a heavy burden for the new Weimar Republic. PROTO-DEMOCRACYno history of democracy in Germany, no reference. CONSTITUTIONArticle 48 of the constitution gave the President sole power in times of emergency. The system of proportional voting led to 28 parties. This made it virtually impossible to establish a majority in the Reichstag, and led to frequent changes in the government. During 1919-33, there were twenty separate coalition governments and the longest government lasted only two years. This political chaos caused many to lose faith in the new democratic system. The German states had too much power and often ignored the government. The Army, led by the right-wing General Hans von Seeckt, was not fully under the governments control. It failed to support government during the Kapp Putsch or the crisis of 1923. Many government officials especially judges were right-wing and wanted to destroy the government. After the Kapp Putsch, 700 rebels were tried for treason; only 1 went to prison. After the Munich Putsch, Hitler went to prison for only 9 months. BISMARCK LEGACYPoliticians of the German Nationalist Peoples party as well as conservative journalists skilfully used Bismarcks accomplishments as a positive foil that made defeated post-war Germany seem even weaker. Bismarck was a powerful frame of reference in a society that lacked political consensus.

Strengths -All Germans over the age of 21 could vote, huge step towards full democracy. -Chancellor needed to have the support of at least half the Reichstag to pass laws. -Bill of Rights -States have individual rights -President had a long term (presedential stablilty) How great was the threat to the Weimar from the left and the right? THE RIGHT -Conservative parties, small anti-semetic groups and the right wing of the national liberals united to form the German National peoples party (DNVP) -The right has huge manifestations of power on the street. -They know exactly who their enemies are, clear set up, as opposed to the Weimar republic. -Populist policies, they will attract votes. -Assassinations-between 1919-1923 weimar politicians lived in fear of assassination, the judiciary stystem was full of sympathetic judges who reinforced this trend. -Kapp putch- 1 person of the 705 people who were involved in the coup were prosecuted-the army would not support the government. THE LEFT -Progressive party and the left wing of the national Liberals regrouped under the name of the German Democratic party (DDP). -The left also has huge manifestiations of power on the street. -Massive inequalities is a natural breeding ground for socialist revolutions. -Stopped the kapp putsch-undermining Weimar. What problems faced the Weimar republic in Germany from 1918 to 1923? Setting up of the Weimar republic(b): The initial support from the elite for the new regime, on which the Weimar depended, was purely tactical and didnt bode well for democracy Nature of the German Revolution(a): The revolution came about as a complete surprise , there was no sustained revolutionary agitation and strategy preceding it-no one took credit for the revolution. Absence of a clemenceay who could have instilled the nation with faith in republican democratic insititutions-no strong sense of commitment to parliamentary democracy and the republic among military officers, the police, the judiciary and the administration and civil service. This lack of republican spirit would be a heavy burden for the new Weimar Republic.

Eberts role (a/b): -crushed the sprartacist revolution in order to ensure stability for the new government, there was less of an appetite for communism than there was for democracy thus he was justified. The Armistice (b): -The November Criminals-The nickname given to those who signed the armistice- says it all when it comes to the mood of the general public in regard to the signing of the armistice. -The creation of the Freikorps is another example of the unrest caused by the signing of the armistice. Versailles Treaty (b/a): -The treaty of Versailles was hugely irresponsible in terms of the degree to which it crippled Germany. Ferdinand Foch "This is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years" -However, the irresponsibility shown is understandable when one looks at the destruction that the Germans caused to the allied countries, such as France. -This lead to an element of revanchism within the actions of Clemenceau at the TOV, driven by public anger. The Weimar constitution(a): - The system of proportional voting led to 28 parties. This made it virtually impossible to establish a majority in the Reichstag, and led to frequent changes in the government. This political chaos caused many to lose faith in the new democratic system. Kapp Putsch(a): -The lack of action on behalf of the army was not encouraging for the Weimar republic, and without the general strike it is not unreasonable to suggest that it may have been a success. Communist threat (b) -Despite the fact that the left did stop the Kapp Putsch, they did not have the organization nor the revolutionary power to overthrow the state-especially a state with the backing of the elite. Causes of the inflationary crisis (a/b): -hyperinflation was caused by the level of reparations that the allies demanded, the allies would have been very aware of this at it would flood the market with cheap German goods. -This was not helped by the ridiculous sums of money that the government elected to print as a quick fix to satiate the general strikers. Notes on pages 73-106 in leyton -

STRESEMANN -Elected in 1907 to the Reichstag as a national liberal. -Primarily interested in economic policy. -Energetically defended the interests of the commercial middle class, but his advocacy of extended social-welfare legislation embroiled him in a conflict with the representatives of his partys right wing. -This prevented his reelection to the National liberal party executive committee, and he lost his seat in the Reichstag in the same year. He then travelled to the United States to study economic conditions. - He occupied leading positions in a number of trade associations, including the German-American Economic Association, established at his suggestion. - He was known for his organizational gifts, knew how to handle people, and was aware of the power he wielded. - As a member of the pan-German Deutscher Kolonialverein (German Colonial League) and an advocate of a strong naval construction program, he supported the imperialist goals of German policy carried out under the aegis of Alfred von Tirpitz and Bernhard, Frst (prince) von Blow. During the War - Stresemann emerged during the war as one of the most vociferous exponents of pan-Germanism and as a champion of Germanys extensive claims on Polish and Russian territory in the east and on French and Belgian territory in the west. - He advocated unrestricted U-boat warfare and opposed the policy of Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, who held to a moderate course and did not allow himself to be committed to expansionist war aims. -After the war, Stresemann, a member of the German National Constituent Assembly in Weimar in 191920, was an opponent of the new German constitution. He also opposed the Treaty of Versailles and was to devote his political life to its revision. After the war - As chancellor from August 13 to November 23, 1923, during the crisis over the Allied occupation of the Ruhr, and as foreign minister from August 1923 to his death, Stresemann exercised decisive influence over the fate of the Weimar Republic, and he became a statesman of European stature. His first decision as chancellor was to abandon the policy of passive resistance in the Ruhr, which in January 1923 had been occupied by French and Belgian troops to enforce payment of German war reparations. This policy had accelerated inflation and was precipitating a financial collapse. Domestic policies as chancellor - On the domestic scene, he sought to steer his way among opposing domestic forces. While proceeding harshly against communist-influenced state governments in Thuringia and Saxony, he displayed a lenient attitude toward revolutionary attempts of the radical right, such as the Beer Hall Putsch of Adolf Hitler on November 89, 1923, in Munich.

- At the height of the internal political crisis of November 1923 there was danger that the occupied territory west of the Rhine (occupied by the Allies) might withdraw from the Reich. Only the stabilization of the currency in the middle of Novemberthe last significant achievement of Stresemanns government restored domestic order and created the basis for economic recovery. Foreign policies as chancellor - His policy was aimed at securing a reconciliation with the victorious Western powers, especially France, for Germany had already renewed ties with Russia through the Treaty of Rapallo in 1922. By meeting the reparation payments, for the reduction of which he fought as stubbornly as he did for removal of French troops from west of the Rhine, he hoped to gain a favourable position for his negotiations with the victorious Allies. His enduring aim was to obtain equal rights for Germany and to restore it to its former position among the countries of Europe. As foreign minister - Stresemanns successes in dealing with the Allied powers during those years can be marked out in stages. In 1924 the U.S.-proposed Dawes Plan was signed, providing for reduction in payment of reparations and stabilization of German finances. It was followed in 1925 by the Pact of Locarno, which included acceptance of the new Franco-German border, agreements to arbitrate disputes with other nations, and immunity from new sanctions by the victors of World War I. In 1926 the first Rhineland zone was evacuated by the Allies, Germany was admitted to the League of Nations, and the Berlin Treaty with the Soviet Union (an agreement providing for mutual neutrality) was signed. In 1928 the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war was signed by Germany. Stresemann did not live to see the complete evacuation of French troops from the Rhineland and the completion of the new settlement reducing German reparations through the Young Plan (also a U.S. proposal) in 1929, although he had conducted the negotiations when already marked by death. 1. In what respects were domestic politics in Germany more stable between 1924 and 1929 than they had been in the last 5 years? Stable political leadership: -the arrival of universally respected political figure gustav stressman whose orthodox conservative background made him acceptable to the right. -After Stresemann came Hindenburg who also had unquestionable patriotic credentials and provided the man in a uniform that was craved. Hindenburg Germans want no president in a top hat, he must wear a uniform and plenty of decorations. -Much better support than cuno who was involved in the negotiations of the hated TOV. -Army was pacified by the appointment of General Groener.

Economic stability: -The stabilization of the currency and the implamentation of the Dawes plan ushered in five years of economic growth and affluence(exports rose by 40 percent, high interest rates attracted foreign investement) , which stands out in marked contrast to the inflationary crisis of 1922-1923. Domestic stability: -Financial stability led to political stability as the economic recovery blunted nationalist opposition to the republic by appeasing nationalists who played a substancial role in the DNVP and suppressed extremism. Realization that the ToV had been too Harsh Signing of the treaty of Rapello showed the allies that Germany could still be a threat. Dawes plan, support of the US 1929 Germany was unoccupied.

Nazi rise to power: Nazis would say that the reason for Hitlers rise was the fact that he was superhuman. Nazism was born out of the 1st world war (similar to Italy) There was a sense of misunderstanding at the end of the war, the German troops at the front line didnt feel like they had lost. Stab in the back myth grew that Marxist and Jews had fermented distress at home, which would grow into Nazism in Bavaria as the troops arrived back home. Bavaria had a very strong Aryan and Teutonic culture-were the epitome of German. Troops who returned home were shocked to see how much their family were suffering-starving, tb and influenza. Politics were polarized, socialists and communists both became radical in the face of trouble. There was an attempt to set up a soviet like government in munich 18 months after the revolution in Russia-revolution in Germany was put down mercilessly by freikorps. Freikorps genuinely feared that communists would plunge Germany into chaos. Anti-Semitic predjudice on behalf of the right was exacerbated by the fact that the leaders of the weighter republic were Jewish. Freikorps had support of right wing army generals. HPt.Rohm is an example of above, who met adolf hitler by joining the german workers party. Hitler was like thousands of other ex soldiers in munich, wandering without a putpose. He did however find that he could channel his hatred for communism through powerful speeches. Hitler repeatedly explained of the inequity of the Versailles peace treaty. Hyperinflation really drove the desire for a strong source of leadership, as everything was spiraling out of control. Hitler became the leader of the national socialist works party in 1921, campaigning against Versailles and the Jews. Hitlers speeches began to attract high ranking bavarians to the fledgling party, in 1922 a world war 1 flying ace joined the NAZIS (Ermund Goering)-more out of desire for revolution than ideology. Real notion of blood and soil, relationship between Germans and their land, made Versailles an affront to Germanic ideologies. Himler, chicken farmer, was an example of how this idea of blood and soil inspired rural worker.s. Nazis capitalized French occupation of the ruhr and the humiliation it caused to harvest discontent within the country-Hitler stood on the stage of the beugerbrikeller and interrupted a right wing parliament, calling for an uprising in Bavaria to get rid of the French. It was thought that the army and the police would join them on their march

to berlin. The police didnt support them and the marches were rioted as the police open fired, killing 16. Hitler fled. This was a massive blow to the morale of the NAZIS. Trial of Hitler began a huge media storm, and he became famous for his defiance in the trial-saying that history would see them as heroes. This defiance was a con; he knew the right wing judiciary would be lenient. He was given the minimum sentence possible (3 months) and the judge wrote to the appeal court in favor of Hitler so he only served 1 month. By 1924 it seemed that Hitler and the Nazis had become an irrelevance. In the mid 1920s the german economy recovered as inflation was reduced to single figures. Weimar gov had solved reparations by borrowing money from America and using it to pay them off, economic boom financed by short term credit. There were germans who disapproved of weimer decadence, who joined non political groups such as the wandervogel who campaigned for simpler times. This longing for old fashioned values was capitalized on by the nazi party. In the mid 1920s the nazi party were small but radical, they promised that jews would be stripped from citizenship and explelled. The saw jews as a threat. Fantasy of a world jewish conspiracy was openly preached and believed by Nazis, who had their own paramilitary squad called the storm troopers who guarded meetings and threatened oppsootion party members. Nazi party began to revolve around hitler. Administration of the party was chaotic, fuhrer was often disorganized and late, hated committee meetings and arbitration. Hitler was a strong believer of natural selection, almost an obsession, to the extent that hitler didnt want people to ask him to appoint local leaders, but preferred that they took power. Nazi party began to struggle even more, e.g in 1928 they got 2.5 percent, over 97 percent of the pop rejected them and thei leader. Nazi party were seen as a tiny fringe party, almost a joke. Yet 4 years later hitler was chancellor. Nazis were helped by circumstance; agricultural crisis and wall street crash brough poverty to the country. Americans called in their loans and unemployment rose to 5 million in 1931.-Germany was economically the worst hit nation in the world. Then things worsened, as the 5 major banks crashed and over 20000 buisinesses folded, now the middle class were suffering. In the economic crisis the nazi vote rose, still preaching the same stuff. More Germans were ready to hear, people who had never seen nor heard hitler still voted hitler.,

In neidenburg in 28 they got 2.5, in 1930 25.8, and hitler didnt even go there. Communists also had a leap in votes, economic crisis polarized the population. Communism vs Nazism took to the streets where they fought.-Police were generally right wing. Hitler said he was the strong man who could rebuild Germany, campaigning in a new refreshing way, travelling by airplane to 20 cities in 7 days. Though he lost, hitler established himself as a credible alternative leader. Nazism didnt provide much in detailed policies, emphasizing in discipline and order and personality of hitler. Politics of opposition. Perception of the time was that it couldnt really get any worse. They always mistake me for a bourgeois or Marxist politician, who today
SPD, tomorrow USPD (Independent Social Democratic Party), and the day after tomorrow KPD, and then Syndicalist, or today Democrat and tomorrow German Nationalist Party, then [. (sound recording has gaps and is unintelligible)] again Economic Party, they mistake us for themselves. We have chosen a goal for ourselves and will follow it fanatically, ruthlessly to the grave. Hindebourg (president) did not want ot make hitler chancellor as his party was intolerant, violent, lacking in discipline and didnt represent the full views of Germany Powerful pressure groups formed to support hitler, including the ex president of the reichbanke. Uneployed men either became communists or storm troopers, businesses preferred that they marched the street as storm trooopers than resort to socialism. IT was known that the army could not control both the communists and the national socialists and Germanys borders. Nazis were going backrupt. Nazis vote had dropped to 33 percent. It looked like their support had peaked. But powerful figures on the right still negotiated with hitler as he was there key to mass support. Von papen came up with a deal, hitler would be chancellor only if papen was vice and there wer only 2 other Nazis in cabinet. With the thought that it would tame him. In reality, hitler was helped into power by economic circumstance and the support and miscalculation of others who thought that he would prove himself incompetent.
It was believed that he could still be controlled through parliament. They were wrong. It was also not thought by the jews that the Nazis would take there anti-semitsm seriously- a few stromtroopers had jewish girlfriends. Ludendorf prophesised that This accursed man would take our reich into the abyss