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Weimar Germany. Aim: To revise key details about the first half of the German depth study. A revision presentation from http://www.mrallsophistory.com/. The situation after World War 1. The Kaiser has abdicated and left Germany

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weimar germany

Weimar Germany

Aim: To revise key details about the first half of the German depth study

A revision presentation from http://www.mrallsophistory.com/

the situation after world war 1
The situation after World War 1
  • The Kaiser has abdicated and left Germany
  • A power vacuum has been created as there is no established form of government
  • Millions of German workers have been killed or seriously injured during the war
  • Germany has become an international pariah (outcast)
  • Germany is subject to an imposed peace settlement
the situation after world war 11
The situation after World War 1
  • In reality, this meant:
    • Political instability
      • There were uprisings against the fledging republic even before it was properly formed.
    • Economic ruin
      • The war has devastated the economy and further problems occur as a result of the Peace settlement.
    • Unemployment
      • Millions of soldiers have returned home to find no jobs available.
the treaty of versailles
The Treaty of Versailles
  • Terms of the Peace treaty
  • Massively reduced military capability
  • ‘War guilt’ clause imposed
  • Reparations fixed at a very high level
  • All of this led to BIG problems from 1919
problems 1919 1924
Problems 1919-1924
  • Anger directed at the government for signing the Treaty of Versailles
  • The new constitution reliant on coalition governments, which weakens its power
  • Economic problems as all profit is sent directly to the Allies as reparations pay-outs
  • Valueless currency as economic crisis leads to hyper-inflation
  • Rise of extremist groups attempting to wrestle power from the de-stabilised government (Freikorps, Spartacists etc.)
opposition uprisings
Opposition Uprisings
  • The Communist Spartacists in 1919, defeated by the right-wing militia of the Freikorps
  • The right-wing Kapp Putsch, defeated by a general strike
  • Germany in a desperate situation.
  • The terms of the Treaty of Versailles cripple the economy and prevent German recovery after the war.
  • This in turn leads to the new, Weimar, government being unable to restore pre-war conditions.
  • Animosity towards those who signed the treaty grows and many German people look for people to blame for the crisis, leading to theories of ‘the stab in the back’.
  • The new government, already under fire, is likely to fail in it’s duty to provide security, prosperity and comfort given the conditions that it has inherited.
practice question
Practice question
  • Describe the problems faced by the governments of the Weimar Republic in the years 1919-22 [4]
the weimar republic under gustav stresemann
The Weimar Republic Under Gustav Stresemann
  • Stresemann was Chancellor in 1923 only.
  • His main role was as Foreign Minister from 1924
  • He was a right-winger and more able than Ebert
  • He built up Germany’s prosperity again although all of Europe was recovering
the dawes plan 1924






War debts

The Dawes Plan - 1924
  • Germany’s reparations paid over a longer period
  • America lent money to German industry and also to the Government to pay reparations
  • German currency reorganised
the weimar republic under gustav stresemann1
The Weimar Republic Under Gustav Stresemann
  • Stresemann showed real skill in foreign policy
    • Locarno Treaties – 1925
    • 1926 – Germany joined the League of Nations
    • Young plan - 1929
  • After a number of years in the wilderness Germany was accepted back into the international community
the locarno treaties
The Locarno Treaties
  • Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Poland met at Locarno in Switzerland.
  • Signed a number of treaties to settle disputes between themselves
    • France, Belgium and Germany agreed to accept borders as drawn up by Treaty of Versailles
    • Rhineland stayed demilitarised
    • France would protect Poland and Czechoslovakia if attacked by Germany
    • Germany would not use force to settle disputes with neighbours
  • Unemployment and poverty still high
  • The growing prosperity was based on USA loans – what would happen if USA wanted the money back?