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Political Unrest 1919-1923. The Treaty of Versailles. Aims : Revise the main terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Examine why the German people hated the Treaty. Task. Think back to what you learned about the Treaty of Versailles in the World War One topic.

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The treaty of versailles
The Treaty of Versailles


  • Revise the main terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

  • Examine why the German people hated the Treaty.

Political unrest 1919 1923

  • Think back to what you learned about the Treaty of Versailles in the World War One topic.

  • You have three minutes to write down as many of the term of the treaty as you can think of!!

Group task
Group Task

  • You will be issued with an information sheet about the Treaty of Versailles

  • Examine the terms of the treaty and for each one identify one reason why the German people would have disliked this.


  • Not only did the German people dislike the terms of the Treaty they were also unhappy with the way the treaty was made.

  • The Versailles peace conference was held in France and chaired by President Clemenceau – this was hardly a neutral venue.

  • The German government were forced to sign the treaty in June 1919 or the war would be resumed – they called it a ‘diktat’.

  • The German people blamed the new Weimar Government for signing the armistice and accepting an unfair peace treaty.

  • The Treaty of Versailles undermined the Weimar Government and caused more problems in the future.

Political unrest 1920 1923
Political Unrest 1920-1923


  • Examine attempts to overthrow the government in 1920.

  • Consider how these events affected the Weimar Republic.

Political unrest 1920 19231
Political Unrest 1920-1923

  • From the beginning of the Weimar Republic there were various groups who hated the government.

  • The left wing-communists had tried to seize power in January 1919 next it was the turn of the right wing to try and overthrow the government in 1920.

The kapp putsch
The Kapp Putsch

  • Wolfgang Kapp was a right-wing nationalist who hated the government for signing the Treaty of Versailles

  • With the support of the Free Corps, Berlin police and some of the army he tried to seize power in Berlin and overthrow the government.

  • This attempt to seize power by force was known as a ‘Putsch’.

The kapp putsch1
The Kapp Putsch

  • The government lacked the support of the army to crush this putsch.

  • They turned to the workers to organise a general strike.

  • Within a day, Berlin was at a standstill – no trains, buses, no water, gas or coal.

  • After just four days, Kapp was forced to admit defeat and fled to Sweden.

  • President Ebert and his government returned to Berlin.

Red rising in the ruhr
‘Red Rising’ in the Ruhr

  • Two days after the Kapp Putsch the Communists staged an uprising in the Ruhr.

  • 50,000 workers joined the uprising.

  • This time the army were more willing to help the government.

  • The Free Corps were sent into restore order and over 2000 workers were shot.

The kapp putsch2
The Kapp Putsch

Read ‘Weimar Germany’ pages 14-15 and answer the

following questions in sentences.

1. What is a putsch?

2. Why did Wolfgang Kapp attempt to overthrow the government?

3. What were his three main aims?

4. Who supported Kapp in his attempt to seize power?

5. Who did not support Kapp and how did they try to end the putsch?

6. What was the outcome of the Kapp Putsch?

7. Write a brief note explaining what happened on the 21st March 1920 and what the result was.

Political unrest 1920 19232
Political Unrest 1920-1923

  • Between 1919-1923, 376 political murders took place – most of these were carried out by right wing nationalist who hated the Weimar Government and blamed it for signing the Treaty of Versailles.

  • One of the most famous murders was in June 1922 when Walter Ratheneau, the Foreign Minister was assassinated by a right wing group – Organisation Consul. They planned to assassinate every politician who had agreed to the Treaty of Versailles.

  • All of these events damaged the Weimar Government and made democracy look weak and ineffective.