How fair is it to describe the events of 1918-1919 as “a frozen revolution, limited in its scope and ambitions”?
The oxford dictionary states that the definition of a revolution is: "forcible substitution of new government or ruler for old; fundamental change."
It could also be added that it results in fundamental changes not only to the political system but also to the social and economic infrastructure, and is often accelerated by war or military defeat. Indeed Germany went through a period of much turmoil during the First World War and in the ensuing period after it. At the end of 1918 the nations morale was shattered by their humiliating defeat in war, shortages were severe to say the least and thousands of people were dying of the Spanish Influenza. Added to this, the demobilisation was slow and unorganised, the country was full of arms and it was felt by much of the population that now was the time to make a break from their imperial past and create a more just society. The revolution that occurred in Germany in 1918-1919 was not really a revolution-at least not in the traditional sense of the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917, or even the German Revolution of 1848. Perhaps, by calling it the "German Revolution," we imply that things are conceived and done differently in Germany. Perhaps, that is true. Her political traditions were somewhat different from those of France and Russia. The conditions, which gave birth to revolution in November 1918, were unlike those of 1789 in France, and although somewhat similar to those in Russia in 1917, they were still not quite the same. Neither in France nor Russia did revolution come as a complete surprise even to purported revolutionaries. But it did in Germany. There was no sustained revolutionary agitation and strategy preceding it and when it came even the Social Democrats were completely overwhelmed by events. Therefore the German Revolution of 1918-1919 could be described as “a...
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