Jan. 1923: Invasion of the Ruhr

Dawes Plan , World War I reparations , Weimar Republic

Jan. 1923: Invasion of the Ruhr

The Ruhr is one of Germany’s most valuable industrial and mining area.

End 1922: Germany failed to pay reparations to France as part of TOV

In response, the French occupied the Ruhr.

Campaign of ‘passive resistance’ was Germany’s response and resulted in a decline in industrial productivity
‘Passive resistance’ affected Germany economy

Weimar government still dedicated to maintain commitment to TOV


Reparation bill: US $32 billion

Instead of raising taxes, gov borrowed heavily and printed new money

Sparked greatest inflation in history


1914: US$ => 4.2 marks

1919: US$ => 8.9 marks

1923: US$ => 25 billion marks

German money was valueless causing enormous hardship

Real wages declined, life-time savings wiped, people on fixed incomes

This invasion should be considered against French fears about security. France had been increasingly concerned about security since the collapse of the Anglo-American guarantee that would have given the French support in the event of German attack. In addition, France had been unsuccessful in her attempts to partially dismember Germany. By 1921, Britain and the USA were retreating into isolation and removing themselves from the affairs of the continent. In Britain, there was growing sympathy towards the idea that Germany had been treated harshly and that she should be able to recover economically as means to promote European recovery.

The reparations commission had determined in 1921 that Germany should pay 132 billion gold marks to the allied powers. The French were anxious to enforce the reparations settlement in full for two reasons: 1. To use reparations to pay their debts to the US. 2. They could continue to weaken Germany by collecting the reparations and thus limit the speed and extent of German economic recovery which could pose a serious threat to them in the future.

The British attitude towards reparations was...
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