Modern History Notes

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1. Weimar Republic
Emergence of the Democratic Republic and the impact of the Treaty of Versailles November Revolution
• triggered by a mutiny in the navy ( spread to Kiel where sailors were joined by soldiers ( wanted democracy • 9th November ( announced the Kaiser had abdicated and a National Assembly was to be elected, to draw up a democratic constitution • the Chancellorship was handed to Ebert, head of the SPD ( called for elections for the Assembly 19th Jan 1919 • the National Assembly was by the majority a moderate govt. ( democracy and republic were popular • The Weimar Republic’s democratic constitution (

▪ republic and parliamentary democracy
▪ federation of states rather than centralized government ▪ strong executive power with a president, acting as a balance against complete parliamentary rule ▪ proportional representation ( later blamed for collapse of democracy ( encouraged splinter parties, difficult to form strong governments ▪ article 48 ( president’s power to disband the Reichstag and rule by decree • Ebert-Groener Pact ( In return for maintaining military order, Groener allowed the army to be at the govt’s disposal ▪ short term ( RW army leadership supported a moderate LW socialist govt ▪ long term ( the G army maintained its influence to be a political force • Stinnes-Legien Agreement, Nov 1918 ( agreement between Industrialists and trade unions ( maintained order and stability • Friekorps ( ex-soldiers to counter LW attacks

• Spartacist Uprising Jan 1919 ( Extreme LW wanted revolution like the Russians ▪ urged a counter revolution on the Ebert govt
▪ govt used Friekorps and army to ensure its survival ▪ caused a rift between SPD and communists ( Comm. would never forgive Evert for using the Friekorps ▪ divisions within LW ( rise of RW in 1930s

Impact of the Treaty of Versailles
• the results of WWI came as a shock to most Germans
• harshness of the TOV upset the German peoples
• Gs thought it was unjust ( hatred of democracy ( decline of democratic parties in 1920 elections • Gs thought it was a diktat or imposed peace ( bitterness • Weimar coalition never again received the majority of the vote ( Weimar weakened as they were associated with the Treaty • Terms of the Treaty

▪ Military ( G army reduced, conscription abolished, armaments forbidden; Rhineland demilitarised ▪ territorial ( Alsace-Lorraine returned, lost Posen, Anschluss with Austria forbidden, lost territories ▪ reparations

▪ ‘War guilt clause’
• Effects of TOV
▪ bitterness and humiliation ( republic and democracy blamed ▪ Extremists used this to attack Weimar
▪ weakening of faith in democratic system
▪ economic effects ( instability ( TOV weakened Gs ability to pay reparations ▪ TOV failed to destroy G or make G the Allies partner Political, economic and social issues in the Weimar Republic to 1929 Political

• Kapp Putsch 1920
▪ extreme RW attempted to overthrow govt
▪ govt expected army to protect them ( army leader refused to intervene ▪ putsch failed ( general strike ( legal govt installed ▪ putsch highlighted the weakness of the govt without the army • Rathenau and Erzberger assassinated ( ‘November criminals’ • Role of the G army

▪ the army only tolerated the Weimar Republic as they feared disorder ▪ Kapp Putsch revealed the importance of army in politics ▪ 1920s ( von Seeckt’s reforms violated the TOV
• 1923: Year of hardship
▪ govt faced political challenges from RW and LW
▪ end of passive resistance ( nationalist anger in Bavaria ▪ LW challenges to the authority of govt
▪ Munich Beerhall Putsch ( Hitler began putsch because of Bavaria’s wavering opposition to Stresemann govt ( failed as von Kahr was backed by army (leniency of Hitler’s trial revealed attitude of judiciary ▪ importance of the Putsch...
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