The Ruhr Crisis 1923

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The Ruhr Crisis 1923

Question 4: Using the sources and your own knowledge, analyse the results of the Ruhr Crisis of 1923.

In January 1923, after failing to keep up with the agreed reparation payment schedule, French and Belgium troops invaded the Ruhr industrial area in Germany. Source A tells us that the consequences were poor for all countries involved, as passive resistance was encouraged in German workers so production ground to a very near halt, and the military efforts expended by France resulted in little as attempts to retrieve German raw materials were sabotaged, and their actions were condemned by both Great Britain and the USA.

The economic situation was escalated hugely in Germany by the Ruhr occupation. The passive resistance that was occurring all over the Ruhr meant little was being produced, and as the government printed more and more paper money to supply war pensions and (before the occupation) to pay reparations, as shown in the out-of-control printing press in Source D, Germany was hit with Hyperinflation. In attempts to deal with this, the German government ordered workers in the Ruhr back into production and resumed the cancelled reparation payments. In 1924, a new currency was introduced in Germany, and government spending was cut hugely.

In an attempt to help the situation in Germany somewhat, the Dawes Plan was negotiated in 1924, which included an agreement for the removal of French troops from the Ruhr, and the promise of huge loans to Germany mainly from America. France agreed to this despite their involvement in a separationist movement that they hoped to spread in the Rhineland (with the hope to permanently remove this industrial area and natural boarder for France from Germany) as we are told in Source B. This ultimately put France in an even weaker position as their economy suffered, and we can see in Source C that they strongly believed that the only way to force reparations from Germany was a combined military effort...
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