The strength of America's economy in the 1920's came to a sudden end in October 1929 - even if the signs of problems had existed before the Wall Street Crash. Suddenly the 'glamour' of the Jazz Age and gangsters disappeared and America was faced with a major crisis that was to impact countries as far away as Weimar Germany - a nation that had built up their economy on American loans.
The impact of the Wall Street Crash
The Weimar Republic was devastated by Wall Street Crash of October 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. The Crashhad a devastating impact on the American economy but because America had propped up the Weimar Republic with huge loans in 1924 (the Dawes Plan) and in 1929 (the Young Plan), what happened to the American economy had to impact the Weimar Republic's economy.
Both plans had loaned Weimar money to prop up the country’s economy - especially after the experiences of hyperinflation in 1923. Now America needed those loans back to assist their faltering economy.
Stresemann had died in 1929, but shortly before he died even he admitted that the German economy was a lot more fragile than some would have liked to accept.
After the Wall Street Crash, America gave Germany 90 days to start to re-pay money loaned to them. No other world power had the money to give Germany cash injections. Britain and France were still recovering from the First World War and the Wall Street Crash was to have an impact on industrial Britain. Stalin’s Russia was still in a desperate state and embarking on the 5 year plans. Therefore, an impoverished Weimar Germany could only call on America for help and they were effectively bankrupt by the end of 1929 and quite incapable of lending money.
Companies throughout Germany - though primarily in the industrial zones such as the Ruhr - went bankrupt and workers were laid off in their millions. Unemployment affected nearly every German family, just 6 years after the last