IB Paper 2 - Weimar Republic

Topics: Adolf Hitler, Weimar Republic, Nazi Party Pages: 3 (1133 words) Published: February 24, 2014
Analyse the challenges faced by one democratic state in the first half of the 20th century and the extent to which they were successfully dealt with. Although not the first nation to introduce a democratic form of government, Germany’s Weimar Republic was one which felt the strains of introducing a totally new and different regime more than most other democratic states ever had before. Despite having handled some issues successfully in the first half of the twentieth century, the Weimar Republic failed to deal with the majority of the problems that it faced as a leading body. The conclusion of the First World War brought with it many challenges which the Weimar struggled to address effectively in its fourteen years of existence, including the Ruhr Crisis, the Munich Putsch and the Great Depression. The government’s response to the Franco-Belgian Ruhr invasion resulted in extreme hyperinflation leaving Germany in a terrible economic position coming into the Great Depression. Due to a supposed inability to pay war debt to the allies from Germany, on the 23rd January 1923, French and Belgian troops marched into the Ruhr Valley, the coal, iron and steel centre of Germany. The French and Belgians aimed to force resources out of Germany to pay for reparations. Germans in the Ruhr employed passive resistance. Many began protesting and workers went on strike. In a nationalistic response, the German government supported the workers going on strike by still paying them their wages. This encouraged more strikes and significantly improved the attitude of the German people towards the government. Nevertheless, this joy was short-lived. In order to pay German workers whilst not receiving any income form the mines, the government printed colossal amounts of money. This resulted in terrible hyperinflation, to such an extent that from June 1921 to November 1923, a Gold Mark went from being worth 25 Reich Marks to over one-hundred trillion Reich Marks. This not only left...
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