History Paper 1: Wiemar Germany Pt 2 (The impact of WW1 (Kaiser Wilhelm II…
History Paper 1: Wiemar Germany Pt 2
The Golden Years (1924-1929)
Much of the credit for Germany's transformation is given to Stresemann who served as Chancellor and then Foreign Minister
Stresemann burnt the worthless marks and issued a new currency called the Retenmark
During this period there was political stability - the Communists and Nazis found it difficult to win many seats in the Reichstag. However, there were still coalition governments and the Nazi party was building up its organisation
In 1924 Stresemann negotiated the Dawes Plan with American - Germany would gain a loan of 800 million gold marks Germany became reliant on foreign loans which could be recalled at any time
In 1925 the Locarno Pact was signed (Germany accepted its western boarders with France) and in 1926 Germany entered the League of Nations. Nationalists in Germany criticised Stresemann for being too willing to co-operate with Germany's former enemies
Reparations were reduced and spread out over a longer period of time through the Young Plan (1929)
Culture was expanded e.g. there were cabaret shows which included songs about sex and this was the gold age for Germany cinema. Those living in rural areas saw these advances as representing moral decline
The Treaty of Versailles
They were unhappy that they had been given no say in the Treaty (it was a diktat' - dictated peace)
They argued that the loss of valuable industrial land (the Saar) would make it impossible to meet the reparations (money) demands of the Treaty
Germans were furious!
Why did the German's sign it?
They had no choice!
If they hadn't the allies would probably have invaded and Germany was in no position to continue fighting
Germany had to accept 'War Guilt' (Article 231) - responsibility for starting the war and causing the damage that had occurred
Germany lost 13% of its territory, 10% of its population and restrictions were put on the size of its military e.g. only allowed 100,000 troops and no tanks
The aim was to punish Germany
Signed in June 1919 - the final reparations figure (£6,600 million was decided in 1921).
The impact of WW1
Kaiser Wilhelm II (the German leader) abdicated on 9th November 1918
Ebert became the new leader of Germany (the President)
All over Germany workers and soldiers formed councils like those that had been set up in Russia
On 11th November Germany surrendered and the armistice was signed
Kurt Eisner declared the state of Bavaria to be a socialist republic on 7th November 1918
The 'stab in the back theory' was the belief that the army could have continued fighting and the politicians were wrong to surrender. Ebert's government was called the 'November Criminals' by Nationalists
German sailors at Kiel mutinied (refused to follow orders) in October 1918 when the order was given for one last attack on the British navy
The Weimar Republic was born (the new government met in the town of Weimar because Berlin was too dangerous)