Challenges the Weimar Republic faced
Challenges the Weimar Republic faced
The Spartacist Uprising
led the Spartacist league
The name of the group originated from the Roman slave Spartacus
Their aim was to try and create a communist state
On December 1918 the Spartacists' clashed with the army and 16 people from the group died.
On 6th January 1919 they began their attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic
The attempted overthrow was unsuccessful. The leaders of the group were captured and killed by the regular army and the
The impact of the attempted overthrow meant it forced the new Assembly to move from Weimar to Berlin
- Paramilitary (Organised similarly to a military force) groups formed from demobilised solders at the end of the war. They refused to give up weapons and uniforms and were led by ex-army officers.
was the leader of the Berlin Freikorps
was a leading Berlin politician
Their plan was to seize Berlin and form a new right-wing government
The politicians Ebert and Scheidemann responded by calling on the people not to support the Kapp Putsch as well as go on strike
The lack of support meant that the Putsch collapsed
The Weimar politicians had been criticised due to...
Ending the war
Accepting the Treaty of Versailles
Introducing high taxes
In March 1920 the announcement was made to reduce the size of the army and disband (Break up) the Freikorps
On 13th March the Weimar Government moved to Dresden and then Stuggart
The army did nothing as those were the orders they were given
After the Putsch a communist rising occurred meaning the army got involved. Hundreds were killed.
The putsch wasn't the last time the Weimar Republic was threatened...
Violence continued > 376 murders in the period 1919-22
In 1921, Matthais Etzberger, leader of the Centre Party and a signatory was murdered
In 1922, Walther Rathenau, the Foreign minister was murdered.
Impact of the Treaty of Versailles
Territorial terms (land)
13% of land lost
6 million people were taken in by other countries (due to the lost land and their location being engulfed by land now belonging to other countries)
Sarr was kept in Germany because the general population voted for it to be but it had to be administered by the League of Nations.
Alsace and Lorraine were returned to France
All the colonies were to be given to the Allied powers
There was no union with Austria
Rhineland was demiliterised (so France weren't threatened)
The Army was not allowed to exceed numbers of 100,000 people
No tanks or amoured cars were allowed
Submarines were not allowed
Germany lost 48% of its iron production
They had to pay £6.6 billion in reparations
The War Guilt clause (Article 231) stated that Germany had to accept the blame for starting the war in 1914
means a dictated peace
'Stab in the back' theory
Also known as the
The idea that Ebert, the Weimar Government and its politicians had portrayed the German Army by signing the peace treaty which meant the army had mostly been destroyed.
This resulted in the people of Germany hating the new constitution and the nickname "November criminals" was given to the politicians.
- an enforced peace
Hyperinflation of 1923
- An extreme form of inflation, when the value of money plummets and prices rise dramatically.
Extremity of the situation
July 1914- £1=20 marks
November 1923- £1= 1,680,800,000,000,000 marks
People with savings or a fixed income found themselves penniless and they were quick to blame the Weimar Republic for the economic crisis
Some people did benefit from the hyperinflation...
Business men who had borrowed money from the banks could now pay these debts off
Serious food shortages led to a rise in prices of necessities, especially food, which helped farmers
Foreigners who were in Germany suddenly found that they had a huge advantage. People who had dollars or pounds found that they could change them for millions of marks and afford things that ordinary Germans could not.
French occupation of the Ruhr, 1923
An occupation of French and Belguim troops took place in January 1923 when Germany had not been able to pay reparations to these countries.
The french were angry as they needed to money to help pay off their own war debts to the USA. Therefore they decided to take goods from the Germans rather than wait for the Germans to give it to them.
- Rebelling against something, but not in an active way.
The French occupation was met with a
. However the resistance turned sour and soon after Germans carried out acts of industrial sabotage.
The German workers in the Ruhr went on strike as a protest against the invasion.
Some protesters took more direct action and set factories on fire and sabotaged pumps in mines so they flooded and couldn't be worked in
A number of strikers were shot by French troops; there funerals led to demonstrations against the invasion.
Results of the occupation
The invasion united the people of Germany in their hatred for the French and Belgians
The strikers became heroes in the eyes of the German population as they were standing up against the humiliating Treaty of Versailles and showing that German people hadn't been completely crushed.
The German Government backed the strikers and printed them more money to pay a wage.
The strike meant that even fewer goods were being produced, the extra strike money plus the collapse in production turned inflation into hyperinflation
Unpopularity of the Weimar Republic
- an educated guess
agreement to end a war
Mainly caused by the signing of the Treaty of Versailles
'Clemenceau the Vampire'- A cartoon published in July 1919 in a German newspaper, commenting on the terms of the peace treaty
Vampire- French leader (Clemenceau) + other countries sucking the life out of Germany
Victim of the Vampire- Could represent Germany> weak and defenceless
The treaty has humiliated and shamed the German people.