The years following 1918 were highly turbulent for post-World War I Germany, undergoing multiple crises that greatly hindered the authority of the Weimar Republic. In this, several incidents threatened the state’s legitimacy, specifically the hyperinflation of the German mark, the recurrence of workers’ strikes and uprisings, and the ongoing factionalism between political parties. Furthermore, while each major crisis contributed to either the outbreak or the effects of one another, all are ultimately able to find an underlying cause in the Treaty of Versailles and the general defeat of Germany in World War I. Moreover, such incidents not only undermined the political power of the Weimar Republic but also, allowed for greater radicalization …show more content…
Consequently, this sense of blame contributed to increasing radicalized political views which allowed for both increasing ideological divides in German politics, particularly in opinions regarding gender, and increasing unrest for male workers. Moreover, negative opinion towards western states grew from the actions of the Ruhr Occupation and the sheer size of reparations and debts imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, which led to a similar attitude of radicalization by political parties, notably those of the far right and conservative ideologies. Furthermore, the inability to pay off the reparations in the Treaty of Versailles due to hyperinflation culminated in the French occupation of the Ruhr, which deprived Germany of a major industrial area and increased worker tensions with the policy of passive resistance. And generally, the effects of hyperinflation through a decreasing accessibility of goods as well as an increasing rate of unemployment would make German society at the time fairly prone to workers’ unrest. From this, it can be noted that hyperinflation for post-World War I Germany not only physically affected the German people through mass starvation and unemployment, but also changed German societal values in creating a sense of resentment by German workers and numerous political parties towards government, women, and western powers.
Constantly declining relations between workers and the Weimar
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
The Weimar Republic would have continued to be a functional government far longer than achieved if not for the defeat of WWI, the economic burdens imposed by the Versailles Treaty, and the flawed Article 48 which all contributed to the down fall of Germany’s first attempt at a legitimate Democracy. This paper will argue that the societal, economical, and constitutional aspects all played a role in the hopeless Democracy Germany attempted which ultimately lead Germany into a totalitarian state that would further shake the world with the rise of the NSDAP and Adolf Hitler.
Due to the failure of the Weimar Republic and general public dissatisfaction arising from poor economic conditions exacerbated by the Treaty of Versailles, coupled with the 1929 Wall Street Crash, German citizens were understandably desperate for change. Until this point in time the Nazi party, and Hitler, had been essentially unpopular. However, the economic situation ensured Hitler’s increasing popularity as the people looked toward more extreme but non-communist ideals. The initial consolidation of Nazi power in 1933 arose from key events such as the support of the Nationalist Party with the Nazis to form a coalition government, implementation of the Enabling
Thus, a series of parties against the Weimar gained power, although through coalition, reducing the power of the already fragile Republic. Here we can see the system of parliamentary democracy was a factor in the collapse of the Weimar. The series of economic crisis’ which affected post World War One Germany assisted in both the fall of the Weimar and the rise of Hitler. The Treaty of Versailles left the country with extremely large debts and when Germany did not keep up with payments, the French responded by invading the Ruhr, an industrial region in Germany, resulting in a general strike and ruining the middle class who would eventually make up the foundation of Nazi supporters.
In addition to the damaging consequences of the First World War with the requirements of the Treaty of Versailles, certain features of Germany caused the state to be susceptible to the influence of this dangerous ideology. Along with the damage to the national ego as a result of the First World War, Germany had co-existing and conflicting highly modern strands of development forced to integrate with powerful remnants of archaic values and social structures, and had a deeply fractured parliamentary political system, and the weaknesses of this system reflected the social and political differences within the population. This shame and failure after World War I was superimposed onto a modern country which once had an advanced economy, a sophisticated state
During the hardship of the 1920s and1930s, political incompetence was highlighted, the Weimar Government proved its incompetence time and time again. .The instability of the Weimar Republic was so great that the average life-span of Reich cabinets was from 6-7 months. Their incapability of providing justice to outbreaks of violence, such as political assassinations is one example of the incompetence of the Weimar Republic. When Germany found its self in undesirable economical situations due to the Treaty of Versalles, they printed money to pay off reparations, which resulted in super-inflation. During the period of super-inflation people’s life savings became worthless which contributed to the downward circle of a reduction in standard of living. As unemployment rose and people began to afford less and less with their money, people commenced searching for a better alternative to the Weimar Government. Hitler’s ability to build upon these feelings whilst offering security, prosperity and full employment, convinced Germany, in a state of disillusionment, to support the nazi party. The Weimar’s instability contributed to the collapse of the Weimar republic provided perfect conditions for the nazi party to rise to power.
The defeat of Germany in World War I and the followed signing of the Treaty of Versailles reshaped the German society and economy and also created upheaval within them. The loss of the war and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles led to the collapse of the imperial government and economy (Aleskerov 25). As a result, in 1918, a new government called the Weimar Republic was established. During its history, the Weimar Republic was unstable and suffered budgets and high rates of unemployment essentially caused by the Treaty of Versailles (“Treaty of Versailles, 1919” 1). The Treaty of Versailles required that Germany pay outrageous war reparations which had notable effects on Germany’s economy (Aleskerov 26).
1) Germany before the Fuhrer. Germany’s defeat at the end of World War I left the nation socially, politically, and economically shattered. The reparation agreements inflicted upon Germany without its’ consent at the end of the war meant that the nation was in complete financial ruin. In the wake of Germany’s defeat, public decent climaxed on the 9th November 1918 during the revolution that took place on Berlin’s Postdamer Platz. This revolution transpired as a result of the public’s culminating discontent towards the imperial monarchy, and lasted up until August 1919, which saw the establishment of the Weimar Republic. In attempts to guide Germany out of economic
The collapsement of the Weimar Republic was due to many social, political and economical issues within. From its birth it faced numerous political problems, for which the causes were many and varied. These problems included political instability, deep divisions within society and economic crisis; problems were constantly appearing for the new government. The Weimar Republic never really had a stable political party, having a whole six different parties between 1924-1928 does not create stability. Many of these parties were also narrowly sectioned, with messed up
The rise and subsequent take-over of power in Germany by Hitler and the Nazi Party in the early 1930s was the culmination and continuation not of Enlightenment thought from the 18th and 19th century but the logical conclusion of unstable and cultural conditions that pre-existed in Germany. Hitler’s Nazi Party’s clear manipulation of the weak state of the Weimar Republic through its continued failure economically and socially, plus its undermining of popular support through the signing the Treaty of Versailles all lead to the creation of a Nazi dictatorship under the cult of personality of Hitler. This clear take-over of power and subsequent destruction of any
1925-1929 as the Time of Economic and Political Stability in the Weimar Republic The years 1925-1929 were described as the Golden Years for Germany. There were no attempts to over throw the government like the Sparticist uprising or the Kapp Putsch, therefore undoubtedly it was the best years compared to the problems before and after the Golden Years. The way the golden years were perceived would indicate to what extent were the years 1925 to1929 a time of economic and political stability for the Weimar Republic. There were developments in Germanyduring the Golden Years in the following essay we will learn where the developments took place and whether they disadvantaged Germany or helped her
All of these factors made it very difficult for the German people to be trustworthy, faithful and supportive of the regime of the Weimar Constitution. This idea is re-affirmed through German historian Friedrich Meinecke saying that “true loyalty to the Fatherland requires disloyalty to the Republic”, leading to an opening for extremist parties as well as the Republic’s doom.
German history is seen as a ‘painful issue for thousands of Germans and other Europeans’ . However it has interested many historians over the years into inquiring how and why Hitler came to power and how much of this was to do with the failure of parliamentary democracy in Germany. To fully ascertain to what extent these events have in common and what reasons led to the fall of democracy and rise of the Nazis, each have to be looked at individually. Also it seems beneficial, to be able to evaluate these in the relevant context, to look at the situation in Germany was in prior to 1920.
The collapse of the Weimar Republic can not be seen as solely indebted to the severe economic problems faced during the period of its rule, but consequently it was the economic issues that became a footstep to the ultimate demise of the Republic. Subsequent to Germany’s defeat in the First World War and German Emperor Kaiser’s abdication from power, the Weimar Republic was proclaimed. The Republic that had emerged from the German Revolution of November 1918 would inevitably fall as a result of numerous issues. However, the extent of which economic problems had in the dissolution of the republic, and how these issues caused or came about due to separate concerns faced by the new democratic system became a major contributing factor.
The mandate of Article(s) 231 and 232 , (respectively titled “The War Guilt Clause” and “Reparations”) of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28th, 1919 served as unintentional catalysts for the arise of revisionism in post-war Germany, and its fall out of the international order following the Paris Peace Conference. These two articles politically, socially, and economically ravaged Germany, and created societal circumstances in which a totalitarian dictatorship (the National Socialist German Workers Party or “Nazi” party) gained popularity and was viewed as necessary in order for Germany to be restored to its former status as an economic and political world power. The national humiliation and economic burden that Articles 231 and 232 created injured German pride, strained its economy and triggered a resentful and hostile outlook to the “new peace” that the Allied leaders believed they had formulated. The German people viewed this as a “dictated peace” (Diktat) that had been enforced on them. It was seen by Germany as an unfair, un-justified and un-realistic punishment for losing the war, and instead of creating a long-term and prosperous peace on the European continent, the guilt and reparations of Articles 231 and 232 ignited a flame of vengeance in Germany that would evolve into an ultra-nationalist inferno and consume the world into a second and even more devastating and savage war.
As much as reparation requirements sparked outrage and called the republican order into question, it was the advent of unprecedented hyperinflation that truly destabilized Weimar’s long-term legitimacy. When Germans across the economic spectrum began to protest for wage increases in 1921, the government had little political support for raising taxes or to counter the demands of labor. Printing currency to meet these demands, Weimar’s government showcased its economic incompetence by creating a vicious wage/price spiral through expansionary monetary policy. By 1923, the German government had created a liquidity trap, where expanding the money supply failed to result in any economic growth. Under these circumstances, hyperinflation ran rampant. In November, the Reichsbank issued a 100-trillion-mark note, which at the time converted to roughly $24. As direct consequence of the government’s policy, currency became worthless and physical goods became king. Peasants, the poorest of the poor, “purchased pianos with heavily depreciated currency” whenever a shopkeeper or merchant was foolish enough to trade. The pocketbook was replaced by the satchel, the wheelbarrow, and the basket as the premier transportation for the worthless Reichsmark. Destabilizing the economic foundation on which Weimar depended, hyperinflation produced widespread disillusionment with the established institutions throughout German society.