• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How accurate is it to suggest that the Treaty of Versailles was mainly responsible for the political and economic instability in Germany in the years 1919-23?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐How accurate is it to suggest that the Treaty of Versailles was mainly responsible for the political and economic instability in Germany in the years 1919-23? Between 1919 and 1923, Weimar Germany encountered a lot of political and economic instability. There were a number of factors that contributed to this, including the Treaty of Versailles, the threat from the left, violence from the extreme right, and hyperinflation. The Treaty left many Germans dissatisfied with the Government, and eventually led to attempted revolutions from the far sides of the political spectrum; the left-wing Socialists and the right-wing Nazi. Their attempts to seize power, combined with the crippling effects of the economic crisis, all caused uncertainty in Germany; however, the main reason for this instability was the Treaty of Versailles, as it led to nation-wide anger towards the Government, and eventually culminated in the attempted revolts by the far left and right. The Treaty of Versailles had very damaging effects on Weimar Germany, and caused both political and economic instability. The political instability arising from the Treaty was mainly to do with the loss of land, the war guilt clause, and military disarmament. Some Germans felt that the politicians who signed the treaty, who were referred to as the ?November Criminals?, had caused the downfall of Germany. ...read more.

Middle

If the army had not been weakened, the military presence would probably have stopped the Socialists from trying to cause trouble, thus illustrating how the Treaty of Versailles was the main reason for political instability at this time. The Nazi?s on the far-right of the political spectrum also contributed to political and economic instability from 1919 to 1923. In 1920, many Free Corps units had to be disbanded, because the Treaty of Versailles limited the size of the army. This was despite the fact that the Defence Minister, Noske, had previously promised to keep the units in place, and merge them with the regular army. The Erhardt Brigade, worked Kapp and Luttwitz, moved several units into position, and planned to take Berlin by force, and declare a revolution. The Government asked the army for help, but they refused to attack other soldiers, and initially, the putsch appeared to be working. However, poor organisation led to its collapse, along with several strikes by civil servants which brought the city to a standstill. This caused political instability as it highlighted how the Government, despite being in power, could not rely on the army for support. This meant that in the result of an Allied attack or any other internal disturbances, there was no guarantee that the army would be willing to protect the Government. ...read more.

Conclusion

This caused a loss of support for the Weimar Government, as people now began to look at other political alternatives. The economic instability caused by the hyperinflation was obvious to see. The currency lost its value, so people who had savings in the bank lost all of their money, whilst firms had to lay off workers in an attempt to stay in business, leading to rising unemployment as well. Despite all of these issues, hyperinflation was not the main cause of instability; the Treaty of Versailles imposed reparations repayments on Weimar Germany. Therefore, had the Treaty not been in place, Germany would not have experienced such massive inflation, and the economy would remain relatively stable. Also, people?s faith would have remained in the Government, as they would not have become frustrated about losing all of their money. In conclusion, there were many causes of political and economic instability in Weimar Germany between 1919 and 1923. These included the left-wing threat, the potential revolutions from extreme right-wing parties, and hyperinflation. However, the Treaty of Versailles is without doubt the most significant reason for political and economic issues during this period. This is because the terms of the Treaty, such as the ?war guilt? cause, reparations payments and the loss of Germany territory, all angered other political groups, which ultimately caused the attempts by them to seize power. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. The main threat to the stability of the Weimar Republic in the period 1919 ...

    large scale and was capable of causing the brief collapse of the Republic whilst maintaining the support of powerful sections of society such as the judiciary.

  2. No Hitler: No Holocaust How far is this statement by the historian Michael Marrus ...

    The fourth and final group involved within the argument over responsibility for the Holocaust is the German population. The responsibility of the German people as a whole for the Holocaust has once again become a matter of heated debate. Knowledge about at least some aspects of the Holocaust must have been very widespread among Germans.

  1. How accurate is it to suggest that the Treaty of Versailles was mainly responsible ...

    Moreover, the Treaty of Versailles contributed greatly to the political instability that existed within Germany between 1919 and 1923. To many Germans the treaty was seen as wicked, unfair and a slave treaty, in which a significant proportion of the country's population was to be lost to surrounding territories.

  2. Versailles Treaty- evaluation of sources

    Self determination brought on chaos and disorder and the mix of different races like presented in the passage brought on instability and conflict. Interpretation B concedes that the peacemakers wrongly implemented Versailles. Sharp accepts that peacemakers did not allow "Germany to expand" thus implying that Versailles was somewhat effective.

  1. 'In the context of the period 1715-1815 to what extent were economic factors the ...

    Traditional Marxists would argue that these events demonstrated the working classes growing in strength and potency. Colin Jones also argues that, under the reign of Louis XV, 'the intendancy system was streamlined, and intendants now launched a wide range of social and economic improvements'7.

  2. Hitlers Germany

    It was always the other side who were to blame, and in turn he denounced the Communists, the Jews, the Republican Government, or the Czechs, the Poles, and the Bolsheviks for their 'intolerable' behavior which forced him to take drastic action in self-defense.

  1. How far do you agree that opposition to the Weimar Government In the years ...

    Although the hatred of the Treaty of Versailles caused a majority of the opposition to the Weimar Republic there were other factors.

  2. The main threat to the stability of the Weimar Republic in the period 1919 ...

    This meant that the reparations were still a problem in Germany as hyperinflation led to a depression in which people lost savings and had to deal with lowered living conditions for which they blamed the democratic republic. This blame posed a threat to the republic as the republic lost support of a lot of the people.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work