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By the beginning of 1929 the prospects for the survival of the Weimar Republic looked good. Discuss

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Introduction

By the beginning of 1929 the prospects for the survival of the Weimar Republic looked good. Discuss There are many different opinions regarding the Weimar Republic's situation by the beginning of 1929 and how well it had done for itself. However there can be no definite judgement because we will never know whether the Weimar Republic could have been developed into a stable parliamentary system if it had not been for the impact of the Depression. Some argue that the success of parliamentary government since 1945 illustrates how democracy could flourish in Germany, but the evidence suggests that there were major weaknesses within the Republic, even before the double blow of the death of Stresemann and the Great Depression of 1929. On the other hand however is the view that the Weimar could still have survived had it not been for the depression. I will consider both arguments in my essay and form a conclusion based on the evidence presented. Firstly I must look at the social, economic, political, diplomatic and cultural events that occurred during these years, and how each of them were successful or unsuccessful in their own ways. ...read more.

Middle

The Nazi party stemmed from a group of Freikorps who had had to leave the army due to the reduction in size to only 100,000 men. It was based on a very nationalistic view and was heavily against Communism, as proved by the 1920 crisis in Berlin. As national feelings towards the government were at their lowest ever in Germany, the Communists and Socialists saw 1920 as the perfect opportunity to attempt a Coup D'etat, or the Kapp Putsch as it became known as later. They flocked to Berlin after the signing of the Treaty and demanded that they replace the government, which was already predominantly Socialist. The people would have welcomed this new government as they felt the Weimar had stabbed the min the back by signing the treaty, and so they did not attempt to stop it. Spurred on by the 1919 revolution in Russia the Communists believed that this was the next stage in world domination, however Lenin did not. He claimed that the German Communists "would not even storm a railway station unless they'd first bought platform tickets". He was proved right however as Ebert unleashed the Freikorps into Berlin to repress the Communists, which they managed to do so entirely in less than a week. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is clear that their inability to defend the country was a vital weakness in the country, but the defense of Germany from the various uprisings also brings light to the successes of the government. The hyperinflation and its consequences were pivotal in the Weimar government's existence; it was handled badly by Ebert, but then recovered remarkably well by Stresemann, who gave new hope for the government. However the economy was still damaged each year by the loans it had to take, and the reparations it had to pay. It is clear that no strategic thinking could have solved the problem of the German economy. Socially the government was extremely weak, it had a bad reputation and this did not change with time, it only intensified as the years grew on; starting with the reputation as November criminals, all the way up until they signed the Young and Dawes plan. It is therefore my view that there were in fact major weaknesses within the Republic, even before the Great Depression of 1929 and the death of Stresemann. In my opinion Stresemann and Ebert did remarkably well to keep a hold on Germany for so long and helped it to its eventual road to recovery. Without these two men, Germany would have collapsed in 1920 and the Red Scare would have been realized. ...read more.

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