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Explain How Defeat in the Great War Affected Germany between 1918 and 1923.

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Introduction

Explain How Defeat in the Great War Affected Germany between 1918 and 1923 The effect of the Great War on Germany was phenomenal. Germany's defeat created an embarrassed and mocked country. They were at a point where they needed a ruler. Before the war Germany was a united, keen and strong nation. They were prepared and eager to fight, with the young population patriotic and ambitious. Germany had a huge Reich due to a short war between Prussia and France. Prussia defeated France and then united all the states into the second largest Reich (after Russia). Germany also had a strong economy and industry. They dominated the European market by making more resources and therefore increasing trade and enforcing it. Germany had a stable and dignified situation, but even before the war and the shameful aftermath, Germany needed a leader, someone to tell them how to act and what to do next. Kaiser Wilhelm was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia. His birth defect (a withered left arm due to Erbs Palsy) gave him a sense of ambition to prove himself physically so that people wouldn't pity him or take his handicap as a sign of weakness. He gained popularity and admiration from Germany, and he saw himself as someone that people would worship, as if he was a Godly figure to them. Wilhelm's intelligence from studying at Kassel at the Friedrichsgymnasium and the University of Bonn were often overlooked due to his temper and poor concentration. ...read more.

Middle

In four years time the German mark was worthless. The economy had fallen apart and Germany was looking for somebody else to blame for the fact that the government couldn't handle money due to hyperinflation. Germany led this all back to the Treaty of Versailles. When the allies assembled at Versailles in 1919 to draw up the Treaty, it soon became clear that the Germans were not going to get what they hoped for. Clemenceau (the French President) had the biggest thirst for revenge; therefore the emphasis on the Treaty seemed to be on punishing Germany. France didn't want any chance of a revolt from Germany. The threat to Germany was that of another war breaking out if they did not sign the Treaty, therefore they were forced to accept. They called it the shameful diktat of Versailles. The Treaty was such a big blow on Germany because of a number of reasons. Article 231 stated that Germany was fully to blame for causing the War. As Germany was held responsible for the war, the allies could claim reparations for the damage caused. Reparations stood at �6600 million to be paid in annual instalments. The Treaty also took away 10% of Germany's industry and 15% of its agricultural land. The Treaty gave Germans colonies to the League of Nations, which Britain and France ran. Of course France was keen to restrict Germany's navy. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was not Universal support from the Weimar Government; the government had limited means of dealing with uprisings of this nature. Politicians were not necessarily safe in Berlin. Ludendorff returned in a revolution in 1923. He had joined forces with Hitler, who was also, of course, very right wing. They became the Nazi Party. They created the "Munich Putsch" Hitler and the Nazi Party didn't agree with democracy and they thought it only lead to unstable government. Like many other revolts the Putsch had not been properly planned, and so the German government forced the army to be destroyed, however, Hitler was merely sent to prison. He was sentanced to five years, but amazingly released after nine months. In that time, however, the Nazis had practially fallen apart. The bombardment of revolts after the war clearly damaged the Weimar Government and weakend its confidence. The defeat of Germany in the Great War shook the German people throughout the country. They were forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles which added insult to injury. Germany, the once considered brave, admireable nation was now turned into a disgrace. Germany's path to complete self-destruction intirely depended on how the country were taken into the war, which of course was practically intirely dependable on their leader. Germany fought throught their fears in World War One to extreme suffering and torture merely through ambition to regin and hold power over any consiquence. Acts like Wilhelms flee and The Treaty of Versailles showed Germanys complete lack of planning and understanding of what was ahead and the traumatic outcome of the Great War. ...read more.

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