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History weimar republic

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Introduction

Why did the Weimar Republic fail? The Weimar Republic experienced two points of crisis. The first was between 1919 and 1923, from which it recovered. The second, between 1929 and 1933, destroyed it. The first of the two (1919-1923) had three main causes; the treatment of Germany by the Allies, economic collapse within Germany and political putsches (revolts). All three were interconnected. The first cause was mainly as a result of the Treaty of Versailles. Just two days after the formation of the Republic, Germany surrendered to the Allies (11 Nov 1918)- this led to the terms of the Treaty being announced in June 1919. The four main points of the Treaty were as follows; * Blame- Germany was to take all blame for causing the First World War and the damage resulting from it. * Reparations- Germany had to pay the costs of the war- this meant many of its railway engines and rolling stock were confiscated, and in 1921, it was announced that Germany should pay a huge 6,600 million in reparations, it was a large price to pay. ...read more.

Middle

However ,it was a dangerous game being played by the government, as there were those who saw the economic collapse as a perfect opportunity to bring about the fall of the Weimar Republic. There were two attempts to overthrow the Republic. The first, March 1920, was led by Dr Wolfgang Kapp; who marched on Berlin with 5000 supporters intending to set up a right wing government. The government withdrew to Dresden and called for a general strike of German workers in the essential services; gas, water, electricity and transport. Without these, Kapp had no hope to govern, so eventually gave up and fled abroad. This attempt was known as the Kapp Putsch. Another attempt was made in November 1923, at the height of the economic crisis, by Adolf Hitler. Hitler, who had recently become leader of the Nazi Party, felt that the government was ripe for destruction. He attempted to organize a march from Munich to Berlin- however this attempt proved to be unsuccessful. The march was broken up by Bavarian police in Munich itself, and Hitler was arrested and later put in prison. ...read more.

Conclusion

For the majority of the 1920s, the American economy had expanded rapidly and investors were happy to renew loans to Germany as they were needed. But, in October 1929, disaster struck- the Wall Street Crash. The value of shares collapsed and many businesses were ruined. The Americans had no option but to pull out their investments from Germany and demand immediate repayment. The whole basis of Germany's recovery was destroyed. Thousands of businesses went bankrupt, deprived of the money which had previously kept them going. To make matters even worse, most countries in the world slid into a 'depression' as overseas markets for their goods suddenly declined. This meant that even those few German businesses which had managed without loans were also badly affected. As a result, the number of unemployed increased rapidly, reaching a huge 6 million by 1932. The result was social misery, many people had to give up their homes because they could no longer afford the rent on them. The memory of the earlier economic crisis of 1919-23 returned, leaving many people doubly bitter. Political crisis. Economic crises nearly always produce political crises, because governments suddenly find themselves having to deal with an impossible situation. This is precisely what happened from 1929 onwards. ...read more.

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