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How serious were the threats to the stability of The Weimar Republic 1918-1923?

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Introduction

Clare Ford How serious were the threats to the stability of The Weimar Republic 1918-1923? The Weimar Republic suffered major threats between 1918-1923. The Weimar faced unpopularity amongst the German people, economic problems and the harsh constraints of the Treaty of Versailles. The fact that the Weimar Republic was born out of defeat in WW1 counted against its stability. It was also destabilised by extremist party's revolts in Germany. Most Germans had no zeal for the Weimar but went along with it because there was no actual alternative. All these threats caused major problems and instabilities of Weimar during 1918 to 1923. In 1919 the Weimar Republic was intensely unpopular because it was 'born out of defeat'. The majority of Germans also believed that the members of government known as 'November Criminals' had stabbed them in the back by signing the armistice in November 1918. Many war veterans thought that German politicians had capitulated prematurely again claiming the nation had been 'stabbed in the back'. The belief that Germany's 'winning' army had been 'stabbed in the back' by unpatriotic Socialists was used by them to criticise the democratic Weimar Republic. ...read more.

Middle

This threatened the Republic before it had even begun, as it had to start from a low social and economic base. Although Germany did still retained its diplomatic power. It was a time of crisis for the German economy because the reparations were too high and in addition to the weight of economic recovery and were burdened with the huge debt Germany built up during the war. The Treaty of Versailles caused a loss of resources for Germany including 74.5% of its iron ore, 68.1% of its zinc ore and 26% of its coal resources. By 1922 the Germany currency was very unstable and had fallen sharply compared to the US dollar. An exchange rate of 8000 deauch marks to the American dollar, though exchange rates changed like the weather, from one moment to another. The causes of this inflation included what four years of war had done to the mark, the disruption of Germany's main industries and that Germany did not have a comprehensive taxation system and instead borrowed irresponsibly and printed money excessively. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was in Weimar's favour because normally with a country in this state the majority of people look to extremists. Yet one thing The Weimar and the Freikorps had in common was their hate of the communists. So in January 1919 when the Spartacists a far left group of communists lead by Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebnecht tried to take over Berlin. They fought with the military to stop the revolution killing both of their leaders. Communists were a threat and Germans were scared of communism. In November 8th 1923 Hitler attempted a revolt in Munich 'The Munich or Beer Hall Putsch'. It just resulted in Hitler and Lundendorff being arrested and jailed. They had left it too late because the financial crisis was coming to an end. During 1918-23 the steadfastness of The Weimar Republic was threatened by many factors most of which had momentum and effected Weimar's position. However the facts that Weimar still existed after 1923 shows that none of the threats in this time period were too severe. The survival of The Weimar Republic was down to Stresemann who introduced the new currency to stop hyper inflation and dealt with the invasion of the Ruhr. ...read more.

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