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

In what way, and for what reasons, did the Treaty of Versailles cause political problems in the 1920's in Germany, under the Weimar Republic?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In what way, and for what reasons, did the Treaty of Versailles cause political problems in the 1920's in Germany, under the Weimar Republic? A continent that has most definitely gone through much turmoil throughout its existence is Europe. World War I, for example, had numerous devastating effects on many European nations. To try and put an end to the fighting and bring about peace in Europe, the Treaty of Versailles was instituted. This treaty was very successful in coming up with the necessary reparations posed to countries, such as Germany, deemed as punishable for the war in its attempt to prevent further fighting. The reparations imposed on Germany under the Weimar Republic caused many political problems within the nation. First of all, the signing of the Versailles Treaty was reflected badly on the Weimar government. Secondly, the extreme reparation costs ended up in an economic collapse, which led to enormous discontent with the Weimar government. Lastly, the loss of territory that Germany had to endure exacerbated the discontent with the government among the Germans. As a result of these three points, the Treaty of Versailles caused political problems in Germany in the 1920's, along with economic and social problems that led to further political problems. The sheer fact that Germany, under the Weimar Republic, had signed the Treaty of Versailles greatly exacerbated the political instability that the country was facing during the early 1920's, marked by revolts and political tension. ...read more.

Middle

Revolts, political discontent, and immense tension were no doubt definite examples of how the actual signing of the Treaty of Versailles by the Weimar government brought about political problems such as instability. The extraordinary amount of money that Germany had to pay as reparation payments due to the Treaty of Versailles ultimately contributed to the political discontent within the country. The figure for the reparations was eventually fixed by the Allies at 132 billion marks. The government no longer had sufficient resources to support the German economy, but continued to print paper money. This caused rapid inflation, which Germany used as an excuse for not being able to pay its second instalment towards the reparations. Inflation was a cause of further discontent with the Weimar Republic, since it negatively affected many German citizens. The French government, however, decided to force Germany to pay. It did this by sending French and Belgian troops to the industrial heartland of Germany, the Ruhr, to collect reparations that Germany still owed them. However, the German Chancellor called for "passive resistance" by the workers of the Ruhr, which was simply a refusal to cooperate with the troops. This, in turn, led to the collapse of the German economy, which worsened the political situation, as the government was forced to print more paper money in order to pay the striking workers in the Ruhr. ...read more.

Conclusion

As well, the Rhineland was to become a demilitarized zone. This division of territory to certain powers completely contradicted one of Woodrow Wilson's 14 points in that self-determination could not be exercised here. German people were still living in the above-mentioned territories, however, they were being ruled by different nations and did not have the power to use self-determination to create their own nation. As well, the territory divisions caused East Prussia to be split up from the rest of Germany, keeping this area isolated from the rest of Germany. The contradiction with self-determination along with the isolation of East Prussia, both caused by the Treaty of Versailles, brought about great discontent among Germans. This discontent was all thrown at the Weimar government, increasing political tension and greatly increasing political instability within the nation. The signing of the Treaty of Versailles by the Weimar government, the enormous reparations costs that Germany faced, and the loss of German territory to the Allied nations all resulted in political problems in Germany. Some of these political problems were results of economic and social problems, which in turn, were caused by the Treaty of Versailles, and some of these political problems were caused directly by the Treaty itself. All in all, the Weimar Republic faced many serious crises and was almost overthrown many times, however, it did manage to hold its position for over a decade. Eventually, however, it failed to prevent the discontent among the German people, and was forced to dissolve. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Germany 1918-1939 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 GCSE Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Treaty Of versailles

    5 star(s)

    This humiliated and destroyed German pride. Germany felt that at the very least that the blame should be shared amongst all of those who also helped to start the First World War. Germany was instead blamed for starting the war and was expected to pay for all the damage caused by it in the form of reparations.

  2. During the 1920's and early 1930's Germany was trying to recover from World War. ...

    control over the unruly party, the insistence on the Chancellorship, and the selling of the idea that - in the words of a nazi slogan - 'National Socialism is the opposite of what exists today.' When the Weimar constitution was enacted, there were several flaws.

  1. Explain how the Treaty of Versailles created many problems for Germany in the period ...

    This caused the people to hate the government and Germans began to feel ashamed and humiliated. They struggled to buy food and clothes and were faced with suffering starvation. Savings in banks were now worthless and people were understandingly upset by this.

  2. Describe the problems faced by the Weimar Republic during 1918-1923.

    10% of German lands were lost, these were the Polish Corridor - this was given to Poland so the country could have a rout out to the Baltic Sea. Alsace-Lorraine, east of Germany, was given back to France. The Schleswig, North of Germany, was given back to Denmark.

  1. What problems did the Weimar Republic face from 1919 to 1923, and why did ...

    benefited, and German goods were cheap for other countries to buy, which stimulated trade and employment. When Germany could not make the reparations payment due in 1923, France and Belgium invaded the Ruhr, which made the economic situation even worse.

  2. The collapse of the Weimar republic.

    I fell that Schleicher was the most important Chancellor in causing the downfall of the republic because it is clear that he was intrinsically in command of the course of German Politics during the 1930 to 1933 period. The impact of The Great Depression is a further factor that caused the collapse of the Weimar Republic.

  1. How far did the Weimar Republic achieve Financial and Political stability in the 1920s?

    them curry favor with other European countries as it aided paying off of the reparations. Unfortunately the recovery was bad news for Agriculture in Germany, as German farmers were ruined by the importation of cheaper goods from Polish farmers.

  2. Germany 1916-1945 revision notes.

    Support for Big Business [5] Opponents? Weaknesses 1. Failure to Deal with the Depression [5] 2. Failure to co-operate with one another [8] 3. Attitudes of Germans to the democratic parties [4] Other factors 1. Weaknesses of the Weimar Republic [8] 2. Scheming of Hindenburg and Von Papen [10] 3.

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