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Stresseman

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Introduction

From 1923-1929 there is no mistake that life in Germany improved dramatically. After suffering; trying to rebuild the country after the war, reparations ordered by the treaty of Versailles and now after hyperinflation had reached its peak, the economy was starting to boom and cultural life flourish. This turnabout is said to have happened because of Gustav Stresemann who served as chancellor and foreign minister of Germany. However it is questioned whether Stresemann brought a full recovery in Germany from the period 1923-1929 or his policies to rebuild a stronger Germany were short term leaving Germany just as weak as they ever were. In this essay I will be looking at the following areas, economy, culture, popularity of the Weimar government and foreign affaires. Stresemann did much to aid Germany in restoring its economy. Starting in 1923 as chancellor he ordered strikers in the Ruhr back to work. This helped Germany's recovery as it meant the strikers would be back earning money and could start to pay the reparation owed to France. This no doubt made him very unpopular, the Germans despised the treaty of Versailles and were against meeting its terms, and they believed it made them look weak giving into France. However Stresemann made this decision to help Germany despite knowing it would make him extremely unpopular and he had to give up his position as chancellor. ...read more.

Middle

They also considered it all unpatriotic and decadent as this new art did not celebrate or even reflect traditional values of German society for example religion and military duty. Before Stresemann took over The Weimar Government weren't exactly wining popularity contests. After coming into power replacing a well like, Kaiser, they were left with little choice but to sign the hated treaty of Versailles. The treaty was so unpopular due to the extremely harsh way Germany was treated. Along with the 231 guilt clause, were Germany is forced to take the entire blame of the Second World War, there were also 8 billion pound reparations, certain land and liabilities took away from them and other hated terms. The fact that signing this treaty was the Weimar government's first act in power did not set them off to a good start. Many people disliked the fact the Germany were going to be run by a democratic system, they had gotten used to the power and control being simply left to the Kaiser, a lot of Germans were against changing the traditional ways. After Introducing the Retenmark however Stresemann increased the stability of the government, they gave Germany more respect; they could be looked at as a potential trading partner and were at a much more valued position, Germany's money was now worth something again. ...read more.

Conclusion

Against bitter attacks from nationalists and communists he did what he believed would help Germany and not what would keep him in power- which he proved when he had to give up his position as chancellor. He defended Germany's acceptance of the Treaty of Versailles as a reality and as the only realistic starting point for a successful foreign policy and to rebuild a position of extreme prosperity for Germany. He reduced reparations with the Dawes Plan however a lot of his decisions were short term. Germany as a country were not behind them and they resented his judgement He did all he could and was a successful foreign minister however it was not a real recovery. He was simply, "papering over the cracks" despite his best efforts to build a strong powerful Germany back up again. Stresemann was trying to perfect a politically and economically unstable Germany and it was an impossible job to do. Under Stresemann Germany recovered in many ways; he helped increase goods and jobs through factories, international support through joining the League of Nations and the Lacarno pact and he uplifted the spirit of Germany due to a greater freedom of expression. Yet through his decision making long term consequences were not factored in like the eventual repayment to America due to the Dawes plan, and so in my opinion although Stresemann did the best he could do in rebuilding Germany his best did not help Germany recover very far at all. ...read more.

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