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

The Left and Right at the Birth of Weimar Germany

Extracts from this document...


Alfie Stroud 12 Gore The Left and Right at the Birth of Weimar Germany From the general chaos and unrest that followed the Kiel Mutiny in late 1918, the centre-left emerged to lead Germany into a new era of democracy. Philipp Scheidemann, a key figure in the moderate SDP, declared a Democratic Socialist Republic from a balcony in Berlin on 9th November 1918. However, the whole of Germany was not behind him, since simultaneously, and from a different Berlin balcony, Karl Liebknecht, leader of the communist Spartacists (KPD), declared a Soviet Republic. Furthermore, the right-wing German autocrats, beaurocrats and elites slowly grew in their opposition to the left-wing moderates they dubbed the "November Criminals". The moderate Socialist SDP was the largest German party with approximately 1 million members. ...read more.


Ebert clearly recognised the threat of the right wing when he came into power. They formed the vast majority of the German establishment, whose acquiescence at the very least he would need to set up his democratic republic. They controlled the press, the civil service, the financial and education systems, and most crucially, the armed forces. They wished to retain German autocracy, but were terrified of the threat of revolution from the extreme left. There was also a small but growing fascist movement on the extreme right. In 1917 Russia had undergone a bloody Bolshevik Revolution, in which the old autocracy had been entirely replaced by a Soviet Republic. As the new Chancellor of Germany, Ebert began to guide Germany towards electing its first new democratic Government in early 1919, the extreme left of the country, largely united under the KPD or breakaway factions of the USPD, began to push for the revolution they so badly wanted. ...read more.


Groener agreed, and a deal was made, bringing the moderate left and broad right together, however grudgingly, in support of each other. The radical and extreme left was now entirely cut-off from any chances of gaining mainstream power, isolated by Ebert's SDP. And although in the short term Ebert ensured he was able to establish his Socialist democratic Republic, which met for the first time in Weimar in February 1919, he sacrificed a great deal of power to the right-wing elite, who were still ultimately hostile to his cause. He would later be plagued by the legacy of this deal, the extreme left and right on occasion uniting in their opposition to him, isolated as they were from mainstream politics, while the pre-1918 elite harboured their distaste for Weimar politics. In attempting to seek greater support, Ebert had in fact isolated himself yet further. ...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 Russia, USSR 1905-1941 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 Russia, USSR 1905-1941 essays

  1. Why was there a German revolution in 1918 and how far had it gone ...

    This period of Civil war was to establish the true government of Germany. The two main groups trying to gain power were the communists and the SPD. Once the Armistice had been, Ebert aimed to secure a democracy and so made an uneasy deal with General Groener (Army leader).

  2. The blance sheet for russia.

    a "breathing space", before the next dramatic developments of the international socialist revolution. He was nevertheless also acutely aware of the dangers that lay on that road, especially the dangers of a revival of bourgeois and petty bourgeois elements that could provide the basis for counter-revolution.

  1. Was there a revolution in Germany in 1918?

    Thus, we see that during the revolution in Germany in 1918 there were two aspects of the changes that took place- aspects which brought about changes in the location of power of ruling and the aspects which brought about those changes.

  2. How Successful Was Roosevelt’s New Deal?

    Many businessmen agreed with leading Republican Frank Knox when he said: "The New Deal candidate has been leading us toward Moscow." Many other Republicans feared that The New Deal acts had given American workers too much power. Other Republicans pointed to the fact that under Roosevelt the size of the Government was growing at a tremendous rate.

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