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To what extent did the period 1924 - 1929 represent a golden age in Weimar Germany?

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Introduction

To what extent did the period 1924 - 1929 represent a golden age in Weimar Germany? The period 1924 - 1929 can be seen as one of recovery and stability with the economy recovering remarkably quickly from hyperinflation and no further political uprisings. However if you look more closely, faults can be found in the political arena and flaws become apparent in the German economy. The new culture of the Republic was also creating political splits. The German economy had recovered extremely quickly from hyperinflation but only with the help of loans from America. These were short-term loans and came when the Dawes Plan was implemented in 1924. The loans were used for investment into industry and in the welfare state and were seen as attractive alternatives to high domestic tax. But these short-term loans were often used to finance long-term capital projects with the assumption that it would be easy to renew them as payments fell due. This increased Germany's vulnerability to Wall Street fluctuations as loans were often quickly recalled. Another problem in the German economy was the Cartel system of co-operation between businesses, which was supposed to enhance efficiency of industry. ...read more.

Middle

However as the economy slipped into depression in 1929 the figure quickly rose again to 1.9 million. Despite dwindling support for the extremist parties the picture of Weimar Politics was not rosy. In 1924 the SPD, the largest single Reichstag party, refused to serve in any coalition containing DNVP members. Thus, whether the coalition contained DNVP or SPD parties determined whether it represented the moderate right (bourgeois bloc) or the left. The left-wing coalitions worked in agreement over foreign policy but were fractured over domestic policy where a majority vote in the Reichstag was needed to bring in new legislation. The Bourgeois Bloc also disagreed over foreign policy as well, with the DNVP opposing Stresemann's policy of 'd�tente' in Europe. The SPD caused further problems by moving politically towards the left, gaining stronger trade union connections with the consequence of more costly welfare policies. This may have been the reason why General Hindenburg decided not to accept the SPD in to his coalition government when he was elected to the Presidency owing to a split anti-right vote. The election of Hindenburg itself raised problems. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this, the connection between the new culture and the Weimar Republic undermined the Republic, forcing many traditionalists towards radical right-wing parties which now had a leverage that could be exploited. Also, rural areas were left unaffected by this cultural shift and so felt alienated from the Republic. The lax views created by the Weimar Culture such as the attitudes to women being allowed to work caused political differences. The Nazi party also tried to infiltrate society with its Nazi groups and professional bodies were formed such as the Hitler Youth or Association of National Socialist Jurists. To conclude, the period 1924-1929 did mark a 'Golden Age' for Weimar Culture, however this had a negative effect on the Weimar Republic through its destruction of 'traditional' values. Despite there being no radical political action the situation was still tense and unstable with weaknesses of the Republic being exposed and the radical right gaining more power. Also, although the economic situation could be perceived as calm, long-term problems were created for the Republic which would plague it in latter life. In short, the extent to which the period represented a 'Golden Age' for the Republic could be described as short-term. Perhaps the period of calm could have been used to alleviate and halt long-term problems rather than exacerbating them. IC ...read more.

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