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To what extent did the Weimar achieve financial and political stability in the 1920’s.

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Introduction

To what extent did the Weimar achieve Financial and Political stability in the 1920's The Weimar inherited a country delivered from the defeat of the First World War and found itself in a very difficult situation both financially and politically; financially the country was in a state of inflation due to the former Kaiser's poor management of funds during war time. Politically the country was divided with a large number of parties spanning the entire political spectrum and civil unrest clearly apparent as the rumours of the Weimar "stabbing Germany in the back" by signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Germany's situation at this time left scope for a strong government to take control or for a weak government to fail. Financially Germany was running into trouble long before the Weimar republic was formed, due to Kaiser Wilhelm's policy of financing the war through loans and bonds as a opposed to increasing taxes and thus the roots of inflation were firmly sunk into Germany's economy prior to 1920's . With the already weak economy, the huge Versailles reparations had a disastrous effect and when Germany could no longer pay, France and Belgium took over the Ruhr, Germany's industrial heartland. ...read more.

Middle

At the same time he started paying reparations again thus France and Belgium had no reason to occupy the Ruhr and they left so it was able to start producing goods again and make money. In order to end the hyperinflation the Doitschmark was abandoned and a limited temporary currency was brought in called the Rentenmark. Once the value of money stabilised, a final currency was introduced call the Reichsmark which was made permanent and ended the inflation of the early 1920's. He employed a cunning manoeuvre to make the army more pliable getting the strongly right wing army to halt the left wing revolts in Saxony and Thuringia, this not only crushed the revolts but gained favour in the eyes of the army who Stresemann hoped to set against the dangerous right wing parties in Bavaria. He still had much to do in order to stabilise the economy and Germany's political affairs, this was made harder by the constant burden of the reparation payments. Luckily an American banker called Charles Dawes created the Dawes plan of April 1924; America loaned huge sums of money to the German economy in order to kick-start industry and help pay off reparations and thus gain favour with some of the European states . ...read more.

Conclusion

Many people at the time particularly the extremist groups argued that it didn't matter what advancements were made in the negotiation of the Versailles treaty because if these parties were in power the treaty would be destroyed, this train of thought for many undermined the work Stresemann had done to lighten the terms of the treaty. Other problems still remained, like unemployment, which was very serious during this time as jobs weren't being produced fast enough to provide work for the growing population, also agriculture went downhill as produce was imported from Poland at cheaper prices thus ruining German farmers. My personal opinion is that during this time Germany did stabilise and this was due to Stresemann's intelligent policies to work with the system as opposed to working against it. This stability may have been dependent on America but statistics show that there was prosperity and less extremism during the 1920's compared to the time immediately after the war. At the same time I also understand that the stability was based on an unpredictable factor and that was the loans from America. As well as this I realise the Weimar was a weak government due to internal flaws and it is unlikely that even if Stresemann had lived past 1929, the Weimar would have survived much longer than it did and perverted the coarse of Hitler's evil regime. ...read more.

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