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

Was the Weimar Republic doomed from the start?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Was the Weimar Republic doomed from the start? By Richard Ward wattsvilleblues@hotmail.com The Weimar Republic was set up in 1919, after a chain of events starting at the end of the First World War. As a last ditch attempt to get the upper hand in the war, the German Navy was ordered to sea from the port of Kiel. The Navy mutinied, and took the town of Kiel. This mutiny spread, and all over Germany, workers and soldiers broke ranks and went on strike. This rebellion against the ruling class was somewhat reminiscent of the Russian Revolution of 1917. On the 9 November 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated his role as head of state and left Germany for Holland. This was announced by the Chancellor, Prince Max of Baden who also handed power over to the SPD, led by Friedrich Ebert. Ebert became Chancellor and Germany was declared a republic, with freedom of speech and worship. This received a muted response from the German public, who although pleased with the end of the war, were concerned about the effects that the Armistice (and later Treaty of Versailles) would have upon them. The new republic was the first truly democratic government that Germany had ever had. The Kaiser had ruled as a dictator and could do effectively as he pleased. ...read more.

Middle

Hitler was hit and later imprisoned, during which time he wrote 'Mein Kampf'. Also in 1923, the industrial heartland of Germany, the Ruhr, was occupied by French troops. Germany had ceased reparation payments in 1922, and the French acted in the manner to which they were entitled. Ebert's government called upon the workers in the Ruhr to repeat their trick of 1920, by not working and therefore not generating any income. This made the French occupation economically not viable. The problem arose when the government needed to pay for the lost revenue. By printing more money they caused a situation of hyperinflation, which resulted in mass devaluation of the German currency. By November 1923, the exchange rate had increased in the order of billions, and many Germans were either starving or unemployed. Gustav Stresemann, moderated nationalist, ended the economic meltdown by issuing a new currency, the Rentenmark. He also called the strike to an end and this appeasement of the French (in part, at least) resulted in the Munich Putsch. To ease the situation, a financial crisis hit France, which made the already difficult situation in the Ruhr impossible to sustain, so they withdrew. With the French withdrawn and the attempts to undermine government authority on hold (the Freikorps having diffused into mainstream society), Stresemann (the dominant figure in Weimar politics at this time, chiefly serving as Foreign Minister in the coalition government) ...read more.

Conclusion

Hitler succeeded in becoming Chancellor in 1933 primarily because of the effects of the Great Depression. Although he came very close to becoming Chancellor in 1932, if he had not been approached by Papen, it is debatable as to whether he would have become Chancellor in the way he did. The Weimar republic succeeded in bringing Germany social and industrial development and managed the crises with which it was faced in the best ways possible. The introduction of the Rentenmark in 1923 by Stresemann was a prudent move. The Wall Street crash and ensuing Great Depression were two situations for which Germany was not to blame. Moreover, it was these two events that had the most profound effect on the future of Germany. The years from 1924 to 1929 were years of great hope, and had the Great Depression not happened it is arguable as to whether Hitler would have succeeded in gaining power. To argue that Weimar was an unsustainable ideal is somewhat flawed, as for fifteen years it prospered in difficult circumstances. Weimar survived many power-grabbing attempts from both political sides and numerous events that could potentially have been fatal. The recovery from the hyperinflation of 1923 was probably the most resounding success of the republic. Weimar failed only under the strain of worldwide economic collapse, about which they could do very little. The Weimar republic was not doomed from the start, and had the potential to continue to advance and prosper. ...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. Weimar, 1918 - 1923

    6,500 people attended the Nazi Party meeting at the Krone Circus on 3rd February 1921 to hear Hitler castigate the reparations conference. The first 'national' congress of the NSDAP (held in Munich, 27th-29th January 1923) was the high point of the mass-meeting method in the early phase of development. ii)

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

    In 1923 the Inter-Allied Commission declared Germany in arrears of timber and coal payments. France, also angry at the recently signed Treaty of Rapallo (between Germany and Russia) decided to force Germany to pay by invading the Ruhr (Germany's industrial heartland).

  1. Was The Weimar Republic Doomed From The Start?

    Many richer Germans had lived well under the Kaiser, and distrusted the new government. Considering all of these points, it would seem that the collapse of the republic was inevitable. In Early Weimar (1919-1923), the new Weimar government faced opposition from both left and right.

  2. To what extent was the weimar republic doomed?

    Taxes were consequently raised in order to help, yet this simply made the problem more widespread. As well as this, unemployment benefit was withdrawn, causing hunger and homelessness for those who had lost their jobs. The withdrawal of the Social Democrats from the coalition caused governmental collapse and the German

  1. Was the Weimar Republic Doomed from the Start?

    Representatives of the Lower House, the Reichstag, were to be elected every 4 years. An election would be held all over Germany whereby in total, for every 60,000 votes, a party could send a representative to the Reichstag, so if a party received 180,000 votes from all over Germany, it could send 3 representatives to the Reichstag.

  2. Weimar, 1924 - 1929

    Hitler had been able to 'conquer' the northern Nazis without losing the talents of their leaders. In fact, it was because the northern Nazi leaders were given positions of power that the northern rank and file were happy. KD Bracher "In this period, a new star rose amid the mediocrity

  1. Nazism and the New Age.

    He is virtually accusing the German people of injustice toward the Jews and makes himself the mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminals." (quoted by Lapide, p.137) In Italy, the editor of _Regime Fascista_ wrote: "The Church's obstruction of the practical solution of the Jewish problem constitutes a crime against the New Europe."

  2. WWII History Revision Notes. How far did the Weimar Republic Recover between 1924-1928.

    The women also wore make up which brought back memories of the Weimar culture. However, many were put in concentration camps. 1. Hitler bomb plot in 1944, a member of the SS went against the loyal oath to Hitler and tried to kill him in a bomb plot, but it failed ? shows open opposition to Hitler increasing 1.

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