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What were the problems faced by Chancellor Ebert and his government immediately after the collapse of Imperial Germany? And was Weimar Germany strengthened in the years 1924 " 29?

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Introduction

What were the problems faced by Chancellor Ebert and his government immediately after the collapse of Imperial Germany? And was Weimar Germany strengthened in the years 1924 - 29? After the collapse of Imperial Germany, Chancellor Ebert and his government found themselves having to deal with several threats to the Weimar Republic. These originated from the post-war effects of WWI and the signing of a harsh peace treaty with the Allies, which dictated that Germany had to give up enormous amounts of land, money and equipment. This lead to severe socio-economic, political and military issues. From 1924 to 1929 the Weimar Republic was greatly, though briefly, strengthened, due mainly to Gustav Stresemann. Stresemann made many great achievements during this time, though the most important of these concerned the economy and foreign policy. During its reign, the Weimar Republic was bombarded by a series of extreme left and right winged revolts. The left regarded the republic as an instrument of the wealthy classes, who manipulated the government in an effort to prevent a revolution. This point of view is supported by the knowledge of Ebert's agreement with the military in November 1918, resulting in the army's suppression of the left-wing revolts of late 1918 and early 1919. The right wing, however, posed a graver threat to the Weimar Republic because it enjoyed the support of the military, the financial elites, the state bureaucracy, the educational system, and much of the press. ...read more.

Middle

The increasing popularity of extreme right-winged groups posed a serious threat to the survival of the Republic. In addition to venomous political opposition, the Republic had to contend with a weak economy plagued by high rates of inflation and unemployment. Inflation was fueled partly by the enormous wartime debts the imperial government had contracted rather than raise taxes to finance the war. Even more devastating were the enormous war reparations demanded by the Allies, which made economic recovery seem impossible to many objective expert observers. Inflation ruined many middle-class Germans, who saw their savings and pensions wiped out. Dorothy Haenkel, a German living in Frankfurt in 1923 was interviewed by William Guttmann and Patricia Meehan, in The Great Inflation, Germany 1919 - 1923, 1975 and stated ...A widow...with four children...was awarded three months of her husband's salary (as a pension)....worked out the sum...sent the papers...they were checked, rubber stamped and sent back...by the time this was done, and the money finally paid to the widow, the amount she received would have only paid for three boxes of matches. Unemployment also remained epidemic throughout the 1920s, hurting millions of wage earners and their families. Their economic misery made these groups susceptible to the claims of extremist political parties and therefore pinned the blame on the government for signing the Treaty of Versailles. In an attempt to regain support from the people and return stability to the German Empire, Chancellor Ebert recruited the aid of Gustav Stresemann. ...read more.

Conclusion

He began his rapprochement with the West by signing the Locarno Pact in 1925. Germany joined Britain, France, Belgium and Italy in an agreement to keep the existing borders between France, Germany and Belgium. Stresemann then made the bold move of taking Germany into the League of Nations, knowing many Germans saw the League as an enemy who would stop at nothing to uphold the Treaty of Versailles. He did this in order to show Europe that Germany was not beyond redemption and that they could be trusted if the terms of the Treaty were to be relaxed and the burden eased. The other nations began taking this on board, making it easier for Germany to recover. The Weimar Republic found its self severely tested in the first five years and was threatened by major problems brought on by the aftermath of the war and the consequences of the Treaty of Versailles. It is evident that Stresemann's actions from 1923 to 1929 allowed Germany to progress and recover from these problems, if only for a brief period. The main weakness of the Weimar Republic during this time was the severity of the crisis, which would evidently take more than five years to completely recover from and also its lack of support from the people of Germany, who saw many of Stresemann's actions as a 'betrayal'. However, during the brief period before The Great Depression, Germany was able to recover significantly from the crises and strengthen its economy, society and politics. Natalie Hind 14th July 2008 MISS HAYNES Year 11 History 1 Research Assignment Weimar Republic ...read more.

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