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


Extracts from this document...


WHY DID THE COMMUNISTS FAIL TO SEIZE POWER IN 1918? The failure of the communists to seize power originates from the First World War. Initially, all parties, including the Left, supported Germany going to war. As the war prolonged however and Germany was running short of essential supplies such as food as a result of the blockade by the allies. More Germans started questioning the rational of continuing with the war. The Parliament also changed its attitude. Left wing parties like the SPD that had initially supported Germany going to war began to have doubts. Internal conflicts let to the formation of the Independent German Social Democratic Party, USPD. Another far-extreme party, the Spartacist party was later formed. Ludendorff's insistence that they continue with a war that they were obviously loosing contributed to the revolution uprisings. The revolt in Kriel was not so much because the workers wanted revolution. The sailor's morale was already low because of the anti-war propaganda and they therefore refused to take orders from their commanders. ...read more.


There was a general feeling especially within the left wing that time was ripe for a break from the capitalist government. The monarchy was overthrown and a provisional government set up. A network of soldiers and workers councils was established nationwide. However, the SDP being the government of the day controlled the councils. In the councils there were more delegates who were SDP than workers delegates.1 This meant that the SDP controlled both the government ant the councils. They also had the support of the masses. The councils were also weakly coordinated. The main factors that contributed to this failure were the following: > Unlike Russia, Germany was an advanced industrial nation with a solid and powerful capitalist class. The middle class was strong and influential. > Unlike their counterparts in Russia and France, the German working class had benefited from several welfare measures since the 1800s. The army had had glorious achievements of Prussian militarism in bringing about the unification of Germany, even if they lost WWI. ...read more.


Further more, the socialists disunited and socialists lacked revolutionary intent. Unlike their Russian counterparts, they had no manifestos. Their underlying focus was the desire for peace than the desire for a genuine revolution. They were against the Kaiser personally. The revolutionists could not cope with Germany's mighty military. Recognising the importance of the military, the left set up the League of red Soldiers in order to win the rank and file of the army to the side of the revolution. This proved to be unsuccessful as the government had the strong military with its generals on its side. The Communists in Germany failed to take over because they lacked planning and strategy, they had no support of the masses, they were fighting against a strong military regime, and they were not well-organised or united. Willingness of SPD leadership to collaborate with the military also contributed to the failure of the revolution. In particular, the SPD, with the help of the military ended up crushing other socialists by force and preserving the bourgeois. 1 Flood, Andrew: Anarchist Analysis of the German Revolution. 2 Flood, Andrew: The German Revolution in Anarchist Analysis of the German Revolution. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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 battle for democracy would prove to be the main reason behind the 1918 revolution. Another cause to consider, lead more immediately to break out of revolution. After the outbreak of World War One, the overwhelming majority of Germans supported the war seeing it as an opportunity for German expansionism.

  2. How and why did the Bolsheviks seize power in 1917?

    There were fuel and food shortages. What made this worse was that there was enough food and fuel; it just could not be transported to the cities, as the rail network couldn't cope with the needs of the army, industry and the cities' populations. As 1916 became 1917, and people stood and shivered in bread queues, they cursed the Tsar.

  1. Weimar Republic doomed to fail from beginning?

    During the Weimar Republic, hyperinflation became rampant and the German currency dwindled quickly in value. This is because Germany owed huge sums of money to countries like France and Britain for war damage they had supposedly caused.

  2. Was there a revolution in Germany in 1918?

    and prestige and in the midst of all this increased his own. Ebert, however, knew that getting the support of the elites only would not secure the revolution's success and he would have to win over the mass population and so he supported the Worker's Council and himself an SPD

  1. Did Stalin pervert the message of the "real communists?"

    Although it is true that Russian industry was still recovering from the devastating effects of the First World War, both industry and agriculture were far behind that of Britain, Germany, and even France who had herself felt the effects of the war.

  2. The blance sheet for russia.

    The October Revolution represented the beginning of the world socialist revolution. The revolution of February had spontaneously thrown up committees of workers and soldiers, as had the revolution of 1905. The committees, or soviets, became transformed from extended strike committees into political instruments of the working class in the struggle

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