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WHY DID THE COMMUNISTS FAIL TO SEIZE POWER IN 1918

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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