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Why did the Communists and other revolutionary left-wing groups fail to seize power in the years 1919-1923?

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Why did the Communists and other revolutionary left-wing groups fail to seize power in the years 1919-1923? During the years 1919-23 the German Weimar democracy was experiencing major threats from the left. For years the left had wanted to get into power and was waiting for the perfect chance, and now they believed was the right time. In January of 1919 the Weimar government had used the army to crush a Spartacist rising. This however did not end the threat from the extreme left and for the next four years Weimar faced a series of attacks and attempts to overthrow the government. But why did these left wing groups fail to seize power? The Communist Party (KPD) was a party with a desire for rapid political, social and economic revolution. They wanted a classless society, workers state, to abolish private property, eliminate capitalism and abolish religion. They were the most extreme left party in Germany and wanted to achieve these aims at any cost. ...read more.


Eventually the government, using a mixture of promises to the workers and use of the Freikorps, crushed this strike with a large amount of deaths in some places. The Communists did eventually gain a little success however. In Bavaria the left wing were able to proclaim a republic. However this was short lived as the right, in May 1919, overthrew the left with 700 people killed. This again shows that the Left Wing threat was unable to hold on to any power that they might gain, therefore implying that if they did get into power they would not be able to hold on to it for a long enough period to make any changes. Also, in March 1919 another attack from the left wing took place. A Spartacist uprising in Berlin meant that 1,200 workers were killed. Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg led this uprising, and even though many workers lost their lives for the cause, it failed. ...read more.


In conclusion of all these points I have decided that the reason why the Communists and other left wing groups were unable to seize power was because of the fact that they were never strong enough to launch an attack on Weimar that would be able to overthrow the government. Even though in 1919 Germany seemed ripe for a take over by the communists this never happened, which is probably mainly down to the fact that they were so unorganised. The summer of 1919 was the best chance for them, but they missed this chance and for the next three years were unable to seriously threaten the government. Also due to the fact that they rushed into a poorly supported rising in 1921 they showed that they could not possibly take over as a strong government in Germany. Overall the Communists and other left wing groups failed to seize power because of their poor leadership, poor organisation and lack of support. Craig Bowman History Mr Walker ...read more.

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