Lecture Three: Democracy in a Time of Hyperinflation: the Postwar Crisis, 1919-1923

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Published on 13 Jan 2011
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HIS317H1
Lecture Three: Democracy in a Time of Hyperinflation: the Postwar Crisis, 1919-1923
I.The Two Declarations, November 9, 1919
II.The Spartacus League, a Soviet in Munich, the Freikorps
III.The Treaty of Versailles, June 1919
IV.The Kapp Putsch, March 1920
V.The Republic Attacked from Left and Right
VI.The Occupation of the Ruhr
VII.Hyperinflation
VIII. The Murder of Walter Rathenau
-look up the reading summaries for tutorials!!!
-Nov 9, 1919, Weimar Republic born (twice!, from two diff. wings of the labour movement)
-the two declarations have little to do with each other
-which challenged it's legitimacy
-was democratic, emerged out of the SDP, the social democratic party
-a mass poli. party since 1890, and WWI
-divide betw. the majority reformist wing and the minority revolutionary wing
(USDP), which was reborn as the KDP, the Communist party
-Phillip Scheidemann, chancellor of the Weimar Republic, his father, Karl, was a leader of the
labour movement
-both pointed to war and the sacrifices of the German ppl, of democracy
-Scheidemann address the people of the revolution was a mass movement of soldiers,
people, women against the German elites, like the Kaiser
-pointed towards constitution reform, of a parliament, abolishing the 3 class
suffrage of Prussia
-talks of those who had died against Prussian elites, in WWI
-not making a common cause with the Bolsheviks, but sympathizes with them,
wanted German roots
-a social republic, a new order of the proletariat, with German history
one of revolution
-like the nat'l revolution of 1848
-in Nov. 1919, Prince Max passed on chancellorship to Ebart
-wants constitutional reform, towards democracy, sees need for order uneasy about social
discontent and hunger and fear of a Bolshevik revolution
-embarks on a program, both sides wanted the kaisership unraveled, to have the
gov't overhauled of imperial Germany but don't get this or the
replacement of judges, or the remaking of the army
-army does change, but cause of the Treaty of Versailles
-conservative judiciary remains, effects seen later where the right gets a
free pass, like Hitler in 1929 for overthrowing the gov't gets 5
yrs, but only serves 1yr
-so not so thorough reform of the state, which some say led to its
downfall
-wanted to enter Allied negotiations with some strength
-committed state to social welfare, betw. trade unions (illegal till 1899) and industrial
leaders, called the ZAG, "central labour collective (work)"
-a compromise to retain capitalist structure, but with 8 hr days and collective
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bargaining, huge shift in policy
-Ebart negotiates with Gen Groener successor to Lunendorf, as wants army's loyalty, and
that the army restore rule of law, but in return the army will not be reformed
keeps privileges and structures
-Council of People's Representatives, 6 seats split, between the two sides
-but by December compromise is over
-but call for Jan 1919 election, in the midst of poli. turmoil, was successful election
-first time women vote, with numerous women sent to the nat'l assembly
-Sparticus League, becomes Commie party, with 38 000 in protest in 1919
-by Jan 1920, turns to actual fighting in the streets of Berlin
-Jan 5, independent socialists fight to strike and take part of gov't bldgs
-the Freicorps, military volunteers, brought in to subdue it by Ebart
-Nazi party gets its start through this militia movement
-some say Ebarts worst decision to use them
-creates hatred, won't be able to work together, lead into
results of 1933 elections
-had been brought back from the east, in the Baltic states, where
the war ends very differently fighting the Russians
-by winter of 1919, on to the Baltic fronts where they
fought Bolsheviks, and on the streets of Berlin to
protect Germany from the red threat of Communism
-Allies turn a blind eye, as they fight the Red
Army
-want to restore Germany, the defeat shameful, the "stab in the
back" myth, traitors at home, want to restore the Kaiser
-radicalism, intense intoxication with violence
-are integrated back in to the army later on
-the army can't control them
-workers and soldiers will fight right up till 1923, Nazis vs. Commies
-Areherdt Brigade (???)
-Jan 15 1919, Freicorps battles on the street, have a huge victory
-murder the head of the Sparticus Movement, Rosa Luxemburg and Libhnarchiz, tortured
and then thrown into the river
-Jan 19, first democratic election, liberal and democratic constitutionalists won a
resounding majority with record turn out
-the Weimar Coalition wins 71% of the vote, SPD (37.9%), Catholic
centre, and German liberals
-independent socialists 7.9%
-nat'l anti-republicans
-German nat'l party 10%
-German right wing (older liberal party turned right) 4.4%,
similar to the DVP
-meet in Weimar and draft constitution of the new republic on Feb 6
-on Feb 11, Ebart declared new prez, Schenidemann the chancellor
-temp., election again in 1920
-revolution mostly ends in the spring of 1919, but March 1500 ppl crushed by the Freicorps
-it ends just prior to the Treaty of Versailles
-Treaty of Versailles
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Document Summary

The spartacus league, a soviet in munich, the freikorps. Lecture three: democracy in a time of hyperinflation: the postwar crisis, 1919-1923. Nov 9, 1919, weimar republic born (twice!, from two diff. wings of the labour movement) The two declarations have little to do with each other. Was democratic, emerged out of the sdp, the social democratic party. A mass poli. party since 1890, and wwi. Divide betw. the majority reformist wing and the minority revolutionary wing (usdp), which was reborn as the kdp, the communist party. Phillip scheidemann, chancellor of the weimar republic, his father, karl, was a leader of the labour movement. Both pointed to war and the sacrifices of the german ppl, of democracy. Scheidemann address the people of the revolution was a mass movement of soldiers, people, women against the german elites, like the kaiser. Pointed towards constitution reform, of a parliament, abolishing the 3 class suffrage of prussia.