HIS109Y1 Lecture Notes - Red Army, Saint Petersburg, Basic Law For The Federal Republic Of Germany
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History Notes- 3/9/2011
Can’t hear anything so will not write notes unfortunately. Possibly talking about war?
Friedrich Weber, last guy who had any authority to speak for the German people, what was he to do
though? He was a democrat. Basically German transition of power and crises involved during near the
end of the war, domestic issues of Germany. How to restore order when all of the agencies of the
government had ceased to exist.
The groups on the far left were trying to form Bolshevik revolutions, modeled after the successful one in
Russia. Armed marches, demonstrations etc in order to spark revolt. Spartacus demonstrations, needed
to be stopped etc.
Because of the large number of parties and the rivalries amongst them, the new parliament found itself
to be unstable. Weber was elected the first Priemer and had to form a coalition to get anything done.
First they had to make a peace treaty with the allies, and then someone had to draw up a constitution,
then needed to restore order and provide food and fuel for the population. The first attempt at making
peace almost resulted in a reignition of hostilities. The idea that the war was lost was still not accepted
by many German people, so many german officers believed that the army could have continued they
believed this because they were not told otherwise. Once a meeting was convened the War minister
realized that there was simply no war hardware available, and the allies were just superior with their
armies still intact in the trenches. The myth that the german army was not defeated became part of the
collective consciousness in Germany and believed they had been stuck in the back by the
internationalists, the socialists, the communists anyone and everyone. The Germans largely believed this
because the alternative was worse, humiliation. In part to cover this humiliation and in part to save the
reputation of the former army, and this rumor was circulated actively by former high officials in the
army. Anyone who was seen as a complete supporter of this myth and claimed that the war couldn’t
have continued were under threat. The shameful peace at Versailles was then the work of not the
Germans at all, it was the work of socialists, communists and the german elements that were jewish.
The second task, creation of the German constitution, The new charter was proclaimed. In theory it was
a very liberal document, Weimer republic, president with wide authority who would provide a focus for
the national government. Also there was a belief that there should be the widest freedom of expression.
There was a belief of representational authority resulted in many factions and no clear one big party.
The central government was given power as well, in order to battle concerns that people had such as
the constant fear of Bolshevik elements.
German domestic issues. Freikorp volunteered for the 100,000 army that the Versailles treaty had
stipulated. They were fiercely loyal to their officers not at all to the state too. The idea of the German
state was a bankrupt state, something no one believed. The army gave no support to the Weimar
Republic. Indeed in 1920 in an attempt to obey the treaty the republic ordered the army to reduce the
army to 100,000. There was a coup d’état, possible military dictatorship. Later war with the Red army,
FreiKorps put down the civial war with the communists. They became heroes to the lower and middle