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Lecture 3

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

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University of Toronto St. George
Jennifer Jenkins

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 its 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 natl 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 govt overhauled of imperial Germany but dont 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 govt 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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