"Kiel Mutiny": German navy (which had been inactive for most of the war) triggered a revolution through mutinies.
They attacked the superior British navy on the closing days of the war.
Joined by protesters and workers.
First Worker's and Soldier's Council: Established in Kiel who supported Maxism and democracy as well as the removal of the Kaiser and end to the war.
Who was Ebert and what position did he gain on 9th
On the 9th of November, the day of the Kaiser’s
abdication, Prince Max von Baden also stepped down, handing over the government
to Friedrich Ebert who was the leader of the social democratic party. Headed
new provisional government and became chancellor.
How was it that Germany was declared a republic against Ebert’s wishes?
Ebert wanted there to be an elected assembly to finally decide whether Germany would become a republic. However, before this could
occur Phillip Scheidemann addressed the nation of a balcony in Reichstag stating
“The old and the rotten – the monarchy – has broken down. Long live the German
When did Ebert become president?
6th Feb 1919
Which were the most popular parties?
Ebert’s Social Democratic Party, with 165 seats and the Centre Party with 91 seats out of 423. But after a coalition was formed, of the
Social Democratic party, they held 329 seats.
Which groups opposed the Weimar republic?
Left wing politicians, anti-democratic groups, the German army (to an extent),
Why did the government find it hard to establish order in Germany?
There was trouble establishing order in Germany due to the unrest caused by hyperinflation, a feeling of betrayal towards the government for agreeing to the Treaty of Versailles, there were many counter-revolutionaries wanting to overthrow the Weimar republic, the German
economy was in a disastrous state after the war. Six governments between 1924
and 1928 which had no real stability. There were many groups within Germany
which resented a republic – The constitution gave the states and the army too
much power. There were many threats to the government who resented them for
After Germany failed to pay a war repayment as the ToV dictated, French invaded
(occupations of the Ruhr) Germany.
List three putsches.
Spartacist Revolt: 30 December 1918 - Spartacists declare themselves the communist party of Germany. A number of key buildings in Berlin were ceased, and declared the Ebert government deposed. It was unsuccessful. Ebert used freikorps (ex WWI soldiers to help keep order) to stop the rebellion and kill communists. The leaders were murdered. Using the freikorps made him
look weak – they could turn on him at any moment.
Kapp Putsch: March 1920, right wing revolt led by Kapp in an attempt to initiate a military coup. Soldiers followed this revolt and the government had to halt it with the help of the loyal soldiers and street gangs. General
Kapp received a 6 month prison sentence as many felt it was important to respect the social hierarchy.
Munich/Beer Hall Putsch: November 1923, Hitler and the Nazi’s attempted to take control of Munich by force. This revolt failed as
neither the Bavarian army nor the von Kahr, right-wing of Bavaria were prepared
to support it.
Who were the spartacists? What were their aims?
Led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, were
revolutionaries. They believed in Marxism and wanted to stage a revolution like
the one seen in Russia in 1918. Through their newspaper, The Red Flag, they
urged a counter revolution in Germany to overthrow the Ebert government. Just
as the second revolution in Russia saw the communists victorious, they hoped a
second revolution in Germany would have the same result.
How did the Treaty of Versailles undermine the
As the previous government promised a victory in WWI,
Germans felt betrayed and shocked at their defeat. This resulted in the ToV While
the government had no choice but to accept the harsh terms of the treaty, it
outraged German citizens. They coined a name for it – “diktat”, meaning
dictated peace, and accused the Weimer government of “stabbing them in the
back”. The people of Germany began to look elsewhere for better politicians to
rule Germany other than the Social Democrats.
Who were the ‘November criminals’?
the German government didn’t want to claim responsibility for the war - they
had promised a victory - they placed the blame on specific minorities of German
society. These included; Jews, pacifists and socialists who were against the
war and had therefore cause Germany’s defeat and were solely responsible for
What were the ‘freikorps’ and what were their
The Free Corps. Volunteered Military units formed in 1918
and were mainly made up of ex-soldiers. They independently found themselves
into their own military groups under former officers. They were opposed to the
extremists of the left and were used to crush the Spartacist uprising in 1919.
Ebert constantly used their services to “put down” revolts and revolutionary
acts as seen with the Spartacists and Bavarian uprising. Making use of the
freikorps made Ebert look weak as they could turn on him at any moment and thus
politically unreliable. Together, the freikorps saw the extreme left as an
immediate danger and would do anything to stop them from taking power, thus
their agreement to assist the Ebert government.
Who were the Reichswehr? What was the Ebert
The Reichwehr were the German army during the rule of the
Weimer Republic. General Groener, Ludendorff’s successor, feared the extreme
left as well as the disintegration of military discipline and thus, said that
the army was prepared and ‘at Ebert’s disposal’ in return for Ebert maintaining
order in the army.
Its implications were that the army, despite having little sympathy for the new
republic, were prepared to support them, a moderate left wing government
against elements that threatened republicanism.
It also had the long term effect of allowing the German army to retain its
influence and become a key political force within the new republic.
Who was General Hans von Seeckt? In what ways
did he try to preserve the German army following the end of the war and the
imposition of the Treaty of Versailles?
General Hans von Seekt was the commander of the German army
from 1920 to 1926. He, like many others had little faith in the republic and
believed that the army’s loyalty was to the nation. He was determined of
preserve the army’s position, but knew that for this to happen the army had to
work with the new government. They supported the Policy of Fulfilment and by
the late 1920s, the army had a significantly increased influence within
government, especially when Field Marshal, Paul von Hindenburg became the
president of Germany in 1925. He also wanted to overcome the restrictions the
Treaty of Versailles imposed on the German army. He did this by:
The restrictions of the number of German officers was
overcome by giving many officers civilian titles and placing them within
Soldiers maintained their role by joining the police force.
Used reduced size to his advantage: he made recruitment for
the army more rigorous and selective, trying to create an army of leaders. They
were also trained for ranks above him, so they would be ready when the time
What was the Kapp putsch? What did the Reichwehr
do to protect the Weimar government at this time? How was the Kapp putsch
In 1920 the extreme right-wing elements, who had never
supported the new government, tried to overthrow the elected government, and
came to be known as the Kapp putsch. Its immediate cause was the government’s
attempt to carry out the military clauses of the ToV, of which caused deep
resentment. A part of this was to reduce the size of Freikorps, which had
helped put down the Spartacists in 1919, so when the government ordered their
dissolution, General von Luttwitz refused to obey. He organised a march on the
city of Berlin, with the other right winged officers and civilians. Around
12000 men marched.
Since the army was a right winged organisation, it did not resist against it.
They were successful for only a few days due to the defiance of the working
class. There was a general strike, which was very effective and paralysed the
city, as a show of support for the legal government.
The right wingers left the city and the legal government returned.
It was significant because:
It was the first attempt by the radical right to cease
It exposed weakness of the government whose president and
elected leaders were forced to leave the capital.
It showed the growing power of the German army: the army was
becoming a state within a state, able and prepared to follow its own policies
regardless of the elected government.
When was the reparations settlement announced?
What sum did Germany have to pay to the victorious allies?
It was decided in 1921 that Germany was to pay 132 million
gold marks as reparations for the war. It was to be paid annually in cash or
resources such as coal and iron ore. It caused political crises and saw the
fall of the government as a consequence. A coalition government was quickly
formed with the Socialists, German Democratic Party, and the Centre Party.
Between which two nations was the Treaty of
Rapallo made? When it signed and what were its provisions? In particular what
did the Reichwehr gain from the treaty?
The Treaty of Rapallo was made in 1922 between Germany and
Russia. “Germany re-establishing relations with its old foe”. It included the
setting up of a military cooperation with the soviet union and negotiation of
military training facilities on Soviet soil for German officers and men. Pilots
were trained for the new German air force at gliding and aviation clubs within
Germany and at Lipetsk, an airbase north of Moscow. The Reichwehr essentially
What was the Ruhr crisis?
French invasion of the Ruhr: In January 1923, French and Belgian troops marched into and
occupied Germany’s industrial Ruhr region as a result of Germany’s
non-compliance with the terms of the treaty of Versailles. The Ruhr occupation
would last more than two and a half years. But some evidence also suggests the
Poincare government had been plotting to occupy the Ruhr since 1919. France had
its own sizeable war debts to meet and were beginning to feel short-changed by
the terms of Versailles. And there was much to be gained by occupying the Ruhr,
which housed three quarters of Germany’s steel and coal production.
The Ruhr occupation was achieved swiftly. Once French and
Belgian troops had crossed the border, they sealed off the Ruhr from the rest
of Germany and began marching 150,000 civilians and non-essential workers out
of the area. German industrial workers remained in the Ruhr and in some cases
were prevented from leaving. By July, the French had set up an exclusion zone,
restricting traffic in and out of the Ruhr. Across Germany there were
press reports, most of them exaggerated if not entirely fictional, of French
soldiers executing or beating German workers and civilians in the
Ruhr. The occupiers also began confiscating raw materials and manufactured
goods, which were loaded onto railway carts to be shipped back to France and
Belgium – payment in kind for the missed reparations instalments.
What was the beer hall putsch?
Beer-Hall Putsch: A right winged party in Bavaria, led by
Adolf Hitler (Nazis) took opportunity amid political unrest in 1923 (threat of
separatism) to try and sieze control of the Bavarian government. This was on 8
November 1923, becoming to be known as the Beer Hall Putsch. It was their first
step in taking Berlin. It failed due to a lack of support. The Bavarian army
and von Kahr, the right wing prime minister of Bavaria did not support them.
During the march in Munich, gunfire halted the Nazis, killing sixteen of them
and arresting Hitler.
Who was Gustav Stresemann and what contribution
did he make to the solution of the crises in 1923? What was the policy of
One of the few outstanding politicians of the Weimar
Republic. He supported the monarchy, but after the republic was proclaimed he
accepted this new political situation and became one if its true champions.
When the National Liberal party split into German Democratic Party and the
National People’s Party, he formed his own, the German People’s Party, conservative
group. He ended the policy of passive resistance The Stresemann government
were given special emergency powers to deal with the problems facing the
country, with the help of the Reichstag. This was the Enabling Act, legal
under Section 76 of the constitution. Two days later, the government tackled
the problem of hyperinflation. They introduced a new currency, the Rentenmark.
It was soon replaced by the German Mark in 1924. The government also carried
out long overdue economic reforms. The budget was balanced, the government
expenditure was cut, particularly after the ending of passive resistance, ad
new taxes were introduced.
The policy of fulfilment was the name given to the policy of
the Weimar government of the early 1920s to meet or fulfil the terms of the
treaty of Versailles imposed on Germany by the Allies.
What was the Dawes plan and what benefits did it bring to Germany?
The Dawes plan was announced in April 1924, and Germany
started paying reparations starting with 1000 million marks in 1925, and 2500
million marks by the next five years. This plan was introduced by a committee
led by American banker Charles Dawes to adjust Germany's reparations payments
to Germany's capacity to pay. This significantly stabilized its economy.
Who signed the Treaty of Locarno in 1925? What
were the provisions of the Treaty and how did it changes Germany’s status in
the international community.
The Treaty was between Germany, France, Belgium, Italy and
Britain in October 1925. The treaty renounced the borders between Belgium and
Germany, France and Germany. It marked a change in European relations as for
the first time Germany had been treated like and equal. The French and Germans
felt secure, as neither countries would occupy each other again.
What was the Young Plan?
Stresemann introduced the Young plan in 1929. It followed
the early work of the Dawes Plan and set out to revise the issue of reparation.
Through this plan, the costs were reduced from 132000 million marks to 37000