1923 proved to be a very troubled year for the Republic, a year in which troubles in Germany and foreign pressure combined to being about a major crisis. The reactions of political parties and the Army to the crisis showed how insecure the Republic’s foundations were. The crisis was weathered and brought to the fore the man who was to be Weimar’s leading statesmen - Gustav Stressemann. Events included Adolf Hitler’s first bid for power.
Notes should be made on the following aspects:
During the years 1924 to 1929, the Weimar Republic seemed to flourish. Living standards rose, industrial production increased, exports grew. These developments took place amid a background of international negotiations that helped to stabilise the German economy and seemed to have sorted out the question of reparations agreements.
In foreign affairs too, Germany moved back into a world of better relations with the countries that had so recently been her enemies. French troops left the Ruhr and Allied troops began to leave the Rhineland. Germany’s changed status was marked by her entry into the League of Nations.
Yet all was not entirely well. Foreign money poured into Germany, attracted by high interest rates, and might just as easily leave. Extremist political parties on left and right continued to denounce the Republic and its policies. Those who accepted the Weimar political system were fragmented in different political parties and did not find it easy to co-operate with one another. The Army continued to fail to offer enthusiastic backing for the Weimar Republic.
The concepts of ideology and authority pervade this part of the course as people with differing political beliefs clashed and the government continued to struggle to assert really effective and generally accepted authority.
Issues to consider / investigate / discuss
How soundly-based was Germany’s economic recovery of 1924-1929?
How ready were Germans at this time to now accept the territorial arrangement made in the Versailles Treaty?
How secure and stable was the Weimar political system?