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Part A: Currency Reform and the Dawes Plan


During 1923 runaway inflation had caused great harm to many in Germany. This problem was tackled by Stressemann when he became Chancellor in August. The Reichstag gave him full power to try to solve the problem. The reforms that followed worked well. In August 1924 the Reichstag accepted a plan to settle the problem of fixing reparations repayments at a figure acceptable to Germany. These events show how intertwined foreign and domestic policies had come to be in deciding the effectiveness of the Weimar Government’s authority.
Notes will be required on the following aspects:


1.

Currency Reform




This involves considering:




(i)

The use of land and industrial values as a base on which to secure the currency




(ii)

The loan provided for the Reichsbank




(iii)

The creation of the Rentenbank and a new currency




(iv)

Luther as Finance Minister




(v)

The importance of Schacht as Currency Commissioner.




2.

Cutting Costs




This involves considering:




(i)

Cutting expenditure in Government




(ii)

Tax increases




(iii)

Restoration of confidence.




3.

The Dawes Plan




This involves considering:




(i)

The importance of Herriot and MacDonald’s elections to office




(ii)

US pressure to sort out reparations




(iii)

The Dawes Committee




(iv)

The proposed reparation repayment system




(v)

Security for repayment from revenues: a loan from the West




(vi)

German critics of the Plan




(vii)

Its successful passage through the Reichstag.



What do you think ….

Were the key reasons why these economic reforms were successful?


Part B: Social Welfare Provision – and Problems


The recovery of the mid to late 1920s allowed the Weimar Government to improve living conditions for many people in terms of better transport, housing, schools and hospitals. However, the opponents of the Republic continued to be very active whilst its supports failed to combine together in reply. The tensions and differences finally led to the end of what had been a reasonably stable Government over the issue of the provision to be made for the unemployed.
Notes will be required on the following:


1.

Areas of complaint




This involves considering:




(i)

Farmers and their reasons for complaint




(ii)

The complaints of small businessmen, craftsmen etc.




(iii)

The growth of small parties representing them




(iv)

The attitude of Army, Civil Service and University




(v)

The forming of an alliance between far right parties.




2.

Problems of Government




This involves considering:




(i)

The death of Ebert and the election of Hindenburg




(ii)

The dependence of German prosperity on foreign loans




(iii)

Confirmed tensions between pro-Weimar parties




(iv)

The death of Stressemann.




3.

Success and Failure




This involves considering:




(i)

The electoral achievements of moderate parties




(ii)

The setting up of the Reichsbanner




(iii)

The Young Plan to scale down reparations




(iv)

The 1927 reform of social insurance




(v)

Opposition to this and the end of the Müller Government, 1930.



Issue to clarify


Why were pro-Weimar political parties unable to work better together? Was it personalities or policies that separated them?
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