The Weimar Republic 1919-1933
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The Weimar Republic1919-1933By the end of this lesson I will be able to describe conditions in Germany at the end of WW1I will be able to describe the Weimar ConstitutionI will be able to explain the strengths and weaknesses of the Weimar Republic.I will be able assess the why Germany was difficult to govern.
Key termsReichstagPresidentChancellorCommunismFreikorpsWeimar RepublicWeimar ConstitutionDemocracyProportional representation (P.R.)Article 48SparticistsMake sure you know what all these mean!!!
The Second ReichKaiser Wilhelm II had led Germany into WW1.The Kaiser was forced to surrender and abdicate.An armistice was signed on 11th Nov 1918 ending the war.When Germany surrendered many German soldiers were still in enemy territory.The Kaiser died in exile in 1941.
Why did Germany surrender?There was revolution in Germany in Nov 1918.The war had brought terrible hardships to the German people. The British navy had blockaded the German coastline throughout the war which had led to serious food shortages.The Spanish flu epidemic killed many Germans.Sailors mutinied in the port of Kiel refusing to fight the British.The Kaiser was blamed for leading Germany into war and people demanded his abdication.He abdicated on 9th nov 1918.A new republic was formed with Ebert as leader.The new republic agreed to the armistice on 11th Nov 1918.
What is the stabbed in the back theory?The army felt bitter and betrayed by the new Weimar government who had signed the armistice.Was this fair?Can you work out what problems this may cause?
The Weimar Republic1919Who will lead Germany now?Ebert was the leader of the main party (the Social Democrats) in the Reichstag.He was asked to lead Germany until elections could take place.Friedrich Ebert
The Weimar RepublicGermany was made up of 18 states each with its own parliament, police and laws.In Jan 1919 elections took place for a new central parliament.The new parliament met in the town of Weimar because of a communist uprising in Berlin.Ebert was elected as President.A new democratic constitution was created for Germany
The Weimar ConstitutionThe PresidentElected every 7 years. Appoints Chancellor. Can use ARTICLE 48 which meant that in an emergency the President could make laws without asking the Reichstag. (German parliament.)The ChancellorAppointed by the President. Needs support of the majority of the Reichstag.The ReichstagSame as our House of Commons. Power to pass or reject changes to the law. Elected by proportional representation every 4 years.The electorate (German voters)All adults over the age of 20 can vote for President and Reichstag. All have equal rights.Note:This makesGermany one of the most democratic countries in the world at the time.BUTGermany had no history of democracy.Can you work out what the strengths and weaknesses of the constitution are going to be?
Complete the questions on worksheet.Complete the table.Read the sheets about opposition to the W.R and answer questions 1-5.
Extension:Why is Germany going to be difficult to govern in the years after 1919?
Why was Britain so afraid of Communism?In 1917 there had been a Communist revolution in Russia and the Russian Royal family had been murdered.There was a fear that if Germany was not made stable communists could take power there.If that happened could it spread to Britain?
Opposition to the Republic - RevoltsKarl LiebknechtRosa LuxemburgThe Spartacists, led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, were a group of Communists opposed to the new democratic Weimar Republic. The Spartacist Revolt: Jan 1919 Left wing revolthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idZuVcTTGuU&feature=related
Results of The Spartacists RevoltLuxemburg and Liebknecht were shot by the Freikorps.The uprising highlighted the instability of the W.R.The new republic was now dependent on the support of the army.The Communists now had good reason to hate the government and the Freikorps.
Opposition to the Republic Revolts 2) The Kapp Putsch 1920
Results of the Kapp PutschThe support of the army could not be taken for granted.
There was not universal support for the Weimar Government.
The Government had limited means of dealing with uprisings of this nature. Politicians were not necessarily safe in Berlin.
But it did show that the W.R had the support from the workers of Berlin.
Homework questionThe boxes below show two events.Choose one and explain its importance inchallenging the government of the Weimar Republic (9 marks)The Spartacist Revolt 1919The Kapp Putsch 1920
summaryAt the end of WW1 Germany was in chaos.The army were bitter and angry about Germanys surrender.A new democratic government the Weimar Republic was formed with Ebert as its leader.Germany had no tradition of democracy, many groups did not trust it and wanted to return to the old days of the Kaiser.The new W.R faced opposition from the beginning from both left and right wing groups.
The Treaty of VersaillesBlameReparationsArmyTerritory
What did Germans call the government who signed the Treaty?
Ticket to leaveToday I have understood
But I am not sure about ..