Weimar Germany

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					Germany Introduction



         By
         S. Angelo
         Head Teacher History
         East Hills Girls Technology High School
German History: Problems

   Much of German History is clouded by the results of
    World War II and Nazism
   Much of the progressive and humane aspects of
    German social and political spheres have been
    overshadowed by the military and more extreme
    forces
   Historians have often tried to explain the
    development of Nazism by linking it to a concept of
    “German” or as part of a national characteristic that
    developed as a result of historical circumstances
            The German Nation

   Germany as a state did not exist until 1871
   Germany described a locality where people
    spoke German rather than a nation of people
   In 1789, just before the French Revolution,
    this locality consisted of about 300 different
    “states” mostly rules by kings
   The most powerful were Prussia and Austria
    Effects of the Napoleonic Wars

   The ideas of liberalism spread by Napoleon’s
    armies throughout Europe
   Liberalism = freeing up of economic life
   In 1813 Austria and Prussia fought against
    Napoleon and won in 1815
   This, however, only resulted in an attempt to
    restore the pre revolutionary status quo
             Congress of Vienna

   Von Metternich – Austrian Chancellor dominated the
    congress – he was a conservative (believed in
    traditional values)
   This resulted in a return to the previous divisions of
    Germany monarchies but in a simplified form
   This resulted in a reduction to only 38 states
   He also ensured that Austria continued to dominate
    German affairs and formed a Germanic
    Confederation
        Germanic Confederation

   This was a loose federal body joining the
    governments of the German speaking states
   Through this, von Metternich & other
    conservatives hoped to reinstate/restore
    traditional institutions (Church, monarchy,
    nobility, landowners)
   Forces of order joined to attempt to prevent
    change – especially from the proletariat
The Unification of Germany 1

   1815 – 1848 often referred to as the “Age of
    Metternich”
   This was a period of struggle between the
    reactionary policies of Metternich and the
    forces of change
   These forces – referred to as liberals –
    activated for political and economic reform
             Aims of Liberalism

   Parliamentary government\
   Limitations on monarchs’ powers
   Civil liberties
   Free economy
   Rapid industrialisation
   Economic growth
   Demolish aristocratic privilege
   National unity
The Unification of Germany 2

   Revolution of 1848
    –   After a series of poor harvests and a downturn of the
        economy the situation that was ripe for change
    –   The news of a successful revolution in Paris led to rioting in
        Austria and Prussia
    –   Prussia was forced to appoint a liberal government
    –   Other states followed
    –   Late in 1848 the liberal governments were dismissed and
        conservatives ones appointed
    –   This led to a decade of conservative rule
               Otto von Bismarck

   1864 – 1871
   Bismarck used Prussian military and
    economic power to defeat neighbouring
    countries
   Set up a conservative German Empire
   This was the Second Reich
    –   Created with “Blood and Iron”
   Parliament elected by universal suffrage
         Second Reich 1871 - 1918

   Build up of navy and army to dominate
    Europe and assert itself
   Strong aggressive ideas predominate
    –   Militarism
    –   Anti-semitism
    –   Social Darwinism
                            Structure of 2nd Reich

                                                            KAISER
                                                       Hereditary Monarch
                                                         King of Prussia
                                                      Appointed/dismissed
                                                            government
                                                   Could dissolve the Reichstag
                                                   Controlled foreign policy and
                                                           armed forces




                                                      GOVERNMENT                     ELECTORATE
                                                                                                              REICHSRAT
                                                    Chancellor/other ministers     Men over 25 voted in
    REICHSTAG               POLITICAL PARTIES                                                                 Assembly of
  Deputies elected by           Conservatives         Appointed/dismissed          Reichstag elections
                                                            by Kaiser                                      Ambassadors from
 universal male suffrage      National Liberals                                    Voted for local state
                                                     Proposed new laws to                                    26 state gov’ts
 Could agree to or reject       Progressives                                           Assemblies
Laws proposed by Kaiser        SPD – socialists            Reichstag                                          Had veto on
                                                    Not dependent on support       Written constitution
     or government            Centre (Catholics)                                                           Legislation passed
                                                      In New Reichstag to          But no statement of
                                                                                                             By Reichstag
                                                          stay in office             Individual rights
              Weimar Republic

   Increasingly threatened by liberal and
    socialist movements in Germany
   Popular revolution led to creation of Weimar
    in 1919
   Democratic
   Opposed military traditions
   Failed to gain support and collapsed in 1933
End of Presentation

				
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