Germany 1924-29

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Information about Germany 1924-29

Published on March 12, 2009

Author: tomgriffith


Germany 1924-29 : Germany 1924-29 Peace, Prosperity and Progress A Troubled Childhood... : A Troubled Childhood... The first five years of German democracy were troubled, to say the least... A Dramatic Turnaround : A Dramatic Turnaround The period from 1924 to 1929 is known as the Stresemann Era. This is because Gustav Stresemann was a dominant figure on the political scene. After the chaos of 1919-23, he oversaw a period of stability and prosperity. These were the ‘Golden Years’ of the Weimar Republic. Main Political Developments : Main Political Developments A large decrease in violent political activity (assassinations and putsches) Stability brought about by well-respected political figures (Hindenburg and Stresemann) Diplomatic gains allowed Germany to re-enter the world arena Democracy flourished Weimar Constitution adhered to Weimar Germany Political Spectrum : Weimar Germany Political Spectrum LEFT RIGHT KPD Communist Party SPD Social Democrats DPP Democratic Party Centre Party DVP German People’s Party DNVP German National People’s Party NSDAP Nazi Party Nationalist, anti-Versailles, militaristic, anti-communist, racist, anti-Weimar, pro-business Internationalist, pro-Weimar (except KPD), pacifist, democratic, non-racist, society-focused Election Results : Election Results 1919: SPD = 38%, DDP = 18%, Centre = 20% Far-left and right-wing parties = c.25% 1920: SPD = 103 seats, DDP = 39, Centre = 64 DVP = 65, DNVP = 71, KPD/USPD = 87 1924: SPD = 100 seats, DDP = 28, Centre = 65 DVP = 45, DNVP = 95, KPD/USPD = 45 1924(2): SPD = 131 seats, DDP = 32, Centre = 69 DVP = 51, DNVP = 103, KPD/USPD = 45 1924: SPD = 153 seats, DDP = 25, Centre = 61 DVP = 45, DNVP = 73, KPD/USPD = 54, Nazis = 12 Political Figures : Political Figures Popular politicians gave Germans more reason to respect the democratic process Paul von Hindenburg (78), hero of World War One, became President in 1925 He was right-wing and a monarchist, but he gave conservative Germans a reason to tolerate the Weimar Republic He used his emergency powers in the 1930s, bringing an end to the Weimar Republic He remained President until his death in 1934 Political Figures 2 : Political Figures 2 Gustav Stresemann was Chancellor in 1923, and Foreign Minister until 1929. He was a rightist, and detested Versailles, but followed legal processes to restore German pride His policy was known as ‘fulfilment’ He made tough economic and diplomatic decisions, which benefitted Germany He was well-respected both at home and abroad Diplomacy : Diplomacy A reduction in reparations payments was achieved by negotiating the Dawes Plan (1924) and Young Plan (1925) This led to French troops leaving the Ruhr in 1925 The Locarno Treaty (1925) guaranteed the borders of Belgium, France and Germany. It confirmed the Versailles Treaty yet guaranteed peace in Europe. Locarno led to Germany being admitted to the League of Nations in 1926. Germany was accepted as an equal player in international politics once more, after seven years as a pariah. Economic Developments : Economic Developments The Dawes/Young Plans allowed Germany to recover economically Reparations were reduced, and Germany was given more time to pay The US loaned Germany money - $800 million Germany lost control of its central bank and railways Hyperinflation was brought under control In 1923, a new, stabilised currency was introduced – the Rentenmark, set at 4.2 RM to the US$ Economic Developments 2 : Economic Developments 2 Thanks to this new stability and inflow of loans, the following occurred: Major increase in foreign trade Confidence in the economy increased Investment increased and allowed industry to be modernised and restructured Farming stagnated, and unemployment was still high at 10% Continued Prosperity? : Continued Prosperity? By 1929, Germany appeared to be in a much better economic state than in 1923 However, this boom was based very much on the injection of US loans Any major economic disruption in the USA would lead to a recall on American loans... a drop in international trade... ...and this would lead to economic collapse in Germany! Social Developments : Social Developments Social developments means anything to do with people – culture, welfare, education, health Germany made big strides in this area in the 1920s Weimar had the most democratic constitution in the world All adults over 21 had the vote Germans only worked 8-hour days In 1924, welfare payments for the unemployed were introduced Stresemann and his successors spent large amounts on health, education and housing Weimar Cultural Life : Weimar Cultural Life 1920s Germany was a hub of European culture Berlin was the avant-garde centre of the world, in dance, art, music, film, theatre, architecture and literature Art and Music : Art and Music Expressionism and Modernism were the prevailing styles The Right saw this new art as decadent (corrupt) and thought moral values were collapsing Artists included Zille, Dix and Grosz Composers included Weill and Orff Theatre and Film : Theatre and Film Cabaret was a popular form of theatre, mixing sex and satire The film ‘Cabaret’ is based on this era in Berlin Berlin rivalled Hollywood as a film centre Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is still considered a masterpiece today, as well as the vampire film Nosferatu Literature : Literature Modernist writers included greats such as Thomas Mann and Herman Hesse Erich Maria Remarque wrote the anti-war classic All Quiet On The Wetsern Front in 1928. Hitler later banned the book Architecture : Architecture Even architecture was renewed by Modernist thinkers Led by Gropius, the Bauhaus style was developed This style emphasised function and used new technology Weimar Doomed : Weimar Doomed By 1929, it seemed that Stresemann and others had succeeded in bringing peace and stability to Germany However, that year, Stresemann died, and, in October, the Wall Street Crash sparked off the Great Depression... ...and one extremist group was waiting in the wings, ready to pounce...

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