Describe the problems the Weimar Republic faced in the early 1920s?
The Weimar republic faced many problems in the early 1920s prior to losing the World War one. Germany was ruled by Kaiser. In 1918 throughout Germany there were violent uprisings against the Kaiser and he was forced to flee to Nederland. This left Germany in need of a new government and this is how the Weimar government was formed.
During the war Germany experienced certain defeat and within days of taking over, the Weimar government had signed a peace treaty ending the war. They had little choice but to sign this as German people were starving and their army retreating. Some Germanys hated their leaders of the new government because they believed they had stabbed the German army in the back. They believed Germany would have come out victorious if the fighting had gone on for a little longer.
They were under the impression that the dead soldiers had been made a mockery and had not been honoured. This was a myth that circulated in Germany and had already caused distrust among the people.
The treaty was harsh on Germany. It was imposed by the allies. Germany was consulted and had no input what so ever. They were only made to sign it. 13% of German land was taken away and given to other countries, including their old enemies such as France. They also lost their overseas colonies.
By taking away someone’s land, you are taking away their power. This is how the German people and the Weimar government felt, powerless. German army was reduced to 100,000 men. They only had 6 battleships and 15,000 sailors. They were not allowed to have air force, tanks or submarines. Compared to other countries, particularly, allies, their army was very little and not enough to defend Germany.
Germany also had to pay war reparations. This left Germany in a very dire financial situation as their economy was already crumbling. Germany was blamed for starting the war.
In 1922, Germany announced that they could not pay war reparations. France could not believe it and in 1923 they invaded the Ruhr, Germany’s main industrial area.
The German people despised their government for not being able to protect the country. The French treated the Germany’s very badly and took supplies from shops.
The government told the workers to work very slowly and not cooperate with the French. This is called passive resistance. The workers then received money from the government. Now that Ruhr was occupied, the Germans were very short of money. Their solution to this caused even more bigger problems.
Hyper inflation was the result of the invasion. In order for the government to keep paying for the workers, they decided to print more money, thus lessening the value of their currency.
This made life in Germany some what chaotic. People who had savings in the banks suffered a lot. The money they once had was not worth as much. These events only added their hatred towards the Weimar government.
Many different political groups did not agree with the way Germany was being run. The extremist parties wanted to get rid of them. There were left wing parties that were communists and believed workers should run the country. And there were right wing parties that believed in one strong leader. Many of these parties wanted to take over Germany. The Weimar government survived because the parties hated each other more than they hated the government. This accidently helped them to stop other parties. Violence and murder became strongly linked to parties.
All these problems did not happen one after another. They snowballed into each other making bigger problems. The Weimar government faced many problems in the early 1920’s and these are just some of them.
By Libin F