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Question 2 Explain why there was opposition in Germany to the Treaty of Versailles.doc

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Question 2 Explain why there was opposition in Germany to the Treaty of Versailles (1919). You mayuse the following in your answer: ● military terms ● territorial terms. You must also use informationof your ownIn 1919 there was much opposition in Germany when the Treaty of Versailles was signed. This took13% of the land away, the Rhineland was turned into a demilitarized zone, Germany also had allcolonies taken from them and any raw materials left in the taken land was claimed by othercountries. This heavily impacted on Germany in a negative way because Germany was left with manydisplace Germans (people who lived in the parts of Germany which were taken away). Having ademilitarized zone right next to France meant that Germany was very vulnerable and unsafe.Another agreement of the treaty was to have material such as coal taken from them, this made itmuch more difficult for Germany to pay reparations as they could not trade resources. Anotheragreement from the Treaty of Versailles that the German people opposed was to cut down theirarmies. This included having to give away their battleship to GB and France, leaving them with 6.Their army could only include 100 000 men, and also Luftwaffe and submarines were banned.German having to give away battleships was humiliating. It meant helping the ‘enemy’ and leftGerman unprotected. Having an army of 100 000 men made keeping peace internally difficult, nevermind defending themselves. This made Germans scare that France would try to attack. Banning allsubmarines and planes was a huge impact on Germany which again made them feel vulnerable andunprotected. This part of the Treaty would significantly lower the German people’s morale becausebefore the war Germany was a strong and powerful country, they were an extremely militaristicsociety, so when they had their army demolished it affected them deeply.The German people opposed the Treaty because they feared paying reparations. In 1921, thereparations were set at £6 600 million. When the Weimar government signed the treaty, they did notknow that the price would be that high. Germany would have to significantly increase taxes fordecades to afford the compensation agreed. People found this difficult because they had nothing leftand had just had their resources taken away from them. This made German people afraid of howthey would afford their future. The Treaty of Versailles stated a ‘War Guilt clause’ which meant thatGerman an all their people had to accept full blame for the war. This made German peopleinternational outcasts. This led to resentment in Germany and made it incredibly difficult to create ademocracy and for the people to accept/agree with the new President (Ebert). This caused manyproblems for German as the country would be full of disagreement causing rioting etc. The Germanpeople saw the Treaty as unfair as German was the 4th country to join the war. Signing the Treaty ofVersailles made the Weimar government look weak and pathetic, again causing loss of morale andfaith.
Explain why the Weimar Constitution was problematic for thegovernment from the outsetMarks: 12 marksStimulus 1 Proportional representationStimulus 2: Article 48The Weimar Constitution was an ambitious attempt to deliver democracy inGermany. In practice though, there were many aspects of the constitutionwhich undermined this attempt at achieving an effective political system.Firstly, the constitution recognised the local and distinct identities ofdifferent parts of Germany. Each of the 18 regions of Germany kept its ownlocal parliament (called a Land), which controlled key services such aspolice, courts and schools. The problem with this though was that suchpower meant that often the local states (that were hostile to nationalgovernment) would disobey and undermine Weimar in other areas ofnational policy, limiting the influence of the government.Another aspect of the constitution was that the Reichstag would be acoalition of different parties created via proportional representation. Everyparty was allocated one representative for every 60,000 votes. However,because there were so many parties from across the political spectrum,finding consensus and developing policy was extremely difficult. At onepoint there were 29 parties in the Weimar government. This was at a timewhere Germany needed efficient and strong government to deal with theeconomic and social upheaval inherited from the war. Compromise onlyserved to create a lack of clear, strong policy. The frequent disagreementsresulting from an overly democratic Reichstag meant that there were ninedifferent elections and coalition governments between 1919 and 1923 asthe parties often found it impossible to work together and find consensus,which impacted the government’s ability to run the country.[Excellent detail in this paragraph helps to illustrate theconsequences of the problematic PR system.]Linked to this, many parties within the Reichstag that actively sought votesdeliberately tried to impede government business. Several parties, such asthe communists on the left and the nationalists on the right, hated theWeimar Republic, the constitution and were opposed to democracybecause it conflicted with their own ideology. This meant they weredeliberately problematic in discussions, votes and the passing oflegislation. Lastly, because of the inefficiency of the constitution, frequentlythe Chancellor and President had to draw on the most anti-democratic
aspect of it in order to pass legislation, which was a reliance on Article 48.

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Term
Spring
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Tags
World War I, Weimar Republic

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