11 min

Weimar Germany I (Part 2) Weimar Germany

    • History

The lecture provides an overview of Germany’s complex history between military defeat and hyperinflation. It shows how after November 1918, three different visions of transformation competed with each other: democratic reformism, revolutionary socialism and radical nationalism. The former option prevailed, as Social Democrats, Left Liberals and Catholics won the election and agreed on a progressive Republican constitution. However, they had to deal with the consequences of the Versailles treaty, faced significant hostility in both the international and domestic arenas, and inflated the currency to prevent mass unemployment. In the summer and autumn of 1923, when inflation spiraled out of any control, France and Belgium invaded the industrial West, and right-wing as well Communist groups attempted to seize power, Weimar Germany was on the verge of breakdown.

The lecture provides an overview of Germany’s complex history between military defeat and hyperinflation. It shows how after November 1918, three different visions of transformation competed with each other: democratic reformism, revolutionary socialism and radical nationalism. The former option prevailed, as Social Democrats, Left Liberals and Catholics won the election and agreed on a progressive Republican constitution. However, they had to deal with the consequences of the Versailles treaty, faced significant hostility in both the international and domestic arenas, and inflated the currency to prevent mass unemployment. In the summer and autumn of 1923, when inflation spiraled out of any control, France and Belgium invaded the industrial West, and right-wing as well Communist groups attempted to seize power, Weimar Germany was on the verge of breakdown.

11 min

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