By Geoff Layton
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Additional resources for Access to History. Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-63
Key term • Clemenceau, the French representative, was forced to give way over most of his country’s more extreme demands, such as the creation of an independent Rhineland and the annexation of the Saar. • The application of self-determination was not nearly so unfair as many Germans believed: – Alsace-Lorraine would have voted to return to France anyway, as it had been French before 1871. – Plebiscites were held in Schleswig, Silesia and parts of Prussia to decide their future. – Danzig’s status under the League was the result of Woodrow Wilson’s promise to provide ‘Poland with access to the sea’.
As a result, there was uncertainty in constitutional matters from the start. The framers of the constitution struggled to keep a balance of power between the president and the Reichstag. Was the ultimate source of authority in the democratic republic vested in the representative assembly of the people – the Reichstag – or in the popularly elected head of state – the president? Matters were made more difﬁcult by the powers conferred upon the president by Article 48. This Article provided the head of state with the authority to suspend civil rights in an emergency and restore law and order by the issue of presidential decrees.
In the end, the extreme left was just not powerful enough to lead a revolution against the Weimar Republic. 3: Major communist uprisings 1919–23 Date Place Action Response January 1919 Berlin Spartacist uprising to seize power March 1919 Bavaria March 1920 Ruhr March 1921 Merseburg and Halle Summer 1923 Saxony Creation of soviet republic Formation of the Ruhr Army by 50,000 workers to oppose the Kapp putsch (pages 39–41) ‘March Operation’. Uprising of strikes organised by KPD ‘German October’ A wave of strikes and the creation of an SPD/KPD state government Crushed by German army and Freikorps Crushed by the Freikorps Crushed by German Army and Freikorps Put down by police Overthrown by German army Summary diagram: The threat of the extreme left 1919–23 The aims of the KPD Why did it oppose Weimar?
Access to History. Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-63 by Geoff Layton