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How was the Weimar Republic able to survive its early political and economic crises in...

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted July 18, 2013 at 6:24 PM via web

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How was the Weimar Republic able to survive its early political and economic crises in 1919-1929?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 19, 2013 at 11:08 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that there are a couple of reasons that Weimar Germany experienced a small "golden age" that allowed it to survive its early instability.  One reason that Weimar Germany found some level of stability in the mid 1920s was due to American intervention.  The Dawes Plan was extremely important towards facilitating the limited economic stability of the Weimar Republic.  The weight of World War I reparations that had been imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles was taking its toll on Weimar Germany.  Since other European nations were also experiencing financial insecurity, there was a greater intensity and pressure upon Germany to pay reparations to these nations for their own financial solvency. Leaders in America like Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes recognized that Germany was not going to be able to survive without some level of American intervention.  The answer was the Dawes Plan, which called for American assistance to Germany in its repayment of loans and establishing financial security.  The Dawes Plan called for money to be lent to Germany and assisted with repayment on a sliding scale.  The financial assistance went very far in allowing Germany to work with its European nations who were rigid in demanding payment of reparations.  The stability of the Dawes Plan allowed a relatively tranquil currency in Germany to emerge and allowed for Germany to keep up with its reparation payments while ensuring that some level of financial support was present for its citizens.

The survival of this economic crisis helped Weimar Germany to endure the political threats that besieged it early on in its tenure.  Threats from the ultra left and ultra right were calmed when financial security, albeit in a limited form, was present in the mid- 1920s.  This period of time was referred to as a "Golden Age" for Weimar Germany.  As citizens' economic realities were seemingly more secure, their faith in the government began to increase and the reduction of support of extremist groups decreased.  It was through this stability that the Weimar Republic was able to survive its early political threats through economic stability.  However, this survival was short lived as Weimar could not sustain itself through the challenging 1930s and the rise of the Nazis.

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