Political Opposition to the Weimar Republic from the Left Essay

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Political Threats to the Weimar Republic

The Left: After the ‘German revolution’ of 1918-19 the left-wing movement remained in a state of confusion:

    • The moderate socialists of the SPD were committed to parliamentary democracy

    • The KPD pressed for a workers’ revolution

    • The USPD stood for the creation of a socialist society within a democratic framework

    • In 1920 the USPD disbanded and its members joined either the KPD or SPD

    • The KPD wanted a revolution along Marxist lines

        o Creation of 1 party communist state

        o Major restructuring of Germany socially and economically

        o Completely rejected Weimar system

        o 1919-23 enjoyed support of 10-15% of electorate and there were continuous strikes and uprisings

        o Right-wing propaganda against them exaggerated fears of revolution

        o They posed much less threat than was feared at the time

              ▪ Badly coordinated

              ▪ Poor leadership

              ▪ Concessions split it

              ▪ Repressed by authorities with considerable brutality

The Extreme Right:   it was very different both in its form and extent to the opposition from the extreme left.

    • Anti-democracy

    • Anti-Marxism

    • Authoritarian, although in the early 1920s there was no consensus over what kind of government would ideally be established

    • Nationalism, stab in the back myth

    • DNVP

        o German National People’s Party

        o Coalition of nationalist old conservative parties inc. Fatherland Party and Pan-German League

        o Extremist and racist elements

        o Still the party of landowners and industrialists but had broad appeal amongst some of the middle classes

        o 15.1% in 1920 election

    • Volkisch parties (racist nationalism)

        o About 70 relatively small splinter parties

        o Bavaria was a particular haven for...

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