At the end of 1923, Stresemann became Chancellor and also served as the foreign minister until his death in 1929. During these years, Germany recovered in economy, national pride and confidence. These years can be perceived as the “Golden Age” of the republic. However, this redemption in Germany may not have been as full as it seems so it is necessary to balance the successes and failures. Initially, during this period Stresemann made some tough decisions but they resulted in a stabilised economy.
To what extent was Stresemann responsible for the increased stability in Germany in 1924-29? The increased stability in Germany during the years of 1924-1929 was due to Gustav Stresemann's policies. I will be reflecting on the reasons that suggest he was responsible for this. Before Stresemann came into power German enconomy was in the air. As the chancellor in 1923 he led Germany out of the hyperinflation crisis and as the foreign minister, he ended Germany's isolation amongst the international community and helped the country to become a magnet for foreign investment.
While it has been argued that an exceptional economic growth caused some problems, the advantages that came with it, outweigh the negatives. Germany’s economic growth was exceptional, industries such as the production of coal and iron doubled in the years up to 1914. By 1900, Germany’s particularly strong steel industry had exceeded that of Britain’s and by the beginning of the first world war, Germany‘s share of trade in the world was equal to Britain’s. Therefore, the power of the elites was not being threatened, as the country was benefitting from the money that the economic growth had brought in, to a high extent. Germany led the way on Europe with the creation of new industries such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electrics and motor manufacture.
The involvement of the German Army and other military groups in Weimar politics served to strengthen the Republic in the early years but later lead to its downfall. In 1918 the Ebert-Groener Pact was signed, ultimately giving the moderate-left side of Weimar politics (also known as the Socialist Democrats Party) the support of the traditionally right army in response to fears the extreme left might take power. This served a dual purpose in that it both maintained the power of the army in German politics and it also strengthened the position of the Weimar Republic in the eyes of the citizens, who still respected the army. Despite the Ebert-Groener Pact, in late 1918 Defence Minister Noske created the Freikorps, a paramilitary force of former soldiers and volunteers, which allowed for these small militant groups to be satisfied with their power – hence strengthening support for the new Reichstag – but later proved to create political instability through the Freikorps’ uncontrolled violence, which ultimately damaged the public perceptions of the Weimar Government. During the late 1920s, the involvement of the Sturm-Abteilung (SA) in the politics of the Nazi Party initially furthered
This meant that they were able to pay off the reparations over a longer period of time. It could also invest in new projects such as housing and roads. Factories were re-equipped and built, also new roads and railways were built, as well as nearly 3 million new homes. The Young Plan of 1929 further reduced reperations payments, which were to be paid over a period of 58 years. This meant that Germany had a long period of time to pay back the reperations, causing less harm to the economy and political stability.
As seen in Document J this jobs did help to greatly lower the percentage of unemployed between 1935 and 1938. Although the work of the WPA did not completely solve the enormous problem it was certainly a move in the right direction, bringing the USA closer to the complete extermination of the unemployment problem, which was finally achieved after the second world war. This New Deal, fueled by organizations such as the WPA, completely revolutionized the role of the federal government. Coxey had advocated for actions similar to the new deal decades before but his ideas were shut down because the government had such close ties with big. However now, in such drastic times, the federal government realized that it needed to help the common people directly through providing more Jobs.
There were many of the comparatively prosperous who also came; to better themselves economically. They had heard of how easy it was to proliferate one's riches in America, and with an archetypal German interest in making the most of circumstances, some of the families embarked to seek a greater fortune in the new world. A second notable reason for the coming of the Germans was the religious persecution of the Lutherans and Protestants. While the Midwest received many liberal-minded Germans, it also acquired many of Germany's most ebullient conservatives. In 1817 King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia decreed a unification of the Lutheran and Reformed churches in Prussia, and his action was accompanied by the rulers of several of the smaller German states.
Through examining these factors this essay intents to argue that popular policies did help the Nazis remain in power to a small extent, however the other factors also were required. The presence of force confirms that Nazi remaining in power did not rely solely on genuine support. On the one hand there is evidence that the Nazis introduced popular social and economic policies which won them support to enable them to stay in power. Most significantly was the drop in unemployment. This dropped from just below 6 million when Hitler came to power to 250,000 in 1938 and had disappeared by 1939.
By 1946, unemployment was reduced to 2.5% and this was in spite of huge post war problems such as shortages of raw materials and massive war debts. One way in which the government kept almost full employment was through nationalisation where the government took control of certain industries such as iron and steel production. Under this managed economy the government could use tax to keep an industry afloat even if it faced economic difficulties. This is a controversial topic as it was unclear how significant nationalisation was in creating jobs. Above all the Marshall plan was created as an initiative to provide massive loans for post war reconstruction and both the unemployment benefit and the massive rebuilding programme helped relieve idleness.
Although the industrial revolution had a huge positive impact on German economy, it also lead to a rise in socialism which meant the emergence of pressure groups, such as the Nationalist pressure groups and the Economic pressure groups. These groups were often focused on single issues, but they highlighted the tensions and divisions in Germany. Foreign minister and Chancellor Von Bulow played a key part in protecting the position of the Second Reich's ruling elite. He focussed on an aggressive foreign policy to