Hyperinflation and the Weimar Republic

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Why did the Weimar Republic suffer a major inflationary crisis in 1923? The catalyst for hyperinflation in Germany was the French and Belgian invasion of the Ruhr. 60,000 troops seized control of industries across the region to take what they were owed from the unpaid reparations. This in itself was a blow to the Germans, as they were no longer making money from their main industrial regions in Germany; this sparked the inflation, which rapidly increased to hyperinflation. However, what made this situation even worse was the fact that the Government told the workers to go on a general strike. As the Government had sanctioned the strike, they were therefore held responsible for paying the workers’ lost wages by going on strike. The Government now was losing all the money generated from the industry in the Ruhr and was having to pay out to the striking workers. There was little else the Government could have done, but if they had not publicly told the workers to do it, it is possible that the workers would have gone on strike anyway as they would not want to work to give all their produce to the French. This way, the Government would not have to pay out compensation to the strikers. This was probably the most important factor in causing the hyperinflation crisis. There were two options open to Weimar after the war, to curtail spending and increase taxes, or to go the route that they took, which led to the inflation. It is possible that the Weimar Government preferred the inflation route as it appeared to confirm what they had been saying to the Allies – that there economy was unstable, and therefore they were unable to pay the reparations. With the benefit of hindsight, this seems even more likely as when Stresemann came into power, he managed to sort out the hyperinflation problem extremely quickly and therefore, the Weimar Government could have done the same. The
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