To What Extenct Did The Wiemar Republic Recover Essay
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Weimar democracy, which arose from defeat and which replaced a semi-authoritarian imperialist regime, never had very wide support. Despite opposition from right and left the Weimar Republic survived two years of greater internal peace from the mid- 1920s, when the fundamental political problems were masked, until exposure by the economic and political crises of 1929 Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor in 1933 was arguably the most important event of the twentieth century. Within six years it led to the vast destruction and profound, world-wide changes of the Second World War. It is therefore crucial for historians to explain how so violent, barbaric and destructive a movement came to control an advanced and civilised country. The most direct causes for the collapse of the first German democracy must be sought in the years between the end of the First World War and the establishment of the Third Reich. This period can be divided into three sections: 1918-1924, when the Weimar Republic was set up and survived a series of severe crises; 1924-1929, when the republic was relatively stable and prosperous; and 1929-1933, when renewed instability eventually put an end to democracy with the appointment of Hitler as Reich Chancellor on 30 January 1933.
At this point the situation in Germany was changing radically for the better. Not only had all attempts to overthrow the republic from left or right failed, the introduction of a stable currency began the process of economic recovery. A settlement of the reparations problem, the Dawes Plan, was negotiated in 1924. The French occupation of the Ruhr was ended in 1925 and the Locarno Treaty created a greater sense of security in Europe. Germany's western borders were declared final, while her eastern borders could only be changed by agreement, not force. The German representative in these negotiations was Gustav Stresemann,