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A fact to ponder: Adolf Hitler came to power legally and democratically.

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Presentation on theme: "A fact to ponder: Adolf Hitler came to power legally and democratically."— Presentation transcript:

1 A fact to ponder: Adolf Hitler came to power legally and democratically

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3  The End of the First World War

4    Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire) defeated by Allied Powers (France, United Kingdom, Russia, US)  Effects on Germany  About 2.5 million dead; many more wounded  Political turmoil  Psychological shock – Germans didn’t expect to lose the war Review: World War I

5   By 1917, tide was turning against Germany  Protests and political changes  Workers launched walkouts and strikes  Leftist political parties began to oppose the war  Mutinies in the armed forces  Challenges to monarchy and Kaiser Wilhelm II Dissent in Germany

6   July 1918: US troops arrive in France  Allied counterattacks push Germany back  October 1918: Germany requests an armistice based on Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points  November 10: Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates  Armistice signed November 11 The End of the War

7   Signed June 28, 1919  Treaty ending World War I with Germany  Germany was not allowed to negotiate – a diktat  Major provisions  Blame – the War Guilt Clause  Reparations – Germany owed money to the Allies  Army – severe limits on Germany’s military  Territory – Germany lost 13% of territory + all colonies The Treaty of Versailles

8 German Territorial Losses after WWI

9  “The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.” The War Guilt Clause

10   June 28, 1919 (included in Treaty of Versailles)  Blamed Germany for WWI  Germans resented this provision The War Guilt Clause

11  You’re halfway through. Here’s a cat!

12  The Weimar Republic

13   November 10, 1918: Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates  debate over future government  January 1919: Germans vote for democratic parties  February 1919: new constitution drafted at Weimar  Reichstag – a parliament elected by the people  President – elected by the people; commander-in-chief of military and able to exercise emergency powers  Chancellor – appointed by the President, approved by the Reichstag; relatively weak Germany’s Democratic Experiment

14   Bitterness and resentment about WWI  Political instability  Economic problems and hyperinflation Three Problems

15   “Stab in the back” theory  Limits on Germany’s army put many soldiers out of work  Freikorps – literally “Free Corps” – formed to crack down on left-wing parties  Many extreme nationalist parties formed, including the National Socialist German Workers’ Party Bitterness and Resentment

16   1920 elections: extremist parties take over 35% of vote  Communists (20%) – support a workers’ revolution  German National People’s Party (15%) – support a monarchy  Proportional representation gives extremist parties a chance to join the Reichstag (more on this later)  Several coups (illegal attempts to take power)  Terrorism by ultra-nationalists against democrats and leftists Political Instability

17   January 1920: reparations fixed at $33 billion  Germany paid in goods as well as cash  January 1923: French and Belgian troops occupy the Ruhr and seize assets  German workers strike, refusing to cooperate Economic Problems

18   Date:  German government begins printing money to help pay reparations  Led to hyperinflation – rapid decrease in the value of money Hyperinflation

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20   Middle-class people lost the value of their savings  Pensions for the elderly became worthless  Allies started demanding payment in goods rather than currency  Money had to be spent immediately after being earned The Impact of Hyperinflation


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