The Seeds of Evil: The Rise of Hitler

The Seeds of Evil: Germany 1919 - 1933.

The Political Impact of the Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty triggered a number of political reactions. Firstly the government of the day resigned, having refused to sign it. The incoming government had no choice but to sign the Treaty but was accused by some, General Ludendorff for example, of stabbing the Germany people in the back. This Theory grew in popularity as the economy suffered and many, former soldiers in particular, believed that the politicians had lost the war rather than the army. (For some it was hard to accept that they could have lost the war whilst troops were still stationed in France, having not lost the ground that they had taken in 1914.) This, amongst other things, led to a growth in the number of people who distrusted the Weimar Republic and were unwilling to support it. This manifests itself in uprisings such as the Kapp Putsch and the Munich Putsch, though there are other factors which led to these uprisings.

The Treaty also called for the trial of the former Kaiser. This never happened as the Dutch government refused to hand him over, but this effectively stopped any chance of a restoration of the monarchy in Germany. In Western Europe the Treaty signaled the beginning of a period of isolation for Germany. She became an outcast in international politics and was feared and distrusted by the Allies. This had a significant impact on the role that Germany would, and potentially could, play in European and World affairs in the early post war climate. However, whilst it is evident that Germany became politically isolated in the West, some historians would point out that their isolation has been exaggerated by Westerners. The Treaty of Rapello for example shows that there was scope for Germany to develop relations in the east, in this case with the Soviet Union, and, they would point out, the newly formed nations were in need of economic partners - with Germany being a likely dominant partner in that sphere.

The Second Reich
The Founding of the Weimar Republic
The Impact of War
The Treaty of Versailles
Germany 1919 - 1923
Germany - Economic Recovery
The Early days of the Nazi Party 1919 - 1924
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Text © Schoolshistory.org.uk

Unit last updated 4th June 2004

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