The Weimar Republic faced opposition from the outset in 1919, after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Economic hardship affected the whole nation and led to uprisings and assassinations.
The Weimar Republic was created at a time of confusion and chaos after Germany had lost the First World War. Many people felt that Germany had received a very harsh deal in the [Treaty of Versailles: The peace treaty signed by the Allies and Germany at the end of the First World War, on 28 June 1919. ] and they resented the government for signing it and agreeing to its conditions.
The Weimar Republic faced violent uprisings from various groups, not to mention devastating economic problems.
Germany between 1918 and 1919 was in chaos. People were starving, the Kaiser had fled and people hated the government for signing the armistice in November 1918 - they called them the November criminals. Bands of soldiers called Freikorps refused to disband and formed private armies. It was not a good start for the Republic.
There was continuous violence and unrest:
- In March 1920, there was a rebellion - the Kapp Putsch - that aimed to set up a new government as the rebels were angry at them for signing the Treaty of Versailles.
- Nationalist terror groups assassinated 356 government politicians.
- Many of the people in Germany were [Communists: Supporters of the Communist movement or party. ], who wanted to bring in a Russian-style communist government. There were a number of communist uprisings. For instance, in 1919 the Spartacists rebelled in Berlin.
The Kapp Putsch march in 1920
The Weimar government's main crisis occurred in 1923, when the Germans failed to make a [Reparations: Monetary compensation from one country to another for having started a war. ] payment on time, which set off a train of events that included:
- a French invasion of the Ruhr
- a general strike
- runaway inflation - hyperinflation
- a number of communist rebellions