· Germany Loses WWI
o Slow offensive movement
o Allies were stronger than expected
o Insufficient military/industrial strengths
o Failure of the final offensive

·
Erich Ludendorff (conservative)
o Creates constitutional monarchy with Kaiser at head
§ Wanted to mirror Allied government in event of a loss in order to gain sympathy with Allies
§ Did not want Bolshevik takeover
§ Wanted to elect liberals so he could blame them for the loss

Stab in the back myth
Placed responsibility for the loss of WWI and harsh settlements on the new leadership of Weimar Germany even though they were not in charge during the war’s end. This rumor was popular among right wingers


· Constitutional Reforms (October Reforms)
o October 3, 1918 Prince Max of Baden –moderate conservative, takes over and makes changes
o Kaiser Gives military power to Reichstag
o Chancellor answers to Reichstag- not Kaiser
o Opened negotiations with Allies

·
German Revolution
o October/November, 1918 Mutiny of German Navy
o Establishment of hundreds of Sailors, Soldiers and workers councils; much like soviets, set up by the Bolsheviks in Russia
o Near anarchy in military and many factories

·
October/November 1918 Why?
o Military realizes there is no point in fighting
o National shock and anger over losing the war. German propaganda had told the populace that they had been winning.
o Anger over socio-economic conditions

·
Reaction to Anger
o Prince Max declares end to monarchy
o Coalition government with Friedrich Ebert at its head was formed of the leftist party. They declared a constitutional democratic republic
o November 9, 1918- Kaiser flees to Holland

·
Late 1918-1919
o Left wing parties jockey for position in new provisional government
o Right wing spreads rumors/refuses to cooperate with reforms
o Bolsheviks attempt to overthrow government and seize control of the state

· Spartacist Revolt (Bolsheviks)
o January 1919- Bolsheviks attempt to launch full scale coup over government
o Constitutional convention moves from Berlin to Weimar
o Friekorps put down coup
o Bolshevik state existed for a few weeks in Bavaria

·
Elections 1919
o 83% turnout (that’s pretty good)
o 76% vote for democracy (that’s pretty good too)
o 3 main stream parties hold wide majority

·
Problems
o Key figures still oppose new system
o Civil service/military/judges left unchanged
o Industrial commercial leaders left unchanged

o Land ownership/big business –left alone/laws kept