Alex Whitcomb
Period 8
Year 1

Years of Stability

Strengths of the German Economy

· Increased Production (1)
· Foreign investment
· Increased exports (2)
· Wage rises (3)
· Social Welfare

Weaknesses in the German Economy

· Economic growth was uneven (in 1926 production declined)
· Unemployment never fell below 1.3 million
· Grain production was still only ¾ of its 1913 figure
· The farmers, who were for the most part in debt, faced falling incomes. (4)
· Germany relied on exports but those were hindered by tariffs
Stresemann’s Career

· 1914- supported the Kaiser’s Weltpolitik and Siegfriede
· After Kapp Putsch failed and Erzberger and Rathenau were murdered, Stresemann led his party into adopting a more sympathetic approach towards the Weimar Republic

Stresemann’s Aims

· Regarded Franco-German friendship as essential to solving outstanding problems
· To play on Germany’s vital importance to world trade in order to earn the goodwill and co-operation of Britain and the USA
· To free Germany from the limitations of Versailles and to restore his country to the status of a great power, the equal of Britain and France
· To maintain the Rapallo-based friendship with the USSR
· To encourage co-operation and peace, particularly with the western powers (5)

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Dawes Plan

· 1st time since WWI, Germany’s economic problems received international recognition (strength)
· Germany gained credit for the cash-starved German economy (strength)
· Resulted in a French promise to evacuate the Ruhr during 1925 (strength)
· The whole system was dangerously dependent on the continuation of American loans (weakness)

Significance of the Locarno treaties

· To make sure Anglo-French friendship would not lead to a military alliance
· Represented an important diplomatic development
· Germany was freed from its isolation by the Allies and was again treated as an equal partner.

Stresemann and Agreements with USSR and the West (how?)

· Treaty of Berlin in April 1926 (6)

Were the years 1924-1929 deceptively stable?

· They seemed to be stable because it marked the high point of the Weimar Republic
· Also because it was a real increase in prosperity, the cultural vitality of the period, gave support to the view that these years were indeed the “golden years”
· Deceptive- because recovery was built on unstable foundations
· Also because problems persisted in the economy and they were temporarily hidden only by an increasing reliance on credit from abroad

(1) Heavy industry was able to recover reasonably quickly, and by 1928, production levels reached those of 1913
(2) Between 1925 and 1929, German exports rose by 40%
(3) Hourly wage rates rose every year from 1924 to 1930 and by as much as 5-10% in 1927 and 1928
(4) By the late 1920s, income per head in agriculture was 44% below the national average
(5) This was in the best interests of Germany to make it the leading power in Europe once again
(6) The treaty reduced strategic fears on Germany’s eastern front and placed even more pressure on Poland to give way to German demands for frontier changes. Also opened up the possibility of a large commercial market and increased military co-operation