The period 1924-29 in Germany can be seen as a recovery and stability within the economy as it recovered remarkably quickly from hyperinflation, also it had become more politically stabled as there were no further political uprisings. Furthermore, socially Germany was progressing; especially culturally due to its abstract arts movements, the night clubs etc. However, to a certain extend Germany wasn’t fully a Golden age because of the new culture creating political splits. Economically Germany was too reliant on America for loans since they were only short-term loans.
Also, socially it wasn’t a Golden age in some ways for the social welfare. Overall, between 1924-29 in Germany it was slightly seen as a Golden Age because even though there were some improvements made economically, politically and socially it was still not fully stable. Economically, inflation was cured in 1924 and never was to return. Stresemann and Schacht introduced a temporary currency called the ‘Rentenmark’ which was based on a mortgage of Germany’s entire industrial and agricultural resources.
This shows that it brought up the confidence of the German people as hyperinflation was one of the main problems in 1923, therefore getting rid of it and making it was a huge success. The German economy was able to recover quickly; the national income was 12% higher in 1928 that it had been in 1913. The production levels rose rapidly in 1928 which resulted in an increase of German exports by 40%. From 1924, Germany was allowed access to an allied bank, the United States.
The Dawes Plan reduced the burden of reparations, this shows that it allowed Germany to attract more foreign credit, this also allowed Germany to invest more money in the industry which led to spectacular growth rates. Overall, the economy was shaping and rising up making the stability of the government stable because the flood of loans from USA helped Germany massively to pay for the reparations, also as the economy progressed massively it resulted to social stability for the German people which suggests that between 1924-28 it was a golden age for the economy.
Arguably, even though the reparations were reorganised, they still cause a great national resentment as the Germans thought they were being unfairly treated as soon as the treaty of Versailles was brought out (hence the ‘passive resistance’ and refusal of paying the reparations in the Ruhr when French and Belgians invaded) and with national means a government disturbance. The German economy was reliant and heavily dependent on the short-term American loans and came when the Dawes Plan was implemented in 1924.
The loans were used for investment into the industry and the welfare state and were seen as attractive alternatives to high domestic tax. But these short-term loans were often used to finance long terms capital projects with assumption that it would be easy to renew them as payments fell. This shows that Germany being heavily reliant on the American loans was dangerous because in the sense that if America ever got into trouble (which it did in 1929 due to the Wall Street Crash), when America falls so would Germany.
Even though the production levels were increasing Germany was still lagging behind from all the other countries which made the nation feel that they were not progressing and blaming it on the republic. Also, unemployment remained around 1 million because of the sacking of workers to try and get the economy in control as with less workers it meant less money to give to them for their work. This suggests that it had a drastic effect on the unemployed because without a job there was no way of supporting their family as there was no financial security.
These unemployed, struggling people would then vote for a party who said they would get everybody a job hence for the voting’s for the NSDAP went against the republic. This caused instability within the government as more anti – Weimar parties were slowly being voted in which cause unrest in the government resulting instability. Overall, this goes against the idea the between 1924-28 was a Golden Age in Germany because Germany was too heavily reliant on the American loans without thinking the consequences it will cause long term.
Between 1924-28 the political system was more stable in comparison to 1923 where there were extremist parties from the left wing and right wing such as, the Spartacist up rise (left), the Kapp Putsch and the Munich Putsch (right) trying to overthrow the government. In 1924-28 there were no attempted coups from the right or left, no major political figures assassinated and most importantly extremists did not gain much support. The elections gave some encouraging signs to supporters of the republic as there was an actual rise in votes.
This shows that most of the German population was in agreement with having a republic government as they saw faith when the economic situation stabilised in 1924, showing that the Germans were able to switch back to voting for the main democratic parties. Moreover, the election of Hindenburg in 1925 was very successful due to the fact that he did nothing unconstitutional and abided by his oath to uphold the constitution just by having a pro-republican head.
This indicates the government was reassuring for the German population, as they did not have to run the risk of going left or right, meaning complete submission and denial of the republic making Germany vulnerable and in danger again. Conclusively, this supports the idea that it was a Golden age in the Weimar republic for the political side because the Germans were starting to have faith on the government when the economic situation was becoming stabled, also there were no extremist up rises to influence peoples’ beliefs on the government.
The Locarno Pact of 1925 settled border disputes between Germany, France, Britain and Belgium. This suggests, Germany was starting to be seen as a world power again; this was due to the worldwide economic recovery meant that there were new markets for Germany’s goods abroad, furthering their economic relations and economy. During 1924-28, Germany’s employment was low, this was extremely good for the face of Germany because other countries recognised its potential. Furthermore, Germany joined the League of Nations to add its support to worldwide harmony.
Ultimately, this also supports the idea that it was a Golden Age in the Weimar Republic because not only did it help build Germany again but also, the relations between Germany and its alliances were the highest they had been since WW1 for example, France removed its forces from the Ruhr. Nonetheless, though politics became more peaceful after 1923, political violence had not completely disappeared in the extremist parties, even though they did not have mass support, it still made an impact on the streets with frequent fights between the Nazis with their SA and the KPD with its Parliamentary Red Fight League.
Because of these fights over 50 people were killed and many more injured. This shows that because of these extremist parties (such as the Nazis) would constantly fight with the government, it caused a sense of tension and blood. Moreover, the electoral decline of the liberals was the decisive event of the Weimar politics because it undetermined the pro-republican centre from within, hence the centre party moving towards the right in the late 1920’s making the government become a centre rivalry.
The likelihood of an increased sense of stability was reduced by the fact there were six Weimar governments in 1924-29, each were short-lived coalitions as most of them did not have a secure majority in the Reichstag. This shows that instability was caused in the country. For instance, in 1928, the SPD government ministers voted with their party against their own government which was proposing funding of a new battleship, showing that the government was a charade.
Conclusively, this goes against the idea that it was a Golden Age in the Weimar Republic because the government was still not politically stabled and did face problems with some extremist parties. Socially, the welfare extended meaning the working class made gains as in November 1918; workers won agreement from employers to an 8-hour working day and a system of industrial tribunals. This shows that it was a massive achievement as before workers had no say on how long they worked for and how much money they would get.
This gave them a voice making them feel like they were finally part of the nation and were not only just the ‘working class’. Also, advances were made in social services, such as improvements in hospitals, electricity supplies etc. A further major advance in the welfare provision was made in 1927 when the social insurance scheme was extended to protect a dozen of workers in event of unemployment. All these advances strengthened the support of amongst the Germans because they felt that the nation was progressing and the Republic was doing a good job in the sense of listening to the people.
The Weimar culture was very significant as it contained artistic forms that were greatly to influence later culture development and reflected new optimism, democratization and challenge to tradition, excitement and modernism on the period. If this experimentation happened at any other time then it would have been worse for the government, so with recovering they could tackle the cultural aspects of Germany, proving its stability.
However, a lot of people in rural areas, extremist parties (like the Nazis), old people and church were against modernism because they saw it as a sign of ‘discipline of once a great nation’, showing that it wasn’t very popular for some as they believed all this was influenced by the American culture. Arguably though, Berlin replaced Paris/London in Europe’s culture capital showing that it was successful and popular as many people would come to visit Berlin to experience this ‘modernism’. On the other hand, social welfare alienated powerful groups in the elite and aroused expectations that could not be met.
Some groups felt that the expectations were exaggerated and the demands on the welfare couldn’t be met, feeling it was wrong to put up the hopes of man people (especially the working class). This shows that it affected the elite’s attitude towards the republic as resulting high taxation and comparative redistribution of resources away from the elite, reinforced its suspicions of the new democratic system. Overall this shows that the elite could not trust the republic as they believed they couldn’t achieve what they set out to do in the start.
Overall, this goes against the idea that it was a Golden Age in the Weimar Republic because the Weimar society was becoming increasingly polarised before the onset of the political and economic crisis in 1929 and reinforced their hostility to the regime, proving Germany was instable and could not manage to make many changes. In conclusion, between 1924-29 in Germany it was slightly seen as a Golden Age because the economic recovery was only successful for the short-term but in the long term it was not successful because it lacked the structural integrity to withstand recession.
Also, Germany was too reliant on the American loans. Politically, the Weimar republic had been hampered by a variety of relatively weak coalition government. Whilst with no doubt there might have been some support for the Republic, there was no real faith for it amongst the German people and this was proven on the election of the traditional president, General Hindenburg in 1925. As for socially it was a much stronger recovery as there was new ways of people enjoying themselves in visual arts and night clubs, although this wasn’t popular with the more traditional German people who believed more in the autocratic form of Germany.
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