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The problems were huge. After all, the country had just lost a major war, without the public having been warned that things were not going well for Germany.

Incredible as it sounds, the British naval blockade remained in force for several months after the signing of the armistice. Many Germans were badly undernourished.

There was much political unrest, for example, the Sparticist Uprising of January 1919 in Berlin; there was a Soviet Republic in Munich. Somewhat later there were attempts by extreme Right-wing elements to stage a Putsch. There were political assassinations, (Rathenau, Erzberger) - and so on. There was inflation. The new government had to sign the Treaty of Versailles (against the better judgment of many politicians).

In January 1923 the French and Belgians claimed that Germany had not pay reparations due and occupied the Ruhr (Germany's main industrial area). The Germans responded with passive resistance - and this triggered hyperinflation. In November 1923 Hitler tried (and failed) to seize power in Bavaria.

Despite all these difficulties, Germany adopted a new Constitution in 1919, the various attempts to overthrow the government by force failed and/or were suppressed. The currency was stablized late in 1923; and for a brief period Germany was able to enjoy the benefits of the "Roaring Twenties". Despite all the problems, the Constitution of 1919 seemed to work and the German Nationalists seemed to be a distraction and an anachronism - a kind of hangover from the days of the Kaiser; the Nazis had only 12 seats out of about 600 in the Reichstag. In 1926 Germany, which had been shunned as pariah state, was admitted to the League of Nations. Noreover, there were two agreements that eased the burden of reparations.

When Gustav Stresemann died at the beginning of October 1929, many of the obituaries listed his impreesive achievements.

However, the reconstruction of Germany had relied heavily on loans repayable in full on demand, especially from the U.S. By the end of 1929 the outlook had suddenly turned very bleak indeed. Government by emergency decrees became commonplace from 1930 onwards. In the end the system of government was paralyzed. In desperation, in January 1933 President Hindenburg asked a grotesque little man with a toothbrush moustache to form a government.

The world has never been the same since.

Brandon Locklear

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โˆ™ 2011-09-13 12:05:27
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Q: What political problems did Germany face after World War 1?
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