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How Far Did The Political Changes In Germany Between October 1918 And May 1919 Amount To A Revolution?

1082 words - 5 pages

How far did the political changes in Germany between October 1918 and May 1919 amount to a revolution?
Between October 1918 and May 1919 there was a huge political change in Germany, Germany went from being an autocracy state to a democratic republic. The factors that contributed to this were; the collapse of the 2nd Reich, the Spartacist revolt and the October Reforms. These changes contributed, along with other factors, not linked to the political changes, towards the revolution that took place in Germany. These changes in Germany were called a revolution as the government was overthrown by force, in favour of a new system, resulting in extreme changes in the way the country lived.
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The German army were fighting a losing battle on the front line with little knowledge home life was suffering also. The families left at home were unprepared for the economic costs and were suffering severe shortages of food and day to day essentials. The economy was dislocated leading to poor government finances and the everyday person being forced to work many hours for a small wage. This caused increased social tensions and the emotional trauma, due to 2 million Germans being killed and another 6 million wounded, added to the strain.
In October 1918, nearing the end of the war, Germany faced the threat of invasion. General Ludendorf knew that if allies were to invade Germany their government would be destroyed and Ludendorf’s high status would be lost along with adding more suffering to the army already affected by the direction the war was taking. Ludendorf felt ally leaders would feel more sympathetic towards Germany if a more democratic government were in charge. He felt new leadership could take responsibility of the defeat Germany were facing and wanted to remove the blame from the army. This brought General Ludendorf to the decision of persuading Kaiser Wilhelm II to handing over his powers over the army and navy to the Reichstag, under the leadership of Prince Max of Baden. This handing over of power signalised the October reforms. By handing over his powers to the Reichstag, the 2nd Reich became a virtual parliamentary democracy and armistice negotiations were opened with the allies. Although this handing over of power caused the blame to be removed from the army, the governor and chancellor now became answerable to the Reichstag. Regrettably, this enhancement did not last long and the October reforms failed. There was a loss of control of the political situation by the government under Prince Max’s command. The reforms failed to impress the German people, they began to realise Germany lost the war and nothing was being gained by continuing to battle.
Alongside the change in control high up in government during 1918, the Germany Communist Party also known as the ‘Spartacists’ led by Liebknecht and Luxemburg were...

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