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To What Extent Do You Agree That A Revolution Happened In Germany At The End Of World War I

671 words - 3 pages

To what extent do you agree that a revolution happened in Germany at the end of World War I

In Germany between 1918 and 1919 there were major political changes. They went from being an autocracy to a democracy. A revolution is defined as a forcible overthrow of a government or social order for a new system.

It was called a revolution for numerous reasons. On October 29th 1919, a mutiny started to spread near Kiel because sailors refused to obey orders. The government was losing control and mutinies were spreading. There were trade unions and workers were gaining more power. Bavaria became an independent democratic socialist republic because of the disposition of King Louis III and the takeover of Kurt Eisner. The October Reform, which was influenced by Erich Ludendorff because of the realization of losing the war, had failed to impress people. There were demands to see the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II because troops realised the war was lost and nothing could be ...view middle of the document...

The Spartacists were a far left group and wanted to follow the same path as Communist Russia. Their main aim was to create a soviet republic based on the rule of the proletariat. This was the industrial working class who, in Marxist theory, would take power in the state. Marxism is defined as a system of economic, social and political philosophy based on ideas that view social change in terms of economic factors.

Ebert, however, was not a revolutionary socialist ready to fight for a communist-style regime. He disliked the revolutionary left: both the USPD and the Spartacists. However he made an agreement with General Groener and the army changed from supporting the old regime to backing the new one. This is another factor of a revolutionary style government as there are more big changes. Workers were now also becoming more powerful and trade unions were recognised. This is what the Spartacists and the USPD wanted.

Although there were these changes at the top of the government and the army changed, the old ruling stayed in place and there weren’t changes in the judiciary or staff. Also, the violence only came from the Spartacists and they failed in their attempts to overthrow the government. Before this though, Ebert created a provisional coalition government, combining the SPD and USPD.

In January 1919 the Spartacists decided to launch an armed rising in Berlin and tried to overthrow the provisional government to create a soviet republic. On 5 January they occupied public buildings and called a general strike. There were 3 days of savage fighting and over 100 people were killed. The Spartacists were easily defeated and afterwards, Liebeknecht and Luxemburg were murdered in police custody.

In conclusion to all this, it is believed that a revolution never occurred completely but there was a revolutionary build up with all the violence, mutiny and the throwing out of an old political system for something different. There were all the signs for a revolution but it never occurred because the final stretch never happened and the Spartacists were defeated. This means that a revolution never ultimately occurred.

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