How significant was stresemann for germany in the period of 1923-1929 Essay

Throughout this period of time, some people say these were the golden years of Germany, which is highly debated but most agree that Germany was getting better. The main reason for that is because even after everything: unemployment was still high, agricultural production never recovered and Germans spent more money on imports than on exports, so they were consistently losing money. But it overcame almost impossible challenges presented: two coups, hyperinflation and political instability. It finally seemed everything was going to be okay. Many people contributed to this cause but Gustav Stresemann played the main role. He worked as chancellor and as foreign minister throughout the 1920s, most people say that he was arguably the best statesman of Weimar Republic. He was the main reason for the restoration of Germany’s international status after the war. His work was then awarded a Nobel prize for peace in 1926 after Germany was invited to join the League of Nations. So without a doubt that he was one of the most significant people in Germany in the period of 1923-1929.

From the early years of political career, he was a nationalist and monarchist. ADD MORE. His views would always differ from his political party or he just did not like the party’s program and approach. Thus, with some of his colleagues, he left the German Democratic party and created his own party, the German peoples' party. His views were further extended, after the loss in world war 1 and the creation of the Treaty of Versailles. He saw the treaty as an economic death sentence, he knew that Germany would not be able to pay off its debts while being stripped out of its resources and ways to create wealth. However, in the early 1920s his ideology changed he got a more practical view of the problem: he realised that economic recovery was impossible without the help of other nations. This sudden change in attitude was because of the occupation of Ruhr(more on this later explained). He saw that the allies would take action if Germany was to disobey the Treaty of Versailles, which would destroy the already damaged nation.

One of the biggest problems he solved and was responsible for his major change in his way of thinking was the occupation of Ruhr, this was when Germany could not pay the reparations. The French thought that they were lying and was just trying to avoid payment while also testing the allies to see if they could take decisive action. And so the allies replied by force. This caused a disaster in Germany: people were killed, expelled from their homes, inflation turning into hyperinflation(caused by the government printing money to rehouse the expelled citizens). When he became chancellor, he put his position in the risk by cancelling the passive resistance in Ruhr. He knew that he would lose a lot of supporters but he did it for the country, that's why he was the most significant person at that time- no one else was willing to sacrifice themselves, even though they knew that there was no other way. After that people started working again this helped the economy to stabilize. And as expected many people disliked Stresemann’s decision because they thought that Germany was giving in to and accepting the Versailles Treaty, which was extremely hated amongst the Germans. This resulted in Stresemann to resign from his position when the Social Democratic party left from his coalition- who played the main role in the decision to set passive resistance in Ruhr.

After his resignation, he became the foreign minister. He intended to create a good relationship with other nations, by showing that Germany was not a threat and had no interest in war. His first move was the Locarno treaty, this was the seven agreements negotiated at Locarno, Switzerland. Most importantly, Germany accepted the new western borders made by the treaty of Versailles, and Britain and Italy agreed to intervene if Germany’s western borders were to be attacked. From this western Europe saw sudden improvement in the political climate calling it the spirit of Locarno and this was further strengthened by Germany joining the league, right after. Though to the allies, he seemed to want peace but he secretly showed signs of nationalism- he hated Poland and Czechoslovakia. He was hoping that if Germany’s western borders were secure, there might not be any opposition when moves to take back lost territory comes into play. Thus, at Locarno, he refused to give any guarantees to Germany’s eastern border. Locarno and the cancellation of the passive resistance in Ruhr Gustav Stresemann achieved his policy of fulfilment, where he aimed to improve international status by fulfilling the Treaty of Versailles. He thought that he could revise the treaty. Even though he was nationalist he did not want to use force but wanted to change it so that it was at the least acceptable. The reason for this is that he saw the destruction of the treaty impossible, after the occupation of Ruhr, he believed that the allies would use force if necessary.

After seeing Germans trying to improve their international status and the inability to pay the incredible large sum of reparations the allies agreed to help. An American banker Charles G. Dawes was asked by the allied reparation committee for help, thus he came up with this plan. The main goal was to pull the Weimar Republic out of hyperinflation and to return it to economic stability. The first measure was to set an annual payment of reparation on a set scale, then the reorganization of the German state bank under their control and an increase in international loans. Most people say that this help was brought by Gustav Stresemann’s influence, but some say that the allies were just threatened by Soviet Russia. If Germany was to collapse, they knew that a revolution would take place and a communist government would be in control. This, in turn, might spread communism throughout Europe. So Germany’s well being was important for the allies. We can not make a real deduction from this and show Stresemann’s significance in the Dawes plan.

After all this Germany looked as if it would return to its stability, peoples lives were getting better so people like Hitler and Communists could not rise to power, these parties fed on people’s anger and frustration. Meaning that without Gustav Stresemann’s actions Germany would have been in a serious problem. Monarchists like Hitler would have overthrown the Weimar Government long ago because they thought that the coalition government was an ineffective form of ruling as they cant make decisive action in times of crisis. Especially since a lot of Germans supported the old ways of fascism. So Hitler would have risen to power sooner than he actually did in history and most likely been prepared more to the next world war. This could have led to him winning the war and him accomplishing genocide throughout the world. Or communists taking over, which would lead to communism spreading throughout the world, this is called the domino effect. This is a theory that states if one country falls into a communist the surrounding neighbour countries will follow the same fate. This is why the allies decided to help Germany out of hyperinflation by Dawes plan and Young plan. However, this is not very likely since a lot of Germans hated communism and there were even groups like Freikorps, who were ex-military soldiers who had strong distaste against communists- especially the soviet union.

The main problems that Gustav Stresemann caused were that he made Germany to dependant on international help. So when the great depression hit, Germany was affected the most because all the loans they took were asked back. The most heavily affected sector of German industry, they were too dependant on USA loans that when they were asked back they could not work properly. This set back every achievement the Weimar Republic achieved during the 1920s, which made everything Gustav Stresemann achieved virtually useless.

How to cite this essay: