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‘the German Revolution of 1918 Was Purely a Result of Defeat in World War 1’

  • Date Submitted: 01/25/2012 09:15 AM
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The German Revolution as the politically-driven civil conflict in Germany at the end of World War I, which resulted in the replacement of Germany's imperial government with a republic. The revolutionary period lasted from November 1918 until the formal establishment of the Weimar Republic in August 1919.The roots of the revolution lie in the German Empire's fate in the First World War and the social tensions which came to a head shortly thereafter. The first acts of revolution were triggered by the policy of the Supreme Command and its lack of coordination with the Naval Command which, in the face of defeat, nevertheless insisted on engaging in a climactic battle with the British Royal Navy. The Wilhelmshaven mutiny ensued in the naval ports of Wilhelmshaven and Kiel, and the spirit of rebellion spread across the country and led to the proclamation of a republic on 9 November 1918. Shortly thereafter Emperor Wilhelm II abdicated.

It cannot be denied that the political and ideological state of global affairs inspired the actions that were taken towards the revolution. The Russian revolution that turned Russia into a socialist state occurred in October but the fever was rising months before this and this caused wide spread fear that revolution would spread westwards and Germany was the first target. Though this was simply hearsay and revolution does not spring from gossip thus this can be eradicated as the primary reason for the revolution.

The left wing movement, though a contributory factor to the tension surrounding the prospect of a revolution, was not a united force thus posed no real threat to the government, therefore validating the point that it was the war that was primarily the cause of the revolution. The SPD represented moderate socialist aims and was led by Ebert and Scheidemann. Its fundamental aim was to create a socialist republic, whilst being committed to parliamentary democracy, it rejected anything that was linked to Soviet-style communism...


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