IBDP Essays Relating to Gustav Stresemann

From the May 2019 IBDP HL History paper 3 exam: 
“Germany experienced a ‘Golden Era’ during the Stresemann years (1924–1929).” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

The interwar period was marked by significant political, economic, and social flux, which shaped the course of German history. One notable epoch of this era was the Stresemann years from 1924 to 1929. Named after Gustav Stresemann, Germany's Foreign Minister and briefly the Chancellor, this period was hailed by some as a 'Golden Era', a phrase attributed to economic recovery, relative political stability, and cultural prosperity. However, the complexities of the Stresemann era make such a categorisation challenging. This essay will evaluate the extent to which the Stresemann years can indeed be characterised as a 'Golden Era' for Germany by examining the political, economic, and cultural landscape of the time, whilst offering critical analysis of the views held by various scholars.

Following the turmoil of the early Weimar Republic, Stresemann's entry into national politics marked the beginning of a period of relative political stability. Stresemann and his party, the German People's Party, worked within the framework of the Weimar constitution, reducing the political unrest experienced in the years immediately after the First World War. A key achievement of Stresemann was the negotiation of the Dawes and Young Plans, which restructured Germany's reparation payments and eased the economic burdens inflicted by the Treaty of Versailles. This period also saw the Locarno Pact of 1925 and Germany's admission into the League of Nations in 1926, achievements that marked Germany's return to the international community. Nonetheless, as Kitchen highlights, this political stability was not without its flaws. Despite the progress made, the political climate was fraught with deep-seated ideological divides, evident in the polarisation between the Communist Party and the emergent National Socialists. Stresemann's reliance on coalitions for governance added another layer of political instability. Therefore, Kitchen's argument that the seeming political stability was a mere façade for deeper issues presents a valid critique of the 'Golden Era' hypothesis.

The economic facet of the Stresemann era offers a similar narrative of prosperity shadowed by inherent weaknesses. The introduction of the Rentenmark in 1923, which later became the Reichsmark, ended the hyperinflation crisis and stabilised the economy. This era also saw American investments flow into Germany as a result of the Dawes Plan, which led to industrial growth and increased employment. Nevertheless, as argued by Borchardt, the German economy was built on a 'stabilisation without substance'. The reliance on short-term American loans made Germany vulnerable to international market fluctuations, a fact underscored by the devastating impact of the Wall Street Crash in 1929. Evans also points to the uneven distribution of wealth and the stagnation of agrarian economy as indicators of the underlying economic frailties. This dichotomy between superficial prosperity and underlying vulnerability poses a challenge to the assertion of the Stresemann years as a 'Golden Era'.

The cultural sphere arguably offers the most compelling case for the 'Golden Era' characterisation. This period saw an explosion of creativity in literature, cinema, architecture, and the visual arts, known as the Weimar culture. Berlin became a cultural metropolis, hosting innovative movements like Bauhaus and Neue Sachlichkeit. The works of Bertolt Brecht, Thomas Mann, and Fritz Lang, among others, left an indelible mark on global culture. Weitz argues that the Weimar culture was more than a mere artistic revolution; it was a socio-political movement that questioned traditional norms and pushed for progressive values. However, Gay proposes a more nuanced view, suggesting that the Weimar culture was largely a phenomenon of the urban elite, with little resonance in the broader German society, which remained conservative and largely resistant to such modernist changes. Consequently, while the Stresemann era was indeed a culturally vibrant period, its reach and impact across society are subject to debate.

The notion of the Stresemann years as Germany's 'Golden Era' is a layered and complex one. On one hand, these years brought relative political stability, economic recovery, and cultural prosperity, elements typically associated with a golden era. On the other hand, this period was marred by political divisions, economic vulnerabilities, and a cultural revolution that, while significant, did not fully permeate the wider German society. Drawing from the nuanced perspectives of Kitchen, Borchardt, Evans, Weitz, and Gay, it is reasonable to conclude that while the Stresemann era brought significant improvements, the underlying issues cannot be overlooked. Therefore, the characterisation of this period as a 'Golden Era' can only be partially agreed with. The Stresemann years undoubtedly had elements of gold, but these were interspersed with considerable challenges, hinting at the turmoil that was to follow. It is therefore essential to continue to critically evaluate the notion of a 'Golden Era', understanding that such categorisations can often simplify the intricate realities of historical periods. In doing so, we can better appreciate the multifaceted nature of the Stresemann era and its place in the complex tapestry of German history.

From the May 2023 IBDP HL History paper 3 exam: 
“German foreign policy under Stresemann achieved limited success between 1923 and 1929.” Discuss.

The narrative of Gustav Stresemann’s foreign policy achievements from 1923 to 1929 is a topic that invites varied perspectives. Stepping into the position of Chancellor and later Foreign Minister of the German Weimar Republic during a time of political, economic, and social turmoil, Stresemann employed numerous strategies to steer Germany out of the shackles of the Treaty of Versailles. This period marked by 'Stresemann Era' is an emblem of diplomacy and international reconciliation efforts. However, the contention that his successes were 'limited' reflects the critical interpretation of historians and necessitates an exploration of his accomplishments and failures in the context of German foreign policy.

The first phase of Stresemann’s foreign policy focused heavily on restoring stability to the volatile Weimar Republic. Indeed, with the nation’s economy reeling under hyperinflation, mass unemployment, and public discontent post-World War I, Stresemann’s immediate strategy was to stabilise the currency. The Rentenmark scheme of 1923 was introduced to curb the rampant hyperinflation, which was successful in establishing economic stability and regaining international confidence. Sally Marks opines that Stresemann's Rentenmark strategy was a "masterstroke of financial diplomacy," successfully halting the downward spiral of the German economy. However, it can be argued that the economic stability achieved was transient and relied heavily on American loans through the Dawes Plan. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 exposed the inherent instability in Stresemann’s economic policies, and the short-term benefit of these loans masked long-term susceptibility.

The second dimension of Stresemann’s foreign policy was the diplomatic manoeuvres aimed at challenging the draconian terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Stresemann signed the Locarno Pact in 1925 with France, Britain, Italy, and Belgium, which recognised Germany's western borders as defined by the Treaty of Versailles. Jonathan Wright argues that Stresemann’s willingness to cooperate with Western powers through the Locarno Pact demonstrated "strategic diplomacy," indirectly challenging the punitive clauses of the Treaty. However, it is essential to note that Stresemann’s commitment to revise the Treaty’s terms was not wholly successful. While the Locarno Pact was a significant diplomatic victory, it did not address the Eastern borders' question, leaving the Polish corridor issue unresolved. Moreover, Locarno was a voluntary treaty, and Germany could withdraw at any time, which underscores the limited success of Stresemann's diplomacy.

The final phase of Stresemann's foreign policy was marked by the integration of Germany into the League of Nations in 1926. Stresemann believed that through cooperation and active participation in international organisations, Germany could regain its standing in the global community. His policy was affirmed when Germany became a permanent member of the League's Council. Richard Carr argues that Stresemann's strategy of participation rather than isolation allowed Germany to voice its grievances on an international platform, proving crucial in rebuilding its image. However, the League's ineffectiveness in enforcing collective security, as shown by the Manchurian and Abyssinian crises in the 1930s, undermined the real benefits of this membership. Furthermore, Germany's exclusion from the initial formation of the League remained a sore point, highlighting the limited success of Stresemann's integration policy.

The analysis of Stresemann's foreign policy between 1923 and 1929 presents a nuanced image of achievements intermingled with missed opportunities. His efforts undoubtedly revived Germany's economic and political position following World War I, yet these accomplishments were confined by systemic issues. 

Assessing Stresemann’s Achievements

“The history of the world is but the biography of great men”[1]. Was Stresemann one such man? Gustav Stresemann, born 1878, was chancellor of Germany in 1923 and remained Foreign Minister until the end of his life in 1929. During the last 6 years of his life, he is credited with numerous achievements (which I will go into later) which allowed Weimar Germany to go through the “Golden Age” of its existence. Nonetheless, in light of these great achievements, one must also examine what came before Stresemann and what came after his premature death, for I believe one can only then fully assess Stresemann’s achievements when one looks at the bigger picture of Germany before, and after Stresemann. 

Before Gustav Stresemann, Weimar Germany was in a state of chaos, and this fact is essential to investigate when assessing Stresemann’s achievements. good Democracy was altogether  a “new idea” for most of Europe, let alone Germany, and one that would take until 1989 to fully be integrated and accepted in Germany. shows long view of history There were countless problems that plagued Weimar Germany from 1919 to 1923. To begin with, the Weimar Government itself was a great deal to blame. The democratic system of proportional representation led to the severe problem of there being too many political parties in the Reichstag.  This meant it was virtually impossible for a majority to be established, as well as there being far too frequent changes in the government. In addition to there being problems in the Government, the Army – The Reichswehr (under the leadership of General Hans von Seekt) and government officials in the police and judicial system, were extremely right-wing, not supporting the predominately SPD government and letting people like Adolf Hitler off with 9 months imprisonment after the Munich Putsch. Left and Right-Wing rebellions and insurrections also plagued the government. In 1919, 500,000 Spartacists (Communists) took to the streets of Berlin in a failed coup attempt and a Communist Peoples Government briefly took power in Munich. On the right-wing the Kapp Putsch of 1920 briefly took control of Berlin in hopes of restoring the Kaiser, Nationalist terrorists collectively assassinated 356 politicians and Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party attempted the “Beerhall Putsch” in 1923. Hyperinflation, caused by the Treaty of Versailles’ reparation sum of 6.6 pounds sterling and the ensuing French occupation of the Ruhr in January 1923, further helped to unstable Weimar integrity. It was clear by 1923 that Germany needed a strong leader to restore order.

    According to the British Historian John Wheeler-Bennett, “...no figure since the war has so dominated European affairs as did Herr Stresemann...”[2]. The Weimar Republic would not have lasted as long as it did had it not been for Stresemann’s achievements. As soon as he was appointed Chancellor on 13 August 1923, Stresemann went to work getting his country back on the right track. Within a year, he had addressed the problem of hyperinflation by getting rid of the old Reichmark and introducing the Rentenmark, which was worth an astounding 1x12^10 ??? old marks. Striking in the Ruhr was also called off and by 1924 the French had been persuaded to leave. The French were able to be persuaded by the Dawes Plan, an American endorsed plan aimed at giving Germany more time to pay its war reparations. This was later extended in the Younge Plan of 1929 to reduce the amount having to be paid by the Germans. In foreign policy, Germany also made huge improvements under Stresemann. As Foreign Minister, he signed the famous Locarno Treaty in which Germany formally agreed to the loss of Alsace-Lorraine and its borders in the west (There was to be no such treaty in the east, giving Stalin reason to mistrust the West’s aims). In 1926, Germany was also finally allowed into the League of Nations, given a seat in the security council along with the other major powers of the world (excluding the USA and Russia), signifying Germany’s resurrection as a major world power. Stresemann also stimulated economic growth by borrowing 25,000 million gold marks, mainly from the USA, to improve Germany’s infrastructure and industry. For his feats in improving relations with the West, Gustav Stresemann was co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926. Stresemann’s achievements are numerous. Without him, there would have been no “Roaring Twenties” in Germany. But were these “achievements” what they seemed? Did Stresemann  truly solve Germany’s problems, or did he just repress them?

As the German historian Hermann Oncken said three days after Stresemann’s death, ”Suddenly all of us…feel that there is a vacuum in the political life of the nation…”[3] This quote supports the argument that Gustav Stresemann was too good of a statesman. excellent use of a great quote A modern reference to this argument could be the role of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. The essence of this argument is that the role and actions of these men have only a short term effect but have no lasting effect. In Stresemann’s case you could even argue that his legacy was negative. His extensive borrowing from the USA laid the foundation of Europe’s present day dependency on the US dollar. A further effect this “political vacuum” left by Stresemann had, was that since he was the force that had united the most central German parties (SPD, Centrum, DVP) into one coalition government, when he was gone Germany was once again plagued by the political problems it had faced before. This, coupled with the effect the Wall Street Crash in 1929, and a growing unemployment rate had on Germany’s economy, meant that more and more people were now moving toward radical parties such as the NSDAP and the DKP (Deutsche Kommunisten Partei). Before 1929, Stresemann’s successes had effectively kept these radical parties in the political wilderness, where as now they were reemerging as Germany faced greater crisis. 

In conclusion, I do not believe that there is any sound argument that can diminish the simple fact that Gustav Stresemann’s did achieve some success in the 1920s rehabilitating Germany and helping her to retake its place among the major nations of Europe. Nevertheless, I believe that the events that succeeded Stresemann’s death and Germany’s ensuing descent into a totalitarian fascist regime proves the argument that Gustav Stresemann was in fact NOT a “Great Man”. His achievements, as magnificent as they might have seemed at the time, did not leave Germany with ANY lasting achievements which would help Germany navigate the challenges of the upcoming decades.   

Sources:   [1] Thomas Carlyle [2] Jonathan Wright Gustav Stresemann: Weimar's greatest statesman pg.1     [3] http://www.jstor.org/pss/1405174

Evaluate Stresemann‘s Achievements                                              

Gustav Stresemann, the winner of a Nobel Peace prize and one of the most able and important politicians in Germany. Appointed Foreign Minister and Chancellor in 1923 and launching Germany into the “Golden Age” with a more prosperous economy and stability out of the wrecked monarchist nation Germany, plagued with rebellions and hyperinflation. 

The achievements of his reign as Foreign minister which ended in 1929 were beyond categorisation; he aimed for the recovery and restoration of Germany as a country and in the World. He also pursued the building of links between the USSR, the USA and France as well as his “Erfüllungspolitik”, where Germany would cooperate with the powers and comply with the Treaty of Versailles. As well as these goals that helped strengthen Germany after the loss of the Great War, he signed the Locarno Pact in 1925. A smart move as Stresemann knew Germany was not ready for a war. The Treaty was signed with France, Britain and Belgium, in which Germany accepted the western borders, and promised not to invade France or Belgium again, whilst gaining the support from Britain if France attacked as Stresemann said, "The renunciation of a military conflict with France has only a theoretical significance, in so far as there is no possibility of a war with France".[i]This gave him the confidence to voice Germany's demands. The year before he signed the Dawes Plan, which caught more foreign investment to Germany, and they received loan of 200 million dollars from America to stabilise the infrastructure and economy, which made it clear to Stresemann that “Voices were heard from the United States of America which made it clear that America wanted a peaceful and united Europe as a basis for mutual cooperation.” [ii]The only problem was it made Germany depend on the American economy, which that meant Germany's economic downfall in 1929 under the Wall-Street Crash. In 1926 to support the Treaty of Rapallo Stresemann signed the Treaty of Berlin. so what? Under Stresemann’s foreign policy Germany was even able to join the League of Nations in 1926, was seen as a stable power and granted veto, and in 1928 the Kellogg-Briand pact was signed which advocated the Treaty of Versailles and reduced the reparations that Germany had to pay.   

When Stresemann began his resurrection of the German economy, 4,200,000,000,000 Marks was worth one dollar. Hyperinflation had evolved out of the payment of reparations by the printing of more money, and unemployment was at an all-time high. When the reparations where not met in 1923, Belgium and France invaded and pillaged the Ruhr, making the Government call a general strike in which they paid the strikers, furthermore destroying Germanys economy. This was called passive resistance, which Stresemann abdicated.  He believed that paying reparations would move Germany forward and developed the Rentenmark (around 4.2 Rentenmarks to one dollar), which cleaned up Germanys economy and successfully ended hyperinflation and fluctuations in the currency. This enabled Germany to stabilise and was one of the biggest achievements for Stresemann, making him a recognizable Politician, even in present day countries with deteriorating economies such as Argentina are said to “need a Stresemann”.  

      In 1926 he was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his work on the Locarno treaty in 1925, along side the France Foreign Minister Aritiside Briand who commented “It is understandable to be continually casting doubts on Germany's goodwill .... Stresemann and I talked a new language, the language of Europe..” [iii]Inside Germany he and his party the DVP where losing support and he was criticised by the DVNP saying the Dawes plan was a “second Versailles”, and was labelled as a November criminals, a sign that he was not appreciated by appeasing the European powers to strengthen Germany. It was said that Germany been made too reliant on foreign investment and economy and that it caused the downfall under the Wall-Street Crash. Stresemann was even said to be a mirage, which only built up to the decline of Germany after his death even Stresemann recognized "The economic position is only flourishing on the surface. Germany is in fact dancing on a volcano. If the short-term credits are called in, a large section of our economy would collapse.". [iv]This cannot be the case, as Germany was terrible before he became Chancellor and Foreign minister and Stresemann recognized this saying “I must begin by saying something about the old Germany. That Germany, too, suffered from superficial judgement, because appearances and reality were not always kept apart in people's minds.” [v],and he improved Germany's economic and international situation using his policies and the signing of the Dawes and Young plan.

In conclusion, Stresemann‘s reign was one which pushed Germany into the “Golden Age”, and even though his party was not the most popular, he refused the radical parties power over Germany, as he knew it would be the downfall of democracy. The Nazis only gained support after his death, proving his goal was simply to improve and do the best for his country.

Sources;   [i] http://www.museumstuff.com/learn/topics/Gustav_Stresemann::sub::In_The_Weimar_Republic     [ii] Gustav Stresemann     [iii] Aristide Briand; http://historyannex.com/20th-century-Europe/diplomacy1920s/locarno-era.html     [iv] Quote from a speech by Gustav Stresemann shortly before his death on 3 October 1929     [v] Gustav Stresemann         

Assessment of Stresemann’s Achievements

Gustav Stresemann was appointed Chancellor of Germany on August 13th, 1923. During his time as Chancellor and Foreign Minister as of November 1923 Stresemann took action to save Weimar Germany from complete destruction. good  In order to assess Stresemann’s achievements one must look at if the time Stresemann was in office improved Weimar Germany from what it was before he became Chancellor. January 11th 1923, before Stresemann was chancellor, French and Belgian troops entered the Ruhr because of Germany’s refusal to pay war reparations[1], which caused strikes and a severe economic crisis. By September 15th Germany's bank rate had raised to 90% due to hyperinflation[2], which really showed how atrocious of a state Germany was in. 
Stresemann called off passive resistance on September 26th 1923, Germany was no longer able to pay striking workers therefore more and more money was being printed causing hyperinflation. Calling off the passive resistance would only have helped Germany, as they no longer paid workers to strike. On the 15th of November Stresemann introduced and issued the German Rentenmark[3] as a means of stopping hyperinflation. Although there was no gold to back the Rentenmark, the Rentenbank mortgaged land and industrial goods worth 3.2 billion Rentenmark, which was able to back the currency. The Rentenmark was only a short-term currency and it was not legal tender, however people of Germany showed faith in the currency and it effectively stopped the hyperinflation[4]. The fact that the Rentenmark that Stresemann introduced stopped hyperinflation is proof Stresemann’s decisions and actions were bettering Germany. However, on November 23 Stresemann resigned as Chancellor of Germany and took over as Foreign minister, which could easily be construed as he was not a successful domestic leader and should only help Germany with foreign politics. 
  As Foreign Minister, Stresemann had multiple achievements; one of his first was the signing of the Dawes Plan. The Dawes Plan was a way to provide Germany with some economic stability by  reducing the amount of reparations per annum Germany needed to pay and gave the Germans more time to pay their debt. Within the Dawes Plan, one of the points was that the Ruhr area was to be evacuated by Allied troops such as France and Belgium. The signing of the Dawes plan was a great help for Germany as it not only helped stabilize their currency and economy but increased foreign investments and loans to the German market.[5] However the Dawes Plan made Germany dependent on money given to them from the US. In order for the Dawes Plan to be successful the Germans needed support from foreign markets and economies. Therefore if problems were to occur in the US economy the repercussions on the German economy would be just as severe. The Great Depression in the US severely hurt the German economy as they were being supported by loans from the US. Germany received up to 25,000 million gold marks mainly from America, which helped Germany build roads, railways and fortunately make more jobs. The Dawes Plan is arguable to whether or not it can be called an achievement, although it helped Germany short term in made Germany very reliant on the US and in debt to the US.

Assess Stresemann's achievement

After WWI Germany failed into a chaotic situation. There was no stable government, there was the hyper inflation and there was the Treaty of Versailles. people did not know what to do. However, when Stresemann became the chancellor, this situation upturned in so called “the golden age of Weimarer Republic. He solved the hyper inflation, led Germany join to the League of Nations and because of these great work he won the Novel Peace Price. But when you assess Stresemann's achievement, you may argue that his accomplishments were just a great illusion because Weimarer Republic did easily collapsed after Stresemann dead. But I would say that most of these were successful the Rentenmark, treaties of Locarno, Dawes plan and Young plan.

One of the great achievement of Stresemann was issue of Rentenmark. Because of the reparation of Treaty of Versailles and the occupation of ruhr by France and Belgium, hyper inflation was caused in Germany. As the historian, Minoru Kojima said, “Germany in1923 can be described as a one word, inflation. This bloody inflation is unprecedented in history and it will never happen again”. Actually, the inflation in Republic of Zimbabwe was more bad. The serious inflation was one of the biggest problem that Germany was faced with. The unemployment was 28% and 42% of the people could not work perfectly. You needed 1,000,000,000,000 Mark to buy just piece of bread. In January 1923, one dolls was equal to 7,525 Mark. But in July, it increased to 160 thousand, in August, it was 4 million and 620 thousand. And finally, it became 4,200,000,000,000 in November.The price of products increased by an hour. People really suffered from this situation. But Stresemann came up with the re denomination plan using Rentenmark. They changed 1,000,000,000,000 Papiermark and the security of Rentenmark was the German land. This policy solve the inflation perfectly. Germany economy level increased and it was called “Wunder der Rentenmark” by German. So the Rentenmark was a great achievement. 世界恐慌

In diplomacy, Stresemann singed the Treaties of Locarno and also led Germany to join the League of Nations. One of the important treaty in treaties of Locarno was the maintenance of the Germany -France and Germany-Belgium border as the Treaty of Versailles. It also prohibited any presence of army or military base in Rheinland. This means that one of the most important German industrial area is saved and they will not suffer again. Britain and Italy were involved to insure these treaties. They also agreed with solving the international conflict in a peaceful way. So I would say that Treaties of Locarno was a new order of peace in western Europe after Treaty of Versailles which was too harsh for Germany. Thanks to these treaties, Germany was allowed to join the League of Nations that means that Germany could return to the international society. For Germany, this is a big step forward because they suffered from the international isolation. They did not involve in League of Nation, they lost the WWI and thy were punished in Treaty of Versailles. So Stresemann achievement lead the western Europe country to peace. However, there were some problems in Treaties of Locarno. Firstly, the Eastern front of Germany was anxious. Russia was not involved in this treaty and thought that the Treaties of Locarno was a western Europe union against Russia. But, Stresemann made the Treaty of Berlin in 1926 that certified when Germany or Russia are attacked by any other country, they will be a neutral country. So Stresemann did not only be friends with western Europe countries but also with Russia. Another problem in Treaties of Locarno was the border lines between Poland because the treaty did not indemnified about the eastern border lines of Germany. There was problem of Polish corridor. So the Treaties of Locarno was succeed in make a piece in western Europe but there were some uneasy elements in eastern border of Germany.  

 Other accomplishment of Stresemann were Dawes Plan and Young Plan. Dawes plan did succeed to postpone the payment of the Treaty of Versailles. The first year of the payment is reduced to One billion Goldmark and it will increase gradually and in five years, it will return to 25billion Goldmark . As I showed, the reparation of Treaty of Versailles was a big issue for German economy. Also by making the issue of Dawes bonds, it allowed private capitals from United states to come in Germany. That means that Germany loaned 8billion Goldmark from the United States. Thanks to Dawes plan, Ruhr was released from occupation. These things helped Germany to rebuild German economy. In fact, in 1927,German NDP exceeded than that it was before WWI. Besides, Charles Dawes received the Nobel price in 1925 that shows how his work was evaluated in that time. So Dawes plan was quite succeed. However, this plan was still not good enough because it did not reduce the payment and that led the United States to make Young plan 1930. Young plan did reduced German reparation to 73 Goldmark. In the field of economy, (Dawes plan and Young plan are diplomacy but it helped German economy) Stresemann's achievements were successful.

Because of these reasons, I would say that some of them were not perfect but most of the achievement of Stresemann was the best that he could in that period and it was successful. In fact, He got the Nobel piece price that shows how he was evaluated in 1920's. However, most of is achievement was collapsed after he died. But that was because of the world depression that happened never before. So I would say that Sresesemann`s achievement was the best that he could.

In 1926 Germany was allowed into the League of Nations making it a world power once again. Germany was ultimately able to join the League due to Stresemann, as he was the Foreign Minister who appeased foreign world powers for example giving up Alsace-Lorraine in the Locarno treaty. Stresemann had made essential improvements in the stability of Weimar Germany although not lasting long after he died. Although his Foreign affairs made Germany more reliant the western world I believe that his contributions and achievements for the short time he was Chancellor and his long-term post as foreign Minister definitely aided Weimar Germany to survive a few more years.

 Sources:   [1] Encyclopedia Britannica Online: Gustav Stresemann (Chancellor of Germany) years as a Foreign Minister  [2] Wikipedia: 1923 in Germany  [3] Wikipedia: German Rentenmark  [4] Wikipedia: German Rentenmark  [5] Wikipedia: Dawes Plan

Stresemann’s Achievements      

In order to assess Gustav Stresemann’s achievements, one must look not only at his individual policies, but rather take in to consideration the limitations of the time period and the overall impact Stresemann had on Germany in the long run.  a bit complex structure As he stated himself, “[h]History uses a unit of measure for time that is different from that of the lifespan of the individual, whereas man is only too ready to measure the evolution of history by his own yardstick”. source? great quote Beginning in 1923, Stresemann served as the chancellor of Weimar Germany and later, would be credited as the drive behind the so-called ‘Golden Age’ of its existence due to his innovative visions of democracy, a thriving economy and diplomacy.  However, despite his successes, much of the country’s strength under his direction was highly unstable and criticized for being too dependent on other nations. Ultimately, it comes down to examining the Germany before and after Stresemann in order to fully comprehend the measure of his legacy. 

To begin with, one should examine the state of pre-Stresemann Weimar Germany. Economically, Germany was experiencing never before seen levels of hyperinflation as a result of the Treaty of Versailles’ reparation sum of 6.6 BILLION pounds sterling, the 1923 Ruhr strike, as well as a ‘passive resistive’ policy. By November of that year, inflation had reached its peak. To illustrate just how drastic measures were, in 1922 a loaf of bread cost 163 marks. Less than a year later this figure had risen to 200,000,000,000 marks .  Within a single day the value of a mark could be so diminished that what was once an acceptable wage would be completely worthless by the time it could be spent for dinner. As a result of this, starvation and other nutrition related deaths became a crippling parallel reality for the nation. Moreover, before Stresemann the Weimar Republic was also in a state of chaos regarding internal politics.   

As the idea of democracy was a relatively new concept, it was under attack by both left and right wing oppositions. The far left wing accused the ruling Social Democrats of preventing a communist revolution and the right wing was simply opposed to any form of a democratic system. This led to political violence within the cities, particularly between extremist groups such as the Freikorps and the Red GaurdsGuards. Within the democracy itself, Proportional Representation did not work because there were so many political parties in the Reichstag that it was impossible for any single group to establish themselves. All of these drawbacks surmounted to what was perhaps most appalling aspect of the Republic: Germany’s reputation within the International community. After a failure to pay the reparations bill, Belgian and French armies were sent in to claim German coalfields. This in turn led to a national coal shortage and aggression between the countries, which would consequently spark new devastating policies such as that of previously mentioned passive resistance.  Clearly, Germany was in dire need of an assertive leader who could pull the country together in times of economic and social distress to create a stable, innovative democracy. This man, as praised by historian Jonathan Wright, would be Gustav Stresemann:, “No figure since the war has so dominated European affairs as did Herr Stresemann; and no statesman has shown so unwavering a devotion to what he conceived to be the right course for his country. By a fortunate coincidence it was also the right course for the world ”. 

Evaluate Stresemann’s Achievements

It is crucial to acknowledge these circumstances under which Stresemann took power in order to understand the full weight of his accomplishments. Beginning almost immediately, Stresemann addressed the issues that plagued the Republic and had been hindering its development. During the tumultuous period at which inflation had reached its peak in November of 1923, Stresemann introduced a new currency, the Rentenmark, to replace the old, worthless Reichsmark. This new currency was the equivalent to 1x12^10 old marks  and allowed prices to remain stable. By November 30, 1923, there were 500 million Rentenmarks in circulation, which increased to 1000 million by January 1, 1924, and again to 1,800 million Rentenmarks by July 1924. Meanwhile, the old paper Marks continued in circulation.  so? The total paper Marks increased to 1,211 quintillion in July 1924 and continued to fall in value to one third of their conversion value in Rentenmarks . This date effectively marks the end of hyper Inflation, which, to this day proves to be one of Stresemann’s greatest contributions in securing his country from full-blown disaster.  Further provoking economic growth, Stresemann borrowed up to 25,000 million gold marks in order to boost both industry and infrastructure within Germany. With the economy well on its way up, Stresemann focused his attention on foreign policy.  By 1924 the French were persuaded to leave the Ruhr in thanks to the American endorsed Dawes Plan, which was aimed at allowing Germany more time to pay off reparations.  Then, in October of 1925, Stresemann signed the Locarno treaty, which officially agreed to the loss of Alsace-Lorraine. 

However, putting aside these individual successes for a moment, much criticism has come along with the praise for Stresemann over the years. What comes in to question most frequently is whether Stresemann contributed to finding a solution for Germany’s problems, or simply a temporary fix. good focus question Rather than creating a thriving, independent nation, much of Stresemann’s ‘success’ was supported by external sources. The consequences of his dependency on the United States for funding would be felt soon after on his own economy during the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and, in effect, can still be felt today. Furthermore, Stresemann’s political fixes for the time did nothing to install a sound democracy in the country. Instead, it left Germany with the same problems that it had faced before, which was an excess of competing extremist political parties.

 In conclusion, although Stresemann implemented several changes that appeared to save Germany from her narrowly escaped adversity, his policies in effect, did minimal to strengthen the country in the long run. That is not to say that his efforts should be completely disregarded, only that it is virtually impossible to tell which direction the country would have headed had it not been for his premature death.

Assess Stresemann’s Achievements

When Gustav Stresemann was appointed chancellor in 1923 due to the support of the Social Democratic Party[1], he faced a Germany that lay in ruins. During this time one US dollar was worth 4 621 000 German Marks compared to 12 Marks in April 1919[2] and Germany was in the middle of the Ruhr crisis. With these problems at hand Stresemann had to act swiftly and called of the passive resistance against the French and he also introduced a new and stable currency; the Rentenmark. What followed was period of prosperity and in the next six years, in which Stresemann acted as the foreign minister, he drew up and agreed on a series of treaties and pacts, for which he was in 1926 awarded the Nobel Peace Prize[3]. Nonetheless, the onset of the Great Depression and Stresemann’s death on October 3, 1929[4] had dramatic effects on Weimar Germany and thus it could be argued, that while Stresemann was able to stabilize a collapsing Germany he was unable to secure its future.

The signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 caused an enormous unrest in the German public and like AJP Taylor argued, “no German accepted it as a fair settlement and all Germans wanted to shake it off.” According to article 232 Germany had to pay reparations for the destruction caused in World War 1[1] and when Germany was unable to pay a these reparations the French simply invaded the Ruhr. The German government then called for a passive resistance against the French, however, as soon as Stresemann became chancellor he called of this passive resistance[2] on September 26, in order to economically save Germany. In addition, Stresemann was able to introduce a new currency, the Rentenmark and through this bring an end to hyperinflation. Nonetheless, Stresemann’s step in calling of the passive resistance was seen by many as if Germany was again surrendering to the allies and especially Hitler, and other right-wing extremists capitalized on this during the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich in 1923. Apart from putting down the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, he had no role in this; it was a strictly localised matter  Stresemann was also able to break up a revolt of the Black Reichswehr led by Bruno Buchrucker in Saxony and was with this, in his 100 days of being Chancellor[3] able to head Weimar Germany into a more prosperous time period. good conclusion

The years 1924 to 1929 are commonly referred to as a “Golden Age” or the “the years of hope”[4] and indeed, Stresemann, as foreign minister, was able to persuade France to withdraw from the Ruhr and also signed the Dawes Plan in 1924[5]. but here's where you're invited to assess both. Instead you simply refer to them without me knowing what they represent In addition, Stresemann took the initiative in 1925 that led to the Locarno Pact and made it possible for Germany to enter the League of Nations in 1926. Finally, in 1929 he also helped set up the Young Plan, which effectively reduced the reparations that Germany had to pay. Furthermore, it was due to Stresemann that Hitler’s Party, the NSDAP, only achieved 14 seats in the Reichstag in the December 1924 elections and even less, only 12 seats, in the May 1928 elections[6]. This clearly shows that the public was not willing to risk the peace and the prosperity of the time period by voting for an extremist party like the NSDAP but was much rather satisfied with voting for a more conservative central party. Additionally, as Stresemann’s actions were slowly bringing more strength and prosperity into Weimar Germany Hitler was forced to the Munich Putsch in 1923 evidence?, although he was by far not ready for this, as otherwise he would lose even more support. was this clear at the time? This was because less and less people were likely to support him as the Weimar Republic grew in stability. These two examples evidently show how successful Stresemann’s policies were, as only one year after his death the support for the NSDAP had increased from 12 seats in the Reichstag to an astounding 107 seats in the September 1930 elections[7].  not convinced; you seem to be using various points to support your own ideas.

Nonetheless, Stresemann’s policies were in reality far from creating an economical and political stable Weimar Germany. In fact, they served as a mere mirage to mask the true faults of the republic. Although during Stresemann’s time as he was able contain Hitler and stop him from rising, he lay the cornerstone for Hitler’s plans to attack the East. Whilst Stresemann was happy to settle the Western borders he refused to make any treaties with the countries on the Eastern front relating to the acceptance of these borders[8]. Moreover, it seemed to many Germans that Stresemann was more of a European peace broker than an actual German chancellor and this brought him domestic unpopularity. A large part of the population shared the opinion that while Stresemann was focusing very much on his foreign policy he was forgetting the fact that Germany itself faced serious problems. Many also felt that he was siding too much with the SDP and this further decreased his popularity, as in their opinion he should stay true to his party. Furthermore, but what do you think? When a politician manages to do great things even though the people are against him, that makes him a true statesman. only 11 months after his death the public voted for anti-democratic parties and allowed the NSDAP to increase their seats by 95. In the same elections the Communist Party was also able to gain 23 seats in the Reichstag compared to only nine the elections in May 1928[9].

Although,?  Stresemann managed to admit a Germany, that in the years 1919 to 1923 alone killed 356 politicians, into the League of Nations in 1926 and signed important treaties like the Rapallo or Dawes Plan, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926. but at no time do you assess any of these achievements, such as they were. His achievements were unable to outlast his death. He laid the foundation for Hitler to increase his percentage in the Reichstag from 2.6 % in May 1928 to a shattering 288 seats in March 1933[10] and with that take control of Germany. He lost the publics trust in democracy and while is achievements should be valued highly, they were in themselves weak and only a mere mirage.

Dr. Gustav Stresemann was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on the 10 of December 1926. Until recently, the Nobel peace prize was strictly reserved for those who most deserved it for their work towards peace between nations and global peace. Gustav Stresemann received this award for his exceptional work towards better relations between France and Germany . While this highlights one of his achievements, the necessary steps he took to be able to rehabilitate the nation remain in the shadow of the end product.  Very ice turns of phrases but no real meat- what is your specific theme/argument? By August 1923, the financial situation of Germany was dire. Within this month alone, the value of the Mark decreased from 262,000 to one gold mark to 2,454,000.  According to Rudolf Hilferding, the German Finance minister from 1923 to 1928, Germany’s financial position “exceeded the worst expectations”.  

It was clear to all that passive resistance could not be continued throughout  the winter and even Adolf Hitler knew that passive resistance was no longer an option.   really? He sure kept that hidden... It was Stresemann’s first major achievement as chancellor to end passive resistance and restart Germany’s major industrial region. However, his real achievement was to do so without losing too much support amongst his political allies because stopping passive resistance was seen as a surrender to France. good point The only reason why passive resistance had not been ended earlier (not sure where you learned the use of commas)  was because every political party and politician feared the loss of support and therefore power. Ending the resistance towards the French was seen as a surrender by many Germans. evidence? Nevertheless, Stresemann encountered this threat with reason and logic to convince the German people to end passive resistance and to restart the production. In a passionate speech, Stresemann called upon his fellow Germans to end passive resistance while continuing the struggle against the French.  Stresemann managed to convince the Germans that there was no alternative to ending passive resistance, and that passive resistance now hurt themselves more than their opponents. He made it very clear that even though some might see this as a surrender to the French, it was in no way a surrender, but instead preventing Germany falling apart which would inevitable be the result of passive resistance. The creation of the Rentenmark was Stresemann’s next major achievement. As Frank D. Graham states in his book Exchange, prices, and production in hyper-inflation: Germany, 1920-1923,  “[t]he successful introduction of the Rentenmark in November 1923 … was certainly a remarkable achievement and bears strong witness of the steadfastness of the German Character”.  
 Graham later points out that the Rentenmark was introduced without any financial backing and without any foreign help. This shows clearly shows how Stresemann was able to convince the people of this new currency, which in reality was only safeguarded by its scarceness. In fact, Graham also argues that the Rentenmark was no better than its predecessor.  Nevertheless, Gustav Stresemann, despite the odds, managed to introduce a completely worthless currency which in turn stabilized the economic and financial situation in Germany.  How do you qualify it as "worthless"? What assessment means do you use?  When thinking of Stresemann’s successes in foreign policy, many such as John Traynor focus on Stresemann’s financial foreign policy.  

While setting up the Dawes and Young plans were very important for the German economy, Stresemann’s Annäherungspolitik with France was a far greater achievement. For France to accept Germany, a nation who had destroyed them twice within 50 years (how was France 'destroyed' at any time? Be careful with your use of words  as an equal into the League of Nations, Stresemann had to use all his charisma. But how would they be equal without an army and forced to abide by the T of V?  Simply compromising to the French was not enough to make past the past undone. In order for rehabilitation to fully occur, Germany had to prove that it had truly changed. This job naturally fell to the foreign minister, Gustav Stresemann. The greatest step towards this acceptance was the Locarno Treaty. This treaty, which marked the time in between the two wars, restructured the transnational situation in Europe, created a guarantee for any country which would be attacked and gave the impression that Germany had finally overcome its anger towards the treaty of Versailles.  By accepting its Western borders including the regions of Alsace and Lorraine, Germany finally ended the rivalry ( until a few years later...) and France finally felt that Germany was no longer planning to take revenge.  

 Overall, it was Stresemann’s skill as a politician and statesman which allowed Germany to recover from the financial disaster it found itself in, in 1923. Germany needed a leader who would push through the financial reforms necessary and in Stresemann; they had found the necessary chancellor. Gustav Stresemann set with his treaties the foundation for European peace and stability which we have today, and had the great depression not hit the economy shortly after his death and the Nazis not taken power, the wall of the Bundestag might be decorated with his quotes instead of the Landtag of Rheinland-Pfalz.

Assess Stresemann’s achievements  

To the politicians of the Weimar Republic, of a statesmanship rank, alongside Friedrich Ebert and Walther Rathenau belonged Gustav Stresemann, I don't understand your opening sentence, and I haven't finished it yet. Reichhskanzler during the critical days of the time of the occupation of the Ruhr in 1923. He remained true to his political party, the DVP which he formed in 1918, during Weimar’s ever changing governments and until his unexpected death in 1929 he was in position of the Reichsausenminister. He is a symbolic figure of the Weimar Republic as it was due to his economic reforms that Weimar entered its “Golden Years” . History and politics are closely related to one another so now we ask ourselves; what is Stresemann’s legacy? 

 When on the 13th August 1923 Gustav Stresemann became Germany’s Chancellor the critical atmosphere prevailed throughout Weimar. Since the Great War, Germany’s financial situation continued to deteriorate. After the war not only refugees and invalids had to be supported by the Government, but on top of this, the Allies had imposed substantial restitution payments upon Germany. In the attempt to meet these demands Germany began to print more money. During the 100 days in which Stresemann was Chancellor all of his economic reforms were put into practice, these included the “Rentenmark”. In November 1923 to curb inflation, Stresemann reformed Germany’s currency. Through this reform, the economic situation could be stabilized . It was also through Stresemann’s Rentenmark that the international market once again opened up to Germany.the USA had a large interest in trading with Germany, this not only boosted the German economy but also ended the years of hyper-inflation. Whilst Stresemann was in a leading position he also introduced, in 1924, the Dawes Plan, which  lengthened the time Germany had to pay back the reparations it owed. However this caused Germany to accept a loan of over 800 million marks, this helped Germany to a large extend to rebuild its economy, nonetheless the Dawes plan was viewed with a lot of scepticism as Germany now fully depended upon America. This fear proved to be appropriate as it was in October 1929 that The Wall Street Crash caused Germany to lose any economic power that they had managed to regain. 

  Stresemann’s achievements however go beyond his attempt to rebuild Germany’s economy and even though many frowned upon his efforts, he managed to bring order into a country filled with chaos. Even during his time as Germany’s Foreign Minister he remains highly credited. don't understand  Especially when in 1923, he acted upon the occupation of the Ruhr, Stresemann shows himself, like Bismarck as a “Realpolitiker” and therefore in August 1923 ends the passive resistance, without demanding from France in return for a withdrawal of its troops. He hoped thereby to achieve a peaceful solution with France. Even though this strategy succeeded in the long run it caused uproar amongst the citizens causing a large rise in support for radical right-wing groups, such as Adolf Hitler’s NSDAP. The majority felt that Germany showed weakness through Stresemann’s actions. Once again Germany was brought to her knees through the Allies and this broke the people’s spirit once over. 

      Stresemann’s largest attempt to befriend the Allies in his position of Foreign Minister, occurred in 1925, when Germany and the Allies signed the Locarno treaties . I don't think it was a question of "befriending" anyone. This was one of the conditions under which Stresemann’s Germany was allowed admission into the League of Nations which did occur in 1926. Even though the question of the eastern borders was not discussed at Locarno, Germany had to accept the demilitarization of the Rhineland and agreed to the western frontiers as they had been defined by the Treaty of Versailles. Despite the fact that Stresemann was handling in Germany’s best interest, some parliamentary leaders, such as the Nationalist members saw Stresemann’s actions as weak as he appeared to be kow-towing to the Allies. Not only within parliament was Stresemann’s foreign policy frowned upon, within the population Stresemann’s achievements were condemned due to them implying that Germany recognized the Treaty of Versailles as valid.  Stresemann’s diplomacy, which the French believed mirrored that of Bismarck, was equal to deceit as several people, especially those of the right-wing, believed that Germany had to retaliate. Due to the conflict the dissatisfaction caused within the Reichstag, the catholic Zentrums Partei and the parties to its right became even more right-wing during the 1920’s.  Nevertheless Stresemann managed to improve Germany’s relationships especially those with France and Britain this was proven by the fact that the three countries agreed on defending one another should they be attacked. 
 It is mainly due to Gustav Stresemann that Germany was able to regain her international recognition after the travesty that was brought forth through the Great War. Stresemann showed a great diplomatic ability for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize on the 10th December 1926. Both Stresemann and his French colleague Aristide Briand were honoured for their policy of rapprochement and the role they played in bringing Europe back to peace. However Stresemann’s era ended with his untimely death on October 3rd, 1929. Unfortunately for Germany, Stresemann had no successor and therefore his plans for the country could never be finalized. Due to his early death and the America’s economic collapse weeks after his death, Germany’s people felt forced to look for help elsewhere, this allowed especially the NSDAP to grab at the available power. It is fair to say that Stresemann’s greatest achievement was Rebuilding Germany’s economy after World War I, thus enabling her to later build upon that strong foundation and become an internationally recognized economic superpower.

Assess Stresemann’s Achievements 

To fully appreciate the achievements of Gustav Stresemann, we must first understand post-war, democratic Germany. Today it is impossible to conceptualize a world in which political assassination is the norm, and there is such intense political polarization that different factions were literally at loggerheads in the streets. The political landscape he inherited was no less chaotic, with no fewer than 28 parties represented proportionally in the Reichstag, and the lifespan of a political career lasting a matter of months. Against this background, Stresemann has both been extolled and condemned, for being a great statesman and also failing to represent his country’s interest, for being too nationalist and for betraying his nation, and for failing to fix the unfixable. However, these sweeping generalizations fail to consider the enormity of the changes he was able to enact in his short five-year term.

Perhaps Stresemann’s most lauded achievements were those regarding foreign policy. As the longest serving foreign minister of Weimar Germany from 1923-1929, this is perhaps unsurprising. Soon after becoming Chancellor in 1923, he called off the passive resistance to the French occupation of the Ruhr. This policy, enacted by the former Chancellor Cuno, had the effect of exasperating the French and destroying the German economy, in a reckless bid to show the international community that Germany could not pay the reparations bill without bankrupting herself. Due to Germany’s failure to fulfill reparation payments, the French and Belgian armies invaded the Ruhr area of western Germany to simply take what they were owed from the rich coalfields in the region. The effect of this on the German people in the area was disastrous; rumours of French brutality towards Germans citizens were rife throughout the entire country , and to add insult to injury, the French had deployed their colonial, black soldiers to watch over the coal requisitioning . One example of the hardships faced by the people in the area was the widespread coal shortages. As a result many German households could not keep themselves warm through the bitterly cold winter. The policy of passive resistance increased the number of unemployed in the area, and so not only could people barely afford what they needed, the increased amount of welfare payments allotted by the government exacerbated the already precarious economic situation throughout the country. The policy was akin to cutting off the country’s nose to spite its face: completely unproductive towards pacifying the French and the only ones who suffered the most were the average German workers.   Therefore, by ending the policy, Stresemann showed that Germany could be dealt with rationally, good descriptive adjective and thus paved the way for more civil foreign relations dealings in the future.  As William Carr wrote in his A History of Germany 1815-1985, “Chancellor Stresemann acted upon the simple truth that a government which lacks power cannot play power politics”.

 Furthering this trend of regaining international acceptance, Germany signed the Locarno Pact in October 1925, which Stresemann was instrumental in orchestrating. This document outlined a “mutual guarantee”  between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy, stating in Article 2 that they “mutually undertake that they will in no case attack or invade each other or resort to war against each other.”  Germany also recognized her western borders and renounced any claim to the area of Alsace-Lorraine, in return for the withdrawal of French troops from the Ruhr. This not only created peace between the two nations, but also signified the shift international sympathy away from the French.  Perhaps more significantly, Germany accepted the Treaty of Versailles formally, and the restrictions placed on her by it. These agreements, orchestrated by Stresemann, may appear small on their own merit, but when considered in the context of the time (only a few years after the majority of the planet was a sworn enemy of Germany), we can see that he clearly successful leading Germany on the path to renewed international recognition, including acceptance in 1926 to the League of Nations and later a Council seat, as well as his own personal Nobel Peace prize in 1926 .

Along with these accomplishments of foreign policy, Stresemann achieved great success in reviving the German economy. Due to the invasion of the Ruhr and passive resistance, the German economy experienced hyperinflation to an unparalleled extent. To show the enormous scale of the hyperinflation, one must consider the rapid pace at which it grew. For example, bread prices rose from 163 marks for a kilo in January 1923 to nearly 9 million marks in October.  Workers in Bavaria had to be paid three times a day, as their previous wages would be worthless by the time they were able to spend it. Prices could triple in the time it takes to eat a meal, and “what was earlier a small income is now just a tip” in the words of Victor Klemperer, an academic and avid diarist during the 1920-1930’s.  Malnutrition related deaths saw a sharp increase, and starvation became very real for the German people, especially in the occupied areas. The situation, clearly unsustainable, was crippling the country to the point where the economy virtually ground to a halt, as Klemperer notes, “Money matter take up a great deal of time and frazzle one’s nerves”.   To resolve the crisis, Stresemann introduced the Rentenmark on the 15th of November to replace the now worthless Deutsche Mark, which was set to fluctuate with the price of gold. Hjalmar Schacht, the head of the German central bank, put “measure in place to defend the Rentenmark from speculation” before it became legal tender as the Reichsmark in 1924.  This effectively marked the end of hyperinflation, and one of Stresemann’s greatest achievements, pulling his country back from the edge of disaster. The mere fact that the introduction of the Rentenmark curbed the hyperinflation speaks volumes; not even legal tender, the faith the German people exhibited in its adoption shows without a doubt the magnitude of Stresemann’s success. The plan to restructure reparations, wildly unpopular in Germany but which Stresemann ratified anyway, was drawn up by American financier Charles Dawes in 1924, after his initial report into the scale and schedule of reparation payments. It not only created provisions for the reorganization of the Reichsbank and set up a loan for 800,000,000 marks to Germany it was also a crucial step in the negotiations to end the occupation of the Ruhr.  The Dawes plan, which brought much needed American investment into Germany, boosted the German economy, especially in areas such as agriculture and heavy industry, and Weimar began investing in schools, infrastructure and public housing, as well as a more advanced social welfare system. It was through this investment that Germany once crippled and in utter chaos, became the economic powerhouse of Europe once again. The Dawes plan also paved the way for the eventual total reduction of reparations by the Young plan in 1929, shortly before Stresemann’s death. Thus, Stresemann had shown that it is sometimes necessary to take a step backwards and accept unpopular decisions in able to eventually further your country’s own interest.                                   
However, many of these achievements have been lambasted for failing to prevent the development of situations which lead to the advent of the Third Reich and the Second World War through his reluctance to appease the people. Firstly, he was condemned by his own party, the right,  for having ended passive resistance; in their mind, not only had they kowtowed to the French, but to the African soldiers as well. This debasement was not to be tolerated, and strengthened the Right Wing resistance against him. He managed to further alienate the Right Wing by ratifying the Dawes plan; not only were they now benefactors of American Imperialism, Stresemann was paying reparations, and intended the Germans to continue paying until 1984. While a necessary step for international diplomacy and economic stability, politically it succeeded in strengthening the right opposition.  Additionally, he angered the left, both by virtue of being a right wing politician, but also by joining the League of Nations, a fundamentally capitalist club, or at least in the eyes of the Soviet Union. By making unpopular decisions which were more focused on the long run, he created a peace that was unsustainable; as soon as his moderating influence was removed, the tower was poised to fall with no one prepared or willing to fill his unpopular position as the voice of reason in an increasingly frenzied atmosphere.  
If the measure of a man is longevity of his achievements, then Stresemann was a failure. He failed to envision events that no one could foresee, and as he created no measures to deal with the consequences, and he is therefore responsible for the outcome. If he had, he told no-one. But then, the same held true for FDR but he is credited with the US war effort. While this is a wholly illogical argument,  many fail to see pass the advent Nazism and Stresemann’s culpability. However, Stresemann’s achievements, when seen in the context of their time, cannot be lightly ignored, as he returned, however briefly, the vestiges of normalcy and prosperity to Weimar Germany.     
Bibliography: Pact of Locarno." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. . "The Nobel Peace Prize 1926 - Presentation Speech". Nobelprize.org. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1926/presentation-speech.html  "Dawes Plan." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 06 Feb. 2011. .

Assess the reforms and initiatives of Stresemann.  

Stresemann was one of Germany’s leading politicians, going from Chancellor in August-November 1923, to Foreign Minister until his sudden death in 1929.  Stresemann was seen as the one helping Germany out of a dire economic state and taking them into the “Golden Years of Weimar.”  Stresemann himself was Right-wing; forming the DVP in 1918, but yet he still agreed to support the Government the greater good of Germany. He is did this as, although he was initially a supporter of military force, he soon became convinced of the need to support the Reichstag and to find peaceful solutions to Germany’s financial and war related problems.  
Stresemann’s economic reforms were all put in place during the 100 days he was in power as Chancellor and this makes it easy to see how much of an achievement his work was.  good His first piece of work as Chancellor was to create the Rentenmark as a provisional currency in order to support better trading for Germany.  Each Rentenmark was worth 10¹² old marks; and it was put in place due to the hyperinflation occurring in Germany due to the invasion of the Ruhr by the French when Germany did not meet a reparations payment.  By the introduction of this currency other nations, particularly the Americans, began to trade with Germany once more, ending the age of Hyper-inflation and boosting Germany’s economy.  During Stresemann’s time in government he also saw the introduction of the Dawes plan, an economic plan from America lengthening the amount of time Germany had to pay back the reparations.  However along with this came a loan of over 800 million marks, a huge sum that helped Germany with building their economy.  The plan, introduced in 1924, was not always met with positive opinions with many people believing it to be causing too much reliance on America.  A point that was proved shortly after Stresemann’s death in October 1929, with The Wall Street Crash causing Germany to lose all economic power due to their reliance on American money and trade.   Economist Synder has argued that “Dawes Plan actually promoted a cycle harmful for international finance,” with the entire plan being put in place to give America the money Britain and France owed them. great support,  but you're expected to show evidence of research By promoting German economy and helping them pay back these two countries, Britain and France could pay back America what they owed, keeping everyone happy with the American’s also gaining more money than they had originally through Germany’s loan.  The Young Plan was introduced after the Dawes plan in 1929, cutting back the amount of time Germany had to pay reparations and lessening the amount that they had to pay in total.  
Despite some controversy over the economic changes Stresemann made during his time in the Reichstag, he still can be credited highly for his work as Foreign Minister.  In September 1923, Stresemann called off Passive Resistance, causing uproar of German anger and consequently a rise in the increasing support for the NSDAP (Nazi party).  Many  viewed the calling off of the resistance as Germany surrendering to its allies once more; however because of the end of resistance Germany saw in the signing of the Locarno pact, in 1925 where she voluntarily, under Stresemann’s authority, accepted new Western Borders as set at Versailles, including the demilitarisation of the Rheinland.   A year after the Locarno Pact, in 1926, German was admitted to the League of Nations.  By being admitted to this League, Germany began to make progress with its relationships with other countries, particularly with France and Britain, as they collectively formed an agreement about defence should one of them be attacked. Despite many of the good things that came out of Stresemann’s reforms and initiatives, they also played a major part in the crash Germany suffered economically as well as leading to the eventual Nazi Era.  When Stresemann died suddenly at the young age of 51, he left no one in his shadow to follow on his dreams and visions of the Germany he wanted to see occur.  This madness in the economy was catalysed by the unseen Wall Street Crash just weeks after his death, sending Germany into chaos with no one there to support it and guide it through.   
With the German government becoming increasingly more uncoordinated people began voting for extremist parties such as the Communists and the Nazis in order to get something done, something different to the current system that did not appear to be working as well as it had been promised. Should Stresemann have not have come into power and introduced the Rentenmark as Chancellor, Germany’s economic situation was unlikely to have improved.  However, Stresemann was not simply looking for a quick fix for Germany’s situation, with him having the future very much in mind with his acceptance of the loan from America and its Dawes Plan, also with his improvements for being in the working class with the Labour exchange.  not explained Although many German’s (you need to learn how apostrophes are used) were not initially pleased with Stresemann’s reforms, no evidence particularly the loss of Alsace-Lorraine under the Treaty of Versailles, had it not been for him, Germany would have never had become an Economic superpower. huh? how did he make it one?  Had Stresemann not died suddenly and unexpectedly, Germany surely would have seen a marked improvement in its entire economic system as well as being able to use its foreign policies and new found allies to its advantage.  Also, with the loss of Stresemann, there was no one to continue his line of work, allowing the NSDAP to come into power, and point out all of the faults that had yet to be fixed.
In conclusion I believe Stresemann’s initiatives although good for Germany in the long run, needed someone more convincing and a more powerful, controlled government to truly succeed. Had Stresemann stayed alive and carried out his plans, Germany may have never have suffered so badly economically.

Assessment of Gustav Stresemann’s Achievements      

On August 13th 1923 Gustav Stresemann was appointed Chancellor and Foreign Minister of a Coalition Government in Germany. At this point Germany was involved in the Ruhr crisis with France occupying the Ruhr and the hyperinflation crisis, whilst the country was still enraged about the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the November Criminals were the most hated people in Germany. Germany had also been excluded from the League of Nations and International Relations were at an all-time low. I think things were even worse- here it just sounds like people were pretty angry rather than articulate just how serious the crisis was in Germany at the time. This meant that Stresemann had a dire situation on his hands and the way he dealt with it could and most likely would define the future of democracy in Germany. This essay will therefore look at not only how he went about solving the problems but also how effective he was in doing so most importantly when it came to the economics and foreign policy.
One of the main areas that Stresemann concentrated on was Germany’s economic situation; the main problems were the hyperinflation crisis and Germany’s inability to pay reparations. The hyperinflation had come about due to the Germans printing more money to pay the reparations and meant the prices of essentials, such as food, soared far beyond reasonable levels. Stresemann had to be radical in finding a solution to this problem so called in all the marks, now worth next to nothing, and burned them. To replace them he brought in the Rentenmark in November 1923, which was worth one trillion marks (this showing how far the hyperinflation had gone) good, and in order to back it mortgaged out land for a price. The Rentenmark helped to stabilise the economy and meant that Germany could get back on its feet.   
The other economic crisis that Stresemann had to overcome was his countries inability to pay their reparations and Gustav made two significant achievements in lessening the economic implications of the reparations. Following  his decision to call off the Ruhr strike he agreed to the American Dawes Plan in 1924, this plan allowed Germany longer to make the payments and therefore more time in which to stabilise before they would be enforced to pay. Then again Stresemann was involved in the Young Plan of 1929 which reduced the payments Germany was required to make. The effect of both these plans on Weimar Germany was that like the Rentenmark they worked wonders in establishing Germany as an economic force in the world once again. 
At the time of Stresemann’s appointment, so soon after the war, Germany were roundly disliked and if they were to become a power again Gustav felt they would need to improve their relationships with those around them. The first, and quite possibly most important, step that Stresemann took to fix their international relationships was to end passive resistance in the Ruhr. Germany agreed to pay the reparations forced upon them and this meant not only that Germany no longer had to pay the striking workers but also that France left the Ruhr with a far better opinion of Germany than it did coming in. The Young and Dawes plans that followed this agreement also meant that Germany were seen as a more reasonable country to the more powerful countries like America and Britain who Germany were looking to build strong links with. Due to the fact that Germany had been the subject of the blame for the First World War they were not allowed to join the League of Nations until they could show they were a peaceful nation and Stresemann went about proving they were with the Locarno Treaty in 1925. The aim of the treaty was for Germany to acknowledge their Western borders with the agreement of the losses of places like Alsace-Lorraine and even though it did nothing about their Eastern borders it was the countries in the west that Germany was trying to impress. It clearly worked too, with Germany allowed to join the League of Nations a year later in 1926. The end result of Gustav Stresemann’s advances in Foreign policy was that Germany was not only now on better footing with the bigger world powers but also that they were now in the position to advance as a power with the support of other countries and as part of the League of Nations, recognised as a place of integrity.       
However, despite the effectiveness of his methods some people see faults in the way Stresemann went about achieving his goals, many Germans dislike his methods largely because of the way they adhered to the Treaty of Versailles. The ending of the passive resistance was seen as giving in to the terms of the Treaty whilst Locarno was seen in a similar light to that as was the building of close relationships with those who had punished them for the war.  With hindsight we can look upon Stresemann’s cooperation with the Treaty of Versailles and his willingness to join the League which was built on it as a reason that so many of the younger generations who had been born into the 20th Century were so supportive of parties that opposed the Treaty and eventually allowed the Nazi party to come to power. It is for this reason that it could be claimed that Stresemann was looking for short term resolutions rather than considering the long term consequences of basing his solutions on the Treaty.  
  Despite the possible flaws that can be claimed on Stresemann’s part, they must be overlooked in comparison to the time of enlightenment that he brought to Germany, not only through the economic solutions and advancements in foreign policy, but also through his investment of loans, largely from America, in the transport systems and industrial aspects of Germany and his improvements in conditions for the working classes through unemployment pay, the Labour Exchanges of 1927 and the building of 3 million new houses. All those arguments mean that if Gustav Stresemann was to be blamed for anything it would be that he was so successful and influential that he left Germany unable to cope without him following his death, he is rightly regarded as one of the greatest politicians of all time.

Evaluate the success of Gustav Stresemann 

 Gustav Stresemann was a man who truly led the German country into a new method of function. I don't understand- not a great way to initiate an essay.. He did not desert the old resentful mindset adopted by the a great majority of the German people after the conclusion of the Great War, with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, but instead transformed the agenda that had plagued the German people for so long to find a long term beneficial rise for Germany to find their place among the powerful and influential countries once again. good, but try not to work that hard to express your idea lest you come across as too vague and obtuse. He contributed to the attempt for long-term economic stability of Germany. He set out to reform the social welfare of the German people, whether they lived within the boarders or not. Furthermore he reconnected Germany to international politics, giving them more of a status than the uncooperative, outcast of a German hating international community. This however, is often over shadowed by the fact that many policies did not come to fruition due to the incredibly unstable and unpredictable nature of the time, not to mention the fact that he died at only the age of 51 so was unable to pursue many of his political endeavours.  

First of all one must examine the social issues that faced the German community at this time. After the Treaty of Versailles and the restructuring of the German political system the country had fallen into disarray. The country was ripe with crime, murder and lacked any form of social care. It was the case that many Germans had been separate for their country by the terms of the treaty of Versailles. Stresemann set out to change this. He ratified this situation with Locarno In 1925 he signed treaty with Britain, France and Belgium however refused to sign any treaties with countries on the eastern boarder such as Poland. This is often perceived and stated by Stalin that it this was under the intention for the Germans to move eastward as part of the west eventually attempting over run the USSR. This is however not true due shown by the treaty of Berlin signed by German and Russia in April of 1926 which reaffirmed and strengthen the terms of the Rapallo Treaty of 1922. It was also stated by Stresemann, himself, that he wanted only to “liberation of German territory from foreign occupation.”[1] He also spoke of how he had not sign any treaties with Russian until as he felt it might have lead to complications in the process of negotiations with the western powers. [2] This therefore shows that Stresemann intended to abide the rules of international law in which it ensures self-determination. He saw that Germans were being persecuted and unable to live under the same right that had been given to so many countries after the Great War. 

Industrial production was continuously and dramatically improving through the period of 1923-1926. This resulted from Stresemann’s move to end passive resistance in the Ruhr. Industrial statistics of production also grew from 30% in 1923 to 70% in 1925.[7] Although being an economic statistic this shows that life for people living in Germany was increasing. It shows that more people could be employed and business would have been making more money that would lead to a more prosperous households and better living conditions. Many areas of Germany faced crisis as they were being torn apart by radical political parties. For example Liepzig, in Saxony, Marxists were pushing for control to be shifted to the soviets. In Thuringia, the old Free Corps leader, Ehrhardt, escaped from prison and set up a new private army that went around killing and pillaging.   In the town of Küstrin a Rightist force of four hundred took control of the town. In the Rhineland, people were proposing and planning to create an independent state (it was fully supported by the French).[4] Things of this kind were accruing all the way through Stresemann time in the government and he never gained the ability to get the situation under control. One major criticism comes in the punishment of Hitler and other Nazi leaders harshly enough after the Munich Beer hall Putsch. This proved to the radicals of the country that there would be no serious consequences for their actions and incited them to pursue their plots of violence and revolution. 

Economically the development of the country was astounding. He first of all managed to introduce the new currency of the Rentenmark, which initiated the remedy to fixed the massive problem of hyperinflation. Hyperinflation had reached levels where from 25,260,000,000.00 to one dollar to 4,200,000,000,000.10 in 2 months[3]. The new currency replaced 1012 Marks and stopped German people from having to get paid twice or even 3 times a day or carry around money by the wheelbarrow load in order to have enough to purchase anything. This signified the forward thinking of Stresemann as he had set out to create catastrophic economic crisis created by incompetent politicians who had printed increasing amounts of money to pay of reparations only to make their currency worthless. It also signifies the create amount of trust that Stresemann instilled in the German people as they were convinced that this new form of money would become a reputable form of payment and would not be desired and deemed as a failure. The genius of this solution is also often not understood and perceived as a obvious solution however one must only look at economic situations today in countries such as the Zimbabwe where inflation has reached 231 000 000%and the only solution was to abandon any form of national currency and trade in foreign once.   

Furthermore Stresemann signed the Dawes Plan with the United States of America in 1924 which gave Germany 800 million marks in loans to help pay of reparations. This began to link Germany back up to the economic system of international cooperation. It bounded Germany to America, the biggest and most powerful economy of the time. Many historians such as Snyder argue that this downed Germany to America and would mean that Germany’s economy would be extremely reliant on America’s making it vulnerable. This is true however over simplifies the situation. Germany was not only bound to America but I worked in the reverse as well. America now had a vested financial interest in the performance of Germany, meaning that they would not like for it to fail as they would lose money due to slower or even non-payment of loans. This created a more stable future for Germany and under the circumstance was wise and essential. It also created an ‘injection’ into the economy the idea being that essentially more money will flow creating more revenues for the government and businesses allowing the economy to develop and become more stable which was necessary for Germany to beat the harsh economic times the beset them. Therefore this was an important step for Germany to take and although it had some inherent risk it was likely that they would be worse of if they did not agree to the Plan. 

Moreover Stresemann reformed the approach to payment of reparations. His perspective was that the only way to convince the France and Britain that, as Keynes claimed say, it was too much for the Germans to pay and still survive, was to pay it and show them. He did this by recommencing payment when he came into office in 1923. This eventually paid off and lead to the Dawes and Young plans that decrease the amount and increased the length Germany would have to pay it in. this once again shows Stresemann stepping outside of the accepted arguments that people want to hear and tackling problem in a different way. nice argument He contributed large amounts to he final sum and manage to reduce the severity of the payments on Germany, which no one else had been able to do. It also prevented France from invading again as they had done in twice already and created large amounts of sympathy in Britain especially.

International politics were seen by much of the German public to be too high on the agenda of Stresemann. They felt as though there should be more emphasize on domestic problems and this was one of the cause that eventually lead to him having to resign from chancellor only 100 days after he came into office. Stresemann however argued that domestic improvement could only be achieved if international political problems were resolved first. The issue of international treaties was something high on the list of Stresemann achievements. The major treaties he signed were the Locarno (1925) and the treaties in Berlin (November 5 1923) [5]  that expanded on Rapallo, you offer citations for dates but not for arguments and claims which was signed a year earlier. This showed Stresemann political will to create a peaceful Europe that would allow Germany to exist as an equal rather than a second-class country. In particular Locarno showed a new willingness to accept scarifies on it border in order to lead to a more peaceful and respectable end.

--> In September 1923, Stresemann ended passive resistance.  This meant that German workers would no longer strike in protest of the French invasion and reparations payments. Complains for the people indicated that they felt this was a week move that back down to the French. Once this occurred it dramatically improved the economy and allowed France to withdraw its troops. This showed assertiveness by Stresemann in trying a new tactics in bringing peace to Germany and also represented his ability to lead. Protesters and strikers decrease witch can be seen by the benefit it had on the economy and the fact that France and Belgium removed their troops from the Ruhr. Finally of the aspect of political international relations Stresemann to a step that had not been realized before. He managed to get Germany entrance into the League of Nations in Geneva in September 1926[6]. This signified Germany’s new place as an equal in the European community. albeit still enslaved by the shackles of Versailles It represented the massive strides that Stresemann had made, moving his country from one that was being invaded by France and Belgium to one that was now welcomed as an equal to the most powerful countries in Europe.  

In conclusion it can see that Stresemann took an unconventional progressive stance to create a Germany that was able to rise to the level of trust and power of country’s like Britain and France. His unconventional ideas and controversial actions eventually lead to his resignation from chancellor. He however continued to make successful strides to gain German international stability signing treaties to fix borders, build trust, assure peace, ended invasions and got Germany into the league. He was an incredibly use other words than this important fighter for a recovering and cooperative Germany that was a major factor in creating the developments of the Golden years of the Weimar Republic. 

Assessing Stresemann’s Achievements 

To understand Gustav Stresemann’s role in Weimar Germany, one must understand Weimar herself. The essence of the young Republic is best epitomised in the popular culture of the time, specifically the film industry. For instance, the movie Metropolis accurately captures the Zeitgeist of the 1920s, as it depicts the general social atmosphere, public doubt and even fear. This legendary futuristic picture portrays a society with an increasingly yawning chasm between the upper and working classes. Subtle unrest and eventual attempted revolution germinate in the underground world of labourers, as they are seduced into challenging their position in civilisation. The chaos illustrated in the film paralleled the reality of Weimar Republic, a society dominated by the grounded terror of nationwide communist insurrections. With over 50,000 aggressive Spartacists roaming the streets of Berlin in 1919[1], the Red Army and workers councils calling for revolution, anarchism and Bolshevism appeared realistically close to vanquishing any last shred of order. Metropolis encapsulates the aura of insecurity engulfing the new democracy; it was an unprecedented, tottery system for Germany and to many the social system seemed in the midst of a pandemonic restructuring. In this period of violence the nation needed a guiding grasp. She found it in Gustav Stresemann. The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Stresemann in 1926[1] patently manifests his adeptness as a statesman from an international point of view. In his years as foreign minister, he dedicated himself to reestablishing Germany’s position in the world of international relations. His leading role in agreements such as the 1924 Dawes Plan, the 1925 Locarno Pact, the 1926 Treaty of Berlin, the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact and the 1929 Young Plan ensured German economic and social well-being. The Dawes and Young Plans for instance reduced the total reparations bill, set a time limit, spread out the payments and provided an allied loan of 800 million marks to “maintain the economic unity of Weimar”[2]. explain how it changed Germany The Locarno Pact ended the most sanguinary tensions between France and Germany and ensured that France would not invade Germany again. This was hailed as a beginning of a “new era in the relations between France and Germany”[3]. In addition to this, Stresemann’s negotiating capabilities secured Germany a position in the League of Nations and thus constructed a new German image, placing her back into positive international light.

The orthodox view of Stresemann is that while he was a gifted foreign minister, a likable character in the international scene, his internal policies were not as successful. According to Geoff Layton, “historians agree that where Stresemann’s policies failed, he did not generate real domestic support for Weimar”[1]. meaning? Noted historian Richard J. Evans affirms that Stresemann was heavily criticized for his policy of “fulfilment”, to fulfil the terms of the loathed Peace Settlement[2]. While his party suffered the continual loss of electoral support, Stresemann placed more faith into the “primacy of foreign policy” and progressively disregarded domestic stratagem[3]. You need to move beyond parroting others' views and examining their reliability or value. You just give a quote and leave it at that. But what do YOU think given their ideas? However, one must not forget that one of his finest accomplishments was an internal refinement. The stabilisation of the German economy during the hyperinflation of 1923 was greatly due to his introduction of the Rentenmark, and the securement of mortgages of land and industry. The suave slip into Weimar’s Golden Years between 1924 and 1929 was indebted to Stresemann’s rescue of the economic household. Yet how firm was this amelioration?
Germany after the Great War was named after Weimar, no.m It was called Germany- they didn't change the name of the country to that of a provincial town! the city embodying German intellectual achievement and sophistication. Goethe penned his masterpiece Faust in the city to later become the location of the formulation of Germany’s destiny. Like Faust thoughtlessly endorsed his soul to Satan, the Weimar democracy would soon suffer the same fate. brilliant idea, that.. The golden Stresemann days from 1925 up to his death in 1929[5] resemble Faust’s period of hedonism, living in a semblance of fortune, yet inevitably marching towards doom. Similarly, Stresemann’s angelic methods allowed the Republic to flourish for four blissful years, until his sudden demise in October, the same month as the Wall Street crash. From then on, Weimar subsided back into the chaos of Metropolis. The American credits solidified in the Dawes Plan melted into worthlessness[6], one demonstration that Stresemann’s achievements were simply a mirage. This is further manifested in the sudden oscillation of voting results after his death: support for Stresemann’s DVP decreased dramatically, due to the forfeiture of its main head supplying concrete direction and purpose. By 1930, extremist anti-democratic parties earned alarmingly more votes than usual. The NSDAP won 107 seats, second only to the SPD with 143 seats, closely followed by the KPD with 77 seats[7]. Radical parties began to gain a substantial voice in parliament after Stresemann, essentially leading to Adolf Hitler’s procurement of power. This shows beyond doubt that Stresemann’s achievements, impressive as they may have been in Weimar’s turbulent state, were an illusion that brought Weimar back into savage volatility after they withered.
Gustav Stresemann remained in unbroken power for nine successive administrations[8], providing Weimar with the crucial bearing she needed for six years. Even though his accomplishments were reduced to nothingness after 1929, he was responsible for one of the most culturally and socially productive periods Germany has ever seen. If it were not for his guidance from 1923 to 1929, the unstable, war-traumatized Germany may have fallen to Nazism far earlier; Stresemann’s era was a dream that was lost not to his awaking, but to his eternal sleep, giving Hitler the second chance he needed.

[1] Layton, Geoff. Access to History - Weimar and the Rise of Nazi Germany 1918-33. Page 92. London: Hodder Murray, 2005.
[2] Evans, Richard J. The Coming of the Third Reich. Page 192. Penguin Books, 2003.
[3] Mommsen, Hans; Forster, Elborg. The Rise and Fall of Weimar Democracy. Page 213. UNC Press Books, 1998.
[4] Allen, Larry. The Encyclopedia of Money. Page 338. ABC-CLIO, 2009.
[5] Balderston, Theo. Economics and Politics in the Weimar Republic. Page 61. Cambridge University Press, 2002.
[6] Layton, Geoff. Access to History - Weimar and the Rise of Nazi Germany 1918-33. Page 122. London: Hodder Murray, 2005.
[7] Kolb, Eberhard. The Weimar Republic. Page113. Routledge, 2005.
[8] Evans, Richard J. The Coming of the Third Reich. Page 87. Penguin Books, 2003.
[1] Layton, Geoff. Access to History - Weimar and the Rise of Nazi Germany 1918-33. Page 89. London: Hodder Murray, 2005.
[2] Adam, Thomas. Germany and the Americas: Culture, Politics and History: A Multidisciplinary Encyclopedia. Volume 2. Page 272. ABC-CLIO, 2005.
[3] Nanda, Siba Prasand. History of the Modern World (1919-1980). Page 46. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., 2002.
[1] Lee, Stephen J. Weimar and Nazi Germany. Page 11. Heinemann, 1996.

 Assess Stresemann’s Achievements 

Throughout the entire period during which World War 1 wrecked and ruined countless nations located in Europe, as well as countries scattered all around the world, Gustav Streseman was a delegate in the German Reichstag. Starting from 1914, the beginning of the war, he witnessed, at a close proximity, the failures and fatal mistakes of the former politicians that shaped and determined the following four disastrous years. November 22, 1918 he forms the Deutsche Volkspartei (DVP) , believing that something had to be done to help the collapsed Reich recover. “This old Germany… collapsed in its constitution, in its social order, in its economic structure” , as Streseman once stated, correctly reflects and suggests his intention in engaging so deeply in the political nightmare reigning over Germany during that time. His commitment was shown in the form of him being the chancellor of Germany, as well as the Foreign Minister. He wanted to restore and heal the foundation of Germany, consisting of its constitution, its society and its economy, in order to allow her to recover and survive the difficult and rough years following the armistice ending World War 1.  

6,6 billion Reichsmark was the enormous amount, which Germany was forced to pay as reparations for the First World War. Due to this her economy was in shatters and to overcome this, a lot of extra money was printed, ending with inflation. Germany’s constant incapability of paying her depths caused further conflicts and uproar from both Germany, as well as from the Allies. Stresemann introduced the Rentenmark, 10000000000000 old Reichsmarks now having the same value as one Rentenmark. This controlled the inflation, as well as enabling the start and the introduction of the Dawes Plan. In August 1924, the Dawes Plan was agreed on and introduced, giving Germany more time to pay off the reparation costs.  However, even though the Dawes Plan relieved and stabilized the German economy for a great while, as well as decreasing unemployment and increasing trade fare, Germany was now dependent on foreign countries.  Overall she had received a total of 25,000 million gold marks of loans from countries such as the United States and Britain.  Therefore major economic crises, such as the Wall Street Crash, would negatively effect and harm the German attempts at building up their Economy. N The eventual realization of the incapability of paying the annual reparation amount resulted in the creation of the Young Plan in 1929. This substitution for the Dawes Plan agreed to reduce reparations by almost 75%, giving Germany 58 years to do so, ideally having paid off by the year 1988. October 3, 2010, almost 30 years after the arranged date, Germany finished paying the reparations for World War One.  This shows that the Young Plan, initiated by Stresemann, did give Germany more freedom in which to recover and build up their economic structure, yet set a very false and unrealistic goal. 

October 1925 the Locarno Treaty was signed by Germany, France, Belgium, Italy and Britain, in which Germany accepted her Western Borders. This Treaty was the entrance ticket into the League of Nations affirming their regained image of a world power and acceptance of the other nations. Even though, the signing of the Treaty meant the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, as well as the admittance of guilt and a possible sign of surrender, it led to Germany’s inclusion in the matters regarding the main powers. Shortly after, August 24, 1926, the Agreements with the Soviet Union followed, agreeing on neutrality and a non-aggressive relationship. Although neither nation really trusted the other, it was helpful having a powerful ally by their side. The Kellogg-Briand Pact was the agreement Stresemann signed August 27, 1928, making war illegal.  Signing this Treaty was a step towards global, but more importantly European, peace. However, even though 62 nations eventually signed the Treaty, and following through with this pact should have been of high interest of all participants, not an immense support was given to the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The agreement was occasionally ignored, resulting in minor conflicts. Stresemann continuously and determinately tried improving Germany’s image to the foreign nations. Although change came slowly and seldom, Stresemann did achieve including Germany in the League of Nations and providing some safety and back-up from neighbouring states.

It was also in Stresemann’s interest  to improve conditions for  German society. Through the Dawes Plan many new jobs were available and the working conditions improved. 3 million new houses were built, as well as new roads, public buildings and schools. Women’s equality was attempted to be provided and maintained, including them in high-ranked jobs, the Reichstag and enabling them to vote. A reform introduced July 7, 1927 ratified the Unemployment Insurance and Labour Exchange Law, trying to achieve a positive development for the working class.  Even though propaganda advertised the time period between 1925 and 1929 as being the ‘Golden Era’, the Mittlestand were the ones suffering from the euphoria of Germany’s success and prosperity.  Farmers and the middle-class were affected by unemployment and high competition. In order to keep up with other businesses, people invested in expensive new equipment, quickly leading them into having high debts and very low incomes.  

“Just as a child respects his father even when he perceives his weaknesses and faults, so a German will not despise the old Germany which was once a symbol of greatness to him.” , claimed Stresemann, describing his ambition and intention. Although Germany was an absolute mess and in total chaos after World War 1, Stresemann, as well as many other Germans, felt that their national pride was sending them the impulse to save whatever is left of their ‘old Germany’. Stresemann put a lot of effort into improving living and working conditions, as well as the German reputation and image as seen by the foreign nations. He realistically tried finding solutions in solving the economic confusion that had been blocking any attempts at raising the German standards. It may be argued that Stresemann’s agreements and solutions were not always successful and beneficial for all classes in society and that developments occurred too infrequently. However, it is clear that Gustav Stresemann made the effort in dealing with as many problems and solving as many conflicts as possible. He was a person the nation respected and relied on, which was obvious after October 3, 1929,  when Stresemann suddenly died resulting in the Weimar Republic having great difficulties sustaining the achievements he had managed to reach during the previous years.

Assess the reforms and initiates of Stresemann from Weimar Germany, 1919-1933.  

Stresemann was known to have taken Weimar Germany the ‘Golden Years of Weimar’; he served as Chancellor and Prime Minister during the Weimar Republic. Many historians like Thomas Mann said that ‘the history of this extraordinary man belongs to the most remarkable of German lives’, meaning that many Germans owe their lives to Stresemann for what he did to help the country.  Whilst he was in power, Gustav Stresemann made a lot of reforms to resolve the crisis of hyperinflation due to the payment of reparations. He helped both the economy of his country and the foreign relations with other countries. Stresemann ‘worked hard to rebuild his shattered country and for peace and co-operation abroad’ and he did it by reforms and initiatives throughout his years in power. The Times also mentioned that his accomplishments helped Germany prosper and that Germany now holds an important place in the affairs of Europe, all because of his leadership. 

 When Stresemann was in power, he made some changes to the economy by changing the currency and generating new plans. One of these modifications was the Dawes Plan established in 1924; it was an American plan to give Germany more time to pay the World War One reparations. The Dawes Plan also relied on the Americans to give money to the Germans in order to pay the reparations; it was the only way for the Dawes Plan to work, US’s help was required . This was an achievement from Stresemann because it helped the German economy to resettle in the short-run. It diminished the burden of paying war reparations; it stabilized the currency and brought foreign investments and loans to the German market. Another reform of Stresemann is the Young plan, it consisted of a settlement for the German reparations debts which was adopted in 1929. This idea was reached when there was the Stock Market Crash in 1929, enabling the US to loan any money to Germany which created new problems in Germany’s economy. Young’s report was to reduce the amount to pay to 121,000,000,000 Reichsmarks and that it all had to be paid in 59 years, until 1988.  The last economic reform that Stresemann achieved was the Rentenmark; it was the new currency issued in November 1923 to stop the hyperinflation happening after World War One. It allowed the currency to stabilize, 1 Rentemark was the value of 1 trillion old marks . This was a good achievement because it did slow down inflation to a near stop and it was also a long term accomplishment because the last Rentenmark bills were valid until 1948 even the Nazis thought of changing it, but it was stabilizing the economy and therefore kept it until World War Two. 

Stresemann did not only have attainments in the economy, he also had a great influence in the foreign affairs in Weimar Germany. He changed the foreign relations of Germany with the rest of the World by signing the Locarno Treaty, Ending the Resistance and involving Germany in the League of Nations. The first foreign policy that Stresemann interfered in, was the Locarno Treaty signed in 1925. This pact consisted of many treaties between the European countries. The first treaty made France and Belgium promise to renounce war on Germany and vice versa, except for self-defence. This also involved Great Britain and Italy who had to defend the victim of the war. Also in the Locarno pact, Germany was agreeing to the loss all its Western Borders and attempted to stabilize German relations with its neighbouring countries. This pact was an achievement because it allowed Germany to come back in the Great Powers and like Macdonald, a hostile critic of the treaties, said the Locarno treaty ‘has been the most significant example of mass coueism that I have ever known’ . Another initiative of Stresemann was the end of passive resistance against the Treaty of Versailles from the German to pay the reparations of the war. This was initiated by his view of fulfilling the terms in the Versailles Treaty and then the relief to end the treaty’s harsh requirements. The passive Resistance was a Ruhr strike to stop paying the war reparations; Stresemann ended it in 1924 and started paying the reparations right after it. The problem with starting to pay reparations again was that made inflation high, but it allowed the German’s to be free from the French invasion in Ruhr.  The last alteration in foreign policies was entry of German into the League of Nations in 1926. The admission of Germany in the League is a huge impact for the Germans, because it means that Germany is being considered as a powerful country again and can take part of the decisions of the League especially in the East . The Locarno treaty, the end of the Passive Resistance and the entry in the League of Nations were some great achievements from Stresemann, because ‘Germany had become a world power again’ . 

When Stresemann was chancellor, it was Germany’s Golden Era because there was boom in the cultural life of the Germans. During the ‘Roaring Twenties’ there was cultural effects in the film industry, the arts and literature but also in the life of Germans. The arts in Weimar Germany were very different from any art seen before; there was a huge increase in Germany for culture creativity where people made new developments in architecture with The Bauhaus School, Art, Books and Films when the Kammerspielfilm movement occurred. For the architecture, Stresemann who was borrowing 25,000 million gold marks from America helped finance to build roads, railways and factories but also 3 million new houses . The architecture was mainly influenced by the Bauhaus School of Architecture, formed by Walter Gropius, which taught not only about architecture but also about all kinds of materials for decorative and fundamental purposes in and on the building . The film industry also increased at that time to reach its highest ever, the cinema at the beginning reflected the poverty after the First World War and afterwards it also replicated the ‘sexually-liberated morals’ of Germany at the time . Also during Stresemann control, German was the main language for physics and chemistry with Albert Einstein living and teaching in Berlin at that time. Stresemann also introduced reforms with the Labour Exchanges in 1927 and decreasing unemployment by paying people to work on building community edifices.  A culture that influenced Germany’s nation was America, because the Germans were counting on the Americans to help them out of hyperinflation and therefore Germans showed great interest on the American culture. The problem with the cultural impact of the Americans was that ‘[t]he German economy is doing well only on the surface. Germany is in fact dancing on a volcano.  If the short-term loans are called in by America, most of our economy will collapse.’  This meant that if America collapsed? then Germany would be even further down, but people were trying to think of something else and therefore Weimar Germany was a time to go to club and cafés to think of other things then War and Inflation. Even though Stresemann did not influence the Germany culture much, it was because of his help that people were looking out for America and working on building the future of Germany.  

Stresemann was seen as an optimistic politician that, like a true German, wanted Germany to prosper as it did before the First World War. He was respected many leaders overseas and in neighbouring countries, he used this respect to achieve the Dawes and Young Plan but the Locarno Pact with European nations. His main goals were to have Germany rapprochements with the West and to participle in the League of Nations until Germany recovered from the hyperinflation and dominate the Continent again. Many of the things he did help flourish the German culture and if he had not died in 1929, the economy may have prospered as he had wished even after the Wall Street Crash in the US because he was ‘Weimar’s greatest statesman' .  

  “Germany experienced a Golden Era under Stresemann.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Gustav Stresemann, the man who started the Golden Era of Germany
In late 1923, the Weimar Republic was on the verge of collapsing. Surprisingly, this crisis led to a golden period of Germany when the economy once again boomed and the culture flourished. This time interval between 1924 and 1929 was known as the golden era of Germany. It is widely believed that one man, Gustav Stresemann, had guided Germany back onto track and into this new great era. During his time as chancellor, he called off the passive resistance and solved hyperinflation, which allowed Germany’s economy to respite and grow. During his serving as chancellor from 1924-1929, not only did he sign the Dawes Plan and Young Plan which brought streams of money into the government’s pocket, he also contributed to the signing of the Locarno Treaty and Germany’s position in League of Nations which brought back Germany’s international reputation and fame as well as securing peace within Europe. Gustav Stresemann, with his many great accomplishments, is the one who is responsible for Germany’s glorious golden era between 1924 and 1929.
The first thing that Gustav Stresemann did after he became German chancellor on August 23 1923 was to call off the passive resistance. In 1923, France occupied the Ruhr area seeking for Germany to pay the reparation fees. The Germans reacted furiously with passive resistance. They refused to work and cooperate with foreign troops, and the German government supported them. They started striking, and the government continued to pay their wages and welfare bills. However, the Weimar Republic was already suffering greatly from high levels of inflation due to war reparations and increasing government debts. In order to pay these striked workers, the government simply printed more and more Papiermark, and this led to the problematic hyperinflation. By the autumn of 1923, a loaf of bread cost two hundred billion Papiermarks. The situation in Germany was critical, as money flourished into the society unrestrained by the government. Stresemann’s first   action as chancellor was to organize the great coalition of the parties in the Reichstag. This reunited government called off the passive resistance of the workers, which allowed the goods to be produced again. Next, he persuaded the French troops to leave the Ruhr by promising to pay them the war reparation fees. At last, he changed Germany’s currency from the Papiermark into Rentenmark. By doing so, the government stopped printing more money, therefore the pressure of hyperinflation on the economy was resolved. Nevertheless, Germany’s economy was still unable to completely recover to the pressure of war reparations. After Stresemann became foreign minister in 1924, he believed that peaceful negotiations with allied countries could ease Germany’s economic pressure. As a result, he worked with Charles Dawes, an American banker, to create the Dawes Plan in 1924. This plan granted Germany a 800 million allied loan, reduced the total sum of war reparation bills and spreaded the course of repayment. This plan kick-started Germany’s economy. Furthermore, in August 1929, months before his death, Stresemann negotiated with Young, the head of General Electric and a member of the Dawes committee, to create the Young Plan. This plan further reduced the total sum of war reparations by about 17% and rescheduled the reparations payment on 59 annuities. As a result of these two beneficial plans, the country is rich again. Germany’s economy improved with falling unemployment, increased factory production and gaining confidence within the society. By 1927, Germany's Industrial production had recovered to pre-war levels. Furthermore, the quality of living in the Weimar republic increased dramatically as the Weimar government invested heavily in public housing, schools, parks and other public facilities with Allied loans in the late 1920s. The late 1920s saw a rise in car ownership and a growth of the cinema industry, both indications of a more prosperous society. As the society stabilized and the fear for starvation and unemployment decreased, there was a rise in votes for political parties that supported democracy and the Weimar Republic. Similarly, the more radical parties did not do so great within the late 1920s. For example, the Nazis only got 12 seats and 2.6% of the votes in 1928. This indicates that the people have gained their confidence and support to democracy, and the society is more stable compared to the time periods of passive resistance and hyperinflation. Therefore, it can be concluded that Gustav Stresemann and his contributions towards calling off passive resistance, solving hyperinflation, and signing the Dawes and Young plan   greatly stabilized the Weimar Republic and brought Germany into a new era where fear and anger became extinct among the public.
As Gustav Stresemann became the foreign minister of Germany in 1924, his foreign policies also greatly contributed to the peaceful golden era in Germany. His aim of his foreign policies was to restore Germany’s international status and power, however he knew that Germany could not challenge the Allied countries and revise the treaty of Versailles by force. Instead, he decided to communicate peacefully and cooperate with the Allied countries, as he knew that they could not afford Germany’s economy to collapse due to their reliance on German war reparations bills. His strategy of negotiation was called Erführungspolitik, which meant complying with the terms of the Versailles Treaty in order to improve Germany’s relationship with other countries. Due to Germany’s willingness to cooperate, the Locarno Treaty was discussed in Locarno, Switzerland from 5-16 October 1925 and officially signed on 01 December 1925 by Germany, Britain, France, Belgium and Italy. Under the terms discussed in the Locarno Treaty, Germany voluntarily accepted its western borders and agreed to the complete demilitarization of Rhineland, whereas the allied troops left Rhineland in 1930, 5 years ahead of schedule. This ended the allied troops’ 12 years long occupation of Rhineland, and now that the allied troops are gone, the morale of the Germans went up, and the society was more stabilized and calm. The Locarno Treaty also improved the relationship between European countries and led to the belief that any future disruptions can be settled peacefully by cooperated negotiations. This spirit that the Locarno Pact brought to Europe is often called the Spirit of Locarno. As the result of this successful negotiation, Gustav Stresemann won the Nobel prize of peace in 1926. This spirit of cooperation has been reinforced when Germany joined the League of Nations in 1926 in order to ensure that the Locarno Pact can come into effect. This was a great honor for Germany to be considered by the rest as an equal power alongside the Allied countries. The impact of Germany joining the League of Nations also boosted confidence of foreign powers and the germans in the Weimar Republic and Stresemann himself. Germany was given many advantages, for example it was granted a permanent seat as well as the power to veto decisions made by the Allied countries. The allied countries appraised Stresemann’s effort to bring peace back to Europe. James Maxwell Garnett. The secretary of League of Nations’ Union of Great Britain, commended Gustav
  Stresemann for his great contribution towards peace settlements within Europe. In conclusion, Gustav Stresemann's Erführungspolitik strategy and his commitments towards Germany signing the Locarno Pact and joining the League of Nations not only brought back peace and confidence to Germany, but also restored Germany’s international status, and all of these are indications that Germany is in a golden era of peace, order and recognition.
Although Gustav Stresemann made many remarks in his servings as chancellor and foreign minister from 1923-1929 that led to the golden era, many of his outcomes through negotiations and cooperations did not work accordingly. First of all, although Stresemann seeked to make Germany into a superpower again through peaceful negotiations and cooperations, the treaty of Versailles was still heavily restraining Germany such as the permanent loss of 10% of German territories, the permanent loss of oversea colonies and loss of 16% of coal as well as 48% of ion industry. Furthermore, there are humiliating terms that made Germany accept blame for World War One, limit their armed forces and pay large sums of war reparations, which made Germans feel weak, ashamed and defenceless. Stresemann did try hard to bring back Germany’s confidence and reputation, however the treaty of Versailles was still there limiting Germany’s growth, and signing the Locarno Pact as well as joining the League of Nations did not alter any decisions made in the treaty of Versailles. In fact, the Locarno Pact made Germany’s lands that were lost permanently. Therefore, it can be seen that although Stresemann’s foreign strategies were beneficial both to Germany and to Europe as a whole, his strategy did not meet the interest of the German nationalists. Stresemann’s decision to use American loans to save Germany’s economy also left many hidden dangers that will doom the economy after his deaths. For example, the restore of Germany’s economy was tied up with Allied loans granted under the Dawes Plan and Young plan. However, the young plan failed as in the following year, the black tuesday and the following advent of the great depression doomed the plan. U.S. banks no longer provided loans to Germany, but Germany still had to pay back the loans that the U.S. provided earlier as well as the war reparation fees. As a result of this, Germany’s economy struggled. Now that the loans are recalled, Germany ran out of money, and its economy completely collapsed. Consequently, all 5 major banks in Germany shut down, all Germans’ money and savings were lost, and as a result unemployment rate went up dramatically. Before  the crash, only 1.25 million people in Germany were unemployed. By the end of 1930, the figure had reached nearly 4 million people, which was about 15.3% of the entire society, being unemployed. By 1932 over 30% of Germany’s workforce was unemployed. The crash of the economy directly benefited the more radical parties in Germany such as the Nazis, because people lost confidence with the Weimar government and turned towards the more extreme views of the Nazis and the Communists. This can be seen in 1930 when the Nazis got 107 seats in the Reichstag and 18% of the vote, compared to the 12 seats and 2.6% of vote in 1928. In the time period of only two years, the Nazis saw an 891% increase in terms of number of seats in the Reichstag and a 692% increase in terms of votes. These values show that the majority of the Germans have lost faith and confidence in the government. Furthermore, the governmental structure that had been successful in the Stresemann era collapsed due to the economic crash, and chancellor Bruning’s decision to cut governmental expenditures exaggerated this situation. The government was now in chaos. It can be seen from hindsight that Germany’s reliance on American loans was a terrible idea. If Stresemann didn’t tie Germany’s economy up with American loans, Germany wouldn’t have been the European country that was hit by the great depression most severely. In conclusion, it can be perceived with hindsight that many of Stresemann's outcomes failed, and the rest are just beneficial in the short term and disastrous on a long scale.
Overall, it can be agreed that it was Gustav Stresemann who created the golden era of Germany between 1924- 1929. Before his death on 3 October 1929, within the short period of only five years, he managed to restore Germany’s international reputation and recognition. Under his 102 days as chancellor from August to November 1923, he called off passive resistance and brought an end to hyperinflation, stabilized Weimar Germany’s economy and led to the French leaving the occupied Ruhr area. Under his term as Weimar Germany’s foreign minister from 1924 to 1929, he stabilized Germany’s economy and brought wealth into the society with the Dawes plan and the Young plan. To add on, he brought peace to Germany and Europe by signing the Locarno treaty and joining the League of Nations. During his years of serving as the chancellor as well as the foreign minister, he accomplished many agreements which are not only beneficial to the economy and the factories and industries, but also to the ordinary Germans,  therefore it can be concluded that Gustav Stresemann started the golden era in Weimar Germany.