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A governmental economic blunder: the hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic

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Hyperinflation was an immense problem for The Weimar rebublic during the years 1918 to 1923. However, it would be inherintly incorrect to argue that hyperinflation was a sole problem for Weimar and that it was not a result of anything.

Weimar were incredibly unlucky to suffer the problem of hyperinflation. This was one of the very few cases of hyperinflation any country on earth has ever had to experience. Weimar did bring this problem upon themselves let´s not forget. It was entirely the governments fault for actually imposing the problem. However, they were not the once who actually ignited the flame. The hyperinflation problem was actually a direct consequence of the inavsion of the Ruhr. And the invasion of the Ruhr was a direct consequence of the harsh Treaty of Versailles. The way these causes all linked up is crucial to understanding the reason hyperinflation was not strictly the government´s fault.

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The Treaty of Versailles demanded that Germany paid an absurd amount of money to the victors of the First World War in reparations for all the buildings damaged or destroyed in the war. This punishment alone would be tough for Germany to handle, but when you look at the other sanctions imposed on Germany you would make an assumption that to pay the sum required was near impossible considering that the sanctions imposed on them completely reduced their international exportations, therefore reducing their economy to a small size, meaning that no money would ever come in. And worse still, money would be going out in order to pay for benefits for the many widowed woman of ww1 who did not have a form of income for their families. This meant it was extremely difficult for Germany to pay back the desired amount of reparations to the victors.

And the allies patience ran out with Germany. France and Belgium still hadn´t got their desired amount in reparations and thus stormed into The Ruhr, Germanies industrial centre. And took their reparations in physical form. E.g. textiles, wood, metals etc… This was terrible for Germanies economy, now they could not export anything, and saw printing more money as the only solution to their money problem. Printing more money works if wages go up with the prices of goods. But they didnt so it essentially meant people who were upper-middle class or middle class were now extreamly poor; now after a week of working all they could afford was a bit of bread and cheese. The German middle class were affected worst of all because all the savings they had built up over generations to maybe by a home was worth a bit of bread. This soly turned germanies public into anger, starvation and general turmoil. So clearly hyperinflation turned the Germanies population against the government for causing the problems they now face. Once the public is against the government it makes it very difficult to govern the country. But this reason alone was not enough to make The Weimar rebublic impossible to govern. Many other factors made it difficult to govern Weimar, factors that once again were either linked directly or indirectly to The Treaty of Versailles.

A perfect example of this would be the political violence that came from either end of the extreme political spectrum. Things like the Kapp Putch and The Spacacist Revolt put pressure onto Weimar. People were constantly being killed at extreamist protests and this repeatedly made it difficult for Weimar to govern.

The combination of these two problems in Weimar, made things very difficult in these five years. With the amount of pressure the hyperinflation problem put on the nation, the amount of pressure the ongoing political violence put on the nation combined with the general state of the nation´s economy. It all made the Weimar Rebublic very difficult to still govern. But was hyperinflation the main cause? Compared to the other causes hyperinflation definatly was the most prominant, had the biggest effect and was effectivly the sole reason for putting the nation´s population into complete turmoil. So on paper it was obviously the main cause.

But as I have argued throughout my essay all it was, as the political violence and general low economic growth, a result of the harsh treaty forced upon them that started all its problems that caused itś inability to govern properly.

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