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The Great Depression For Germany

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Question:

How Significant was the Great Depression for Germany?

 

Answer:

Introduction

The great depression is known for the worldwide economic slump that began as a crisis in America. At the end of the World War I, Germany became a part of democratic republic, which was known as the Weimer Republic[1]. The economic crisis occurred after the world war put the government into stress. The government became unable to deal with such crisis scenario. In the year of 1923, France occupied Ruhr Valley, which was the heartland of German Industry. The Treaty of Versailles demanded the war compensation that Germany could not pay.

In order to stabilize the economic condition, the President of Weimar Republic decided to approach America to loan Germany. Between the years of 1924-1929, the economic condition was quite improved. However, it is important to note that during the year of 1920, Germany remained as the country with economic instability. Therefore, the study will shed lights on the economic, social, political, and other issues occurred during such scenario. The influence of these factors will be explained by adding the relevant information in this study.

 

Discussion

In the year of 1928, the emerged crisis created the significant depression for Germans. Herbart Hoover, the President of New Republic confidently implied that this situation was the final triumph over poverty. In the year of 1929, the Wall Street Stock Market crashed and the world economy was plunged into the stressful and recognizable depression[2]. America was in the depths of the greatest economic depression by the year of 1932. Suring such time, the unemployment rate reached upwards 13 million[3]. It was noted that many of the people started living in the primitive conditions that are close to famine. It was reported that one family from New York moved into a cave located in the Central Park. Almost 1000 people from St. Louis started living in shacks, which were made from scrap metals and boxes. People became desperate to search for jobs and employments. In November 1932, the time of election, Hoover had also undergone some of the crises. He was not allowed to arrange a campaign and the opponent party defeated him as well. It is to be specified that there are some of the significant links between this Wall Street crash and the great depression in Germany. The causes of depression were as follows:

  • The collapse of the land prices in Florida in 1926 was a considerable threat.
  • The lack of people to buy good products due to economic crisis was also responsible.
  • During 1920s, farmers produced many foods and the prices were steadily lower[4].
  • There were many small banks, which did not have enough funds to cope with the sudden economic rush to take out of savings.
  • Much speculation on the stock market was also responsible.
  • The Wall Street Crash was the psychological blow for the people.
  • America lent huge sums of money to European countries during the collapse of stock market[5].
  • The financial crisis became severe when the European Banks were collapsed.

The mentioned situations drove Germany towards a severe form of depression. The effects of such crises are discussed further:

  • 13 million people were out of work that made the unemployment crisis much dangerous.
  • Between the years of 1929-1932, the industrial production dropped by almost 45%.
  • Between the years of 1929 to 1932, the house building fell by almost 80%[6].
  • The entire banking system in America reached to the collapsing edge.
  • Almost 5,000 banks went out of business during this period.
  • Many people were dead due to starvation, illness, and depression.

The above analysis specifies that the situation was completely out of control and caused severe depression. These effects have the significant impact on the world economy as well. However, during such scenario, the Weimar Government paid attention towards the useful regulations that were effective enough to combat depression. During the great depressions, Germany was unable to pay the post war compensation. The Weimer Government approached America to provide the loans for making the economic conditions stabilized. It is noted that people raised questions on German reparations whether it is being the massive free imports or not. Government increased the relief spending that contributed to the crisis by put down the employees[7]. It made cuts to education, health care, and other social programs. The government even started borrowing money from abroad during the financial crisis.

 


The most visible outcome of such Great Depression in Germany was the unemployment. By the year of 1932, it was notified that more than 12 million American lost their job. The collapse in the economic structure also led to runs on banks when people started rushing for withdrawing cash. More than hundred banks closed and many people lost their pensions and savings. It is to be indicated that the great depression had the profound effects on the society in America[8]. In case of Weimer Government, this impact took the severe form. Germans were never much reliant on the production since they were on the loans from America. In late 1929, the lone was ceased. However, the German society was affected much significant due to the great depression. The shortage of food increased the poverty level. The children even suffered more since many of them died due to malnutrition and hunger-related diseases[9]. It is also noted that the Weimer Government failed to respond actively during such crisis scenario. Many people had to leave their home and some of them even started committing crimes in order to live their lives. During this situation, the women on the society also started searching for jobs since the men were unable to bear the expenses of the family. The status of the women increased since they started supporting their families instead of men[10]. It was noticed that more than 1.5 million women living apart from their husbands. The married women entered the work force in large numbers. Many women started working in the menial operations. It affected the educational field as well. It was noticed that people could not pay the school fees of their children. Most of the family could not afford the expenses on the education. Therefore, it affected the children and youth in a significant way.

The great depression changed the farmers’ lives drastically. The government started helping these farmers to live through the changed took place in the agricultural business. Many farmers started raising their foods. They started plucking vegetables from their garden, eating chicken, egg, and beef from their own pets. The middle-class or the working class people also faced the significant challenges during this great depression. It was noticed that the wages were cut off from the industries. Therefore, the salary of these working class people decreased from the previous amount. The families from different classes, racial, ethnic, and regional background along with the various styles of marital status, relationships were much in depression. In the year of 1933, the average family income had dropped to almost $1,500, which was almost 40%, less that the income received in the year of 1929. The banks were closed and the families lost their savings. The retired people even stopped receiving their pensions. When people lost their job during such crisis, they had no option left apart from joining in the civil service process. Even when people were unwilling to join the government works, due to such scenario, they had to join the civil service. Government started dealing with abroad and received the financial help for providing the wages to the people. Therefore, it can be inferred that during this scenario, people were persuaded to change their career path. They simply had to leave their jobs and started serving the government in spite of following their own dreams. However, it can be defined that people from different cultural background and social group started suffering during this Great Depression in Germany.

The Great Depression in Germany mostly affected the political structure in a significant manner. Germany was quite dependent on US during the crisis. Even when the US economy started crashing, the political instability highlighted much prominently. The economy of Germany was quite reliant on export businesses[11]. The loans were obtained from US and Germany started paying the reparations from this amount. The Weimer Republic faced the worst weakness thought its history during this Great Depression period.  The Weimer Republic failed to establish a stable political system. During the year if 1929, the political system of Weimer Government was undoubtedly weak. The failure of involving the efficient politicians was the major reasons behind such political instability. It was noted that Germany could not create the stable economic system after the world war. The collapse of the Weimar Republic thus proved to be inevitable[12]. Germany became much reliant on the foreign investments. If the government had created the stable economic, this disastrous situation could have been prevented. Hence, it can be stated that the Weimer Republic was failure to create a stable political system during the Great Depression.    

 


When the stock market started collapsing, it affected the foreign capitals. Especially, in order to receiving loans from America, Germany became much reliant on foreign trades. The production level started falling drastically. Adolf Hitler took the advantage of such instable condition[13]. In prior to Great Depression, the growth of the Nazi party was much slower. It could not reach even 100,000 members in a country, which included over sixty million populations[14]. However, it is important to note that the party was still strongly controlled, and maintained the effective discipline. During the election, Hitler started arranging campaigns by making vague promises, prosperity, and employment growth. Therefore, the people elected the Nazi Party to get rid of such hazardous situations. It was observed that during 1932, this Great Depression took the severe form of unemployment rates[15]. Many people from Germany tool salvation during such crisis. After 1933, in spite of many threats and intrigue, Hitler became the chancellor or the dictator of Germany. The crisis brought disunity to the political party that led Hitler towards formulating his ruling kingdom over the Germans. Even though there were many financial program arranged for helping German people, it could not help the political instability occurred during Great Depression.

The Great Depression had brought the drastic changes in the economic, social, and political environment of Germany. The outcomes derived from the obtained information specify that the results are interrelated. The most significant outcome of Great Depression was the financial crisis that increased the unemployment rate. People suffered due to starvation, children could not even receive the proper education, the wages were cut down, and the political structure became instable[16]. If Great Depression did not take place, Germany could not be able to establish production stability. The country was much reliant on US economy. The country started focusing on establishing the proper export trading system to serve the population with better economic structure.

 

Conclusion

The study highlighted the Great Depression occurred in Germany. The political, social, and financial structures of the country were completely collapsed. The most visible outcome of such Great Depression in Germany was the unemployment. In fact, it was noted that Weimer Republic paid the attention towards supporting the financial stability. It is to be indicated that the great depression had the profound effects on the society in America. In case of Weimer Government, this impact took the severe form. When people lost their job during such crisis, they had no option left apart from joining in the civil service process. Even when people were unwilling to join the government works, due to such scenario, they had to join the civil service. Germans were never much reliant on the production since they were on the loans from America. However, it affected the country in drastic way. Hitler took the advantage of such political instability and became the next dictator. However, it is noted Germany started depending on the own trading process in order to make the political and financial structure more stabilized.

 

References

"BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Revision tip and answer preparation". in , , 2017, <https://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/usa/walldepressionrev4.shtml> [accessed 1 March 2017].

"Government Response to the Great Depression". in , , 2017, <https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/politics/great-depression-government-response.php> [accessed 1 March 2017].

"Weimar Republic and the Great Depression - History Learning Site". in , , 2017, <https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/modern-world-history-1918-to-1980/weimar-germany/weimar-republic-and-the-great-depression/> [accessed 1 March 2017].

"What was the impact of the Great Depression in Germany? | South African History Online". in , , 2017, <https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/crisis-capitalism-germany-grade-11> [accessed 1 March 2017].

Anderson, Richard G., Michael Bordo, and John V. Duca. Money and velocity during financial crises: from the Great Depression to the Great Recession. No. w22100. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2016.

Borio, Claudio EV. "Monetary policy and financial stability: what role in prevention and recovery?." (2014).

Drezner, Daniel W. "The system worked: Global economic governance during the Great Recession." World Politics 66.1 (2014): 123-164.

Jaremski, Matthew. "The Great Depression of the 1930s: Lessons for Today." Journal of Economic Literature 52.2. 2014: 540-541.

Moser, John E. "The Great Depression." A COMPANION TO WORLD WAR II. 2013: 47.

Perry, Nathan, and Matías Vernengo. "What ended the Great Depression? Re-evaluating the role of fiscal policy." Cambridge journal of economics 38.2 (2014): 349-367.

Reeves, Aaron, Martin McKee, and David Stuckler. "Economic suicides in the great recession in Europe and North America." The British journal of psychiatry 205.3 (2014): 246-247.

Riumallo-Herl, Carlos, et al. "Job loss, wealth and depression during the Great Recession in the USA and Europe." International journal of epidemiology (2014): dyu048.

Suárez, Sandra L. "Symbolic politics and the regulation of executive compensation: A comparison of the Great Depression and the Great Recession." Politics & Society 42.1 (2014): 73-105.

Tavlas, G, "New Perspectives on the Great Depression: A Review Essay". in International Finance, 19, 2016, 353-374.

Temin, Peter. "Great Depression." Banking Crises. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016. 144-153.

Volkov, Shulamit. The Rise of Popular Antimodernism in Germany: The Urban Master Artisans, 1873-1896. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Anderson, Richard G., Michael Bordo, and John V. Duca. Money and velocity during financial crises: from the Great Depression to the Great Recession. No. w22100. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2016.

Reeves, Aaron, Martin McKee, and David Stuckler. "Economic suicides in the great recession in Europe and North America." The British journal of psychiatry 205.3 (2014): 246-247

Riumallo-Herl, Carlos, et al. "Job loss, wealth and depression during the Great Recession in the USA and Europe." International journal of epidemiology (2014): dyu048.

Drezner, Daniel W. "The system worked: Global economic governance during the Great Recession." World Politics 66.1 (2014): 123-164.

Perry, Nathan, and Matías Vernengo. "What ended the Great Depression? Re-evaluating the role of fiscal policy." Cambridge journal of economics 38.2 (2014): 349-367.

Suárez, Sandra L. "Symbolic politics and the regulation of executive compensation: A comparison of the Great Depression and the Great Recession." Politics & Society 42.1 (2014): 73-105.

Borio, Claudio EV. "Monetary policy and financial stability: what role in prevention and recovery?." (2014).

Temin, Peter. "Great Depression." Banking Crises. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016. 144-153.

Volkov, Shulamit. The Rise of Popular Antimodernism in Germany: The Urban Master Artisans, 1873-1896. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Moser, John E. "The Great Depression." A COMPANION TO WORLD WAR II. 2013: 47.

Jaremski, Matthew. "The Great Depression of the 1930s: Lessons for Today." Journal of Economic Literature 52.2. 2014: 540-541.

Tavlas, G, "New Perspectives on the Great Depression: A Review Essay". in International Finance, 19, 2016, 353-374.

"What was the impact of the Great Depression in Germany? | South African History Online". in , , 2017, <https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/crisis-capitalism-germany-grade-11> [accessed 1 March 2017].

"Weimar Republic and the Great Depression - History Learning Site". in , , 2017, <https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/modern-world-history-1918-to-1980/weimar-germany/weimar-republic-and-the-great-depression/> [accessed 1 March 2017]

"Government Response to the Great Depression". in , , 2017, <https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/politics/great-depression-government-response.php> [accessed 1 March 2017].

"BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Revision tip and answer preparation". in , , 2017, <https://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/usa/walldepressionrev4.shtml> [accessed 1 March 2017].

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