Revolution, Constitution, and Peace Treaty, 1918–1919

  • Henry Cord Meyer
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series


When opportunities for major reform suddenly appeared in the autumn of 1918, they caught most Germans quite unprepared, for they were diverted by worries about the decline of the Reich as a great power. Even the great majority of Social Democratic politicians were not ready to deal with the abrupt changes they encountered. The men of Prince Max von Baden’s interim regime were concentrating on negotiating Germany out of the war when the naval mutinies and sporadic urban uprisings broke out in early November. Once the armistice was signed and the Kaiser had fled to Holland in order to prevent civil war in Germany, the revolution was virtually up for grabs. For the next two months parliamentary groups, soviets of soldiers and sailors, and workers groups maneuvered for control in Berlin. Simultaneously a Communist regime briefly seized power in Munich. In early January of 1919 the ultraleft (supported by Soviet Russian influence and funds) attempted a coup comparable to the Russian October Revolution. This “Spartacist revolt” was suppressed by the less radical Socialists with support from the demobilizing army.


Proportional Representation Peace Treaty Lower Middle Class Social Democratic Party Mark Gold 
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© Henry Cord Meyer 1973

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  • Henry Cord Meyer

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