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Threats to the Weimar Republic: Spartacists (Pro) vs. Freikorps (Con)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,295 times Debate No: 30688
Debate Rounds (5)
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To clarify, the debate will be over the Spartacists and the Freikorps; Pro will argue that the former were a bigger threat to the Weimar Republic, and Con will argue that the Freikorps were. In other words, I will be arguing that the Spartacists were more dangerous to the Weimar Republic. Both sides share the burden of proof.

1) Acceptance, Opening Remarks or Questions
2) Arguments
3) Arguments, Rebuttals
4) Arguments, Rebuttals
5) Rebuttals

1) Examples are not necessary but preferred.
2) Semantics are allowed and encouraged.
3) No use of outside arguments.

I thank my opponent in advance and look forward to a thought-provoking debate.
Debate Round No. 1



An example of the Spartacists" powerful threat lies in the large economic problems of the conservative government of the Weimar Republic. [Doc 1] shows the disturbing hyperinflation that took place in the Weimar Republic as the conservatives took over. As workers" wages became more and more devalued, communist support would inevitably grow. The Spartacists" philosophies and ideals promised fair and equal wages. These policies combined with the government"s clear lack of economic control helped promote the communist cause. The government faced destruction under the massive pressures of fixing its economy, and the socialist movements than would take place more and more often. The obvious benefits of the Spartacists" government over that of the conservatives" were very effective in rallying support for the workers" party. The rightist government was clearly ineffective and unable to fix its fiscal problems. The looming threat of the Spartacists over the Weimar Republic is demonstrated by this hyperinflation of the price of goods and devaluation of money as the government sunk deeper into debt.

[Doc 1]
In 1922, a loaf of bread cost 163 Deutsche Marks. By September 1923, this figure had reached 1,500,000 and, at the peak of hyperinflation, November 1923, a loaf of bread cost 200,000,000 marks.


yeah but the Freikorps and the nazis eventually gained power over the weimar republic and germany
Debate Round No. 2


Growing Power

The Spartacists became a massive threat mainly due to their rising power. [Doc 2] shows how the Spartacists slowly gained power. After their failed 1919 revolution, the Spartacists were thrown into disarray and failed to gain even a single Reichstag representative. By 1928, however, the Spartacists had 54 representatives, more than four times that of the Nazis. This vast gap is clearly the result of a much larger communist movement than fascist one in the Weimar Republic, as the members of the Reichstag were voted in. The massive, and still growing, socialist philosophy within the Weimar Republic made the Spartacists a much more formidable threat than the Freikorps. As the Spartacists gained power in the Reichstag, they became able to implement their ideals more easily. The power, and therefore threat, of the Spartacists was clearly greater than that of the Freikorps in both the Reichstag and in the people themselves.

[Doc 2]
In the 1919 election, the communists got no MPs into the Reichstag. In 1920, they got 4, in 1924 45 MPs, and in 1928, 54 MPs (the Nazis only had twelve MPs by 1928).

Hitler and the Nazis' Rise to Power
Yes, that is true. However, Hitler was only able to do this by masquerading as a socialist. Hitler joined the German Workers' Party from 1920 to 1921, and then joined the National Socialist German Workers' Party from 1921 to 1945. It was during this time that Hitler gained his power.
Although Hitler's true views were fascist, he was only able to appeal to the public through communism.


although the communists got a more mp's into the reichstag in 1928, the nazis got 107 in 1930, showing their huge increase in power

also the freikorps had military experience and could more effectively fight against the government

the freikorps comprised the government's main protection, so if they rebelled the government couldn't fight against them
Debate Round No. 3


I extend my argument about the conservatives' economic power, as my opponent failed to address that.

Communist Public Image

The Spartacists also caused direct problems for the Weimar Republic. The "stab in the back" legend was the idea that the Bolsheviks and socialists had undermined Germany's armies in World War I. It spawned huge amounts of government propaganda depicting highly caricatured "enemies of the state stabbing serious, and unknowing, German soldiers. These disturbing images clearly demonstrate the threat of the Spartacists; if the public image of communism was for it to be destroying Germany's military, it was clearly a large threat to the Weimar Republic. After all, the German army was easily the best-trained in Europe and was all that provided the Weimar Republic safety. If the communists compromised its ability to fight, Germany would be in serious trouble. The German newspapers were exceptionally desperate to halt the march of communism with powerful images; the Freikorps never received propaganda as strong as this. The Spartacists were shown undermining the Weimar Republic's army, which was hugely important to Germany"s functioning. This theory shows the communists" ability to sow chaos and, in essence, destroy the Republic"s main strength to implement socialism. If the Spartacists were portrayed this way, the government was clearly terrified of them. The Spartacists held a much bigger threat over the Weimar Republic than the Freikorps did.

Nazi Power Growth
This is true, but the communist party also gained 23 more representatives, bringing their total number of MPs up to 77. Also, bear in mind that the Nazis were under a socialist guise.

Freikorps Military Power
Despite the Freikorps' military power, the socialists were always able to undermine its revolutions. A notable example is the Kapp Putsch... despite the Freikorps' military strength, the strikes enacted by the working class forbade it from gaining headway in its struggle. Clearly the Freikorps' would have great difficulty taking over through sheer military force alone. Also, they would stand nothing to gain by deserting the Weimar Republic's government as it would provide the communists' a wide open opportunity to take over.


the stab in the back myth didn't only have to do with communists. it was mainly about jews.

also, it irrelevant whether or not they succeeded in their rebellions (after all, the Spartacists also failed in their revolutions). what matters is that the freikorps could beat the spartacists in a military conflict. also, they could overthrow any military resistance that the government could put up against them
Debate Round No. 4


Regardless, the theory did apply to the socialists.

Although both caused many problems for the Weimar Republic, the Spartacists were a much large threat to Germany than the Freikorps in the 1920s. Their movement continued to grow at a rate much faster than that of the Nazis, the current conservative government had failed economically, and they were portrayed by both the media and themselves as a bigger threat. The communist party in the Weimar Republic was very dangerous to the government, and not only staged revolutions itself but also had the ability to put down Freikorps coups by going on strike. Clearly, the Spartacists held power over both the Weimar Republic and the Freikorps, and were a much more substantial threat.


the freikorps' stronger military strength made them much more dangerous than the spartacists
Debate Round No. 5
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