The period between 1924 and 1929 is known as the ‘Golden Age’ or ‘The Years of Hope’. Some people think that the Weimar Republic recovered, but others disagree and think that it’d got worse or was only a slight improvement. During the years 1924 to 1929 the Weimar Republic appeared to recover from the disasters of 1923. The period of 1924 – 1929 is often seen as the high point of the Weimar Republic. This interpretation is also heightened by the fact that the period before it (1919-1923) was filled with the crisis and chaos of rebellions, political assassinations and hyperinflation.
Also, the political and economic uncertainty that followed in 1929-1933 added to this description. Stresemann introduced a new currency called the Rentenmark, which ended hyperinflation! The introduction of the Rentenmark was highly significant, it allowed the currency to stabilise and supported by the Dawes Plan it stood a good chance of not succumbing to inflationary pressures as had previously happened. The new Rentenmark was valued at 1 Rentenmark to One Trillion old marks. Inflation stopped being a problem; the German people accepted the value of the new currency and businesses accepted it as being of worth.
The new currency encouraged foreign investment in Germany’s economy! This led to an increase in new factories, industry and employment. So, in those years there was economic recovery! The years 1924-1929 saw political stability. You can see this from Gustav Stresemann, who was Foreign Secetary (he played a major role in the Government). Stresemann followed a policy of fulfilment: this means co-operating with France and Britain in order to remove or reduce some of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, especially reparations.
He greatly improved relations with Britain and France by ending passive resistance in the Ruhr and signing the Locarno Treaties of 1925. These treaties also included Italy and guaranteed Germany’s frontiers with France, Germany and Italy. The Reichstag elections of December 1924 and again in 1928 showed a decline in support for the more extreme parties. People tend to vote for extremist parties when there seems to be no other way out of a crisis. The fact that less people were voting for extremist groups shows that the people were beginning to feel more safe.
Although to many Germany now looked economically stable, it was far from it. Germany was heavily dependent on foreign investment, much of which took the form of loans and credits which could be withdrawn at short notice. The many Governments that were in power in the late 1920’s lived beyond their means, Public spending was significantly higher than income from taxa. The gap between the two – the budget deficit – was made up of borrowing. The export performance, although strong was accompanied by a surge in imports.
In 1927 – 1928 Germany was importing more than it was exporting. There was a trade deficit. Partially due to the rise in the power of workers’ unions, unemployment rose because employers refused to pay the new wage rise the unions had won for the workers (Ruhr steel industry lock out). Agricultural prices fell in the later 1920’s so farmers were often faced with more debts. You could say that, the Governments in Weimar Germany 1924 – 1929 were very unstable.
This is because, there were simply too many Governments about, in the four and a half years between November 1923 – June 1928 there were six Governments, on which the average that each lasted was only around nine months. Another political problem that arose in the mid 1920’s was Political Violence. Nothing as bad as the Spartacist rising or the Kapp Putsch happened but there were attempts to challenge the authorities using lawless and violent ways. Hitler’s SA took to the streets attempting to destabilise the Republic by street violence.
Many of the worst clashes broke out in Berlin between the Nazi party and the Communist party. In my opinion, in the years 1924-1929 Germany didn’t completely recover, although the situation did get better. Compared to the previous 10 years they were a lot better, however in the last 10 years World War 1 had occurred, the country had gone into depression and was only just starting to pick itself up. The so called “Golden Years” was only in fact the years when Germany had caught back up to just before the war, compared to what other countries were/had achieved they were not as strong.