• In Russia the Bolsheviks under Lenin seized power through the October RevolutionIn Russia the Bolsheviks under Lenin seized power through the October Revolution
  • President of the German Reich, HindenburgPresident of the German Reich, Hindenburg
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During the First World War the BolshevikscustomThe Bolsheviks were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. They came to power in Russia during the October Revolution and established the Soviet Union, lead by LenincustomVladimir Lenin was a Russian communist revolutionary and served as leader of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917, then concurrently as Premier of the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death, overthrew the Russian government in 1917. These events benefited the German Supreme Army Command, as the Bolsheviks agreed to an immediate ceasefire. The peace treaty of Brest-Litowsk ended the German warfare in the east.
The Germans still hoped to win the World War, however all plans and aims of the Supreme Army Command were made obsolete by the USA entering the war1.

Geopolitical changes

1917 is often called an epochal year, as the world order had changed drastically. In Russia the Bolsheviks under Lenin seized power through the October Revolution and reshaped the country into a communistic state. Karl MarxcustomKarl Marx was a German philosopher and revolutionary socialist’s ideology gathered relevance in Europe, promoting the formation of numerous communistic parties that wanted to extend the Russian revolution in Europe. Furthermore the USA rose to be a global power after the First World War. The US president Woodrow WilsoncustomWoodrow Wilson was the President of the United States from 1913 to 1921 published the new European order in his 14-point-plancustomThe Fourteen Points by US president Wilson included free trade, open agreements, democracy and self-determination, laying the foundation for the League of NationscustomThe League of Nations was founded in 1920. Aim of this European organization was to maintain world peace.
In the course of the 20th century the opposition of the new global powers (USA and Soviet Union) led to the cold war2.


When the defeat in the First World War became increasingly inevitable the democratic parties (social democrats, liberals, central party) advocated an immediate ceasefire. Members of the “German fatherland party” on the other hand took a stand for continuing the war as they still hoped to decide the war in favour of Germany.
The democratic parties drafted a peace resolution in 1917, which was aimed to immediately end all combat operations.
When the German defeat loomed ahead in autumn 1918 the Supreme Army Command finally resigned. The German empire became more liberal, thus representatives of the social democratic party became members of the government for the first time ever.
Through the so called “Oktoberverfassung” (October constitution), projected by Reich Chancellor Max von BadencustomMax von Baden served as Chancellor of the German Empire, overseeing the transformation into a parliamentary system during the October reforms at the end of World War I the German empire became a parliamentary monarchy for a short space of time. Shortly after the German emperor abdicated, the first German republic was founded3.

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