• Sailors and revolutionist formed workers’ and soldiers’ councils in various citiesSailors and revolutionist formed workers’ and soldiers’ councils in various cities
  • President of the Reich, Friedrich EbertPresident of the Reich, Friedrich Ebert
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November revolution

When the army command marshaled their sailors to go to war against the British marine in November 1918 the sailors protested once more. Most sailors in Kiel had already realised that the war was lost at that time and thus refused to sacrifice themselves for yet another pointless war command. As the empires government did not act against this resistance a national revolution expanded and the revolutionist formed workers’ and soldiers’ councils in various cities1.

The provisional government

After the USA had entered the war they forced the German government to enforce the abdication of Wilhelm IIcustomWilhelm II. was the last German Emperor from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. This claim suited democratic parties, like the social democratic party, as the USA came through for installing a democracy. Reich Chancellor Max von BadencustomMax von Baden served as Chancellor of the German Empire in November 1918. He caused the transformation into a parliamentary system during the October reforms at the end of World War I eventually declared Wilhelm’s abdication on the 9th of November 1918 without Wilhelm’s previous consent. At the same time Friedrich EbertcustomFriedrich Ebert was the first President of Germany from 1919 until his death in office in 1925, party leader of the social democratic party was appointed responsible for governing Germany. On the very same day Philipp ScheidemanncustomPhilipp Scheidemann was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and proclaimed Germany a republic on 9 November 1918, another social democrat, officially declared the German democratic republic. However this was not the official founding of the German republic: Karl LiebknechtcustomKarl Liebknecht was a German socialist and co-founder of the Spartacist League , a member of the communistic spartacist league, declared the socialistic republic in order to compete with the social democrats.
Due to this discrepancy the Council of People’s representatives was formed as an interim government, in which the people in charge discussed the new political system2.

Elections for the national assembly

Apart from the council of people’s representatives a central workers’ and soldiers’ council had formed trough the November revolution. This council claimed a radical revolution similar to the Russian Revolution.
Elections for a so called “congress of national councils” were held in which the democratic parties, especially the social democrats gained most votes. All those promoting a council system had to meet with a refusal, as the population feared the experiences made in Russia where the socialistic revolution had brought civil war, single-party dictatorship and terror. Thereafter the social democrats were entrusted with the state power. The elections for the National Assembly on the 19th of January 1919 finally determined the new government; the Social Democratic Party emerged as the strongest party and formed the Weimar coalition with the central party and the German Democratic Party.
In addition to this Germany first received a parliamentary constitution trough the President of the Reich, Friedrich Ebert3.

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