key question key question: who were the spartacists? how did their putsch fail?

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  • KEY QUESTION: Who were the Spartacists? How did their Putsch fail?

  • The Spartacists were a group of GERMAN COMMUNISTS who disagreed with Weimar Germanys new democracy. They attempted to seize power in a Revolution in 1919 and make Germany Communist. In Germany an uprising or revolution is called a PUTSCH They had many supporters BUT were also deeply feared

  • Following the German surrender in November 1918, extreme left wing groups in Germany advocated REVOLUTION and were completely against any form of Parliamentary democracy

    Two key figuresRosa LuxemburgandKarl Liebknechtdecided the time was right for action. They broke away from their political party, the USPD, and formed theSPARTACUS LEAGUE.

    They attempted to foment revolutionary support among the working class, withdemonstrations and speeches.

    However. it was soon clear that this was not succeeding. The Spartacists only had a weak level of support, even among the working class. They were even banned from speaking at a major left wing event in Berlin, the Congress of workers and soldiers councils.

  • SPARTACISTS This is a POLITICAL IDEA about how best to run a country. Under Communism everyone would be EQUAL and everything is shared. There is NO Private property There would be NO class differences (between rich and poor.) The Government runs the big industries, farms and factories for the people. This idea appealed in particular to the poor BUT it really scared the rich people and middle class.

  • The Spartacists were supported by some of the poor and working class who wanted the more equal conditions promised in Communism However, many Germans deeply feared Communism especially the Rich, business owners, Middle Class and religious communitiesThey feared for their wealth, properties and freedom to worship

  • The new Government had to end the Spartacist uprising quickly!It did this by asking a group called the FREE CORPS, for help.They were a group of blood thirsty. violent and nationalist, ex soldiers who HATED Communism.

  • The Spartacist were badly organised and poorly equipped. They had limited (small) support and were outnumberedThe Free Corps, encouraged by the new Democratic Government, brutally ended the Revolution by the Spartacists. Many Spartacists were taken prisoner and shot. The Spartacist leaders Karl Liebnecht and Rosa Luxemburg were later found executed and floating in a canal.