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Gustav Stresemann

Gustav Stresemann (May 10, 1878 - October 3, 1929) was a German politician and statesman and the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Stresemann came from middle class origins, as the son of a Berlin inkeeper and beer distributor, but attended University, receiving a doctorate in economics. After initially working in trade associations, Stresemann soon became a leader of the National Liberal Party[?] in Saxony, being elected to the Reichstag in 1907, where he soon became a close associate of party chairman Ernst Bassermann[?].

Although before the outbreak of World War I, Stresemann had been associated with the left wing of the National Liberals, but during the war his support for Germany's expansionist goals caused him to gradually move to the right. Stresemann's association with the far right led to his exclusion from the new German Democratic Party after the war, leading him to found his own party, the German People's Party, composed of the right wing of the old National Liberal Party.

Although the party was initially seen, along with the more straightforwardly conservative German National People's Party[?], as part of the "national opposition" to the Weimar Republic, particularly for its ambivalent attitude towards the Kapp Putsch in 1920, Stresemann gradually tried more and more to work with the parties of the left and center, and in August 1923, in the midst of the Ruhr Crisis[?], he was appointed Chancellor of a grand coalition government.

As Chancellor, Stresemann went a long way towards resolving the crisis, but some of his moves alienated the Social Democrats, who left the coalition and caused its collapse in November 1923. Stresemann remained as Foreign Minister in the government of his successor, Centrist[?] Wilhelm Marx[?], and continued to hold that position through numerous governments until his death in 1929.

As Foreign Secretary, Stresemann had numerous achievements, particularly the signing of the Locarno Pact[?] with Britain, France, Italy, and Belgium in 1925, the entry of Germany into the League of Nations in 1926, and the Dawes Plan[?] of 1924 and Young Plan[?] of 1929, which reduced Germany's reparations payments under the Treaty of Versailles. During his period in the foreign ministry, Stresemann came more and more to accept the Republic, which he had at first rejected.

Stresemann has generally been considered as one of the most important leaders of Germany during the Weimar Republic



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