Essay on Why the Communists Failed to Seize Power in 1918

Essay on Why the Communists Failed to Seize Power in 1918

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Why the Communists Failed to Seize Power in 1918

The failure of the communists to seize power originates from the First
World War. Initially, all parties, including the Left, supported
Germany going to war. As the war prolonged however and Germany was
running short of essential supplies such as food as a result of the
blockade by the allies. More Germans started questioning the rational
of continuing with the war. The Parliament also changed its attitude.
Left wing parties like the SPD that had initially supported Germany
going to war began to have doubts. Internal conflicts let to the
formation of the Independent German Social Democratic Party, USPD.
Another far-extreme party, the Spartacist party was later formed.
Ludendorff's insistence that they continue with a war that they were
obviously loosing contributed to the revolution uprisings.

The revolt in Kriel was not so much because the workers wanted
revolution. The sailor’s morale was already low because of the
anti-war propaganda and they therefore refused to take orders from
their commanders.

This let to an unrest which later spread to other cities, including
Munich and Berlin. However none of the uprisings or demonstrations
were well planned hence they did not have much impact. After Kiel,
Munich demonstrations followed. Supporters took over main public
buildings. These were more of defiance of orders than a revolution.

There was nation-wide chaos, with some people taking it upon
themselves to declare Germany a republic. For instance, Eisner
declared himself Prime Minister of Socialist Republic of Germany.
Encouraged by the success of the Russian revolution, they also...

... middle of paper ...

side of the revolution. This proved to be unsuccessful as the
government had the strong military with its generals on its side.

The Communists in Germany failed to take over because they lacked
planning and strategy, they had no support of the masses, they were
fighting against a strong military regime, and they were not
well-organised or united. Willingness of SPD leadership to collaborate
with the military also contributed to the failure of the revolution.
In particular, the SPD, with the help of the military ended up
crushing other socialists by force and preserving the bourgeois.


[1] Flood, Andrew: Anarchist Analysis of the German Revolution.

[2] Flood, Andrew: The German Revolution in Anarchist Analysis of the
German Revolution.

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