Revolution and Republic


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  • 1918


The New Men


By the end of July 1918, German military authorities were forced to recognize that their final push on Paris, Operation Michael, had failed. Desiring to end the war before their failures had become obvious, Hindenburg and Ludendorf persuaded the Kaiser to dismiss the Chancellor and bring in someone who could strengthen the domestic situation by carrying out some long-overdue political reforms.


The choice fell upon Prince Max of Baden, nephew and heir of the ruling Grand Duke of Baden. A liberal by persuasion, he created a coalition cabinet which proceeded to institute broad constitutional changes, culminating in the introduction of parliamentary control over the creation and maintance of the cabinet. Participating in this cabinet were representatives from all the major political parties and, for the first time, a representative from the Marxist Social Democratic Party, Philip Scheidemann. The sudden announcement of this new reform ministry was the first sign to most Germans that all was not going well with the war.

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