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(born Feb. 4, 1871, Heidelberg, Ger.died Feb. 28, 1925, Berlin) German politician. A journeyman saddler and trade unionist, he became chairman of the German Social Democratic Party in 1913. Under his leadership, the Social Democratic movement gained increasing influence in German national politics. After revolution broke out in 1918, he formed a Socialist coalition government. He helped bring about the Weimar constitution and in 1919 was elected the first president of the Weimar Republic. Facing threats to the new government, he waged a civil war, assisted by the Freikorps, against Socialists and Communists and suppressed the Kapp Putsch. His authority was weakened in 1923 by the crisis over the Ruhr occupation, his party's withdrawal from the governing coalition, and Adolf Hitler's abortive Beer Hall Putsch. He died in office.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Ebert, Friedrich, visit Britannica.com.
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