When the Kaiser abdicated, power was handed to the leader of the moderate left-wing Social Democratic Party, Friedrich Ebert. This did not stop the food shortages or the civil unrest and street battles between rival political groups.
Ebert tried to create a new system of government to solve the problems and end unrest.
Despite the violence, elections were held on 19 January 1919. The democratic parties won 80 per cent of the vote. Ebert became President.
Germany was in such a state of unrest that the first meeting of the National Assembly could not even take place in the capital city, Berlin. It met instead in the town of Weimar, earning the new nation the name ‘Weimar Republic’.