Friedrich Ebert was a German politician and leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Ebert began his professional life as a saddle maker, and became active in his labor union before joining the Social Democratic Party. While an elected member of the Reichstag (German legislature), Ebert became a leader of the SPD. He supported the war effort during World War One, although he opposed the expansionist war aims and lost three sons. Following the abdication of the Kaiser at the end of the war, Ebert was given the unenviable task of leading the transitional government. One of Ebert’s first challenges was a rebellion from the radical left, which he put down in alliance with the conservative generals. The National Assembly chose Ebert to serve as President of the Republic. Committed to democracy and to the Republic, Ebert struggled to represent all of the people of Germany.