The Challenges Of The Weimar Republic

1278 Words6 Pages
The Weimar Republic was formed in the midst of post-war burdens, unhappy citizens, and created to be a democracy in a country that had never before had one. Thus, it faced many challenges throughout its existence. Weimar faced political challenges from the left and right, stemming from the economic and military sanctions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, along with the underlying lack of democratic tradition. Though the solutions proposed by the multiple Chancellors succeeded in solving many of the issues, they were not able to overcome them all. The main cause for political instability came from the left and right extremists. Within the communist party (KPD) in Weimar, the most extreme formed what were known as the Sparticists, led by…show more content…
These factors contributed to the severity of punishments imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. The majority of problems caused by the Treaty of Versailles were economic, though the problems caused additional political and societal problems for Weimar. The cost of reparations for France and Belgium was magnified by the territorial loss of industrial heartlands. Weimar’s economy was already at a low point after funding WWI, and losing some its most profitable regions, such as Alsace-Lorraine, made it difficult to pay reparations. France and Belgium’s occupation of the Ruhr complicated the situation. Though the countries demanded payment of reparations after Weimar defaulted, the Weimar government knew it would damage its economy further. Having citizens passively resist was the best option, as Weimar did not pay France and Belgium, and they hoped other nations might see them as a victim, and help end the occupation. However, for its citizens to stop working in their jobs and still earn money, the government decided to print more Deutsche Marks (DM), leading to the hyperinflation crisis. Combined with the weakened economy with a lack of trust in it, German citizens were not spending as much money as before, and it was not being stimulated. The value of the DM plummeted to the point of it being virtually worthless, and the German economy diminished to a barter economy. In addition, due to the reduction of military size, the Treaty of Versailles left many unemployed soldiers, who contributed to the political resistance, blaming their situation on the ‘November Criminals’. The country was on the brink of collapse, but the new Chancellor, Stresemann, was successful in resolving the issue. He appointed Schacht to reorganize Weimar’s currency, and created the Fulfillment Policy. Schacht made the Rentenmark (RM), which was based on mortgages, real estate, and industry so its value could be
Open Document