The Weimar Republic Essay

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The Weimar Republic

The Weimar Republic was created in Germany in 1918 as a result of widespread socialist unrest. A liberal constitution was drawn up in 1919. There was extensive instability in Germany around this time. The Weimar government had trouble pleasing right and left wing parties because, at this time, Germany was very polarised politically. Hitler dissolved the republic in 1933. But was it doomed from it's beginning?

One of the main fields where problems arose was the legacy of World War 1. Germany's unexpected defeat was blamed on the "November Criminals" and made people suspicious of the new government. The Treaty of Versailles associated the government with Germany's acceptance
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The make up of the Weimar constitution causes historians to doubt whether it could have survived. Article 48, which states that the President may "take the necessary measures to restore law and order…by force of arms" meant that the President had a very powerful position and if an anti-Weimar politician became President he could use it to dissolve the republic. The principle of the welfare state, fairly revolutionary at the time, was outlined in the Weimar constitution. It turned the nobility against the "radical" constitution. There was a tradition of militaristic autocracy in Germany at this time and many people weren't ready for such a radical constitution. K.Fischer says that the German people were "neither psychologically nor historically prepared for self-government."

The principle of proportional representation is believed by many to have made the Weimar system unworkable. It meant that there was never a clear majority in the Reichstag and that the President had even more power as he chose the Chancellor when there often wasn't a clear choice. Because there was never a clear majority, coalitions had to be formed and this meant that the government was often split and lacked focus.

So, in 1919, the Weimar Republic faced many problems, but there is some reason to believe that it wasn't necessarily doomed from

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