Collapse of the Weimar republic/ Rise of the Nazis
This essay will examine how the lack of effective opposition and the weakness of the Weimar, was a major factor in the Nazis rising to power between 1919 and 1933.
On the 28th of June 1919, a peace treaty, also known as the treaty of Versailles, was signed, ending the First World War. The treaty had a humiliating effect causing great resentment. Germany had no choice but to accept the terms of the treaty, which later had a considerable impact on the countries running. The negotiations for this treaty took six months, at the Paris peace conference. Germany was forced to accept all responsibility for causing the war, making substantial territorial concessions along with disarming, which reduced their army to 100,000 men, no tanks or U-boats and the Rhineland, which previously belonged to Germany, was to be demilitarised. They also had reperations of £6.6 billion to pay back.Germany then lost all conections with it’s overseas colonies and could never again unite with Austria. They lost a large area of teritory to Belgium, France and Poland, this was a significant loss to Germany as these areas were rich in mineral wealth. This would put a strain on Germany’s ability to re pay the allies.
A new constitution was adopted in August 1919 by the Weimar republic, and brought with it many positive aspects such as a representative parliament, where the people of Germany had a say in their political system. They had the ability to directly elect their president giving them the choice of the best person to run the country. Another advantage of the constitution was the introduction of the Bill of Rights giving them the guarantee of free speech, legal equality and the right to have minimum provision to social services. Although the new constitution brought many positive aspects, it inevitably, had some problems. By introducing proportional representing, it was extremely hard for any party to receive a majority of the votes within parliament, this led to the creation of coalition governments.
During the period of 1919-23, Germany endured great political upheaval, firstly, in January 1919 when the Social Democratic Party oppressed the rebellion of the communists, better known as The Spartacist Revolt.
Between March and May 1919, the communists were suppressed by the Freikorps, where they attempted to takeover the Munich and Soviet republic. They were ordered to crush the revolt and shoot anyone carrying a gun, Then in March 1920, the Kapp Putsch took place, which attempted to overthrow the Weimar government but failed, following a general strike instigated by the trade union workers.
In 1923, Belgium and France invaded the Ruhr due to Germany’s failure to repay the massive reparation payments. They entered industrialised areas of Germany resulting in workers striking which caused problems and had a devastating effect on the German economy. In order to help with the strike and reparations the government...