Discuss The Reasons For The Collapse Of The Wiemar Republic

1220 words - 5 pages

The Weimar Republic (WR) was forced upon the people of Germany by their enemy after World War One (WWO). As it was a requirement of the dreaded Treaty of Versailles (TOV), the nation had little support for it. Tthe democratic WR eventually lost momentum as the Nazi party was placed in power. Various reasons contributed to this collapse, and are classed into the 'three periods' of the WR Republic. The first period was one of 'Crisis' (1918-1923), the second one of 'Relative Stability' (1923-1929) and the third one of 'Crisis' (1929-1933).The first period of Crisis was the result of the WR attempting to establish itself as the ruling body of the country, and meeting great opposition externally and internally. The WR established itself as a coalition between 3 parties, forming a moderate-socialist government. The President was Frederich Ebert. This Reichstag agreed upon a newly developed Republican constitution, consisting of two flaws which were to contribute to the collapse of the Weimer Republic.The first flaw was the encouraging of small political parties to take part in the elections. This was to have disastrous consequences, as the WR were unconsciously encouraging a large minority, and not a majority, to win elections, thus causing coalition governments. This unconscious arrangement of Reichstag non-unification is a reasonable contributor to the collapse of the WR, as in it's 14 years of existence, everyone of the 21 governments were a coalition. Sadly, coalitions meant bickering and disagreement as views conflicted.The second flaw was the Article 48: Enabling Act of the constitution. This article gave special power to the president in case of an emergency including suspension of the constitution and instituting laws by decree. This was to prove deadly in the wrong hands.The WR also experienced this initial period of 'Crisis' as externally, the Dolschstosslegende, or 'Stab in the back Legend' was high in circulation. This Legend was an accusation by the German people on the WR for signing the TOV, which the German people saw as Diktat, or "Dictated Peace". Offended by the Treaties requirements of reparations and undermining of their treasured military, the German people were a strong body in determining the fate of their countries leadership.Internally, the WR was under pressure from the extreme left and extreme right wing parties. The extreme left were radicals wanting a Revolution to bring in democracy, whereas the extreme right were the industrialists, military and nationalists who wanted elements of the Kaiser's autocracy to remain. The result was 3 Putsch's (coups/revolts).The first was by the Spartacus (Communist) Party Revolt in 1919 where they marched into Berlin, aiming to seize power from Ebert. With the brutal murder of the Spartacus leaders by the Frekorps (a group of disbanded soldiers who despised socialsim), ties with the left were permanently severed. The second was from the extreme right, called the Kapp Putsch 1920. It...

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