The Main Problems for the Weimar Republic 1918-23
In the period of 1918-23 the Weimar Republic was facing many problems
these were, Spartacist week, The Kapp Putch, The Constitution, The
treaty of Versailles, The occupation of the Ruhr, Hyper Inflation, The
Munich Beer Hall Putch.
In order to answer this question we must first establish whether
in-fact the problems that Weimar faced were un-defeat able and how
much of a threat they posed to the survival of the republic. The years
of 1918 to 1923 are deemed by many as the “crisis years” as they were
a period of much unrest and annoyance, to add to this there were
social, economic and political breakdowns and much opposition from
Before the arise of any additional problems there was already
instability in the government, with the abandonment of the Kaiser
Reich, three parties made up the broadly based Weimar Coalition.
Although democratic, the coalition operated on a system of
proportional representation – in other words if party A, for example,
gets 10% of the votes then they would get 10% of seats in the
Reichstag. The introduction of proportional representation became a
controversial issue and was the subject of much criticism at the time.
By having several parties running the country, all with different aims
and ideas, it was difficult to agree on policies. It can also be
argued that this system may have assisted in the rise of Nazism and
There was also tension in the government due to the ambiguous
relationship between the President and the Reichstag. The president
acted as a counter-balance to the Reichstag as a result of fears of
parliamentary absolutism, he could dismiss and dissolve the Reichstag
and had the right to interfere with legislations. This ambiguity meant
that there was uncertainty from the start as to whether ultimate
authority was with a representative assembly or the elected head of
state. Due to the continuity of traditional social and economic
institutions and the introduction of progressive civil liberties, the
daily life of the republic was greatly influenced by conservative
foundations. Many of these institutions, such as the legal and
education systems and the civil services were opposed to the republic.
Although it had its problems, the Weimar Constitution proved to be
democratic and liberal which was an improvement on the totalitarian
and strict Bismarkian constitution. However, it could not control the
circumstances and conditions in which it was forced to function.
The Treaty Of Versailles, a peace treaty with the allies, meant harsh
terms for Weimar; compulsory military service was to be abolished, the
army was to be reduced from
600 000 to 100 000, naval personnel not to exceed 15 000, a limit if
twenty-four naval ships with no submarines, all military...