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To What Extent Was the Collapse of the Weimar Republic the Fault of Germanys Conservative Elite?

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Introduction

To What Extent Was the Collapse of the Weimar Republic the Fault of Germanys Conservative Elite? There are many views on when the Weimar Republic actually did collapse, some people believe it collapsed when Hindenburg was ruling by decree in 1930-32, however others believe the end to of come when Hitler came to power in January 1933. It is hard to say just how significant the role of the conservative elite was in the decline of the Weimar Republic. The first person who could be regarded as responsible for the collapse of the Weimar Republic is the president, Hindenburg, who was ruling through powers of decree in Article 48. This basically meant he could do what he liked without public consent or confirming it with the Reichstag. Hindenburg had massive amounts of power, he was responsible for the appointment and dismissal of chancellors and could issue his own decree's. if we were so say that the Weimar Republic collapsed when Hitler came to power then Hindenburg would be a major factor behind the collapse of the Weimar Republic because it was him who appointed Hitler chancellor, however he only did so because of the advice from Von Papen. ...read more.

Middle

The final person which could be to blame is Kurt Von Schleicher; he was the last chancellor of Germany in the Weimar Republic era. Von Schleicher was a great influence on Hindenburg and was party responsible for the dismissal of Bruning and Von Papen as chancellors. In 1932 Von Schleicher was appointed as chancellor, he reluctantly accepted this position, he didn't last long though, in 1933 Hindenburg refused Von Schleicher's plea to use emergency powers which led to Von Schleicher being dismissed and Hitler being appointed as chancellor. If we were to just look at the conservative elite then they would be the main reason for the collapse of the Weimar Republic. However, there are other factors. It's impossible to blame the collapse of the Weimar Republic on the feet of the conservative elite without examining the impact of Hitler and the Nazi party. In just 4 years the Nazi party had gone from relatively unheard of, to the biggest party in German history. With the Nazi party growing so much there must've been consequences on the weak Weimar Republic. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are also internal factors that could be blamed for the collapse of the Weimar Republic, things such as the constant problems in the economy or the growing fear of communism. Some historians argue that the Weimar Republic collapsed because of the Weimar Republic and because of what they had or hadn't done to prevent the unavoidable collapse. Things like the Wall Street crash are events people look back upon as turning points in a countries history. It is virtually impossible to say if the role of the conservative elite were the sole causes of the collapse of the Weimar Republic, however we can say that they were indeed a cause, and quite possibly a very big cause. The four men, Hindenburg, Von Papen, Bruning and Von Schleicher could be blamed for the collapse of an entire government which led to the most evil man in history becoming dictator of an extremely powerful country. The collapse of the Weimar republic cannot be placed firmly at the feet of the conservative elite but it is hard to argue against the suggestion that they were heavily involved in its collapse. Robert Hughes ...read more.

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