• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Far Can the Weimar Constitution be Described as Creating an "Effective" Democracy

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Far Can the Weimar Constitution be Described as Creating an "Effective" Democracy? For the first time in the history of Germany, the state was a democratic republic. The constitution was something of a fragile experiment, a guinea pig. Theoretically speaking, the Weimar Constitution could be described as the most democratic constitution the world has ever laid eyes upon, in practice, things were not as clear. Germany was to be a "Federal State," with each "Lander," (state) retaining limited control over local affairs. This recognised local differences within Germany, with each Lander being represented in the Reichstrat. Effectively small states had as much influence as bigger states. This system allowed for the Reichstrat to be a microcosm of German society, with local diversity taken into account, which is of course extremely democratic, because all citizens no matter how remote had somebody representing their local needs. The Reichstag was extremely democratic because the German public elected members of the Reichstag. Universal suffrage for adults over the age of 20, meant that every body, had a vote, to decide who gained a seat. ...read more.

Middle

that a democracy is not a dictatorship.) The president appointed the chancellor according to whether or not he had the support of the Reichstag, which was in turn a representation of society. People voted the Reichstag, the majority of which had to support the Chancellor. So assuming that the people agree on who should be the chancellor, with their representatives in the Reichstag, the president appoints the chancellor based on support of the people, which is very democratic. The peoples will prevailed with regard to who the president appointed as chancellor regardless of whether or not the president himself supported him, i.e. Hindenburgs appointment of Hitler as chancellor. Thus the people indirectly chose chancellor as opposed to the president; this is democratic. The president could dissolve the Reichstag and hold new elections if he didn't like the policies of the chancellor, allowing the chancellor to be held politically accountable to the people. Political accountability means that people account whether the situation is good or bad, based on their personal analysis they vote. This is democratic. Article 48 Emergency powers, existed to protect the democratic system, in the case of stale mate, or political grid lock, article 48 could be used to push through a policy, allowing the democratic process to progress. ...read more.

Conclusion

Extreme parties controlling power, means that the minority, is controlling the majority which is the opposite of democracy, whilst voter fatigue means that the Reichstag and thus chancellor do not actually reflect the views of the people, which is undemocratic. The Reichstrat system allowed tiny states, to have as much representation and thus influence as bigger states, meaning that the few people in the small states between have as much influence and power between them, as all the people in the big states put together; which is entirely undemocratic. The Bill of Rights, with minimum wages, caused disputes with employers and workers having to sit down and arbitrate wages. This actually led to unemployment as employers were forced to cut labour costs, so were employing more people. So it effectively lowers the rights of the workers, undemocratic. So to conclude, whilst the constitution was extremely democratic in theory, the things that made it so democratic in theory like proportional representation, in practice led to plurality and diversity of governments causing an ineffective democracy for most of the length of its existence. ?? ?? ?? ?? How Far Can the Weimar Constitution be Described as Creating an "Effective" Democracy? Clive Freedman Page 4 of 4 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Does democracy bring peace?

    Schumpeter expands on an argument made by "democratic peace" theorists by claiming that the people of a capitalist society are "democratized, individualised, rationalised" Schumpeter justifies his argument that capitalism promotes peace by arguing that "Citizens have become rational materialists and have eschewed psychological militarism and chauvinism."

  2. Socialist uses of workers' inquiry

    Whilst in classical capitalism power was a means to wealth, wealth has progressively become subservient to power and a means to increase it. Significant changes in the structure of all social relations arise out of this process. These are two important aspects of inquiry but they cannot be considered as specific aims of inquiry.

  1. Russia's Political Party System as an Obstacle to Democratization

    Additionally, independents contested in every district, whereas parties contested in much fewer, ranging from the Communist Party contesting in 57 percent of the districts to the Movement in Support of the Army party contesting in 8 percent, with the average party contesting in only 32 percent.

  2. Indonesia: Transition and Prospects for Democracy

    In accordance with Huntington (1991b), in transplacements it is difficult to achieve unity among opposition leaders. Megawati led a breakaway "perjuangan" faction in 1998 from PDI, adding the suffix 'struggle' to the party name (PDI-P), after internal conflict over the leadership of the PDI.

  1. How Far Can the Weimar Constitution be Described as Creating an "Effective" Democracy

    To add to the argument for political stability during this period, there were no political assassinations compared to the murders of Walther Rathenau & Mattias Erzberger under the "white terror," regime (1921.) The lack of political assassinations combined with the fact that only 50 people died in this period in

  2. Marxism Can Only Be Appreciated Retrospectively

    interests in their work such as higher wages, less working hours and better conditions and also job security. Both these classes have opposite interests and so the class struggle involves everything these two classes do to uphold their own interests at each other's cost.

  1. Can a plausible case be made for participatory democracy under modern conditions?

    This idea alone is problematic, but it does not even begin to address the problem of how all the citizens of a country can possibly hope to assemble in one place to enter in to such discussions.

  2. British Democracy - the bestpossible system of government

    Essentially, he has very little choice, he has to balance those policies that he likes and dislikes from the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat manifestos. He may generally agree with what the Labour manifesto talks of, but they may, for example want to tax him heavily as a middle class citizen to create a better education system.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work