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Describe the four main areas of the Weimar Constitution

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Introduction

Describe the four main areas of the Weimar constitution In January 1919 Ebert asked a member of the Reichstag called Hugo Preuss who was a legal jurist to put together a draft constitution for the new republic. He began the constitution by looking at the British, French and German traditions and the USA constitution in January and finished it in August. It was submitted, as a draft, and voted on. 262 voted in favour, 75 against, however there were 423 deputies of the Reichstag, so this reveals that not everyone voted, and the constitution was not as accepted as it seems. The constitution was only supposed to be a draft, to be discussed and then finalised, but in the turbulent world of Weimar, this did not happen and it remained a draft. The constitution had four parts to it: The roles and rules of the President and Chancellor; elections and voting structures; the reichsratt and the civil liberties and freedoms of the people. ...read more.

Middle

The head of state could still dissolve the Reichstag, still commanded the army and still appointed the chancellor. Whereas previously, although the Reichstag was elected in the Kaiser Reich, they had no say in who was chancellor, he was appointed by the Kaiser, and if the Reichstag did not like him, then it was tough. In the new Republic, however, the chancellor had to have the confidence of the Reichstag or he could not be chancellor, article 53. In the Kaiser Reich, the electorate were all males over the age of 25. In Weimar, the electorate was all men and women over the age of 20, universal suffrage, which was not seen anywhere else in Europe, articles 22 &23. The electorate voted for the deputies of the Reichstag, as they had done in the Kaiser Reich, working on a system of proportional representation, were the number of seats given to a party was proportionate to the amount of votes that party received. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the constitution of the Kaiser Reich, civil rights are not even mentioned, but articles 109-163 list the rights of the German public. These include basic rights like being equal before the law and social and religious rights. For example all Germans were granted the freedom to practice whatever religion they choose, and the freedom to travel and live anywhere in Germany, freedom of speech and freedom of censorship. In the Kaiser Reich, there was, as has been mentioned, a constitution. There are a few subtle changes in the Weimar constitution along with some major differences. In essence, the Weimar constitution offered one of the most advanced democracies Europe had ever seen. But the German nation was not used to democracy, it was used to a monarchy and was changed from a monarchy to such a pure form of democracy in such a short period of time, and experienced such problems, that the people of Germany came to resent it. After all, it was just a draft supposed to be improved on and maybe if it had been discussed more, and redrawn, it would have lasted. ...read more.

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