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How far do the early problems of the Weimar Republic suggest that it was doomed from the start? 1919-1923

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Introduction

How far do the early problems of the Weimar Republic suggest that it was doomed from the start? 1919-1923 After the defeat in World War 1 Germany faced a number of problems which it took many years to sort out. I will be looking at these and evaluating to what extent these suggest the Weimar Republic was doomed. It faced a new democratic constitution, attempts to over throw it, problems with the Versailles Treaty, foreign occupation of the Ruhr and hyperinflation coupled with general economic crisis. After the embarrassing defeat of WW1, the German people felt let down and a broad feeling of the "stab in the back" was circulating. They felt the politicians had given in and they were the ones who had surrendered. It attributed Germany's defeat to a number of domestic factors instead of failed "militarist geostrategy". All through the war the public had only been told the good news and everyone thought they were winning. As a result the loss was a huge blow. It also is cited as an important factor in Adolf Hitler's later rise to power, as the Nazi Party grew its original political base mainly from embittered WWI veterans. ...read more.

Middle

As you can imagine this meant that the law making process was a long, laborious and boring path, with many alterations to suit enough people to make a majority. It was weak because it led to coalition governments which always ended up compromising, if it could even be agreed on. To combat this, the President had Article 48 which stated in the event of a emergency the President could make laws without passing them through the Reichstag. The problem was that it did not state the definition of an "emergency" so in the wrong hands it could effectively be turned into a dictatorship. This undermined the whole point of democracy. However it could be argued that article 48 meant the president could make laws in an emergency and this was a good thing, to keep the country under control. Plus proportional representation was fairer, with every vote counting. It is argued that the fact there were a lot of Putsch's (attempts to overthrow) indicates a dislike for the government. The Kapp and Sparticist Putsch's are an example of a dislike for democracy uniting people and an attempt to take power ensued. ...read more.

Conclusion

And finally, inflation was a massive problem in the early Weimar Republic. Inflation was fuelled by the strike and printing more money. The value of the mark plummeted. Currency became worthless until gas was worth more than notes so people burnt money to fuel their stoves. The rich became richer and the poor became poorer. As the economy struggled to keep it's head above water, other countries refused to trade with them, further adding to the starvation in Germany. People could not afford to buy food and of course this only added to the loathing of the government. However a man called Stresemann brought about change in Germany. He introduced a new currency, recalling the old one. He ordered the workers to go back to work and restarted reparations. Despite lifting Germany out of a bleak future, he was still unpopular. In fact so much so he was forced to resign. Overall I think that there were definitely telltale sings that the Weimar Republic was doomed. However good things came out of it, even if the German's weren't ready for them. I think Democracy was pretty much achieved and Germany gained a great man, Stresemann. Who knows, Germany may not be the same today if it had not learnt lessons back then. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rebecca Cullen ...read more.

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