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How important was the impact of mass unemployment in the years 1929-1933 in bringing about the collapse of the Weimar republic?

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Introduction

Louise Chilton How important was the impact of mass unemployment in the years 1929-1933 in bringing about the collapse of the Weimar republic? There are many arguments to exactly why the Weimar republic collapsed and the Nazi's took over as leaders of the Third Reich. Yet essentially, The Weimar Republic had suffered from three major problems: a systemic political crisis, with the break up of several coalition governments, a sense of national humiliation associated with the Republic due to the loss of the World War I, which had left Germany with many economic, social, and political problems. In addition to enduring high inflation and a large national debt, Germans were deeply embittered by the harsh terms of the Versailles Treaty, signed in June 1919, which formally ended the war. The treaty called for German disarmament and huge reparation payments to the Allies. Unable to meet the payments, Germany's currency collapsed and the German people suffered large financial losses and grave economic crises. Worsened by the Wall Street Crash of October 1929. The Crash had a devastating impact on the American economy but because America had propped up the Weimar Republic with huge loans in 1924 (the Dawes Plan) ...read more.

Middle

Both parties were opposed to the democratic system and used violence against their political opponents. From the start, the Weimar republic's democratic system lacked legitimacy, having been partly imposed by the Allies on Germany as the price for an armistice, which failed to establish political stability. Between 1918 and 1923, a period of semi-civil war polarized opinion and exacerbated existing political divisions pre-dating World War I. An extreme form of proportional representation encouraged political fragmentation, complicating the formation of stable coalition governments; there were 16 different governments between 1919 and 1930. In 1929, Germany was ruled by a grand coalition stretching from the Social Democrats to the Peoples Party and the Social Democrat Muller was Chancellor. Unemployment continued to rise and the unemployment insurance was in heavy deficit. The Social Democrats wanted to increase employer's contributions while the People's Party wanted to cut benefits. Again, there was rivalry between the coalition government and the situation became even more strained. Yet in 1930, rising unemployment put the unemployment insurance into greater crisis. Meyer of the Democrats and Bruning of the Centre Party propose a new compromise. ...read more.

Conclusion

Communist support continued to rise and this worried many industrialists. Von Schleicher replaced Von Papen as chancellor. Von Papen immediately began to plot against von Schleicher and met Hitler. They agreed that Hitler would become the chancellor of a government made up mainly of von Papen's supporters. Hindenburg, who disliked Hitler, was persuaded to appoint him chancellor on the 30th of January. The Weimar Republic was dead. Obviously, the republic was in turmoil. As already mentioned many German citizens had lost their life savings and unemployment was on the up. The inability to pay workers meant their industry collapsed and the economic depression worsened. The combination of national depression and war guilt meant that German citizens began to look elsewhere for leadership, which had detrimental effects on the republic. It was against this background of political and economic crisis that the NSDAP achieved its breakthrough between 1930 and 1933. So although the Weimar republic already had numerous cracks in its system it was in effect the loss of faith by the German people who had been embittered by the depression that lead to the results, which disempowered the Weimar government, and lead to The Nazi party becoming truly established in Germany. (1153 words) ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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