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

In what ways did the Weimar constitution create democracy in Germany?

Extracts from this document...


In what ways did the Weimar constitution create democracy in Germany? The constitution of the Weimar Republic, drafted by the liberal jurist Hugo Preuss, aimed to combine the principles of the first ten amendments of the Constitution of the United States, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, and twentieth-century modifications. From the German viewpoint, it represented a major break from the former imposing regime, which had been far more authoritarian than democratic. Therefore in theory, the constitution of the Weimar Republic comprised the most advanced democracy in Europe, preserving a wide range of liberal policies while retaining a degree of stability and continuity with the past. ...read more.


The electorate also had the plebiscite powers, electing every 7 years the President who, as suitable for a republican constitution, replaced the former Kaiser as head of state. While power appeared to be concentrated with lawmakers in the legislature, (the elected deputies of the Reichstag), considerable authority was also placed in the hands of the executive, those responsible for seeing that the laws were put into effect, (the President). In certain circumstances, the president had the power to rule by decree and govern the republic directly. In the event of an emergency, article 48 of the Constitution allowed the President to suspend civil liberties, take emergency powers and rule by decree. ...read more.


The constitution of the Weimar republic also included a bill of rights, intended to protect the interests of individual citizens and the population as a whole were guaranteed certain basic rights, including equality before the law (Article 109), 'liberty of travel and residence' (Article 114), the inviolability of the home (Article 115) and the right of every German 'to express his opinion freely by word, in writing, in print, in picture form, or in any other way' (Article 118). Finally, there was even a device, in Article 48, to safeguard democracy by the use of emergency presidential powers should these be necessary. The Reichstag could, however withdraw these if it considered that the President's action was illogical. Therefore, in these ways, the Weimar Constitution promoted and defended democracy in Germany. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Germany 1918-1939 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 GCSE Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. Modern World History Coursework - Reichstag Sourcework

    This source strongly agrees with the second statement, as the author explicitly admits to being the one responsible for lighting the fire on behalf of Hitler himself, by stating that; 'I and two SA men set fire to the Reichstag.

  2. What is the tradition of animosity between racial groups in Europe during the Twentieth ...

    Eventually however the Gypsies ended up in the concentration and extermination camps of the Second World War (sources 33 + 34), during the holocaust. According to Himmler's decree of December 14, 1937, "preventive" arrests could be made of persons who, while not guilty of any criminal act, "endangered the communality

  1. Weimar constitution coursework

    In response , in January 1923,French and Beligian troops entered the Ruhr , the main region of Germany's coal, iron and steel production . This led to strikes and passive resistance by the German workers who refused to co-operate with the troops.

  2. Nazism and the New Age.

    I would submit that his evident knowledge of the occult roots of Nazism disturbed Hitler and his fellow-initiates far more than anything Pius did later, for they were in the process of burying all such traces [see below]. The yet-stronger statements in "Mit Brennender Sorge" two years later probably intensified Nazi fears that their cover was about to be blown.

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