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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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