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

'The Weimar Republic was weak from the start, its collapse was always 'likely'' - How far do you agree with this judgement in the period between 1919-1933?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'The Weimar Republic was weak from the start, its collapse was always 'likely'' How far do you agree with this judgement in the period between 1919-1933? The main reasons why the Republic failed were problems with the constitution and the way the political system worked, lack of support for Weimar, problems between 1920-28 and the Wall Street Crash of 1929. However it needs to be decided if Weimar was inevitably going to fail due to the way the constitution worked, or if it's never ending uphill struggle from 1919 was predominantly responsible for its disintegration. There was no doubt that the people never forgave the Weimar government for their part in the armistice. Their sense of betrayal meant that regardless of any successes, the slightest failure was 'likely' to cause its downfall. As World War One ended with Germany defeated it left the German people feeling very unhappy. Germany was forced with many problems such as reparation, weak industry, mass unemployment, guilt clause, hyperinflation and the loss of their coal and iron industry. These problems were clauses of the Treaty Of Versailles. The Treaty Of Versailles, a peace treaty with the allies, meant harsh terms for Weimar; compulsory military service was to be abolished, the army was to be reduced from 600 000 to 100 000, naval personnel not to exceed 15 000, a limit if ...read more.

Middle

Despite unavoidably being publicly disliked due the circumstances from which Weimar arose, it can also be argued that Weimar's composition was fundamentally flawed. One hardly needs to study history books to see that a fundamentally weak political system has little chance of survival. From 1919, Germany was declared a Democratic Federal Republic. Two houses of Parliament were made, the Upper House called the Reichstag, and the Lower House called the Reichsrat. These two were always going to hinder Weimar's progress. This was because when a law was passed in the Reichstag it had to be passed in the Reichsrat. If the Reichsrat refused to pass the law then, if two thirds of the Reichstag agreed, the Reichsrat's rejection was overruled, and the law passed. This caused law making to be slow and the Reichsrat pointless. However, the proportional representation of the coalition governments made law making even slower, and it was rare if any unanimous decisions were made in the Reichstag. Weimar also, as a democracy, was immediately undermined by what became known as Article 48. This gave the President the power to take away individual rights and make necessary changes to restore order. As well as this, many people were concerned about the lack of cohesion between governments, this would become a major problem after 1929. ...read more.

Conclusion

All classes of people suffered psychologically and lost pride in their country. In such a situation, it is not surprising that people lost faith in the Weimar Republic and saw salvation in the solutions offered by political extremism. People began to turn to Hitler, who preached employment and greatness; the Nazis gaining 107 seats in the 1930 election reflect this. By 1933 the fall of the Weimar Republic was obvious. The Republic's last leaders had done nothing to improve the effects of the Wall Street Crash upon Germany, like the rapidly increasing unemployment levels. The lack of action by the government led to extremist parties becoming very popular. The bad start the Weimar Republic made always meant that there would be many parties struggling for power. If there had been a strong Government to begin with, then there would have been no need for a Nazi party or any other extremists, as they would feel that they had no chance of gaining the votes to come to power. In conclusion, Weimar's fundamental weakness meant she never really even had the potential to become successful under such circumstances and the events that preceded her formation simply heeded her further. A famous quote by H. Holborn, about the period 1918 to 1933, was: "Normalcy was never quite achieved and even the period when it appeared close at hand proved only a brief interlude between the two disasters." Charlie Matthews 12CAS 10/05/2007 1 of 3 ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Why did international peace collapse by 1939?

    3 star(s)

    had weakened and undermined their offensive; thus, played a large role in Germany losing the First World War. Hitler was determined not to repeat the same mistakes. So, he planned ahead and made a pact with the Soviets - the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.

  2. What problems did the Weimar Republic face from 1919 to 1923, and why did ...

    This was used to build roads, railways and factories. The economy boomed and led to prosperity. Cultural life also boomed (the Roaring Twenties). � Reforms Stresemann introduced reforms to make life better for the working classes - Labour Exchanges (1927)

  1. What problems did the Weimar Republic face between 1919 and 1923?

    strong, the League of Nations would start to impose more demands on them. Weimar Republic faced a problem of either economic collapse by not helping the economy, or economic collapse by trying to help the economy, and having more restrictions placed on them by the leauge of nations.

  2. Why was the Weimar Republic able to survive 1919 - 1929?

    These frequent changes caused political instability, which be directly related to the constitution. Another factor of the constitution leading to political weakness was the fact that the army was not fully under government control. It failed to support the government during the Kapp Putsch or the crisis of 1923.

  1. The weak Weimar government was a major factor in Hitler rise to power, however ...

    Elana Klinger In this situation Hitler's ideas were becoming relevant to the times, because the German people were unemployed and in a depression, they were venerable to Hitler and his strong power. The German nation was scared and apprehensive about the future of their country.

  2. Was the collapse of the Weimar Republic inevitable?

    1918 and the Red Rising in the Ruhr in 1923, where communist groups organised strikes, demonstrations and disturbances to undermine the new government. Right wing groups found expression in attempts to seize power violently or in violence targeted at undermining the new system of government.

  1. What were the main problems for the Weimar Republic 1918-23?

    Kapp to succeed, proving how little the army cared for the republic. It was left to the workers to put down the Kapp government by going on strike. Confidence in socialist action was strengthened as a result of the success of the strike, in spite of this in some areas

  2. Was the Weimar Republic Doomed from the Start?

    He forced the leaders to agree to take part in a putsch (rebellion) against the Government the next day. However (he let them go and) many changed their minds. The next day 3000 Nazis, led by Hitler and General Ludendorff, (a WW1 hero), marched on Berlin.

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