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Was the Weimar Government destined to fail?

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Introduction

Anna Baldes VCE 20th Century History, Essay 3 20/05/2007 VCE 20th Century History, Unit 1 Topic Question: Was Weimar Government destined to fail? 1918-33 Word count: 1 522 Politics in Germany between 1918 and 1933 was volatile, as the Weimar Government struggled to keep control. The democratic Weimar Republic was from its inception doomed to fail. Beginning its regime with signing a fiercely unpopular peace treaty, this did not just cause a great number of problems for the newly instated Government, but ensured the distrust of its people for the duration of its lifespan. It struggled with problem after problem trying to maintain its rule over a country that not only was severely inexperienced with democracy but whose leaders and other significant figures were from day one aiming to destroy Weimar and the very system it was based on in its entirety. The constant demand for the destruction of the Weimar system meant that a place for extremist groups and parties was always ensured in German society, placing it in a position where it was constantly at threat. Weimar could have never survived. As Kaiser Wilhelm II fled, a great change took hold of Germany, one which would set into place a system and way of life which could never have survived let alone thrived. ...read more.

Middle

This did not only cause great economic problems, by brutally hindering her production of goods and resources, the majority of which were previously exported for profit, but caused an unimaginable and embarrassing blow to the identity of the general German population, who were fundamentally nationalistic. Secondly, the Treaty placed another strain on the proud German identity by placing inconceivable restrictions on the German military, calling for the destruction of both the air force 2 The German Century, Michael Sturmer, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, p.110 3 Weimar Sympathiser, Hugo Preuss, Democrat, 1923 and navy, in their entirety, and limiting its army to a tiny 100,000 men. The final and most critical blow came in the form of a forced acceptance of fault for the war and agreement to pay, a firstly an unset amount of reparations to the victorious Allied powers. Never before had there been such a unanimous outcry by the public who still believed that they could have emerged victorious, fiercely unforced censorship laws, until now, keeping them na�ve to their losses. This embarrassment had to be blamed on someone; the military instantly denied responsibility, 'The German army was stabbed in the back. No blame is to be attached to the sound care of the army...It is perfectly clear on whom the blame rests.'4, placing the blame on the only other logic party, the Weimar Government. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their views were easily made public, the general blame of Weimar for losing the war rising from these powerful individuals, '...let them eat the broth they have prepared for us.'9 Adding to Weimar's threatened state was the constant presence of extremist parties, made possibly by the lack of public support for Weimar. The numerous uprisings which occurred during Weimar's reign created constant unrest and ensured instability. The most extreme of these came in the form of the Kapp Putsch, for the right and the Spartacist Uprising, for the left, in both casing entire German cities were captured and held only to flee and return power to Weimar, not when Weimar intervened but the opposing extremist party of Weimar's behalf. This further proved to the German people Weimar incapability, not to mention drew support for the strong capability of the extremist parties. In conclusion, Weimar's collapse was ensured from its formation. The survival of a democratic system lies with the support of the people. The support which Weimar 9 Supreme commander, General Ludendorff never had, the fundamental hate for Weimar not only rooted in the German peoples personality and history, but caused by the injustices of Versailles, the confusion surrounding the constitution and the extreme opposition which threatened Weimar from every angle. Weimar could have never survived. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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