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Weimar’s Failure Lay in it’s Own Poor Foundations. Discuss.

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Introduction

Weimar's Failure Lay in it's Own Poor Foundations. Discuss. In this essay I intend to determine whether one could condemn Weimar's downfall on its individual establishment. In order to do this I will highlight the key factors, which I believe, led to Weimar's defeat; I will examine each one in turn and ascertain whether the blame could be entirely put upon Weimar. The impact of the war upon Germany was very damaging, firstly the war was very expensive and had harmed the German economy. The whole country was united in the war effort it was known as the volkgemeinschaft. However there was a large split in society between the minority of rich people and the majority of poor people, many people were starving. Despite this there was general support for the war. Due to the fact that Germany was defeated the general atmosphere within the country was one of dejection and hatred of the allies. As a result of the war a peace treaty was created in the city of Versailles Germany was not allowed to be present at the negotiations and the treaty was extensively biased against Germany. For example Germany was to take full responsibility for the war and had to give the allies (mainly France, Britain and America) ...read more.

Middle

There was also many people opposed to the idea of Weimar system of government the youth for example. In the early years the youth found Weimar to be liberating. It encouraged young people to be more independent. This alienated the older people and it also showed an increase in youth crime and unemployment. Therefore as the 1920's progressed, the novelty of the freedom decreased you saw the youth showing support of the extremist parties. The intellectuals also opposed Weimar. They believed that it was hindering Germany's recovery, they thought that Weimar was promoting political and class divisions. They thought that Germany needed an uniting factor, combined with that they needed a stronger leader. Germany needed and ideology of struggle to become stronger. All of these views were against the democracy and the idea of a republic. Although these problems were in the foundations of Weimar there were many other factors, which led to its defeat, all of which Weimar was completely blameless for. There were the conditions of the Versailles treaty, Germany had to pay reparations payments to the allies. They had to make an initial payment of 20 billion gold marks, then they had to pay a further �6000 million which was impossible they were already in debt as a result of the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

In comparison the basis upon which Weimar was set up was the major element upon which Weimar failed. A strong government cannot be formed with a mixture of democratic and authoritarian ideas. It is inviting a powerful idealistic leader to take on the role of a dictator. From the start Weimar was crippled because it was leading an already defeated country that was mentally and physically downhearted. The introduction of a new democratic regime enforced by the people that developed the hated treaty of Versailles was certain to be resisted by the country which was bitter from defeat. From this you can see why Weimar failed, it tried to introduce the right form of government under the wrong constitution in the wrong situation where it was bound to be rejected. As the historian Ruth Henig said, " the newly established democratic structure was not strong enough to cope with such underlying pressures when they were reinforced by new social and economic tensions arising from war and defeat". The Weimar government was Germany's first attempt at democracy it had a weak foundation waiting to collapse and to allow an intelligent political leader to take on the role of a dictator. This is what Adolf Hitler did in 1933 when he was given the position of chancellor, he was later to become President and rule an oppressed country for thirteen years. ...read more.

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