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Weimar Republic: Doomed from start?

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Introduction

Q: WAS THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC DOOMED FROM THE START? What was the impact of the Treaty of Versailles on the Republic? Answer- After a long, gruesome war beginning from 1914, by September 1918 it was clear that the war was not going anywhere and Germany had no choice but to accept defeat. A year later in 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was presented, which was a peace settlement between the Allies and Germany. Germany knew that they would have to pay a large price for all the international trouble they had caused but there was still partially hope for a settlement which would not be too harsh on the nation. The German Kaiser had been removed and a new government had democratically been elected. The masses of Germany felt that the Allies would sympathize with the nation's fragile condition and support the new republic. Besides that, American president Woodrow Wilson was known for his belief in fairness and justice according to his 'Fourteen Points'. Despite all the secondary factors, the main justification that Germany had to ask for a reasonable treaty was the fact that it wasn't the only one to be blamed for the war. ...read more.

Middle

Besides the territorial losses that Germany suffered in Europe, the country also suffered losses in terms of the worldwide empire that it had been trying to create. All of Germany's overseas colonies were annexed by the Allies. Overall, Germany lost 13% of its land which contained about six million of its people which strongly weakened the position of the new Weimar republic as loss of land and people meant a drop in economy, labor force, and an overall factor that hampered the growth of the nation and the new government. Therefore, the Treaty of Versailles also had a great impact on the financial state of Germany as well. Besides the land, raw materials, and foreign wealth that Germany lost, there were other terms of the treaty that destroyed the nation's economic condition. Since the 'German War Guilt' was one of the major terms of the treaty, Germany had no choice to accept the entire blame of the mishap that Europe was going through. As a result of this, it was also held accountable for the cost of the war and the Treaty dictated that compensation would have to be paid to the Allies. ...read more.

Conclusion

For some Germans it was hard to accept that they could have lost the war and this created a physiological havoc in the people's minds. This, amongst other things, led to a growth in the number of people who distrusted the Weimar Republic and were unwilling to support it. This manifests itself in uprisings such as the Kapp Putsch and the Munich Putsch, though there are other factors which led to these uprisings. Overall, the treaty signaled the beginning of a period of isolation for Germany, making it an outcast in international politics, feared and distrusted by the Allies. This had a significant impact on the role that Germany would, and potentially could, play in European and World affairs in the early post war climate. The terms of the Treaty of Versailles had an enormous impact on the new democratically chosen Weimar Republic, weakening its image for the German masses and making conditions for its functioning extremely difficult. The treaty of Versailles affected the German nation and its government not only in terms of economy, finance, military and territory, but also in terms of the psychological ideas and mindsets of its people. ...read more.

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