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What problems faced the new Republic in Germany from 1919 to 1923? Why did it survive?

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Introduction

What problems faced the new Republic in Germany from 1919 to 1923? Why did it survive? In January 1919 revolution was suppressed as a communist rising by the spartactists was prevented. By February there was a formal establishment of the new regime and the Weimar constitution was drawn up. Germany became a Republic and Ebert became the head of the newly proclaimed government. Ebert chose the moderate course as he believed that most of the German people were for moderate change. On the surface Germany's democracy looked strong, but underneath its roots were weak. Weimar was built on a feeble democratic tradition and from the outset many Germans were against it. To begin with, Ebert believed that the new regime needed the support of elite and was prepared to cooperate with them. So the traditional right wing elite remained intact and the left remained divided and weak. The elite held land and wanted an Empire, Elite were terrified of a real socialist revolution and were prepared, for the moment, to help the new government; the fact that the elite had initial support for the new regime was purely tactical and was threatening for the prospects of a secure democracy. ...read more.

Middle

The principle of the treaty was for Germany to accept full responsibility for all the loss and damage which the allied governments had been subjected to, this was in order to justify making Germany pay compensation in the form of reparations. This was a treaty which not only infuriated the right wing but virtually the whole of Germany rejected it. As the Germans had expected a victory the sudden collapse of their hopes bred anger as well and frustration. To many Germans the treaty was scandalous, a German lawyer Hugo Preuss said "The criminal madness of the Versailles Diktat was a shameless blow in the face to hopes of political and economic recovery", many Germans believed this as it was an act of criminal irresponsibility by short-sighted, vengeful politicians and in my opinion this was very true. The constitution of the new Weimar republic was very democratic. It established parliamentary government. The Weimar constitution was a well-considered mix of democracy and protective measures against anarchy; the regime's greatest weaknesses lay elsewhere but it could have introduced democracy slowly. The constitution, however, did give leeway to anyone who wanted to destroy the republic, for instance, proportional representation gave equal rights to its enemies, the constitution could also give scope to states that were hostile to the government and they might even try to overthrow it. ...read more.

Conclusion

By 1923 the Weimar republic had survived a series of attempted coups and revolts from the right and the left. These had been serious threats, not so much because of the strength of the various opposition groups, but also because of the sense of national humiliation following the treaty of Versailles and then the economic crisis of 1923. On the surface these were years of recovery for Germany so at the beginning they posed as weakness but buy the end of 1923 they were successful achievements. The background and the events of 1919-1923 seemingly doomed the republic but, Germany did still have a chance of establishing a democracy. After the major political and economic crisis's Germany had survived, this was because the extremist forces of both the left and the right failed to attract much support and were disorganised and divided. The elite- the strongest opposition which faced the Republic although not committed to democracy were not prepared to overthrow it as they feared worse outcomes and greater chaos. Furthermore, luckily for Germany Article 48 of the Weimar constitution was in the right hands and was used wisely by Ebert and Streseman tackled hyperinflation very successfully. The Weimar Republic survived its turbulent first four years that did leave it scarred by the experience and left prospects of democracy looking poor, but having survived the crisis ment it had considerable strengths. Ghazal Shahidiani ...read more.

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