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

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Introduction

History Essay By Joe Wright What were the main problems for the Weimar Republic 1918-23? In the period of 1918-23 the Weimar Republic was facing many problems these were, Spartacist week, The Kapp Putch, The Constitution, The treaty of Versailles, The occupation of the Ruhr, Hyper Inflation, The Munich Beer Hall Putch. In order to answer this question we must first establish whether in-fact the problems that Weimar faced were un-defeat able and how much of a threat they posed to the survival of the republic. The years of 1918 to 1923 are deemed by many as the "crisis years" as they were a period of much unrest and annoyance, to add to this there were social, economic and political breakdowns and much opposition from several quarters. Before the arise of any additional problems there was already instability in the government, with the abandonment of the Kaiser Reich, three parties made up the broadly based Weimar Coalition. Although democratic, the coalition operated on a system of proportional representation - in other words if party A, for example, gets 10% of the votes then they would get 10% of seats in the Reichstag. The introduction of proportional representation became a controversial issue and was the subject of much criticism at the time. ...read more.

Middle

It was down to Noske the leader of the SPD, the party now entirely ruling the country, to put down the rising. He turned to an extreme right wing nationalist group of ex-soldiers know as the Freikorps for helping repressing the uprising. The Freikorps were heavily armed and renound for being violent and particularly nasty. It can be argued that this decision may have affected survival and could facilitated in the failure of the Weimar Republic. Weimar supposedly had a liberal and democratic government that was slightly leaning towards the left wing, but for some reason turned to the extreme right in this situation. There was three days of savage fighting before the rising was put down. The Freikorps rounded up all the leaders and brutally beat and murdered them, this included Luxemburg and Liebknecht. The way the SPD handled the Spartacist Uprising caused much resentment, even from people who has no Spartacist sympathies. Right wing opposition posed much more of a threat to the Republic that left wing opposition, mainly due to the sheer numbers of right wing supporters. The main right wing parties were the DNVP and the NSDAP - they rejected the Republic and it's principals, wanted to destroy the democratic constitution and was in support of a strict nationalist system. ...read more.

Conclusion

The right was not strong enough and had no clear line of attack and the left did not have enough support and was still un-recovered from its earlier divisions. In my opinion the problems faced by the Weimar Republic were not insurmountable as in the end they were successfully overcome. However, there is no doubt that they were very serious and at times posed a very real threat to the survival of the republic. Although there were other significant factors, I feel that the evidence suggests that Stresemann was a fundamental figure in Weimar's fight for survival. Perhaps it is true that Weimar could have survived without him, but personally I think it would have been more of a case of struggling on until its demise. Stresemann exerted such an intense influence and initiated vital economic developments. It can be argued that the Weimar Republic never actually had a real chance of survival from the start. In my opinion it had a particularly unfortunate amount of problems but nevertheless it triumphed in overcoming them. It was pure bad luck that in 1929 not only was Weimar confronted with more economic adversity but also Stresemann died at this crucial time. The Nazis were in the right place at the right time in order to exploit this misfortune. If it had not been for these fateful circumstances, I believe that the Weimar Republic would have survived longer. ...read more.

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