• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did the Weimar Republic fail?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did the Weimar Republic fail? It is often difficult to analyse the Weimar Republic and decide whether it was doomed from the start due to constitutional defects, or if prevailing circumstances initiated its collapse. This has been a source of argument for many historians, as they all have different ideas as to why the Republic did not survive. Edgar Feuchtwanger fiercely argues that economic problems were the main reason for the Republic not succeeding, because people could no longer be supportive of the constitution in times of hardship and desperation. As massive unemployment and spiralling inflation spread through battered Germany, another solution was sought, and people found salvation in Hitler. However, Dick Geary argues, "The Weimar Republic was not overthrown by Nazism, it had already failed". The main reasons why the Republic failed were problems with the constitution and the way the political system worked; lack of support for Weimar; problems the Republic faced between 1920 - 1928 and the Wall Street Crash in 1929, which caused severe world depression. However, it needs to be decided if Weimar was inevitably going to fail due to the way the constitution worked, or if it's never ending uphill struggle from 1919 caused its disintegration. By 1918, it was certain that Germany would be defeated after four years of intensive battle with Britain and France. Due to the possibility of allied invasion and internal problems, the Kaiser, who had been Germany's dictator, set up a constitutional monarchy, which was to be the most democratic system in the world. ...read more.

Middle

The Republic had mainly survived the 1920s because of economic stability. However, by November 1923 Germany's economy was caught in a spiral of hyperinflation, and money was becoming more and more worthless by the day. The middle classes had their savings devalued considerably and pension funds were wiped out. They decided to blame the Weimar Republic because the people who had set it up had agreed to pay the reparations. Before this economic crisis, there were many people who did not really agree or disagree with the principles of the Republic. However, the time had come where people had no one to blame but the government, the majority of the country were angry, and it could be considered that with universal criticism, and perhaps some hatred, the new Republic was predestined to fail. Profiteering, crime and prostitution also increased markedly at that time. Such behavioural trends contributed significantly to the lack of faith in the Republican system. The evidence given so far suggests that the Republic did not stand a chance, despite everything that happened later. The general population had no faith, and without such support, a constitution going through times of much hardship stood no chance at all. However, it would not be fair to dismiss the Republic as a total failure, as from the years 1924 to 1929, there was relative stability in Germany. In 1923 Stresemann was appointed as Chancellor. ...read more.

Conclusion

He may have been there at the time when things were going wrong, but he alone could not have caused the Republic's collapse without the other factors. There are many factors which contributed to the malfunction of the Weimar Republic. It could be argued that if certain things, such as worldwide depression had not occurred, the Republic would have survived, considering the relative stability beforehand. From the very beginning, the Republic faced opposition from both sides of the political spectrum. The public blamed their problems on the Treaty of Versailles, and in turn, blamed the government that signed it. The new government had inherited a difficult situation and it was inevitable that it would face technical hitches from the start. Nevertheless, to say the Republic was doomed from the beginning is hasty. The Republic was beginning to overcome its difficulties during the mid 1920's as economic, political, and cultural improvements were occurring. If it hadn't been for events like the Wall Street Crash, the Republic may have prospered for many years. In agreement with Professor Geary, "The depression and crisis led to the rise in the Nazi vote, which led to the collapse of the Republic". The Republic had many faults within its constitutional set-up, which caused problems along the way, and lacked support, but these things had been overcome to a certain extent so the Republic had an opportunity. If it had not been for the additional prevailing circumstances, the Republic may have survived. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Germany 1918-1939 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. Weimar, 1918 - 1923

    exhorted to recruit three new ones and one subscriber to the V�lkischer Beobachter every three months." NB - the party only really experienced major growth and neared 'mass movement' status in 1923. b. Methods i) Mass Meetings KD Bracher "The most effective tool was the elaborate rite of the mass-meeting,

  2. What problems did the Weimar Republic face from 1919 to 1923, and why did ...

    Communistrising Communist risingroup called the Spartakists, led by Rosa Luxemburg and Carl Liebknecht, attempted to begin a revolution but the rising was suppressed with the help of the army and the leaders were executed. 4. Kapp Putsch - Wolfgang Kapp led a right-wing attempt to seize power in Berlin in 1920.

  1. Why did the Weimar Republic Fail?

    The political instability in the Weimar Republic is displayed through the chancellorship of Bruning, who imposed wage cuts, increased taxes in order to cut costs. But this programme proved to be deflationary and also lost the support of the working class.

  2. Why was the Weimar Republic able to survive 1919 - 1929?

    The Weimar Republic faced many social problems. It was burdened by the fact that throughout its existence it suffered from a 'negative consensus', were it never gained a majority supporting democracy. Due to that it proved to always be a struggle for the government to satisfy its people.

  1. To what extent were the problems of 1919-1923 overcome by the Weimar Government by ...

    The reduction of reparations payments helped Germany to thrive industrially, as she had more money available to help boost her industry. Therefore, the reduction of payments as part of the Dawes plan solved help to solve the poor economic situation and increased support for the government because Germany was more economically sound as a result.

  2. Was the collapse of the Weimar Republic inevitable?

    During this time, the "Grand Coalition" of the DVP, DDP and Catholic Centre Party was in power in Germany. The Wall Street Crash caused the collapse of the Coalition over the issue of taxation and public spending. Once the Grand Coalition had collapsed in 1930, Hindenburg used Article 48 of the constitution to rule by presidential decree.

  1. Weimar, 1924 - 1929

    It was relaunched on 26th February 1925. Other Nazi papers were created as well; in Berlin, G�bbels founded Der Angriff (the attack).

  2. Why was the Weimar Republic able to survive the difficulties of the years 1919 ...

    This division ensured that they were never strong enough to combine and overthrow the government. The two most famous attempts to do so, the Kapp and Munich Putsches also shows the disorganization and the idealism of the right wing leaders.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work