• 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. Why did the Weimar Republic Fail?

    According to Robert Wolfson and John Laver, Hitler's political ability, and their aim to rid Germany of communism won the support of wealthy landowner and industrialists, also the social depression contributed towards the rise of Nazism and the fall of the Weimar Republic.

  2. Weimar, 1918 - 1923

    ii) The Press In December 1920, the NSDAP bought the V�lkischer Beobachter, a twice weekly (daily by early 1923) anti-Semitic gossip sheet, allowing Hitler to get his propaganda into print. With the absorption of the DSP (German Socialist Party), led by Julius Streicher, the Nazis gained another newspaper, Der St�rmer, of which Streicher was the editor.

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

    A portion of the population that was anti-democratic included the army (led by right-wing General Seeckt). This made survival of the Weimar republic extremely difficult as the government rarely gained enough support, especially in times of need. The army was not fully unde the government's control and it failed to

  2. Was the collapse of the Weimar Republic inevitable?

    When watching a Military March past, he once commented to his son "I did realise we had taken so many Russians prisoner." Unable to run the country alone, he was therefore influenced by a small group of advisers; namely, his son Oscar, state secretary Otto Meissner, and senior defence minister Kurt Von Schleicher.

  1. 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.

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

    Another example of a divided front among the right was the Munich Putsch, where Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, proclaimed a revolution with a gun pointed to a right wing supporter Lossow and Kahr. He then failed to secure them and they escaped, warning the government.

  1. To what extent was the weimar republic doomed?

    This period therefore became known as the Golden Age of Weimar. From 1923 up until his death in 1929, Stresemann was a very influential politician in Germany. He became foreign Minister in 1924, taking Germany into the League of Nations two years later, allowing the country recognition for its great power.

  2. WWII History Revision Notes. How far did the Weimar Republic Recover between 1924-1928.

    Because the Weimar republic began to recover Economically (Dawes plan, Young plan), Socially (Votes for the social democrats were much higher than the Nazi party), Diplomatically (Foreign Policy) and Politically (Formed a coalition with other middle class parties in the Reichstag).

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