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

Why the Weimar Republic collapsed and how Hitler was able to take and consolidate power.

Extracts from this document...


Why the Weimar Republic collapsed and how Hitler was able to take and consolidate power. Some historians believe that the Weimar Republic, born in the aftermath of the First World War, was destined to failure from it very outset. It was blamed for Germanys defeat and for the harsh treaty of Versailles, 'no one in their right mind would claim that the terms of the treaty of Versailles did not play a major role in the collapse of the Weimar Republic' (Geary). The Paris peace conference was held between the 12th of January 1919 and 20th of January 1920. Leaders from 32 states (75% of the world's population) attended. Five treaties emerged from the conference, one of which being the Versailles created to deal with Germany. The harsh terms included territorial and military restrictions. Germany was forced to reluctantly sign the treaty. In the bitter atmosphere in Germany after the defeat a simple explanation for it quickly spread. It claimed that the German army had been stabbed in the back by unpatriotic and weak politicians. That if the army had fought until the end, they could have won the war. That they were not defeated on the battlefield but by pacifists and socialists who had undermined the war effort. These so called 'November criminals' that had stabbed them in the back were associated with the new democratic regime and this severely weakened the Weimar republics chance of survival. ...read more.


However the army remained loyal to the government , even though general Ludendorff supported Hitler. The rising was suppressed and Hitler imprisoned. Hyper-inflation had a major economic, social, political and psychological effect on the republic and there is no doubt that it played a major role in its collapse. In 1924 Charles G. Dawes, an American banker, was asked by the Allied Reparations Committee to investigate the problem of inflation. His report, published in April, 1924, proposed a plan for annual payments of reparations on a fixed scale. He also recommended the reorganization of the German State Bank and increased foreign loans. German politicians like Adolf Hitler and Alfred Hugenberg attacked the Dawes Plan because it did not reduce the reparations total. They also disliked the idea that foreigners would have control over the German economy. The Dawes Plan was initially a great success. The currency was stabilized and inflation was brought under control. Large loans were raised in the United States and this investment resulted in a fall in unemployment. Germany was also able to meet her obligations under the Treaty of Versailles for the next five years. These next five years (1925-1929) are considered to be the golden era of Weimar Germany's political history. Gustav Stresemann was in power and he had the respect of many overseas political leaders. ...read more.


People began to say that if he was clever enough to predict the depression maybe he also knew how to solve it. The depression had a major effect on the Weimar republic it seemed to sweep away all the gains of the past five years and reinforce Germany's hostility to the failing democratic system. Historian William Carr has wrote that: 'it is inconceivable that Hitler could ever have come to power had not the Weimar Republic been subjected to the unprecedented strain of the world economic crisis'. In 1930 the coalition between the social democrats, the centre party and the peoples party collapsed becauser of disagreements about measures to deal with the budget deficit .President Hindenburg appointed Bruning ,leader of the centre party as chancellor. Unable to get a majority in the Reichstag , Bruning used the presidents emergency powers to force through his proposed expenditure cuts. On the Streets the communists and Nazis were increasingly turning to political violence.In September 1930 a general election was called. Bruning thought the violence of The extremists would increase support for the moderate parties, but instead the instability of the Weimar system led many to turn to the extremes. The Nazis gained 107 seats and the communists77.With the moderate parties at odds with each other and no party willing to co-operate with the Nazis or communists, it was impossible to construct a government with a majority and so Ariticle 48 had to been used and Weimar ceased to be a functioning democracy. ?? ?? ?? ?? Steph Fenton ...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. The weak Weimar government was a major factor in Hitler rise to power, however ...

    Hitler attacked the government, and declared that only the Nazi Party could assure jobs for the workers and greatness for Germany. Hitler organized a private army who became known as storm troopers. By Oct. 1923 Hitler gathered 15,000 storm troopers.

  2. How did Hitler consolidate his power?

    By 1930 Hitler was having problems controlling the SA, most of them were simply thugs, so he asked Rohm to return to take control of them. Rohm made them a more disciplined body but still wanted them to become the most powerful force in Germany.

  1. To what extent was the backstairs intrigue responsible for Hitler being able to take ...

    As leader he had the right to form government Schleicher and Papen agreed that he must come into their cabinet. Still, they did not command the majority needed to elect Hitler Chancellor. In another election on November 6, 1932, the Nazis lost 34 seats in the Reichstag, reducing their total to 196.

  2. What Role did the Reichstag Fire Play In Allowing Hitler to Consolidate his Power

    Finally, Hitler could not use Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which allowed a chancellor to rule by decree with the President's consent. The chancellors before Hitler, Bruning, Papen and Schleicher had been given access to the part of Article 48 which allowed them to rule by decree.

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

    Police fired on the rebels and the rebellion broke up in chaos. The political situation appeared poor in the Weimar Republic especially during 1918 - 1923. The political opposition was suppressed which was very influential in promoting the survival of the republic.

  2. Why had international Peace Collapsed by 1939?

    This was not the case with Britain and France. Britain and especially France wanted to appease Mussolini because he was their strongest ally against Hitler for the fear of future war. If Italy could not have Abyssinia they would be unhappy so the League delayed decisions put sanctions in place against Italy that wouldn't even work.

  1. Year 11 History GCSE Coursework- Weimar Republic and Hitler

    All these reasons combined to cause the Weimar Republic's downfall, and weakened Germany severely. Of all the reasons for the Republic's weakness, the state of the economy was probably the most significant. Germany was paying enormous reparations, and many Germans were extremely poor, hungry and unemployed.

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

    This completely halted the economy and the Kapp government had collapsed by March 17. Further pressure from the right came in 1923 with the Beer Hall Putsch, staged by Adolf Hitler in Munich. In 1920, the German Workers' Party had become the Nazi Party (NSDAP), and would become a driving force in the collapse of Weimar.

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