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

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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.

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