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

In what ways did the Treaty of Versailles pose a threat to the Weimar Constitution?

Extracts from this document...


In what ways did the Treaty of Versailles pose a threat to the Weimar Constitution? The Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919 resulting in Germany loosing 13% of land, 12% of its population and 48% of its iron ore. The terms of the treaty also meant that Germany's military troops were reduced immensely with only 100,000 men in the army and 15,000 men in the navy. Germany was not allowed an air force nor allowed to import arms or ammunition. On top of these terms Germany had to accept responsibility for the First World War and pay reparation fees. All these terms posed a huge threat to the Weimar Constitution as a barely established government was faced with massive social discontent and economic problems. The first threat to the constitution was due to the rage of the population against the so-called 'traitors' who signed the treaty, thus taking responsibility for the war. This reinforced the 'stab in the back' theory that was sparked after the armistice, as some believed the German defeat was due to the civilian population betraying the military. ...read more.


Attacks from the right wing did not stop after the attempted putsch as a 'white terror' spread across Germany. The murders of Erzberger and Rathenau - a DDP member involved in fulfilling the reparation terms of the treaty, sparked even more anger from the German people as the government failed to counter right-wing outrages. Most of the violence caused by right wing parties was arbitrary but few of those responsible were ever brought to justice. The governments lack of ability in controlling law and order throughout the white terror posed a huge threat to its survival as more people were becoming bitter and active in their protests. Even though the right was committing most political murders, the left received greater punishment due to the threat of the spreading of communism. Sparticist uprisings in Berlin and a soviet republic being declared in Barvaria posed another threat to the government. Workers were frustrated with the economic problems that were a result from the war and the treaty. Strikes due to workers wanting shorter hours and better conditions were dangerous for an already fragile economy and this added pressure onto the government. ...read more.


This had immense effects on the German economy and was one of the factors that lead to the hyperinflation crisis in August 1923. This caused another huge problem for the government as it had to deal with more economic disaster whilst controlling law and order and the increasing discontent of the population. Overall, the Treaty of Versailles posed a huge threat to the Weimar Republic. The government that barely had time to establish itself was greeted with harsh terms that would cause economic problems for the country. The economic problems lead to social discontent as people become angry at having poor living conditions that could lead to poverty. The rage of the population increased with the war guilt clause that reinforced the 'stab in the back theory' and further bitterness was caused with the problems of reparations. The increasing social discontent lead to extremist uprising from the left and right wing and this threatened the government as they found it hard to form law and order and came close to being over thrown. The government was further weakened by constant changes in coalitions and resignations of chancellors making decisions difficult. Finally, the actions of the allies caused a huge economic collapse, which made people loose complete faith in the new democratic government. Kelly Meade 12ED ...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 Politics 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 Politics essays

  1. In what ways and for what reasons did the Treaty of Versailles cause political ...

    However, the decision by Clemanceau to send French troops to fight the Reds in Russia was not related t the Treaty of Versailles, as it was an independent decision from the Treaty. And had not link whatsoever. Another political problem in France was the issue of discipline.

  2. Describe the key features of the Weimar Constitution

    P.R system and the "Bill of Rights" gave people more freedom of speech and a greater chance of trying to overthrow the government. The main parties who tried this were left wing parties for example, the communists and socialists who believed in equality.

  1. Why did the right pose such serious threats to the Weimar republic in the ...

    This Putsch was led by Adolf Hitler in Bavaria. He tried to gain the support in a Munich Beer Hall to march on Berlin and he did it. This Putsch failed as well and Hitler was arrested and put on Trial. How ether Hitler used this trial as propaganda against the Weimar constitution and began slowly to gain more and more sustainers.

  2. Britain has no written constitution or comprehensive Bill of Rights, and is found partly ...

    It may be argued on the other hand that often interpretation of certain statues can prove difficult especially as we are lacking in a real constitution. In the absence of a codified text and of statutes, which have an explicit constitutional status, it is important to decipher whether our rules and laws have in substance a constitutional character.

  1. What were the problems facing the Italian state in 1919 deriving from World War ...

    many people would find the problems caused by the war to be the most threatening to the government. They may think this because of the economic problems, which it left on the country. The government failed to deal with these problems and so they got worse.

  2. What problems faced the new republic in Germany from 1918 to 1923? Why did ...

    These took place in the central industrial areas of Germany, eg. The Ruhr area. The workers wanted shorter hours, socialization of industry and a government based on councils. This appears to be quite a strong opposition yet it failed. The K.P.D in charge of organizing these strikes proved to have no clear strategy or organization and lacked support.

  1. Why did the political right pose such serious threats to the Weimar Republic in ...

    Ebert then decided to call a strike in order to paralyse the supporters of Kapp. This caused the failure of the putsch as, due to a lack of support, Kapp had to leave the government after only 5 days.

  2. ‘Nationalism is becoming a threat to the unity of the UK’

    However, nationalism in Scotland remains a substantial threat to the unity of the UK as the 1997 referenda in Scotland over devolution produced an emphatic 'yes' result, showing that devolution (and questionably full independence) was in popular demand. However, with the existing structure of devolution in Scotland, significant anomalies are emerging - mainly with respect to Scotland's legislative autonomy.

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