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

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Weimar Republic

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Weimar Republic In 1918, after Kaiser Wilhelm II was abdicated, Germany changed into a democratic republic with a new constitution. However, after many years of struggling for survival, the Weimar Republic failed and Hitler was appointed chancellor in January 1933. Even today there is a controversy to whether the Weimar Republic failure was as a result of its many weaknesses. The following essay will attempt to assess the strengths and weaknesses in the Weimar republic by examining them through the political, structural and economical points of view. With the formation of a new constitution in 1919, many details in the structure of the government had changed. The electoral system was very precise and based on proportional representation, which meant that the distribution of seats in the Reichstag was represented fairly and directly from the votes casts. This system, however, encouraged the formation of many small parties, resulting in 28 participating in the Reichstag. ...read more.

Middle

Many politicians of the time, such as Walther Rathenau, were assassinated. The government was providing something promising though. It had the elements of a perfect democracy, for example the Bill of rights, that gave Germans the right to vote and eliminated any discriminations of sex, race etc. In 1926 the government entered the League of Nations providing an international voice for Germany and its people. The Locarno Treaty and Kellogg-Briand Pact achieved by the Weimar republic tried to normalize the situation for Germans. In addition, people were regaining freedom in most aspects of their lives. The education, arts, literature, film and music boomed during the Weimar period. Women were no longer discriminated but had the right to work instead of the housewife role. Nonetheless, it appeared that Germany was not used to democracy, partially because it wanted a strong leadership and partially from the general decline of democracy in Europe at the time. The Weimar Republic had to face the threats from the left- and right-wing groups that hated the government. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the weaknesses that was about to form in the German economy was the two huge loans USA propped up the Weimar Republic in the Dawes Plan, 1924 and the Young Plan, 1929. The German economy became dependent on USA. When the Wall Street Crash and Depression hit the US, the loans were required back to assist the American economy and German economy was devastated. Even though Gustav Stresemann had died in 1929 he had long foreseen what would happen. "The economic position is only flourishing on the surface. Germany is in fact dancing on a volcano. If the short-term credits are called in, a large section of our economy would collapse." In conclusion, the Weimar Republic had many strengths and weaknesses. The structure provided a fair and precise representation even of the smallest parties, but it gave the opportunity to small parties such as NSDAP to gain immense support and . The Republic had all the perfect democratic means, but the German society was undemocratic and had just finished a world war where the Republic was seen as a traitor. The German economy was fragile from its beginning, but the experiments of the Weimar republic weakened it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Why was the Weimar Republic so short-lived?

    people to support a general strike against the revolutionaries because he lacked support from the very right-wing army.

  2. Why was the Weimar republic so short lived?

    The developing political parties had little experience regarding the operation of a democratic parliamentary system as the role of the Chancellor had suffered from a drastic change: before 1919 the Reichstag had not controlled policy, the Chancellor had the final authority and was the one who effectively ruled the country;

  1. Can the period between 1924-1929 really be called the Golden period for the Weimar ...

    Stresemann introduced a new currency with a higher value called 'Rentenmark' in place or the earlier Marks. The Rentenmark instead of being backed by gold was based on the mortgage of Germany's industrial and agricultural resources. By restoring the stability of the currency, Stresemann created public confidence which was a

  2. Why did the Second Spanish Republic Fail?

    However many of the mentioned successes were actually more failures because Spain was divided in such an unusual way. Take the Latifundists for example - about 7 000 of them own the whole of Latifundia, but over 15 million landless and often starving labourers were used to maintain this land.

  1. Analyse the reasons for the weaknesses and collapse of democracy between 1918 and 1939 ...

    Coupled by the fact that the people who would potentially be dependent on such benefits were essentially slaves to landowners and estate bailiffs in the South, pushed the poor labourers to side with the Africanistas who aimed to topple the existing government.

  2. The Weimar republic was doomed from the start. Discuss.

    It was not completely doomed. The system of proportional representation was great, in theory. The citizens would have a say in the government and the direction they wanted it to go in.

  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Alexander II of Russia's reforms.

    Judges were also given an exponential pay rise which meant the government didn?t have to worry about bribery. This would mean more justice was seen in the nation. However, the police of the Third Section were still active and were allowed to arrest people are they wished.

  2. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Alexander IIs reforms.

    It was a definite improvement on the inequitable procedures which it replaced, but the police still enjoyed their extensive powers of arrest and punishment. The censorship reforms of 1865, however were a weakness of Alexander?s reforms for the Russian people.

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