Another possible reason for the instability and eventual collapse of the Weimar Republic is the threat posed by the extreme Right Wing, who sought to see the provision government come to an end. The Army’s high command, who had retained their positions throughout World War 1, were mainly right-wing leaning who had preferred the old system of government. Many generals and officers were very conservative traditionalists, who would rather see Germany return to a more autocratic system where they would benefit, as democracy and socialism were a persistent threats to their positions of power. Though the Republic was also the target of right-wing political movement which sought to reintroduce elements of Imperial Germany. One such party was the DNVP, a coalition of nationalist and conservative parties founded by landowners and industrialists. In the 1920 Election, they polled 15% of the vote, showing that despite being a minority, they were making gains at the expense of democratic parties such as the SPD who had lost 63 seats. Further danger from right-wing extremists can be seen in both the Kapp Putsch and the Beer Hall Putsch of 1920 and 1923 respectively. Both of these attempts to abolish the Weimar Republic ultimately failed, but are evidence nonetheless of the power that right-wing parties possessed, and the threat they posed to the sanctity of the Weimar Republic.
Worse yet, the Weimar Republic would receive no support from the far-left either, with left-wing extremist movements and parties often as rebellious as their right-wing counterparts. In 1919, the communist KPD party joined the Spartacist Uprising in Berlin, with Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht at its helm. Even after the Freikorps put down the revolt, the KPD remained as a figure in German politics, wanting nothing less than the destruction of the current regime, and the creation of a communist German state. This meant that there was no chance of cooperation between the moderate SPD and the somewhat successful KPD who enjoyed a 10-15% of the electorate. Though the danger that the left posed wasn’t limited to the initial revolt, nor their presence in the Reichstag. In 1920 the Army of the Ruhr rose up against to combat the Kapp Putsch, then a year later Merseburg and Halle were the location of a series of strikes led by the KPD, concluding with the creation of a temporary KPD government in 1923. All of these insurrections were eventually put down by the Army and police forces, and it has been argued by historians that the threat that the left posed was very exaggerated by the right-wing elite. Regardless of this fact, the evidence still shows Weimar to be in a position where they were unable to find the support of the right or left-wing parties.
The final point to be made when addressing to what degree Weimar was “doomed to fail” is the nature of the Constitution. It can be said that the terms of the Weimar Constitution contributed heavily to the governments eventual downfall, and the subsequent rise of the Nazi Party. The first term of the Constitution that weakened Weimar was no doubt its policy of Proportional Representation. The system allowed for no one party to form a majority, unlike the first-past-the-post systems as seen in the USA and Britain, which meant that coalitions between small parties were necessary for the government to run. The fractured government can therefore be the subject of criticism, as a two-party system may have resulted in a more stable Republic. While a coalition-government is not necessarily an omen for an unstable government, the political and economic strife that Germany had experienced in the past decade encouraged extremist groups to gain seats in the Reichstag, with the system of proportional representation allowing them to exist. Another term of the Constitution which comes into question is the position that the President held, more specifically, article 48. Both the position of the President and the body that was the Reichstag were arguably equal in power in order to check each other’s power, a design which was meant to ensure that neither the President nor the Reichstag became too powerful. However unlike in the united states where three branches of government all check one another in an efficient way, the awkward power balance between the President and the Reichstag meant that there was uncertainty in who led the country. This confusion was only worsened with Article 48, a part of the constitution which granted the President the authority to suspend civil rights in an emergency to restore law and order. While created so that the government could still operate in a crisis, and stamp out rebellions, it would be abused in 1933, during Hitler’s “legal revolution”, which can be cited as the beginning of the Third Reich. The final way in which Weimar was weakened by its own constitution was in how it allowed traditional institutions to continue. One example of this can be seen in the judiciary system, who still maintained a degree of independence from the Weimar Republic, despite many Judges being anti-democracy and right-wing. As a result, there was extreme bias in the Supreme Court against left-wing individuals, which led to situations where left-wing extremists were given far harsher punishments than right-wing extremists who were charged with similar or identical crimes.
The evidence does suggest that the Weimar Republic was, as the title states, “doomed to fail”. Due to existing anti-democracy feelings in the judiciary system and the army, Weimar was limited in how it could protect itself and fairly process enemies of the state, meaning that the authority of the government was severely limited. The sentiment the people carried towards the Republic did not make the situation any better for the fledgling government, whose own constitution also hindered any chance of maintaining long-term stability. Weimar was without a doubt doomed to fail, though certain aspects that are often cited for its downfall, such as the threat from the right, may be exaggerated. Nevertheless, it remains clear that the situation in which it was established prevented it from ever being a long-term government in the politically chaotic Germany.