The Weimar Republic was doomed from the start! How far does the evidence support this judgement on the Weimar Republic?

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“The Weimar Republic was doomed from the start! Born into revolution, military defeat and a dictated peace the lack of popular consent would mean that the new democracy could not withstand an uncertain future”

How far does the evidence support this judgement on the Weimar Republic?

It is very likely that the collapse of the Weimar republic was inevitable due to the situations and circumstances within which it was created.

The final years of the war and the “shameful peace” that followed no doubt inhibited the Weimar Republic’s ability to remain a stable government. It would appear that initially, most of the ill feeling within Germany stemmed from the fact that the government under Kaiser Wilhelm II had tricked the German people, through the use of propaganda, into believing that they were winning the war. In actuality, by 1917 Germany’s chances at victory WW1 were very slight, and reduced practically to none when the USA arrived on the front. The sudden armistice thus came as a shock to many Germans, especially those within the military who now saw the bureaucrats who had signed the armistice (despite it being organised by military officials) as traitors to the German Army and war effort. The Treaty of Versailles, which followed only a year later further upset the German populace due to what many Germans saw as a “dictated peace”, or diktat. The terms of the treaty were wildly different from what US President Wilson had promised the Germans in his Fourteen Points, and so many Germans were appalled upon hearing that not only would Germany have its land taken and army limited, though it would also be branded as the perpetrator of the Great War. To many Germans this had been the most severe punishment, as the First World War had often been recognised as a defensive war. As the history of any country will show, governments that lose wars are never popular, but this was especially true for Weimar. Not only did the new republic need to govern a people who were outraged by the terms at which peace was made, but the careful political manoeuvring of generals like Ludendorff had managed to shift the blame for the Treaty of Versailles from themselves, and onto the bureaucracy which was now in charge. This led to the birth of widely shared ideas like “The November Criminals” who were responsible for “The Stab in the Back”. This myth that the democrats were those solely responsible for defeat in WW1, and by extension the cruel terms of the Treaty of Versailles, was one of the primary causes for instability within the Weimar’s Republic.

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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 ...

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