Germany 1919 - 1945 - Weimar Germany - What sort of problems did Germany face immediately after the First World War?

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Meena Verma 11V

Mr. Graham – History Essay

Extended Writing 1 – Germany 1919 – 1945 – Weimar Germany

  1. What sort of problems did Germany face immediately after the First World War?

(b) Explain what political difficulties faced the Weimar Republic between 1919 – 1932.

(c) ‘The Weimar Republic was a total failure between 1919 – 1928’. Do you agree with this statement?  Explain your answer fully.

Before the war Germany had no real democracy.  The Kaiser was virtually a dictator.  The Weimar Constitution was attempted to set up probably the most democratic system in the world, where no individual could gain too much power.  All Germans over the age of 20 could vote and there was a system of proportional representation where parties could gain seats in the Reichstag (Parliament).  The Chancellor was responsible for the day–to–day running of the Government, but he needed the support of half the Reichstag, whereas, the Head of State, the President, stayed out of the day– to–day running of the government.  In a crisis he could rule the country directly through Article 48 of the constitution.  This would give the President emergency powers, which means he did not have to consult the Reichstag.  On the 9th November 1918 the Kaiser abdicated because one of the conditions imposed by the allies at the end of the First World War was that Germany became a democracy.  The Kaiser refused to the allies’ demands.  Because the Kaiser abdicated the Government had no real leader and the Government grew instable.  

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The reparations became a real strain on the Germany economy.  The First World War had brought Germany to the brink of economic collapse.  The main concern for Ebert, the new leader of the Weimar Republic, who was voted in, in 1919, was to rebuild Germany; this though would be impossible because of reparations.  In 1922 Germany failed to pay its 2nd instalment and the consequences for this absent payment was bad.  In 1923 French and Belgium troops occupied the Ruhr land to take what was owed to the allies in the form of raw materials and products.  The Ruhr land was ...

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