Account for the Success and Failures of the Weimar Republic (Germany 1919-1934)

1800 Words May 28th, 2013 8 Pages
HSC Modern History
Maddie Chandler

Account for the successes and failures of democracy in Germany in the period 1919-1934.

The crippling aftermath of World War 1 had a devastating impact on the German economy, society, and political system was devastating. Reparations had to be paid to the Allies, hyperinflation was reaching senseless levels, and unemployment was high. The nation was angry, resentful, and almost every move made by their leaders was criticised. The traditional monarch, the Kaiser, was abdicated from his throne and fled the nation. This resulted in the foundation of a more contemporary and unfamiliar system of government – democracy; which had periods of prosperity and success as well as catastrophe and failure. The
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The money was spent wisely on public works, housing, transport, and social welfare, which improved the lives of many Germans. With this came rapid industrial growth and Germany was producing coal, iron, and steel in remarkable amounts, making it the second-best exporter in Europe. The needs of the people were finally being met, and industry was booming; an exceptional success for the Republic. The eventual volatility of loan dependence shone through when the American stock market crashed in 1929, significantly affecting Germany and ending its period of prosperity. America wanted to be repaid, halting the flow of Germany’s economy, and ultimately resulting in the unemployment of millions. This mournful economic state continued through to the 1930s. While foreign loans were considered a success at the time and they undeniably allowed Germany to develop as a nation and re-establish its economy; in the long-term they were a failure, as they left Germany in a state of international debt and constant struggle.
The political structure of the Weimar Republic was met with a number of key weaknesses and was ultimately a failure in terms of democracy. Theoretically, many of its policies sound advantageous and they protect the rights of the citizens. But practically, they allow people in high positions and parties to gain too much power and control. The proportional voting system

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