Reasons for the Failure of the Weimar Republic Essay

832 Words 4 Pages
Reasons for the Failure of the Weimar Republic

The period of German history from 1919 to 1933 is known as the WeimarRepublic. It is named after the city of Weimar, where a national assembly convened to produce a new constitution after Germany's defeat in World War I.

This first attempt at establishing a liberal democracy in Germany was a time of great tension and inner conflict and, ultimately, failed with the ascent of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party in 1933. Although technically, the 1919 constitution was never entirely invalidated until after World War II, the legal measures taken by the Nazi government in 1933 that are commonly known as Gleichschaltung (a political sense to describe the
…show more content…
By the Great Depression of the 1930s, the institution of the Republic as such was blamed by many for the economic problems; this is apparent in the election results where the political parties that wanted to disband the Republic altogether on both the right and the left wings made a democratic majority in Parliament impossible.

The treaty of Versailles was considered by the German people as a punishing and degrading document, which forced them to surrender resource-rich areas and pay massive amounts of compensation. These punitive reparations not only severely damaged the German economy, but caused great consternation and resentment from the German populace.

Now I will talk about institutional problems. It is commonly agreed that the 1919 constitution had a number of fundamental weaknesses, which made the establishment of a dictatorship all too easy. Whether a different constitution could have prevented the Third Reich is debatable though; in any case, the 1949 West German constitution (the Grundgesetz which is the German law) acknowledged this criticism and can largely be seen as a strong response to these flaws.

* The Reichstag could remove the Reichskanzler from office even when it was unable to agree on a successor. This "destructive"

Related Documents