The Reasons For Early Weaknesses Of The Weimar Republic
The Reasons for Early Weaknesses of the Weimar Republic
Germany suffered a great tragedy during its clash with various
European countries, which became the First World War, the biggest war
of its time. An unanticipated defeat led the Germans leading them
into an age of darkness. A government was formed under the umbrella of
democracy at this time when huge opposition, anger and division were
rampant in German society: due to the defeat of WW1. Germany was torn
apart due to the political penalty left by defeat. The old government
who fled in fear handed over the power of governance to the new
government, later known as the Weimar republic. The Weimar republic
was often referred to as the ‘November Criminals’ for what the public
were made to believe and their obvious mentality towards them; they
were portrayed as the perpetrators of war and the blame of World War 1
fell upon them, this political deception was later known as the ‘stab
in the back.’
The treaty of Versailles was the initial point of Germany’s chain of
weaknesses. This ‘enforced’ treaty was an unforgivable blow to the
pride and honour of Germany and it’s people. The misguided people of
Germany were under the perception that the war weighed heavier in
their favour, through clever manipulative media propaganda, to the
people’s shock Germany was ‘forced’ to sign a harsh peace treaty after
an unexpected defeat. This became the heart of hostility and
resentment towards both the leaders and the victorious allies. The
resultants were that Germany was disarmed miniaturising their army.
Territory and colonies were lost and reparations were awaiting
The Weimar Republic did not want war nor did they run it, nevertheless
they were blamed relentlessly for it, the war and the treaty, a blame
that lasted 4 years. Primarily the political burden which they took on
was immense, an unavoidable consequence of defeat in war. Germany’s
internal powers began to fight for political power, from both the left
and the right. The army itself was a political power, anti-democratic
but obedient to an extent to the Weimar Republic and was on a steeper
slope to fame and power.
The government was inclined to the left wing more than the right, they
were known as the social democrats (SPD) and the communists were the
established far left wing movement. The communists in particular were
further signs of great weakness in the Weimar Republic; they desired
to come under a communist state. This fact ultimately led to
insurgence in Germany; they were determined to take control by force
under the flag of Spartaciscm and Communism. The ruling leaders, Ebert
at the time, needed to take instantaneous action or their power would
be abolished and forcefully taken off them To re-instigate peace they
called upon the army to degrade the...
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The Weakness of the Weimar Republic and Hitler's Rise to Power
- Length: 685 words (2 double-spaced pages)
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The Weakness of the Weimar Republic and Hitler's Rise to Power
The question directly relates to the idea that the political power of
a country can be taken over by ambitious people in different ways.
From our knowledge we know there is three ways this can be doneâ€¦by
take over by force, also known as a 'coup d'etat', in a more
democratic and just way or by a political deal. In the 1920's and the
1930's Hitler led a right wing political party and was seen by many as
a dictator. He wanted to overthrow and control the German government
and he tried all three of these ways in an attempt to do so, some
methods were more successful than others. In 1923 he tried the first
method of a coup d' etat (takeover by force) in Munich which turned
out to be far from successful and in-fact led to Hitler's
imprisonment. He then resorted to using means of democracy and was
voted into power in the German parliament, also known as the
Reichstag. His party was the largest party by 1923 but not the
majority, however they were voted into power through a free election.
In 1933 was a key date for Hitler, when he was invited to become
chancellor by von pappen and von scleicher. He used this to his
advantage and made use of his last resort-a political deal. However a
number of reasons were to explain why Hitler and his party were found
so popular and we have to decide whether it was the weakness of the
Weimar republic that was the crucial issue.
The Weimar government was never popular with the German people as it
was set up by the allies after the first world war not very many
people felt any reason to support or maintain it and little committed
themselves to it. It had been targeted by both left wing and right
wing groups in its early days in an attempt to overthrow it and there
was extreme violence and rioting on the streets of Berlin.
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of Versailles was seen as a harsh and unjust treaty by the German
people and they held the Weimar politicians responsible for their
treatment. The weaknesses apparent within the Weimar republic left a
gate open for Hitler to rise to power and gave him opportunities to do
away with democracy. Another flaw of the Weimarrepublic was its
representation of constituencies. The proportional representation of
parties allowed a lot of small parties into the Reichstag and
therefore it was difficult to find a majority government within
parliament. Numerous elections were held and this allowed Hitler to
scheme his way to the top by 'wheeling and dealing'. Although by 1928
hitler's party only has 12 seats in the Reichstag but their was
another additional factor which made all the difference. Hitler s
efforts and the parties drive to succeed
The use of propaganda was a clever tactic of Hitler 's. he promoted
ideas to the German people that they wanted to hear and relating to
issues that appealed to them. He used this method in his attempt to
win them over. Hitler was able to convince and almost brainwash people
into believing that what he told them was the truth. He was a very
skilled public speaker and he used this skill to distort the truth as
it suited him, this was to his advantage. A twenty-five point
programme was set up by the nazi party and was designed to appeal to
all german people and all sections of their society; it included
racist ideas and conveys hatred of non germans. He used the jewish
people as scapegoats and blaimed them for all the problems in germany,
he encouraged the german public to take on this opinion also. He used
the method of force to make people belive he was powerful and his sa
and ss troopers gave this impression at rallies and other public
appearances. He promised the german people a government which wuld be
strong and support them at that time of desperation and when the
Weimarrepublic was lacking in strength. However this wasn't too
effective as they still only had 12 seats in the Reichstag by 1928.
another factor possibly could be the economic collapse of germany
during the great depression and the lack of support the Weimar
republic showed. It was unable to deal with Germanys problems and this
set Hitler in an ideal position to rise to power. The nazi party
became more and more popular and by 1932 they had 230 seats in the
Hitler's opportunity to do a political deal came about during the
great depression when there was a collapse of trade and the death of
stresseman. The people of germany were desperate due to the increasing
rate of unemployment and the increasing political instability: they
were desperate and needed a strong government. Hitler was their "last
hope". We can see clearly a distinct link between german unemployment
figures and a rise in nazi seats in the Reichstag. People turned to
Hitler for help due to the depression and the failure of the Weimar
republic to cope with the ongoing problems in germany. In my opinion
this is the main factor to why Hitler finally came about to doing a
In conclusion there were may contributing factors to hilters rise to
power but the crucial factor was the economic depression and the
inability of the Weimar republic to cope with Germanys problems.