How far is it true to say that the Weimar Republic was doomed from its foundation?

Essay by sparklemax September 2003

download word file, 5 pages 5.0 2 reviews

Downloaded 66 times

How far is it true to say that the Weimar Republic was doomed from its foundation ?

In November 1918, the first republic is declared in Germany. It is however unable to survive, and only 25 years later replaced by the dictatorship of Hitler. Indeed, the democrats lacked legitimacy right from the start. Directly after the war, army generals blamed the SPD as "November Criminals", accusing them of having betrayed the German people by signing the humilating peace Treaty of Versailles. The "Stab in the back myth" was universally accepted by the people who were not a all prepared for the defeat, and outraged by the democrats' signing of the treaty, which burdened the people wih huge reparation payments. The task for the democrats was therefore to regain the faith of the people, by making succesful policies and by establishing democratic institutions if they wanted democratic progress. In this essay essay we will focus on why the democrats failed in bringing the Weimar Republic forward, by investigating the constitutional, political economic and social weaknesses of Weimar.

Moreover, we will assess the degree of success of the democrats' policies.

The Weimar republic was already weak in its constitution. The system of proportional representation meant that no party ever held the majority of all seats in the Reichstag. The parties were thus forced to enter coalitions, to the expense of a stable government. Democracy effectively ended with the collapse of the government led by Müller, as the wings did not agree how to cope with the economic crises generated by the Wall Street Crash in 1929. Whereas the right refused to sanction higher taxes, the left wanted to introduce measures which would favour the workers and fight unemployment. The new chancellor Brüning decided to rule by decree, thus bypassing the Reichstag...