“The Weimar Constitution had more strengths than weaknesses.” How far do you agree?

Essay by paperfreakHigh School, 11th gradeA, November 2014

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"The Weimar Constitution had more strengths than weaknesses." How far do you agree?

To a certain extent, I disagree with the statement above however, I do agree that the Weimar Constitution had some strengths. Firstly, the Weimar Constitution had a number of features to ensure that it was a strong democracy.

The electoral system or proportional representation was a fair system that allowed Weimar Germans to vote for a party. Each party was then allocated seats in the Reichstag exactly reflecting the number of people who had voted for it. Although the idea of proportional representation may seem fair, it resulted in disaster for the Weimar Republic. The electoral system produced coalition governments that were unstable and short-lived which led to political paralysis and chaos. There was no party strong enough to get a majority and therefore, no government had successfully got its laws passed in the Reichstag. This in turn, led to a major weakness for the Weimar Republic.

Secondly, Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution allowed the President to suspend the constitution and rule by decree in case of a national emergency. The President did not need the agreement of the Reichstag and could issue decrees however; this gave the President excessive power in "times of emergency" and could easily be abused. As a result, Hitler was able to use Article 48 as another option and take power legally. In addition, this shows that the Weimar Constitution was ineffective and did not create a strong government.

Finally, 56 Articles on Fundamental Rights guaranteed every German citizen freedom of speech and religion, a right to express themselves and equality under the law nevertheless, freedom of speech meant that the German people could use their rights to rebel against the Weimar Republic and overthrow the government. In addition,