Weimar republic: Born in strife

Essay by KeirHigh School, 10th grade February 2006

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The Weimar Republic was born in a period of national humiliation, economic chaos and civil disorder. It was the first democratic government in Germany's history. At that time, Germans thought that Weimar Republic would help them to make a better nation. However it was poorly structured, which was where the most problem came from. Three main problems were: The constitution and the emergency powers of the president, conflicts between left-wing and right-wing parties, and German's severe problems with economy.

Under Weimar Republic's constitution, people voted for their minister. At the time, the president had control of army, which doesn't have much power, since the army was against the new constitution and failed to take orders. Under Article 48, president had sole power of the whole country. This power made him can do anything he likes; even enable to choose ministers and parties. This made people's voting worthless, Article 48 only can be used in emergency, but president used Article too often, people were so angry that their opinion worth nothing, even though the government is democratic, the government could turn into autocratic anytime.

The conflict between left-wing and right-wing parties never ends. By 1922 about 356 people had been assassinated. The foreign minister of SPD, Walther Rathenau, and Erzberger, one among those that signed the Treaty of Versailles, were both assassinated. Without those big issues, the Weimar Republic government became even more unstable.

Because of high unemployment, 2 million troops' lost and hyper inflation, Germany's economy collapsed. Germany borrowed $800 million loan from USA, which allowed Germany to re-equip its industry. But in October 1929, the US stock market collapsed, setting in motion the most severe economic depression of the twentieth century. It made huge damage to Germany's economy. From 1924 to 1929, Germany had received $9 billion in...