The Weimar Republic

Mind Map by abikj18, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by abikj18 almost 5 years ago


weimar republic

Resource summary

The Weimar Republic
1 It was fair and democratic
1.1 A Bill of Rights guaranteed every German citizen freedom of speech and religion, and equality under the law
1.2 All men and women over 20 could vote. Britain only allowed women over 30 to vote.
1.3 There was an elected president and an elected Reichstag (parliament).
1.4 The Reichstag made the laws and appointed the government, which had to do what the Reichstag wanted
2 The Weimar Republic looked like the perfect democracy, but it had two great weaknesses - proportional representation and Article 48
3 Two flaws that eventually destroyed the Weimar Republic
3.1 Proportional representation: instead of voting for an MP, Weimar Germans voted for a party. Each party was then allocated seats in the Reichstag which were proportional to the number of people who had voted for it. It resulted in dozens of tiny parties, with no party strong enough to get a majority, and, therefore, no government could get its laws passed in the Reichstag. This was a major weakness of the Republic.
3.2 Article 48: this says that in an emergency, the president did not need the agreement of the Reichstag, but could issue decrees ( laws not passed by the majority of the parliament). The problem with this is that it did not say what the emergency was, and in the end, it turned out to be a back door that Hitler used to take power legally.
4 Immediate problems of Weimar Germany 1919-23
4.1 Association with defeat in WW1 which made the Weimar Republic weak in the eyes of some citizens - particularly right-wing nationalists
4.2 The Treaty of Versailles - this led many to label the Socialists in the government as the NOVEMBER CRIMINALS and claimed that they had stabbed Germany in the back
4.3 Political Violence - Many groups objected to the new democratic government, mostly extreme left wing communists or extreme right wing nationalists, who wanted to bring back the Kaiser or have a strong authorian leader. 1919 communist group - Spartacists rose up in Berlin. March 1920, right wing rebellion - Kapp Putsch. Many political murders and the Jewish Foreign minister Walther Rathenau.
4.4 Reperations - £6600 million to be paid in annual installments. Germany was already struggling financially. Paid first installment in 1921, £50 million and many Germans protested that this was too much when their country had to be rebuilt. They did not pay in 1923 - leading to French invasion of Ruhr, General Strike and consequent hyperinflation.
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