Assess the Influence of the German Army on the Success and Failures of the Weimar Republic

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The Weimar Government, whilst built in opposition to the wartime ideologies, was unable to detach itself from the power of the German military between the years of 1919 and 1934. The Weimar Republic was formed in 1919 after the abdication and exile of Kaiser Wilhelm II left the country leaderless and the Reichstag switched from imperial politics to democratic politics, a form which the German army famously did not support. As such the impact of the German Army upon the Weimar Republic was largely to support their own political – generally right-wing – agendas. This can be directly linked to the interference of military groups and military groups in the political sphere of Weimar Germany. The involvement of the German Army and other military groups in Weimar politics served to strengthen the Republic in the early years but later lead to its downfall. In 1918 the Ebert-Groener Pact was signed, ultimately giving the moderate-left side of Weimar politics (also known as the Socialist Democrats Party) the support of the traditionally right army in response to fears the extreme left might take power. This served a dual purpose in that it both maintained the power of the army in German politics and it also strengthened the position of the Weimar Republic in the eyes of the citizens, who still respected the army. Despite the Ebert-Groener Pact, in late 1918 Defence Minister Noske created the Freikorps, a paramilitary force of former soldiers and volunteers, which allowed for these small militant groups to be satisfied with their power – hence strengthening support for the new Reichstag – but later proved to create political instability through the Freikorps’ uncontrolled violence, which ultimately damaged the public perceptions of the Weimar Government. During the late 1920s, the involvement of the Sturm-Abteilung (SA) in the politics of the Nazi Party initially furthered
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