Germany - Army Affects on Successes and Failures of Weimar Republic

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The German army played a significant role in influencing the major failures of the Weimar Republic, but also some successes. The army’s influence was felt through the blame placed on the Republic for the loss of WWI, the creation of resentment from left and right parties, and political figures such as Hindenburg who contributed to a failure of democracy. However, the army also protected Germany from a left-wing uprising and played a part in several correctly conducted elections. The military dictatorship during the end of WWI was the beginning of the army’s influence on the failures of the Weimar Republic. The army leaders’ harsh treatment of the Allies at the end of the war created an even greater hatred between the Allied countries and Germany. This influenced the Treaty of Versailles as the Allies aimed to ensure that Germany would never be a threat to French or Britain again. Thus, a harsh treatment through serious reparations was created. These large reparations, influenced by the harsh German army, seriously depleted the chance of success for the Weimar Republic as the economy would struggle to prosper whilst paying reparations. Ludendorff’s ‘Black Day’ speech and the army’s refusal to sign the Armistice influenced the failure of the Weimar Republic as they wiped their hands clean of the defeat of war. During these events, the army dubbed the socialist government, among others, as the ‘November criminals’ and began the idea of the stab-in-the-back. Placing the blame of losing the war on the Republic caused the government to be formed on an already tainted image. Hence, the army tore away the foundations of government by blaming them for the loss of WWI. This left the Republic unable to form a stable government capable of reforming an incredibly fragile Germany. A major success of the Weimar Republic was their protection of the state from a
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