However, was this new constitution bound to fail as it had been born from the humiliating defeat of the war? Previously Germany had been extremely authoritarian dominated and were therefore not suited to this to the new democratic constitution which was another aspect to its weakened prospects. The new constitution itself posed certain problems such as continued political uncertainty and instability. Moreover, did the limited nature of the German revolution cause political problems for the government and damage the new democracy. The first key issue I would like to discuss is the limited nature of the German revolution and how this damaged the prospects of German democracy.
...read more. Middle The President of the Weimar Republic had potential to become a military dictator. This was a political problem for the Weimar Republic because the President could ignore the Chancellor and the Reichstag. Another reason why the Weimar Republic started so badly was that there were economic problems. The Communists disliked the new republic because not much would change.
The new government was the body that signed the treaty of Versailles, and to many it was a betrayal and most Germans referred to it as the ‘stab in the back theory’. The consequences of Versailles, such as reparations and land loss, were severe to Germany. Many people were looking for someone to blame and the government was the perfect choice. Communists and the right wing saw an opportunity to create a state that they wanted and were prepared to challenge the new republic. Many richer Germans had lived well under the Kaiser and distrusted the new government.
However Germany’s weak economic and political position between 1919 and 1923 cannot purely be put down to the Treaty of Versailles. Other factors such as the nature of the Weimar constitution and the threat from the right and the left of the political spectrum also played a role in the inevitable collapse of the Weimar republic and rise of the Nazi party in 1933. Nevertheless I feel that the Treaty of Versailles was the main blow to the Weimar Republic’s legitimacy as well as the most significant cause of Germany’s hyperinflation during the 4 year period. The Treaty of Versailles was signed in November 1919 by officials from the Weimar government. These men went on to be known as the November criminals, a clear sign of the resentment the German people had for the men that had effectively gave in to the allies as they saw it.
The Weimar republic faced many problems whilst in power that could seriously damage their reputation and even throw them out of power. Some of the main problems that faced the government were the spartacists, Right wing terrorists and their actions. But there were other factors that were not the fault of the extremists but other accumulating factors that threatened the Weimar republic which included the respirations that Germany had to pay, that occupation Ruhr which help led to hyperinflation and the growing threat of the Nazi party One way the Weimar republic was threatened was by the Spartacists who were left wing rebellions and extremeists. In January 1919, the Communists rose up in revolt in Berlin. In every sense it was a futile gesture against the government.
When the first world war ended in 1918 there was a German revolution due to there failure and the Weimar republic was created. Due to the failure of the war Germany received harsh reparations from the treaty of Versailles and many people though that it was cruel to give Germany such a hard punishment. The government (Weimar republic) signed this order and many German people resented them for signing it and agreeing to the conditions. They were known as the November criminals. The violent uprising caused chaos across germany with many groups ready to take on the government.
Each group had its own ideas on what was needed for Russia and each group wanted change, however, there were many problems within the groups and none of them were willing to work with each other; mostly due to the differences in their policies and how they carried them out. The Social Revolutionaries, who were mainly concentrated on establishing a democratic government, used violent tactics such as terrorism and assassinations, the most famous being the assassination of Tsar Alexander II. However, the Liberals, who also wanted to establish some sort of democracy did not agree on using violent tactics, they preferred to discuss things in meetings and banqueting campaigns. The Liberals were the most moderate of the opposition groups and wanted to keep the Tsar, but remove autocracy and have his current power shared between a democratic government. The Social Democrats, like the other two groups, also wanted to establish some sort of democracy; however, once again, they did not agree on using violence, they preferred to use propaganda campaigns, as did the Social Revolutionaries and Liberals, but not violence.
The German government couldn’t stand up to the people so they gave them what they wanted, the Kaisers abdication. This was a huge political change for Germany as it meant that the citizens would finally have a say on how there country is to be ruled. These events quickly lead to the Spartacist revolt. The spartacists were left with a dilemma; they could either except the new democratic Germany or seek to impose socialism with force. So they decided to launch an armed rising in Berlin to overthrow the provisional government and create a soviet republic.
The spartacists despised the new republic and did their utmost to revolt against it and create a Bolshevik style revolution in Germany. The USPD weren’t as extreme but were more lukewarm towards the new republic. They were disappointed that the revolution was never completed but did not support violence; instead they sought the less extreme industrial strike action route. Finally there was the SPD. They were the opposite from the Spartacists and supported the new republic, entering numerous coalition Governments.
Why did the Weimar Republic face political challenges in the years 1919-1923? The title ‘The Weimar Republic’ was the name given to the Parliamentary Representative Democracy set up in Germany after WW1. Even though Frederick Ebert had good intentions, the Weimar Republic faced many political challenges between the years 1919 and 1923. There were 5 main reasons why the Weimar Republic struggled, including: The Treaty of Versailles; The Stab in the Back myth; hyperinflation with the collapse of economy; political violence from extremists on the right and left wing Parliament and the voting system of Proportional Representative. I will argue that although the Treaty of Versailles was the most important cause, it is the way these were connected which explains the crisis.