To what extent was the Great Depression responsible for the collapse of the Weimar Republic? While the Great Depression had a huge impact on Germany, it is too simplistic to say that the Depression alone led to the collapse of the Weimar Republic. The Depression had a great impact both economically, socially, politically and psychologically, but its main significance was the opportunity it provided radical politicians such as Hitler. The collapse of the Republic itself can almost be described as inevitable, having being built on unstable and weak foundations. As well as the Depression, the collapse of the Republic can be linked to a large number of factors, including the influence of the army, political instability and constitutional weaknesses.
As well, the only way that the Wilson plan would have survived the political intrigue of the Europeans was either through a league that had real teeth, or a super power willing to intervene as a worldwide police officer. Neither of which existed in 1918. Clemenceau’s views represented the average sentiment of the European Allies after the war. In the closing days of the war, a war weary European population must have tried to make sense of the carnage, of the loss. Clemenceau casts a pale light on the German population, blaming the war on the aims of “the intolerable German Aristocracy.” (Clemenceau, p. 73) The entire argument for the French and nay, European view, was the perceived threat that Europeans felt of German arrogance.
Temporary successes during the Weimer republic includes the foreign policy, Germany is finally invited to join the league of nations, this represented change as it stated it the treaty of Versailles that this was not permitted. The Kapp Putsch in 1920, was a revolt against the government and is seen as another political development seen as a success for the Weimer republic. Because of the treaty of Versailles, the army had been reduced to 100 000 men which upset majority of the people, in this there were a
However, with widespread political unrest and a crippling economic crisis, was the constitution simply lucky to have survived her infancy years? It is widely believed that the foundations of the Weimar Republic were perilous to the strength of the new government. When the armistice was signed in 1918, the Germany people were shocked and disgraced as they had been led to believe by propaganda that they were winning the war. Ebert had become a hated and disrespected political figure. Not only did the people of Germany feel betrayed by a man of their own country but consequently, had no faith in the new democratic system.
The problems began after the 1st World War, and after the German government signed the papers at the Treaty of Versailles, agreeing to its conditions and punishments, the government was very much resented by the people. The first political event that marked the beginning of the collapse of the German democracy was the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty took place in Paris in 1919. After Germany was held responsible for starting the war, the government faced numerous problems: both economical and political. Although the conditions of the agreement seemed extremely severe, the allied countries had no sympathy for the Germans.
“Assess the view that the collapse of the Weimar Republic was primarily due to the appeal of Hitler and his Nazi party” The Weimar Republic government was riddled with weakness and incompetence in a variety of crucial social, economic and political areas. This caused the influence of the Nazi Party, which through its charismatic and nationalistic leader, Adolf Hitler, it gained a large amount of support. However it was due to the Weimar Republic’s own failings that the Nazi Party became appealing and as a result the Weimar Republic was brought to its inevitable demise in 1933 with Hitler ready to take the reigns. When the Treaty of the Versailles was signed in 1919, the government was making a very unpopular decision amongst the citizens, as it a result lead to the downfall of the Weimar Republic. The Treaty caused humiliation and shock amongst the citizens of the country, much of the political backlash was due to the fact that the Allies were dictating to Germany the harsh terms of the war reparations, which was seen as absurd by many citizens as they did not feel as if they were responsible for starting the war nor did they feel as though they had lost.
‘The main threat to the stability of the Weimar Republic in the period 1919 to 1923 came from the political violence of the extreme right.’ How far do you agree with this statement? There is a large debate regarding whether or not the main threat to the stability of the Weimar Republic in the period 1919-23 came from the extreme right. The end of World War I saw the abdication of the Kaiser (August 28th 1918) and the implementation of the Weimar Republic under Friedrich Ebert, leader of the SPD. The signing of the Treaty of Versailles left Germany crippled financially which led to hyperinflation and a lot of civil unrest to combat. During this time, there were numerous coups from both the right and the left, which threatened the stability of the Weimar Republic.
This could have acted as a powerbase for the Kapp Putsch and the eventual rise of the Nazis. The humiliation was also a main factor in weakening prospects for democracy for two reasons it led to stab in the back myth and a national inferiority complex. The stab in the back myth was perpetuated by the far right and the leading army generals. The stab in the back myth was that Germany was not losing ww1 and that the democratic politicians “stabbed Germany in the back” by surrendering to the entente. This allowed the far right to exploit the Germans hate of the treaty of Versailles and connect the treaty to democracy, so the people wouldn’t blame the loss of ww1 on the army but the democratic politician’s.
They are many factors on why did Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933. World War one, treaty of Versailles, fear of communist and the great depression are the main reason on Hitler became Chancellor. The Germans sighted the treaty of Versailles 1919 after losing Great War, although they believed they treaty was harsh they had no choice either sign it or the country getting invaded. The Germans called the treaty Diktat as it was being forced on them and the Germans had no choice but to sign it. One thing the Germans were not happy in the treaty of Versailles is the War Guilt Clause, take blame for the war.
The reparations that Germany were forced to pay weren’t solely centred on the rulers of Germany because they had had a more profound effect on the citizens of Germany instead. The citizens of Germany weren’t responsible for starting the war so I strongly believe that the reparations were completely centred on the wrong people. The starting of the war wasn’t exclusively the fault of Germany; it was in fact all the aggression and imperialism which was between all the leading countries that were at the time, trying to build their own powerful empires (such as the British and French). Although I do agree that France deserved to have Alsace-Lorraine back because most of the people living there personally thought that they were either French or Polish not German. The Germans did have an advantage over Alsace- Lorraine because the French had clearly lost Alsace- Lorraine during the Franco Prussian war in 1870.