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COLLAPSE OF THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC

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COLLAPSE OF THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC

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  • May 17, 2008
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On November 1918, the first republic (Weimar Republic) is declared in Germany. It is however unable to survive, and only 25 years later replaced by the dictatorship of Hitler. It faced many problems and was doubtful from the start. This new government had accepted the post-war treaties, and so was hated by the Germans due to the loss of territory, reparations, and the "war-guilt clause". There were both external and internal causes that led to the republic's death. For example, the Treaty of Versailles and were the external causes, while the July 1932 elections and the flaw in the constitution were internal causes. There are some factors that are required for the democracy to begin and flourish and Germany, as we saw, wasn't ready yet. There were many useful lessons from the fall of Weimar Republic which can be extremely helpful in continuing the democracy in United States.

The treaty of Versailles was considered as extremely harsh and vindictive within Germany. The military, territorial and economic clauses of the treaty aimed to weaken Germany to a containable level. However, it was the ignominious war guilt clause, which placed the guilt for the outbreak and continuation of the war on Germany, which caused the most problems. Also, as a result of the Versailles treaty, Germany was to assume a democratic system of Government. The democrats had to cope with huge economic problems. Following World War One, Germany was on the verge of bankruptcy due to the enormous expense of the war. In 1921, the allies declared a total reparation figure of 138 billions of Goldmark. The unacceptable reparation payments brought popular hostility to the government. Especially the hostility of France brought German economy to a collapse. As Germany failed to meet the reparation targets in 1923, France responded with the invasion of Germany's industrial heartland, the Ruhr. This reaction was of course way too hard to bear. Indeed, it resulted in hyperinflation, as the workers...