Democratic Challenges in Germany in 1918 to 1923

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There were multiple challenges faced by democracy in Germany in the period 1918 to 1923, the most important of these being the ending of World War I. Along with the ending of World War I, other challenges faced by democracy in Germany included, the Treaty of Versailles, the German economy, the creation of the Constitution, opposition from the Right and opposition to the left. All range in importance but each played their part in challenging democracy in Germany in the period 1928 to 1923.

The ending of World War I was the most significant challenge faced by German democracy, with the others stemming from this. The timing of the democracy’s rise to power could not have been more poorly timed. The situation they arrived in, forcing them to sign the armistice, immediately put them on the back foot for the publics support. The German people, being very proud, were outraged to find this new government had given up, when they believed Germany to be winning the war. This caused them to be given the tag of the November criminals and the ‘stab in the back’ theory evolved. The news that negotiations had begun to end the war came as a profound shock as they had been confidently assured of victory. Amongst the civilian population there was a sense of betrayal and it was claimed that the German army had not failed, but this new government had betrayed them. As the ‘stab in the back’ theory formed, the blame was forced upon democracy and from there, democracy was on the back foot and more challenges arose form this.

Stemming from the end of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles was another major challenge faced by German democracy. The major challenge that arose from the Treaty of Versailles was the reparations and its terms. The German people expected the peace settlement to be based on President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, so when they received the terms of the treaty the people once again were angered at the Democracy as signing it was another stain on the...
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