From the Second Reich to the Wiemar Republic

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From the Second Reich to the Weimar Republic

The Second Reich
The constitution of the second Reich:
The Kaiser was hereditary for life and he was the Supreme Commander of the army The Chancellor was chosen by the Kaiser and was also usually the chairman of the Bundesrat. The Bundesrat was the upper house of parliament. Members were chosen by the State Government. The 17 Prussian representatives could veto any law. The Reichstag was less important than the Bundesrat in making laws. They could only approve the laws proposed by the Chancellor and the Bundesrat. The Reichstag was the lower house of parliament, with members elected by all men over the age of 25, fewer could vote in Prussia

This was very undemocratic as people had little say over the passing of laws. The Reichstag, the house of parliament that the people voted for, had very little power over the creation of laws. The Kaiser was almost a dictator. Ludendorff realised that Germany was going to be defeated in 1918. He told the Kaiser that the war must end. In October, the Germans asked President Woodrow Wilson to organise an end to the fighting. He agreed but demanded that the Kaiser must go. Starvation and riots spread though Germany and on 30th October, the German Navy refused to launch a desperate attack on the British Navy. The Kaiser finally agreed to abdicate and on the 11th November an armistice was signed. This was the end of the Second Reich.

The Weimar Republic
The new government wanted to introduce a parliamentary democracy. This was because President Wilson refused to offer peace to the Germans until it had a government which wanted democracy. However, this meant that some Germans felt that democracy was being forced upon them by their enemies.

The constitution of the Weimar Republic:
The President was in power for 7 years and was elected by all adults over the age of 21. He was the Supreme Commander of the army and he chose the Chancellor. The Chancellor had the support of a...
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