How surprising is it that the Weimar Republic survived from 1919-1924?
With the ending of the First World War, Germany entered a grand new era in its history, one that showed promise and change for the good, however, immediately from its outset, the Weimar Republic encountered serious difficulties both externally and within. In this essay, I will asses how surprising it is that the Weimar Republic did not fall into ruin between the years 1919-1924 by considering the effects of the war and the weakness of the Weimar Constitution upon the Republic as well as the economic problems faced and the threats from both sides of the political spectrum.
As the war neared its conclusion, Germany was tired and depleted. The people were revolting and the government was in upheaval. With the political revolution, Ebert Groener formed a coalition government (mainly of left wing socialist groups) and lead Germany towards the creation of the Weimar Republic. It set about to reform Germany and hopefully present it in a more favourable light with the impending end of the war. As it culminated, the Allied forces laid out their peace terms unto Germany in what became known as the Treaty of Versailles. It set out limitations and sanctions upon the German state that were to until long into the future. The key points were that of the demilitarisation of the Rhineland, the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France, the shifting of the Polish Corridor into Polish hands, the German army being limited to 100,000 men and its navy to six battleships and no submarines, it was also not allowed an air force and that Germany was ultimately responsible for causing all the loss and damage caused by the war and ordered to pay reparations of 132 billion marks. The reparations clause was the key one: Germany simply could not afford to pay the fines. The German people had in fact hoped to be treated leniently after the transition to a democracy within Germany in January 1919 and that the...
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