The weakness of the Weimar Republic played a huge part in Hitler’s rise to power. this essay will explore the weimars weaknesses, including the impact of the first world war, the constitutional weakness of the Republic, the implications of the treaty of versaille and the Munich Putsch. Aswell as other factors that led to Hitler’s success not so related to the Weimer republic. This includes the anger of the German people at Germany’s surrender. This is commonly known as the stab in the back by the politicians who became known as criminals, due to the armistice being signed in November 1918. Reasons for this public feeling were because the Germans thought that they were winning the war. The policians, in reality, had no choice.
A significant problem with the Weimar republic was the fact that it was constitutionally weak. The use of the proportional representation system proves this, due to the failure to form a majority government. Parties only needed 2% of votes in order to gain seats. There were also a lot of elections, for example in 1932 there were 5, which is a huge amount in politics. This wasn’t the only problem however, each party was extremely self interested. Article 48 was an issue. It was created as a means of protecting the republic when it was threatened, for example by the Kapp putsch. As time went on however, especially during Hindenburg’s reign, it was misused, with new laws going from 5 being used in 1930, to 44 in 1931 and 60 in 1932, while sittings of the Reichstag declined from 94 in 1930 to 13 in 1932.
Even more to Hitler’s success was the Versailles treaty. Winning public approval for the republic was made even more difficult because of this. The terms of the treaty included £6.6 billion reparation payments, a war guilt clause, great loss of land and colonies and an army of a mere 100,000 with a navy of 10,000 and no aircraft. Besides these brutal terms, the war guilt clause proved to be extremely damaging. It was a constant reminder...
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