Evaluate the View That the Weimar Republic Was Doomed from the Start

Topics: Treaty of Versailles, Weimar Republic, World War I Pages: 3 (740 words) Published: March 19, 2013
Born in the ashes of defeat the Weimar Republic was undermined with the failures of the past. Due to widespread distrust in democracy, reinforced by economic crises, aggravated by the Treaty of Versailles, and opposing parties from both ends of the political spectrum, the Weimar Republic was doomed for failure. The new government was the body that signed the Treaty of Versailles, and to many, that was a betrayal. The consequences were severe, and many were looking for someone to blame, the government was ideal.

In retaliation, on the part of the Allies, the Treaty of Versailles was heavily skewed against the Germans. It placed upon them unrealistic reparation demands which were impossible for Germany to fulfill, being seen as unfair and unreasonable. This also stirred up political tension and controversy, thus contributing largely to the post-war political and economic hardships that Germany faced. The TOV was seen by Germans as a ‘diktat’ or dictated peace in which they were forced to reduce their army, lose all their colonies and pay back reparations for WWI. From this came the ‘dolchstosslegende’, or “stab in the back legend” which claimed that socialists, pacifists and Jews had betrayed the German army whilst they were supposedly winning the war. This became the way that Germans would have to accept defeat and caused much disappointment when the Weimar Government endorsed the TOV. Consequently, many Germans lost faith in the government and loathed them for taking on such an unreasonable ‘dictated’ peace agreement.

The constitution was also a contributor to the collapse of the Weimar Government. Firstly, the change in parliament to have proportional representation led to smaller and more numerous political parties emerging, and thus creating a harder process to actually form a government and maintain. Smaller parties were being forced into joining in coalition with other parties, and thus, agreements must be formed between them as well as agreements on...
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