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Failure Of Weimar Republic

By tems Oct 24, 2013 591 Words
The Weimar republic failed because the great depression had a huge impact on its economic stability. After the collapse of the US economy and the recent death of Gustav Stresemann there was no one to steer Germany out of troubled times. Progress in Germany rapidly depleted as the loans made under the Dawes plan were recalled, German exports fell due to international trade contracting and unemployment escalated to 6 million. This could have led to the destruction of the Weimar republic as …

However, there are many other contributing factors to the collapse of the government. One contributing factor is the weakness of the government due to proportional representation, which is when the number of votes a party got was directly proportional to the number of seats allocated to a party. This electoral system ruled out the possibility of a majority, therefore this in turn led to important time sensitive decisions being hindered because the parties could not agree on one sensible solution to a problem. Furthermore, with the government not being able to come to an agreement, the chancellor and president would use article 48 and the Reichstag was used less often.

Moreover, another contributing factor is hyperinflation, which started due to Germany not being able to keep up the terms of the treaty of Versailles. Germany could not keep up with the £6.6 billion reparations that they were due to pay back to France and other countries. The amount they had to pay was very excessive and this disallowed them being able to become stable economically and politically throughout the years of Weimar republic. This in turn led to the invasion of the Ruhr in 1923 when French and Belgian troops took over the industrial capital in Germany. Because of this jobs were lost and passive resistance was started. To take care of the problem, the Weimar republic decided to print more and more money which led to inflation that created havoc in the country as the value of the currency depreciated.

Lastly, a factor that also helped in the collapse of the Weimar republic was the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. Whilst Hitler was in prison he used his time in efficiently thinking of a new way to take over the Weimar republic and his thought was to do it legally and gain the votes of people legitimately. He used the SA to get rid of his opponents and directly appealed to all the people in society from farmers by promising better pay for their produce to the upper class by promising to protect them from communism & trade unions by July 1932 they had 37% of votes.

In conclusion, I don’t believe that the main reason for the collapse of the Weimar republic was just the great depression; I believe that all of these factors had to have happened in the sequence that it happened in for the government to collapse. For example, if the invasion of the Ruhr seized to happen then the great depression wouldn’t have occurred either as it was for the cause of hyperinflation that Gustav Stresemann borrowed the money from the US via Dawes plan which led to the suffering of the great depression when it came to pass. In addition, if it wasn’t for the weak foundation which was the government then the Weimar republic would have been able to sustain the great depression just like the American government did. As a result, I consider that not one factor is bigger than the other when it comes to the failure of the Weimar republic.

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