They are many reasons why people thought the Weimar Republic was bound to fail from the start, especially when it was set up in 1919 after the First World War in which Germany had suffered a humiliating defeat and the German Revolution of 1918-19 which overthrew the Kaiser. Named after the city of Weimar where the new constitution was written, it introduced democracy to Germany and a new untested system of government lasting until January 1933 when Adolf Hitler seized power and was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.
After the First World War, Germany was in a horrible condition with the economy so bad that many people could ill afford to buy food.
One major effect that affected the way in which people remember the Weimar republic was the Treaty of Versailles. This agreement signed in June 1919 with Great Britain, France and the United States of America made Germany accept the blame for starting the First World War. The Allies would not sign a peace treaty unless Germany set up a new democratic system of government. They saw the Kaiser and his way of ruling as being a major reason for Germany starting the war.
The victorious Allies made Germany give up things such as land, money and its military strength. Alsace-Lorraine was given to France, West Prussia to Poland while the industrial Saar region and Upper Silesia were turned over to the League of Nations. All its overseas colonies were taken.
The reparations Germany was made to pay were crippling to its economy. It had to pay £6.6 billion dollars in gold which created poverty and bitterness. The aim of the Treaty was to avoid a further war and therefore to weaken Germany’s military power. Its army and navy were limited to 100,000 men and it was not allowed to have an air force.
Germany had little option but to sign this treaty or face the threat of the Allies invading Germany. This was not the view of the German people. They felt they were stabbed