Why Did Germany Become a Democratic Republic Rather Than Evolve Into a Constitutional Democracy?

Topics: Republic, Weimar Republic, Friedrich Ebert Pages: 3 (1048 words) Published: December 6, 2010
In 1918 Germany was in turmoil, losing the war and many living in depraved conditions. It was at this time when the whole complexion of German politics changed and a whole new system of governing was introduced in Germany. The Kaiser abdicated and Germany fell into new hands, with the Weimar Republic taking over. However, there were many people, especially from the left that didn’t want the revolution to just stop at achieving a democratic Republic but instead wanted the revolution to go further and evolve into a constitutional democracy. The three main reasons why the evolution did not occur were because of the attitude of the people, the failure of the left to further the revolution and the success of the Weimar Republic in defending itself.

In 1918 Germany was in chaos. The war was a disaster and so many people were suffering in Germany. In 1919, real income was only 2/3s of what it was in 1913, war financed by printing money and borrowing led to massive inflation and between 1913 and 1918 the mark lost 75% of its value. Major food and fuel shortages were occurring, costs out stripped wage increases, disease was rife, and thousands were dying from major flu epidemic, plus starvation for many thousands of people. Deaths from starvation and hypothermia were at 121,000 in 1916 and an astonishing 293,000 in 1918. 2 million Germans had been killed in war and 6.3 million had been wounded. People in Germany were furious with the situation they were in and many were discontented. But surprisingly the revolution came from above and it was Ludendorff who led the revolution. He also cleverly distanced the military from the armistice so that the ‘stab-in-the-back’ myth could be manufactured. A constitutional monarchy was then created. Morale was incredibly low and on 28th October 1918 the Kiel Mutiny occurred in which the German Navy mutinied, 8 were shot dead and this lead to a general mutiny. This started the revolution from below. The US also sent a letter to...
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