The Breakdown of Parliamentary Government

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  • The Breakdown of Parliamentary Government
    • The Young Plan
      • Germany should pay reparations until 1988 but only £1850 million (one quarter of the figure in 1921)
      • In Right-wing circles this was seen as another stab in the back
      • DNVP leader, Hugenburg formed a national committee to oppose the plan
        • National Opposition drafted a Law against the Enslavement of the German People- denounced reparations and any minister who supported it
          • Gained enough support to invoke a national referendum in December 1929
            • For Hitler he gained power and support, membership was 130,000 by end of 1929 and the opportunity to use Hugenberg's media empire etc.
    • The collapse of Müller's Government
      • Successfully withstood the attack from the "National Opposition"
      • Internal divisions
        • Müller was a Social Democrat struggled to hold the coalition together but it was an economic issue that brought down the government in 1930.
          • Sharp increase in unemployment- created a large deficit in the new national insurance scheme- the four major parties could not decide on how to solve this issue
            • SPD wanted to increase the contributions and maintain the levels of the welfare (they were trade union supporters)
              • Müller could no longer maintain a majority and had no option but to tender the resignation of his government
                • DVP had strong ties with big business and insisted on reducing benefits
            • DVP had strong ties with big business and insisted on reducing benefits
    • Nazi Breakthrough
      • Protest Votes against Bruning's government
      • Nearly half of the Nazi seats were won by "new" voters- the electorate had grown by 1.8 million and the turn-out had increased from 75.6% to 82%
      • Young first-time voters and many previously non-voters had voted for them
    • The Appointment of Heinrich Bruning as Chancellor
      • Leader of ZP (the 2nd largest Party)
        • Marked the end of true parliamentary government
          • Put into power by political intriguers who surrounded Hindenburg all of whom were Conservative Nationalists
            • Otto Meissner- Hindenburg's State Secretary, Oskar von Hindenburg- the President's son and Major General Kurt von Schleicher- a leading general
          • Bruning's response to the growing economic crisis lead to a political constitutional crisis
            • Proposed cuts in government expenditure and avoided reviving inflation- this was rejected by the Reichstag
              • Bruning pushed it through with Hindenburg's support via Article 48- when this was challenged by the Reichstag
                • Deadlock had been reached, so Bruning asked Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag and  call for an election in September 1930
    • Reichstag Election September 1930
      • Nazi's benefitted- increased its voted from 810,000 to over 6 million
        • Nazi Breakthrough
          • Protest Votes against Bruning's government
          • Nearly half of the Nazi seats were won by "new" voters- the electorate had grown by 1.8 million and the turn-out had increased from 75.6% to 82%
          • Young first-time voters and many previously non-voters had voted for them
      • Nazis-107 seats, 18.3% and 2nd largest party
        • Nationalists- DNVP support halved and Nazis gained much of this vote
        • Middle class democratic Parties- DDP and DVP lost 20 seats between them
        • Left-wing Parties- SPD declined from 29.8% to 24.5% but still largest party but KPD increased from 10.8% to 13.1%
        • Left and Right extremists had made extensive gains against the pro-democratic parties, making it very difficult for proper democratic parliamentary government to function

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