The Setting Up of the Weimar Republic


The Setting Up of the Weimar Republic


  • It established the most advanced democracy in Europe - men and women had the right to vote at the age of 20, whilst the age to vote in Britain was 21 for men and 30 for women.
  • The President was elected every seven years and had the power to appoint the Chancellor (head of government).
  • The Reichstag (parliament) had the power to pass or reject changes to the law. Members of the Reichstag were elected by proportional representation every four years.
  • It established the right of free speech and freedom of religious belief.


  • Article 48 said that the President could make laws without the approval of the Reichstag in the event of an emergency. this meant too much power for the President.
  • Proportional representation often led to many small parties gaining seats, like the Nazis. No party gained enough seats to secure a majority, which meant that coalition governments had to be formed that were often weak and short lived.
  • The army generals and judges were the same men who had served the Kaiser. Many of them opposed the Weimar Republic.


Whilst the Weimar Republic had many strengths to it, I think that the weaknesses are a lot stronger. For example, Article 48 gave the President too much power that they were not supposed to have in a democratic republic and the ability to very discreetly use this article as a kind of dictatorship. The lack of support from the army and judges could have quite a negative impact on the Weimar Republic as it made events such as uprisings, riots and opposition very hard to beat as it meant that anyone who may have to go to court who acted against the Weimar Republic could not get seriously punished. This was because of the lack of support from the judges for the Weimar Republic. 


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