The Weimar Republic's Weaknesses 1919 - 1923

Treaty of Versailles, Economic Instability, Weimar Constitution, Judiciary, Right and Left Wing.

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  • Created on: 14-06-14 13:25
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The Threats To The Weimar Republic
The Treaty of Versailles is the most significant threat to the Weimar Republic
because it increased resentment and hatred towards the Weimar. The left
wing politicians who had signed the treaty were seen as `November
Criminals'. This was because the Treaty was seen as a `diktat' as it was
dictated by the Allies that Germany were the cause for the First World War as
seen through Article 231 in which Germany were to accept that they were
the cause of the war. Therefore the Treaty was seen as humiliating and a
`shameful peace' (Smachfrieden). This caused many antiRepublican
politicians to use this to their advantage and undermine the Weimar as much
as they could. Furthermore, the terms of the treaty such as the army
reductions and the reparation payments caused hatred towards the
Weimar and fuelled economic problems. Furthermore, the loss of
territory angered many Germans. The Rhineland was to be demilitarised and
the Saar was to be handed over to the League of Nations. Also, all of
Germany's colonies were to be handed over to the Allies. This was seen as
humiliating which formed the basis for the left wing and right wing parties to
attempt to overthrow the Weimar government. Therefore, the Treaty of
Versailles is the most significant threat to the Weimar Republic because it
linked Germany to defeat and caused resentment thus resulting in
attempts to overthrow the Weimar Republic.
The economic crisis was also a significant threat towards the Weimar Republic.
Germany's economy was already in a bad condition due to most of its money
and resources being spent of the First World War therefore when they lost
the war and had to pay reparation payments as dictated through the
Treaty of Versailles, their economy started to collapse. Germany began to
borrow money from USA, which increased their National debt and lowered
the value of their currency. This led to inflation. In 1922, Germany decided to
stop paying reparation payments. This led to FrenchBelgian occupation in the
Ruhr (Ruhr Crisis, 1923) which was a major industrial area. The
FrenchBelgian troops arrested mine owner and took over the mines and
railways. In response to this, Germany reduced the amount of coal exported
to France and Belgium. This however had a negative effect on Germany
because it led to a decrease in money entering the country. Therefore, more
money was printed, leading to hyperinflation. This mostly affected the
working class and middle class because food prices rose higher than wages and
savings became useless. This made the people of Germany lose faith in the
Weimar. The Weimar was seen as incompetent and a failure in
stabilising their country. This was a threat to the Weimar because the
unpopularity of the Weimar further increased.

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The right wing was also a major threat to Weimar Republic. The right wing
consisted of the Army and the Military. They opposed democracy and
wanted to bring back the Kaiser. Also, they hated the Treaty of Versailles
due to the army reductions. Their aim was to overthrow the Weimar and
undo the Treaty. This was a major threat because a country that has no
support from its army and military is left defenceless and in danger from
external attacks as well as internal attacks.…read more

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Germany too. Furthermore, the weakness of the
Weimar was emphasised by the Spartacist revolt, because the Weimar used
their opposition (the Freikorps) to fight their other opposition (the
Sparatacists). Therefore the left wing played a role in threatening the Weimar
Republic.
Another threat to the Weimar Republic was the constitution itself. The
elections in the Weimar government ran on proportional representation
which meant that the percentage of votes the party got was equal to the
percentage of seat they got.…read more

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