Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1919-33

Notes on Weimar Germany and Nazi Germany

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Germany 1919-23
Revision…read more

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Weimar Republic
· November 1918 Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated.
· Jan 1919 elections.
· Feb 1919: new constitution agreed in the town of
Weimar/Ebert President.
· System of government in the Weimar Republic (5 points)
­ Elected president controlled army, administration and made
emergency laws.
­ Chancellor responsible to the Reichstag.
­ Reichstag made laws, controlled the government and foreign policy.
­ Proportional representation.
­ Bill of Rights.…read more

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The Perfect Democracy
· These were set in place to make the democracy
perfect for Germany:
­ A Bill of Rights, which guaranteed every German
citizen freedom of speech, religion and equality under
the law
­ All men and women over 20 could vote (which was
better then in Britain where you had to be over 30)
­ There was an elected president and an elected
Reichstag (parliament)
­ The Reichstag made the laws and appointed the
government, which had to do what the Reichstag
wanted…read more

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The Three Phases of Weimar
· 1919-23 Problems
· 1923-29 Prosperity
· 1929-33 Collapse…read more

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Problems Facing Weimar (1919-23)
Ineffective Constitution (3 things)
­ Article 48 gives the President vast `emergency' powers
­ Proportional voting means lots of small, powerless parties and frequent changes in government
­ The Army and the Judges were right-wing
· Left Wing Rebellions (2 years)
­ 1919 (three events)
· Spartacists led by Rosa Luxemburg & Karl Leibknecht
· Workers Councils seized power across Germany
· Communists took power in Bavaria.
­ 1920
· Red Army rebelled in the Ruhr.
· Right-wing agitation (2 ways)
­ 1920 Kapp Putsch - rebellion in Berlin
­ Nationalist terrorists murdered politicians (Rathenau 1922)
· Invasion/Inflation
­ France invaded Ruhr - workers on strike = hyperinflation caused by money printed to pay strikers.
· Munich Putsch
­ Nazis tried to take control of Bavaria.…read more

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Strengths Weaknesses
All Germans had equal rights including Proportional representation: lots of small
the right to vote. parties had seats in the government, so
no one party could get a majority and
pass laws. Never could have a strong
Proportional representation made sure The president had too much power. It
that political parties were allocated seats was possible he could turn himself into a
in the parliament in proportion to number dictator.
of votes they got. It was fair.
A strong president was necessary to The states could be hostile to the national
keep control over the government and to government and try to overthrow it.
protect the country in a crisis.
Each state had its own traditions. It was In 1919 the Republic had many enemies.
right they should keep some control over It was not sensible to give equal rights to
their own affairs. those who wished to destroy it.…read more

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