Early Weaknesses of the Weimar Republic

Weimar Constitution

Treaty of Versailles

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Article 48

Under Article 48, the President had emergency powers to suspend individual rights and take whatever measures were necessary to restore order.

However, there was no limit on the use of A48, the President was free to rule by decree as and when he wished.

This led to what many viewed as an undermining of democracy, highlighted by those who oppose the Weimar Republic.

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Electoral System

The use of Proportional Representation meant that there was often a coalition government in the Reichstag.

In the early years this was not so much of a problem however, it proved disasterous when tough decisions had to be made (during both economic crisis)

This led to what many Germans viewed as abuse of the powers granted by Article 48 of the constitution (see above).

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