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  • Created on: 29-05-16 17:21

The weaknesses of the Weimar Constitution

Frequent changes of government-  during the Weimar Republic there were 9 elections, with 2 each in the years 1923 and 1932. This resulted in weak and often unstable government.

Appointment of the Chancellor-  the Chancellor was meant to be the leader of the largest party in the Reichstag and was appointed by the President. However after 1930 Hindenburg appointed chancellors who didn't lead the largest party and allowed them to rule using Article 48.

Coalition government- the use of PR meant that it was difficult for any one party to achieve an overall majority and resulted in coalition government.

Power of the President- during times of crisiss the President could use Article 48 to declare a 'state of emergency' and rule by Presidental decree which was dangerous as it meant that laws could be passed without approval. 

System of voting- use of Proportional Representation to elect members of the Reichstag,

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Hitler's ideas expressed in Mein Kampf

Treaty of Versailles- abolition of the hated Treaty and the reversal of it's terms

Volksgemeinschaft- the creation of the people's community

Lebensraum- obtain living space, especially in eastern Europe; create a Greater Germany where all German speaking people would be united into one nation.

Anti-Communist- socialist and commuist politicians has 'stabbed Germany in the back' in 1918 by agreeing to the armistice. They were the November Criminals

Anti-Semitism- all ills in German society were caused by the Jews. All Jews had to be eliminated from Germany.

Social Darwinism- the idea tht some races are superior to others. The German master race was the Aryans who were superior to the inferior races- especially the Jews who were the race polluters.

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How Hitler got appointed Chancellor in Jan 1933

Use of the SA and street violence- Hitler declared he could stop the violence of the SA and Communists

Impact of the Wall Street Crash- Economic Crisis/ Depression

Impact of Depression on the Weimar Government- People started to look for solutions elsewhere.

Article 48 invoked- Germany was ruled by presidental decree

Weaknesses of the Opposition- Other parties failed to unite against the Nazis

Nazi message- It was a 'catch all' party and made sure there were something for everybody

Support of the industrialists- Hitler was able to convince big businesses like Krupp and Bosch to give donations to the Nazis

Hitler the superman- Other parties had no-one to match them

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Use of Enabling Act to establish Nazi dictatorship

Control of the states- on 30 January 1934 the Law for the Restoration of the Reich abolished state assemblies and replaced them with Reich governors

Control of the press- in October 1933 the Reich Press Law imposed strict control and censorship of the press

Ban on political parties- on 14 July 1933 the Law against the Formation of Parties made the Nazi Party the only legal political party; Germany was now a one-party state; some parties had already disbanded voluntarilt.

Trade unions- on 2 May 1933 all trade unions were banned and replaced by the German Labour Front (DAF) and strikes were made illegal.

Purge of the Civil Service- on 7 April 1933 the Law for the Resotration of the Professional Civil Service removed Jews and political opponents for the Nazis from their posts in the civil service.

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How Germany dealt with their economic problems

Creation of the National Labour Service Camp (RAD)-  FROM 1935 it was compulsory for all males aged 18-25 to serve in the RAD for 6months, undertaking manual jobs. Workers lived in camps, wore uniforms and carried out military drills as well as work.

Public work schemes- men were put to work on public work schemes building 7000km of autobahn, tree planting and the construction of hospitals, schools and houses.

Rearmament- Hitler's decision to rearm transformed German industry and created jobs. Conscription was introduced in 1935. Heavy industry also expanded.

Control of the economy- in 1934 Hjalmar Schacht was made economic minister and believed in deficit spending to create jobs. In 1936 Schacht was replaced by Herman Goering as Economic Minister and he introduced the Four Year Plan which was designed to speed up rearmament and establish the policy of autarky which was designed to make Germany self-sufficient.

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The use of Propaganda and censorship

March 1934- Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda was set up by Goebbels.

Cinema- all films were given pro-Nazi story lines and all film plots had to be shown to Goebbels

Newspaper- all newspaper were subject to strict censorship

Rallies- an annunal mass rally of over 100,000 was staged in Nuremberg in Spetember to showcase the Nazi regime.

Radio, Posters and Books- all radio stations were placed under Nazi control. Great use was made of posters to put across the Nazi message. All books were censored and those published had to put across the Nazi message, over 2500 writers were banned.

The arts- music, painting, sculpture, the theatre and architecture all had to portary the Nazi interpretation of German life and society.

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