Main Features of the Weimar Constitution

  • Created by: CMB20
  • Created on: 05-12-18 09:38

President

. The President was elected every 7 years

. He was Head of State and Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces

. Under Article 48 the President could suspend the Reichstag and rule Germany by decree in times of crisis.

. The President had to approve of the Chancellor for him to take office.

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Parliament

. The Parliament was to be made up of two houses:

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Reichstag

. This was the lower and more important house

. It was the Legislature (law-making body)

. Elections to it were to be held every 4 years under a system of PR (Proportional Representation) in an attempt for small parties to be represented

. The franchise (electorate) included all men and women over the age of 20

. The Chancellor and cabinet formed the government of Germany. They were accountable to the Reichstag and had to resign if they lost the confidence of the Reichstag. (Vote of no confidence)

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Reichsrat

. This was the upper and less important house.

. It represented the 17 states or Lander of Germany.

. It could delay Bills passes by the Reichstag for up to 2 years.

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Federal System

. Each of the 17 Lander(State) had its own state Parliament, responsible for local affairs such as education, judiciary, police service etc.

. However, laws passed by the Central government, the Reichstag, prevailed over laws passes by the state government, if the two conflicted.

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Bill of Rights

. The Weimar constitution contained clauses guaranteeing individual rights such as freedom of speech, association and assembly.

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