How did the Weimar Constitution come about?
On 9 November 1918, Fredrich Ebert (leader of the Social Democrats) took control of Germany.
The first thing he did was sign the armistice (peace) which brought an end to WW1.
He was immediately disliked because he made them leave the war as the losers and caused them to bring shame to their country.
He wanted to make Germany a democratic republic, so set up the Weimar Republic.
The Weimar Constitution
Elected every seven years
Appointed by the President from the Reichstag. The person chosen as Chancellor had to have a majority of seats in the Reichstag.
The Lower House. Each member was elected by the German people throgh proportional representation. If a party got a fifth of all the votes it would get a fifth of the seats.
The Upper House. Each state of Germany, e.g. Bavaria or Prusiia would send representatives.
The Weimar Constitution Cont...
The German People
All adults over 20 had the democratic right to vote for members of the Reichstag. They enjoyed the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of belief and freedom from arbitrary arrest for the first time in Germany's history.
Each German state kept its own government, but they had little power. National laws overruled local state laws.
In an emergency the President could make laws without the Reichstag.
Areas of The Weimar Constitution
Strengths- It is fair; every vote counts.
Weaknesses- More coalitions; coalitions are unstable.
Strengths- If there is an emergency any law can be passed.
Weaknesses- The President could potentially use it to become a dictator (as Hitler did).
Strengths- The country can choose their leader; 7 years is long enough to make real change.
Weaknesses- 7 years is too long as irreversible changes can be made.
Strengths- President can choose someone they can along with; nominated by parliamen.
Weaknesses- President may no choose best candidate for political reasons.
Strengths- Votes for men and women at over 20 was massive - only country women could vote.
Weaknesses- May cause conflict with people who don't believe in it; anti-democracy can vote.