features of the Weimar Constituion
- HUGO PREUSS wrote the 1st draft of the constituion
- the aim of the constituion was to balance power between the monarchy and parliament.
- the constituion was adopted 31st july 1919
- constituon mean that parliament had more power; the chancellor and the cabinet needed majority support in the reichstag.
- president could dissolve the reichstag and block new laws by calling a refferundum.
- by article 48 president could suspend the reichstag and rule by decree.
- the person who lead the german government and was accountable to the reichastag was the reich chancellor
- the election for reichastag were proportional representation which had a strong influence in politics in the future
did the constituion weaken the republic arguments
- many of its featuires were not accepted for example porportional representation, parliamentry government or civil liberties.
- the consituition was a compromise between successful parties in 1919 (SPD and DDP and central party) but after the polls of 1919 the higest votes were 14.3 million in 1928. It can be argued the constition's foundation was narrow and un-representative.
- the weimar constitution reflected a broad political opinion, it even included those on nationalist right. included extreme parties.
- it reflected successful practice, if used carefully it might have led to political stability.
- there wasn't a problem with the design of the constitution but was misused by the republics opponents.
the Impact of proportional representation
- proportional representation led to coallition governments that rose and fell.
- minority governments failed to establish them selves
- no party lasted longer than 18 months, this meant that the government was still politically unstable, so it was assumed that the 'majority system of voting' might have been more affective in combatting left and right and be more affective in guranteeing weimar stability and survival.
- proportional represatatrion was introduced because it represented continuity in party politics from before 1914.
Parties as interest groups-
- main parties such as socialists or conservatives were represented in the same proportions in the Reishstag in 1919 as they had been in 1912.
- parties pre-1914 were more representative of sectional interests which were often linked to class, not necessarily as the centre party ganied votes from Catholics. Proportional representation allowed these interests to continue to be represented- an important factor for stabilityin such uncertain times.
- not untill late 1920's when these sectional interests broke up, alterring the voting pattern.
- the failure of the coalition governments wasn't because of the voting system but that the leading parties didn't work with the system effectively. Mostly difficult for the SPD as it wasn't their habit to compromise with opposition.
interest groups the parties represented
DNVP- Anti-republic nationalists, business people, landowners and upper middle class.
DVP- Anti-republic nationalists, upper and middle class
DDP- Pro-Republic business people, intellectuals and middle class
SPD- Working class and lower middle class.
USPD- Radical working class and lower middle class.
KPD- Revolutionary working class.
- proportional representation was accepted by most accross the political spectrum.,,SPD were commited and for their opponents it was a way of preventing the socialist from getting control over the governemnt.
Te presidential powers, Article 48 and the constit
- most of the power given to the reichspresident .
- the use of article 48 allowed the president to dissmiss the reichstag
- allowing the president to dismiss the reichastag and allow a dictatorship.to take place.
POSITIVE SIDE TO ARTICLE 48
- It allowed further powers to still politically continue.
- for example Ebert used it to give power to army to put down the munic putsch
- it allowed the government sufficient flexibility between 1919 - 1923
a delicate of checks and balances
- the buildings of checks, balances and long lists of civil rights
- the constituion was attempting to present anybody from dominating the republic.
- the relations between central governments and regions became complex.