Weimar Constitution- Features

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Section 1

  • This showed Constitution was to be a Federation of the State
  • Two levels of Government- 17 landers and the Federation
  • Described as "dual-anatomy": power shared between federal govt. and landers
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Section 2- National Assembly

  • Bicameral- divided into two govt. houses

House One: The Reichstag

  • Elections held every 4 years
  • Using the voting system of Proportional Representation (PR)
  • Elected through universal suffrage- all citizens over 20 got to vote
  • PR meant that every 60,000 voted a party would gain one seat- controversial as it allowed splinter parties to form

House Two: The Reichsrat

  • Contained 67 members from 17 states
  • Give advice on new laws
  • Veto new laws
  • Veto could be overruled by Reichstag making it less important
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Section 3- National Presidency and Cabinet


  • Elected every 7 years by PR
  • He could appoint and dismiss Chancellors
  • Could dissolve Reichstag
  • Commander-in-Chief of Germany
  • Rule by emergency decree through Article 48
  • Article 48 gave President too much power as it allowed for a dictatorship
  • President was described as being an "ersatzkaiser"


  • Could propose new laws to Reichstag
  • Maintain confidence of Reichstag
  • End result was a confused relationship between President and Chancellor
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Section 4- Fundamental Rights and Duties of German

  • Rights were contained in the Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights outlined:

  • Citizens had personal liberty and free speech
  • Ban on censorship
  • Equality before the Law
  • Freedom of conscience and religion
  • Welfare provision
  • Protection of Labour
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Supreme Court

  • Ensured equality of all citizens before the law
  • Also could adjudicate on cases
  • Could interpret the Constitution
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