Weimar Republic 1919 - 1924

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Problems faced by Weimar

It is inaccurate to suggest the constitution itself threatened the survival of the republic. while the treaty of versailles brought around criticisms of the republic, it was not the terms of the trwaty that caused the greatest threat to the new state.

Republic threatened by internal enemies on left and right. Many Germans feared a Bolshevik - style nationalism and few supported the KPD.

more potent threat came from the right wing forces, who despise the new democracy, but experiences internal disunity and putsch attempts failed.

the institutions within the state who posed the greatest threat; army, civil serice, judiciary.

Many within SPD that were committed to the republic.

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Threat from extreme left


Spartacist 1919 - Timing of it = creating constitution, extreme left attacking own left - wing government and having to crush it with Freikorps = undermine position.

KPD - assistance from Russia = not just political threat but also international threat

Bavaria 1919 - Timing during constitution, whole republic turned socialist = shows how powerful a threat

Threat to left by left - people lose faith, look to right wing.

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Threat from extreme left

Not a threat:

Spartacist - not strong enough to defeat SPD and Freikorps united

Not united enough - poor co-ordination, cant defeat weimar

Number of Rebellions= yet none successful

SPD anti - revolutionary - do everthing in their power to prevent it = Eber - Groener pact means army backs them, make concessions with some to stop them aligning with others = purposefully divide them.

KPD lack support - Highest proportion of vote only 12.6%

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Threat from extreme right


Kapp Putsch 1920 - "troops do not fire on troops" = army supportive of right wing, wont suport Ebert, he has to rely wholly on striking supporters assistance.

Munich Putsch 1923 - conservative key elites united with Nazi's - very powerful suports

White Terror and Organisational consul - Assassinated 354, 326 of these unpunished = hightlight lack of judicary power and support, e.g. Rathenall, Erzberger (in govt.) and Rosa Luxembourg = terrorise public.

Ani - communism - many hate it so repel it by backng right - overlook right threat.

Stab in the back myth - make SPD look unpatriotic after treaty of versailles

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Threat from extreme right

Not a threat:

Elites withdrew support - in Munich Putsch, dont back Kapp Putsch so defeated by SPD supporters even without army.

Economic Recovery 1924 - Undermines Weimar "failures" so not sufficient support to take over.

Assassinations - Make SPD and left oppose them more, an excuse to discourage voters

Ebert - Groener pact - army (right wing elites) and government able to co - operate against common enemy.

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