What was the Weimar Constitution?

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Constitution

Constitution- laws of a country

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Start of Weimar Republic

-Kaiser Wilhelm left Germany, due to him taking the country into a war of which many Germans were sick and tired. There were riots and rebellions all over Germany as millions of people grew close to starvation. 

-Freidrich Ebert took Kaiser's place as leader of Germany.

-Germany surrendered, bringing an end to the war.

-Ebert ordered improvements to living conditions and help for the unemployed.

-He guaranteed freedom of speech, religion, and arranged elections for a new German Governement. He decalred Germany would be a democratic republic.

-Most people were happy apart from a group of Communists, who did not want the country to be run by the Parliament. 

-They tried to revolt. Thousands of Spartacists roamed around the streets of Berlin firing guns and taking over important buildings. The Freikorps got involved and killed them, ending the revolt.

-Ebert held the election and Ebert became the leader. Because of the violence in Berlin he set up in Weimar, where they met to discuss how to run Germany.

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Advantages

- The constitution was incredibly fair. All Germans had equal rights, including the right to vote.

-All Germans have free speech.

-Proportional Representation meant that lots of different political parties were able to win seats in the Reichstag.

-Women could vote.

-The president could take actions quickly in an emergency.

-Each state had its own assembly to represent local interests.

-Provided a strong leader to keep control over the country in an emergency.

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Disadvantages

-Difficult to make decisions and introduce laws because there was many parties.

-The president could use Article 48 to become a dictator.

-Local States could resist the authorities of central government.

-It was too radical an experiment given the volatile nature of German society after the war.

-Not one party had enough seats in Parliament.

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President

-Elected by voters- every seven years- People/Men/Women

-Commaned the army, appoint/dismiss Chancellor

-Could dissolve Reichstag and arrange for new elections.

-In an emergency, could issue laws by decree and override constitutional rights of the German people.

-Stayed out of day-to-day running of the country. In a crisis, he could rule on his own- without getting support of the Reichstag.

-Using special 'emergency powers' known as Article 48

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Chancellor

-chosen by the president, elected for four years.

-Proposed laws to the Reichstag

-Responsible for day-to-day running of the country- law and order, taxation, schooling, health care and so on.

-Must have the support of at least half the politicians in the Reichstag to introduce new laws.

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Reichstag

-Elected by all Germans over 20.

-Introduced laws

-Could give advice and reject new laws 

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German People

-All men and women over the age of 20 could vote

-They elected the president and the politicians in the Reichstag.

-The constitution guaranteed them basic freedoms- such as free speech

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