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  • Created by: Laura
  • Created on: 23-02-13 10:40

The Weimar Republic

At the end of the war, Germany got a new democratic system of government.

A New Government Took Over When The Kaiser Abdicated 

1) Kaiser Wilhelm II had ruled the German Empire as a monarch. At the end of the First World War there was a period of violent unrest in Germany - and the Kaiser was forced to abdicate in November 1918.

2) In early 1919, a new government took power led by Friedrich Ebert - it changed Germany into a republic. It was set up in Weimar, because there was violence in Berlin. Ebert became the first President, with Scheidemann as Chancellor.

3) Ebert was the leader of the Social Democratic Party, a moderate party of socialists. The new government was democratic - they believed the people should say how the country was run.

4) The new German government wasn't invited to the peace conference in 1919 - and had no say in the Versailles Treaty. At first, Ebert refused to sign the treaty, but in the end, he had little choice - Germany was too weak to risk restarting the conflict.

The Weimar Constitution made Germany a Republic


Reichsrat                                            Reichstag                                   President

(upper house                                   The new German                       Elected every 7 

could delay measures                      parliament (elected by               years, head of army

passed by Reichstag.)                     proportional representation.)       and chooses the 


Proportional representation is where the number of seats a party wins in parliament is worked out as a proportion of the number of votes they win. This was the system in Germany and it often led to lots of political parties in the Reichstag (German parliament) - making it harder to get laws passed.

The Weimar Republic Had Many Problems

1) It was difficult to make decisions because there were so many parties in the Reichstag.

2) It was hard to pick a Chancellor who had the support of most of the Reichstag.

3) The new government had to accept the Versailles Treaty, so they were hated by many Germans because of the loss of territory, the 'war guilt' clause, the


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