The Weimar Republic 1919-1929 Revision
Ok, like with the last one I'm going to split this down into the 4 different topics that my course splits it up into. If your doing the same one (Kaiser to Fuhrer, Edexcel) then awesome. If not, I hope this is still helpful anyway. If none of the above applies to you then your not doing History....
I would like to say now that this is going to be big. Im writing about a reasonable length of time in which [email protected]% loads happens and as such this is going to be long. At the cost of taking a long time to read it will be very detailed and will provide comprehensive notes. If you cant be asked to read this much, or your exams tomorrow, then go elsewhere. However, if not, this will make up for not having made any notes all year...
1) The new constitution, its supporters and opponents.
On the 31st of July 1919 a new constitution was adopted, known as the Weimar Constitution. The new Reich was to be a federation of 18 regional states known as Lander . Each of the Land was to have its own parliament. The system had a strong executive (head honcho figure) called a President, someone who was elected from the people every 7 years, who had strong powers to stop the new Reichstag from becoming a 'Parliamentary Dictatorship'.
It had a Reich Chancellor, like the old system, but he and his cabinet needed a majority support in the Reichstag and would have to resign if this was lost.
The new system was made up of two houses, like the old, but the Bundersrat was replaced by the Reichsrat (the upper house) which was less important, only having the power to delay legislation, not stop it all together. The Reichstag was the lower house and had much more power than before. It was elected every four years and a bill of rights was issued along side it which guaranteed people basic human and political rights.
However, in the new system, the Reichstag was elected by proportional representation: Each party got one seat for every 60,000 votes it received, not just the party with the highest number of votes. All major parties supported this as the SPD (who gained about 50% of the vote in 1919) felt it was the fairest and the other parties thought it was the best way to prevent an SPD majority.
-DID THE CONSTITUTION MAKE WEIMAR WEAK?-
This is a favourite of the exam board so its worth knowing.
The idea behind the system of proportional representation was that it represented the most successful parties in 1919 (SPD, Centre Party and DDP) who voted for the constitution, but after this they never did as well, so the system was [potentially] unrepresentative.
Instead it allowed a broader spectrum of political opinion to weasel its way into the Reichstag. It allowed the more extreme parties of the system, the DNVP and NAZIs for example, to get seats in…