Weimar Politics

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THE WEIMAR CONSTITUTION

The Weimar Constitution made Germany a democratic republic.  It had many strengths:

  • The Bill of Rights decreed that every German had the right to freedom of speech, religion and equality under the law
  • Every man and woman over the age of 20 could vote
  • There was an elected President and an elected Reichstag.  The Reichstag appointed the Chancellor, who had to do what the Reichstag wanted

However, there were some major flaws:

  • Proportional representation - every voter elected a party, not an MP.  The parties were given a proportional amount of seats in the Reichstag.  This meant that there were lots of little parties and no party had a majority.  This made it very difficult for laws to be passed
  • Article 48 - this decreed that in an emergency situation, the President could issue a law without having to first consult the Reichstag. In theory this meant that Germany could respond to a crisis rapidly, but it was later used by…

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