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Thread: Factors affecting the Weimar Republic

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    Factors affecting the Weimar Republic

    Hi
    What factors affected the Weimar Republic to 1929 APART FROM the Treaty of Versailles. I'm trying to answer the 2011 HSC question and so far all the impacts I've discovered have stemmed from the Treaty of Versailles?
    I don't need any information on the factors just the factors themselves
    Thanks
    Winston

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    Re: Factors affecting the Weimar Republic

    The freikorps, army, article 22, article 48
    Those are the only ones i know as my modern class hasnt gotten too far yet. Im not entirely sure how article 48 contributed to the failure of of the weimar republic as i don't know what the president did with his power. But from my current knowledge, feikorps, army, and article 22 played a role in the weimar republic.
    Sorry if im not much help. Just started this topic haha.

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    Re: Factors affecting the Weimar Republic

    The creation of the Weimar Democracy.
    Includes issues such as
    - Article 48
    - Freedom clauses (Providing means for revolution. Freedom was able to be manipulated)
    - New voting (Let smaller parties such as the NAZI party into the Reichstag, allowing for political instability)

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    Re: Factors affecting the Weimar Republic

    Before 1923 the Republic was fighting for its survival but after it the situation got much better that there was a chance for the Republic's longevity as most German people were voting for pro democracy parties with over 80% turnouts. Problems for the Weimar Republic such as international isolation, reparations, hyperinflation slowly faded away towards the late 20s under the very tactful Gustav Stresemann (1923-1929).

    The sudden fall of the Republic was unexpected and there was no indication of this even 5 years back. Unfortunate that it fell in the way it did.

    Main problems
    -Hyperinflation from 1921-1924 causes hardships in particular for Germany's lower and middle classes
    -Lack of the Reichwehr's support for the new Republic who still retained their powers and influence after WW1.
    -Political Instability from the far right and left alike examples include Spartacist Uprising by Communists, Kapp Putsch by far right rebels supported by elements of the Reichswehr, Nationalists and the Prussian Junker class and then finally the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich by Hitler and former General Erich Ludendorff .
    -Lack of support for the republic from the elite and monarchist sympathisers of the late Kaiser who they held in high esteem.
    -Many Germans saw the Weimar Republic as forced upon them by the Allies and 'a scar' from Germany's defeat in WW1.
    -'Back in the Stab myth' which was spread among right-wing circles who called the new republic who signed the armistice as the 'November Criminals'

    As already mentioned above there were also issues such as 'Proportional Representation' led to unstable governments throughout the entire Republic's existence and Article 48 would later play a prominent role under President Hindenburg in the early 30s.
    Last edited by Simorgh; 9 Feb 2017 at 11:56 PM.

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    Re: Factors affecting the Weimar Republic

    Howdy! Let's see if I can get my memory going and offer you some help. Keep in mind, this is just how *I* would answer the question; you feel free to tackle it in any way you feel like

    Essentially, I'd spend the bulk of the essay on the TOV; that's the focus. Thus, I'd try to explain its effects on Germany in great detail. Here are some ideas.

    1. Hyperinflation: affected primarily working-class people (who had no savings) and middle-class people (whose savings had become worthless). This created hatred of the new German government which left the seeds for later extremism in the form of the Nazis.

    2. Ruhr Crisis: diminished the German sense of self-worth. French occupation of this rich German industrial heartland further exacerbated economic woes which citizens attributed to the government and TOV.

    3. Reparations: weakened the German economy and made the country reliant on foreign loans, mostly from America. This became a problem in the Depression when the U.S, experiencing their own problems, cashed in on these loans.

    4. Disgruntled Citizens/Soldiers: driven by fierce nationalism, particularly in those soldiers returning home, most believed that the TOV represented dolchtoss 'stab in the back' by the alleged 'November Criminals'. This manifested in the significant political polarisation, the large number of assassinations and the formation of powerful paramilitary groups which destabilised the authority of the government such as the Freikorps.

    Collectively, these all contributed to a sense of disillusionment among the German people and discredited the fledgling German Republic.

    However, there were also other prescient factors that should be mentioned. I'd try to include as many points as possible, whether in detail or in passing.

    1. Article 48: empowered the President to suspend the Reichstag and dismiss/appoint Chancellors (the equivalent of our PM) at will. This undermined the fledging German democracy and centralised all political power in the President's hands.

    2. Proportional Representation: ensured that parliamentary majorities were extremely difficult to attain and therefore created extreme political instability.

    3. Split in the Left: the SPD had split during WWI which diminished opposition to right-wing extremist parties such as the Nazis, who then proceeded to sew dissent and fear among the German people. This became much more effective following 1929 however.

    As an overarching theme, I'd also talk about the period of relative stability A.K.A 'The Golden Years' between 1924 - 1929. I'd offer the contrast this offered to the previous insatiability that typified the early 1920s, citing the higher votes for mainstream parties, modest economic growth and a more modernist or progressive German society.

    Now OP, I know you've said you don't need any info, but what the hell. Good luck!
    Last edited by Son of Thatcher; 9 Feb 2017 at 9:10 PM.
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