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Successes and Failures of the Weimar Government

            The Weimar democracy of Germany was born out of the defeat of WWI and was therefore initially associated with the bitterness of the Germany country and its failure, however, the democracy from 1919 to 1933 did have some successes but they were far outweighed by its failures, evident through its eventual collapse. The very nature of Weimar democracy and constitution, the political, social and economic instabilities as a result of the Treaty of Versailles and the Great Depression, as well as the contribution of the Nazi Party were all equally contributing factors to its collapse. .
             After the war thousands of weary troops returned to a suffering country after the effects of total war had exhausted the society. Unemployment was high with 450 000 unemployed in January of 1919 and food shortages and low living standards also raised social discontent. The army and people felt a deep sense of bitterness and betrayal to the Weimar Government which immediately inherited the problems of the defeat and the ongoing reparations of the Treaty. The War Guilt Clause 231 lowered the morale of the people and increased nationalist hostility towards the new Republic with the stab in the back legend being a popular belief.
             The constitution itself stood with weaknesses that were exploited to bring its concluding downfall. It was drawn up to protect the basic rights and civil liberties of the German people. It stipulated the Reichstag which had to pass bills before they became laws, as well as a president elected every 4 years directly by the people. The powers of the president were high, the most important being article 48 which allowed the suspension of basic rights and the constitution so laws could be issued by decree in times of emergency. It was not the fault of the clause itself that caused problems, it was the way in which it was misused by the leaders- invoked a total of 130 times between 1919-24 with the definition of emergency remaining ambiguous.

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