Weimar Government and its Weaknesses

1359 Words6 Pages
The causes of the failure of the Weimar government are multi-faceted. However, I assert that the Weimar government's inability to keep the people's confidence in their capabilities, which eventually rendered them obsolete, was fundamentally due to the threats from within rather than the external hazards. Through exploring the flaws in the constitution and the threats to the WG's authority from the outside, it will be proven that what brought the WR down were its intrinsic vulnerabilities , and that the external threats were only catalysts of their downfall; without the presence of the internal weaknesses in the first place, the external perils would not have been able to threaten the rule of the government. The impracticality of the policy of proportional representation (PR), was one particular internal weakness of the Weimar government which led to its eventual loss of support among the people. The policy was put in place in an attempt to pursue democracy to its utmost, by granting seats to every party in proportion to the percentage of popular vote received. Ideally, this would allow for more interests to be represented, and that no individual could ever gain complete power. Ironically, its theoretical strength was also its Achilles' heel. The implementation of the PR led to the proliferation of small parties, which were oftentimes regional, narrow, or one-issue political parties. In 1928, 31 parties were on the ballot, and though the small parties did not have much influence, they disrupted proceedings and made the major parties appear incapable of maintaining order. One way they did so could be exemplified by the numerous problems with forming coalitions which invariably surfaced. With the sheer number of parties and the ... ... middle of paper ... ...policy made the people despair over the inefficiency of the government, and article 48 caused the people to lose their faith in a democratic system wholly. These two deciding factors propelled the people to submit themselves to more radical ideologies, all of which finally brought an end to the floundering democratic constitution in the 1930s. Even though external threats such as anti-Weimar sentiments spread by opposing parties also played a prominent role in the eventual distrust of the WG, they were not the root cause of the failure of the WG, their prosperity was only made possible by building on the already-existing profound internal failures of the government. Works Cited historyplace.com alphahistory.com Bookbinder, P. (1996). Weimar Germany. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Lee, S. J. (1998). The weimar republic. London: Routledge.
Open Document