The Fallof the Wiemer Republic

The Weimar Republic was created in the aftermath of World War I to govern a defeated Germany. Although its constitution was designed to make the state a liberal parliamentary democracy, certain inherent political and economic factors combined to make Germany a dictatorship within fifteen years. Several factors undermined popular support for the new republic, while within the constitution itself lay avenues for the seizure of absolute power. This essay was written 4/23/96 in my tenth grade AP European History class. It describes the years between the two World Wars, when a suffering Germany turned to Hitler to alleviate its economic pain. The events that led up to this event are presented here.
Germany was the losing state at the end of the First World War, and although the Weimar Republic was born in 1919, the government carried substantial negative baggage from the previous era. Chief of these were the reparations paid by Germany to the victors, initially set at five billion dollars annually until 1921. The economic hardship caused by these reparations payments spread themselves throughout German society. Even more devastating and sudden was the invasion of the Ruhr by France in 1923, and the government policy of passive resistance set off runaway inflation that made money worthless. Middle-class savings were wiped out, and contributed to the strong desire for stability that brought the Nazi party into power.
There had never been very much popular support for the Weimar government. Germans accused the Social Democrats, reviled before the war, for the onerous postwar reparations; although the government itself was modeled after liberal institutions, the stigma of having signed the Treaty of Paris continued to count against it. This was reinforced by the propaganda of the German military, which continued to suggest that the German military defeat was caused by treason at home.
The constitution of the Weimar Repu…

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