GERMAN WEIMAR GOVERNMENT –
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
HTTP://WWW.BBC.CO.UK/SCHOOLS/GCSEBITESIZE/HISTOR
Y/MWH/GERMANY/WEIMARS...
• The Weimar Republic comprised all the essential
elements of a perfect democracy. But was it perfect
or was it flawed?
THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC
• After Germany lost the First World War, the Kaiser fled and a
new democratic government of Germany w...
THE PERFECT DEMOCRACY?
• These features of the Republic served to ensure that it
was the perfect democracy:
• A Bill of Ri...
THE PERFECT DEMOCRACY?
• It looked marvellous.
• However, hidden in the detail were two flaws that
eventually destroyed th...
THE PERFECT DEMOCRACY?
• Article 48 - this said that, in an emergency, the
president did not need the agreement of the
Rei...
REVISION TIP AND ANSWER
PREPARATION
• Revision tip
• Make sure that you learn the two great weaknesses
of the Weimar Repub...
WEIMAR GOVERNMENT –
STRENGTHS AND
WEAKNESSES
CHAPTER TEST
1. What is a
Republic?
• A weak form of
government.
• A country not ruled
by a king.
• A country with a
president.

2. Whe...
3. What guaranteed
the German people
freedom and
equality?
• an elected
Reichstag
• a Bill of Rights
• the vote

4. At wha...
5. In what way could
the Weimar
constitution claim to
have been better than
the British constitution?
• Women aged 20 had
...
7. What was
"proportional
representation"?
• No government had
enough members to
get its laws passed.
• A "first past the ...
CHECK YOUR ANSWERS:
1. What is a Republic?
• A weak form of government.
• A country not ruled by a king.
• A country with ...
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History - german weimar government – strengths and weaknesses (from bbc history)

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History - german weimar government – strengths and weaknesses (from bbc history)

  1. 1. GERMAN WEIMAR GOVERNMENT – STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES HTTP://WWW.BBC.CO.UK/SCHOOLS/GCSEBITESIZE/HISTOR Y/MWH/GERMANY/WEIMARSTRENGTHWEAKREV1.SHTML
  2. 2. • The Weimar Republic comprised all the essential elements of a perfect democracy. But was it perfect or was it flawed?
  3. 3. THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC • After Germany lost the First World War, the Kaiser fled and a new democratic government of Germany was declared in February 1919 at the small town of Weimar. It was too dangerous to make a declaration in Berlin where there had just been a revolt by a Communist group called the Spartacists. The Weimar Republic was a genuine attempt to create a perfect democratic country. • The Weimar Republic looked like the perfect democracy, but it had two great weaknesses - proportional representation and Article 48. *democratic: something that follows the principles of democracy which advocates majority rule and fair process, usually involving elections
  4. 4. THE PERFECT DEMOCRACY? • These features of the Republic served to ensure that it was the perfect democracy: • A Bill of Rights guaranteed every German citizen freedom of speech and religion, and equality under the law. • All men and women over the age of 20 were given the vote. This was even better than Britain where only women over 30 could vote. • There was an elected president and an elected Reichstag (parliament). • The Reichstag made the laws and appointed the government, which had to do what the Reichstag wanted.
  5. 5. THE PERFECT DEMOCRACY? • It looked marvellous. • However, hidden in the detail were two flaws that eventually destroyed the Republic: • Proportional representation - instead of voting for an MP, like we do in Britain, Weimar Germans voted for a party. Each party was then allocated seats in the Reichstag exactly reflecting (proportional' to) the number of people who had voted for it. This sounds fair, but in practice it was a disaster it resulted in dozens of tiny parties, with no party strong enough to get a majority, and, therefore, no government to get its laws passed in the Reichstag. This was a major weakness of the Republic.
  6. 6. THE PERFECT DEMOCRACY? • Article 48 - this said that, in an emergency, the president did not need the agreement of the Reichstag, but could issue decrees. The problem with this was that it did not say what an emergency was, and in the end, it turned out to be a back door that Hitler used to take power legally.
  7. 7. REVISION TIP AND ANSWER PREPARATION • Revision tip • Make sure that you learn the two great weaknesses of the Weimar Republic. • Answer preparation • As part of your revision, think about the arguments and facts you would use to explain: • What the Weimar Constitution of 1919 said. • How good the Weimar Constitution was.
  8. 8. WEIMAR GOVERNMENT – STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES CHAPTER TEST
  9. 9. 1. What is a Republic? • A weak form of government. • A country not ruled by a king. • A country with a president. 2. Where was the new republic declared? • Weimar • Berlin • Holland
  10. 10. 3. What guaranteed the German people freedom and equality? • an elected Reichstag • a Bill of Rights • the vote 4. At what age were men and women given the vote? • 18 • 20 • 21
  11. 11. 5. In what way could the Weimar constitution claim to have been better than the British constitution? • Women aged 20 had the vote. • There was an elected president. • It had a Bill of Rights. 6. Which of the following powers did the Reichstag not have? • The power to make the laws. • The power to appoint the government • The power to elect a president
  12. 12. 7. What was "proportional representation"? • No government had enough members to get its laws passed. • A "first past the post" system of electing members of the Reichstag. • Every group in society was fairly represented in the Reichstag. 8. Article 48 was ... • An emergency decree to appoint a new president. • A back door for Hitler to enter the Reichstag so he could burn it down. • The right of the president to pass laws in an emergency.
  13. 13. CHECK YOUR ANSWERS: 1. What is a Republic? • A weak form of government. • A country not ruled by a king. • A country with a president. 2. Where was the new republic declared? • Weimar • Berlin • Holland 3. What guaranteed the German people freedom and equality? • an elected Reichstag • a Bill of Rights • the vote 4. At what age were men and women given the vote? • 18 • 20 • 21 5. In what way could the Weimar constitution claim to have been better than the British constitution? • Women aged 20 had the vote. • There was an elected president. • It had a Bill of Rights. 6. Which of the following powers did the Reichstag not have? • The power to make the laws. • The power to appoint the government • The power to elect a president 7. What was "proportional representation"? • No government had enough members to get its laws passed. • A "first past the post" system of electing members of the Reichstag. • Every group in society was fairly represented in the Reichstag. 8. Article 48 was ... • An emergency decree to appoint a new president. • A back door for Hitler to enter the Reichstag so he could burn it down. • The right of the president to pass laws in an emergency.

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