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The Weimar Republic
Learning Objectives:
• To explain what the
Weimar Republic
was.
• To evaluate the
strengths and
weaknesses of the
Weimar Republic’s
Constitution.
25 Oct 1918 Russian Revolution
June 1918 Ebert took over as Chancellor
9 Nov 1918 Kiel Mutiny
11 Nov 1918 Ludendorff Offensive
Oct 1917 Armistice Signed
Keywords
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
Match the dates with the event
What was the
Weimar Republic?
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
Following the
abdication of Kaiser
Wilhelm at the end of
the First World War,
Germany’s biggest
political party the Social
Democrat Party (SPD)
set up a new
democratic
government which soon
became known as the
Weimar Republic.
A perfect
democracy?
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
What features would you expect to see in
the perfect democracy? Make a list.
• .............................................
• .............................................
• .............................................
• .............................................
• .............................................
The Weimar
Constitution
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
• A Bill of Rights based on social justice
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.
The Weimar
Constitution
included...
Democracy?
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
Does the W.R. sound like a
good democracy?
What did the old system look like?
Kaiser
(hereditary for life)
appoints summons
commands
Government Imperial Parliament
Bundesrat Reichstag
A debating chamber
with some control
over finance, can
only approve
laws
Made up of States’
representatives.
Supported the
Kaiser. Made
the laws’
Chancellor
Ministers
Elected by all men over 25Members chosen by
state governments
Army
The President
(elected every seven years)
The Chancellor
Chosen by the President
Member of the Reichstag
Needed support from
majority of Reichstag
The German People
Everyone over the age of twenty can vote for the Reichstag, and vote
for the President every seven years
Houses of Parliament
Reichstag (Lower
House)
Voted for by the
German public, using
proportional
representation
Reichsrat (Upper
House)
Each German state
(eg. Prussia) sent
representatives.
Makes
laws
How did the Weimar Republic work?
Controls
Armed
Forces
Article 48
In an
emergency
the
President
could make
laws without
going first to
the
Reichstag
Votes for
with help
of
Reichstag
Votes
for
Selects
Needs
support
of
Democracy?
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
Review the two system of Governance,
what are the differences?
Memory Test!
• I will give you 2 minutes
to learn the constitution
of the Weimar Republic.
• Close your books and put your pens down!
THREE
TWO
ONE
The President
(elected every seven years)
The Chancellor
Chosen by the President
Member of the Reichstag
Needed support from
majority of Reichstag
The German People
Everyone over the age of twenty can vote for the Reichstag, and vote
for the President every seven years
Houses of Parliament
Reichstag (Lower
House)
Voted for by the
German public, using
proportional
representation
Reichsrat (Upper
House)
Each German state
(eg. Prussia) sent
representatives.
Makes
laws
How did the Weimar Republic work?
Controls
Armed
Forces
Article 48
In an
emergency
the
President
could make
laws without
going first to
the
Reichstag
Votes for
with help
of
Reichstag
Votes
for
Selects
Needs
support
of
Now write it
down.
The President
(elected every seven years)
The Chancellor
Chosen by the President
Member of the Reichstag
Needed support from
majority of Reichstag
The German People
Everyone over the age of twenty can vote for the Reichstag, and vote
for the President every seven years
Houses of Parliament
Reichstag (Lower
House)
Voted for by the
German public, using
proportional
representation
Reichsrat (Upper
House)
Each German state
(eg. Prussia) sent
representatives.
Makes
laws
How did the Weimar Republic work?
Controls
Armed
Forces
Article 48
In an
emergency
the
President
could make
laws without
going first to
the
Reichstag
Votes for
with help
of
Reichstag
Votes
for
Selects
Needs
support
of
The President
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
 He would be elected directly by the people
over 20 years of age every 7 years
 He would take no part in day-to-day
government
However, the President was a powerful figure
because:
 He chose the Chancellor (usually the leader
of the largest party) & he could dismiss the
Chancellor
 He could dissolve/dismiss parliament (the
Reichstag) & call new elections
 He was Commander-in-Chief of the armed
forces & could use them to suppress revolts.
Friedrich
Ebert
The President
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
According to Article 48 he could
rule by EMERGENCY DECREE?
Article 48 of the Weimar
constitution stated that in the
event that the public order &
security are seriously disturbed or
endangered, the Reich President
may take the measures necessary
for restoration, intervening, if
necessary, with the aid of the
armed forces.
Used 136 times by Ebert!!
Friedrich
Ebert
The Chancellor
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
 He was appointed by the President
 He was usually the leader of the party
with the most seats in the Reichstag
(which had resulted from his party
having achieved the most votes in the
general election)
 He chose ministers to help him run the
country
 He could pass laws but needed the
support of the majority in the Reichstag.
Phillip
Scheidemann
The voting system
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
In the UK, they use a system called
‘first past the post’
UK is made up of 83 counties. If we
imagine that the UK only has 3.
e.g. Kent, Essex and Sussex.
There are three seats in Parliament,
one for each county.
Kent
100 voters
1 seat in
Parliament
Essex
100 voters
1 seat in
Parliament
Sussex
100 voters
1 seat in
Parliament
First Past the Post
(what is used in UK):
Kent
Nationalists:
51
Socialists 49
Essex
Nationalists:
1
Socialist 99
Sussex
Nationalists:
51
Socialists 49
Nationalists Win! Socialists Win Nationalists Win!
First Past the Post
(what is used in UK):
Nationalist Parliament
Kent
Nationalist
MP
Essex
Socialist MP
Sussex
Nationalist
MP
Proportional voting:
All counties are merged into one
and a PERCENTAGE (%) of votes
determines who gets the seats.
Kent
Nationalists:
51
Socialists 49
Essex
Nationalists:
1
Socialist 99
Sussex
Nationalists:
51
Socialists 49
Proportional Representation
ADD THEM ALL UP AND TAKE A PERCENTAGE
Proportional voting:
300 voters
197 vote Socialist
103 vote Nationalist
Socialist’s Win –
A Socialist Parliament
Parliament:
Nationalists seats  34% (1 seat)
Socialist seats  66% (2 seats)
Same number of
votes –
completely
different result!
In reality by using a percentage
you end up with lots of different
parties in the Parliament – e.g.
Parliament with a 100 seats:
Nationalists: 30%  30 seats
Socialists: 45%  45 seats
Green Party 25%  20 seats
Monster Raving Looney Party 4%  4 seats
Mr Burrough to rule the world Party1%  1 seat
Socialist are the biggest party but can’t rule with a MAJOIRTY so
must rely on winning over other parties to pass laws
The two biggest problems
were:
Proportional representation - Meant there was
no party strong enough to get a majority, and,
therefore, very difficult to get laws passed in the
Reichstag. This was a major weakness of the
Republic.
Article 48 - The president could rule without
consulting the Reichstag in an Emergency. The
problem with this was that it did not say what an
emergency was and this paved the way toward
dictatorship.
The Weimar
Constitution
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
What problems might the Weimar
Republic have?
ICIP
Ineffective Constitution Is Problem
The Weimar
Constitution
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
What problems might the Weimar
Republic have?
I= INSTABILITY
C= CHANGE
I= INACTION
P= PUBLIC OPINION
The Weimar
Constitution
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
Instability: Due to coalitions; parties could very rarely
agree, and even if they could agree and formed a
coalition, they would often fall out quickly.
Change: With coalitions constantly changing, it was hard
to come up with a consistent government policy on
anything
Inaction: Constantly changing coalitions and lack of
consistent policies meant that the government rarely
got much done!
Public Opinion: People were suspicious of all the change
and inaction. They did not trust the new government.
Bun - Point
Salad - Evidence
Meat - Explanation
Bun - Link
*History Skills
Builder* Burger/PEEL Paragraphs
Learn to write a PEEL paragraph
*History Skills Builder*LO: To
practice
writing PEEL
paragraphs
Point:
What you want to say – the answer
to your question.
Evidence:
Your reason, your proof – give an
example.
Explanation:
Explain your evidence. How does this
evidence show that your point is correct?
Link:
Summary sentence that links back to
the question
Write a PEEL paragraph
P: There were both strengths and weaknesses with the
new constitution of the Weimar Republic.
E: Outline what these strengths and weaknesses are.
E: Explain why they are strengths or weaknesses.
L: While the constitution is an improvement on the
countries previous governance, there are areas where
improvements should be made to make it a fully
democratic society.
Explain the strengths and
weaknesses of the Weimar
Republic’s Constitution
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
The Weimar
Constitution
LO: To
explain what
the Weimar
Republic
was.
Was the Weimar Republic
doomed from the start?
Explain the strengths and weaknesses of
the Weimar Republic’s Constitution
(8 marks)
What are the main strengths and why they
are strengths?
What are the major weaknesses and why
are they weaknesses?

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Weimar Constitution

  • 1. The Weimar Republic Learning Objectives: • To explain what the Weimar Republic was. • To evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the Weimar Republic’s Constitution.
  • 2. 25 Oct 1918 Russian Revolution June 1918 Ebert took over as Chancellor 9 Nov 1918 Kiel Mutiny 11 Nov 1918 Ludendorff Offensive Oct 1917 Armistice Signed Keywords LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. Match the dates with the event
  • 3. What was the Weimar Republic? LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. Following the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm at the end of the First World War, Germany’s biggest political party the Social Democrat Party (SPD) set up a new democratic government which soon became known as the Weimar Republic.
  • 4. A perfect democracy? LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. What features would you expect to see in the perfect democracy? Make a list. • ............................................. • ............................................. • ............................................. • ............................................. • .............................................
  • 5. The Weimar Constitution LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. • A Bill of Rights based on social justice 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. The Weimar Constitution included...
  • 6. Democracy? LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. Does the W.R. sound like a good democracy?
  • 7. What did the old system look like? Kaiser (hereditary for life) appoints summons commands Government Imperial Parliament Bundesrat Reichstag A debating chamber with some control over finance, can only approve laws Made up of States’ representatives. Supported the Kaiser. Made the laws’ Chancellor Ministers Elected by all men over 25Members chosen by state governments Army
  • 8. The President (elected every seven years) The Chancellor Chosen by the President Member of the Reichstag Needed support from majority of Reichstag The German People Everyone over the age of twenty can vote for the Reichstag, and vote for the President every seven years Houses of Parliament Reichstag (Lower House) Voted for by the German public, using proportional representation Reichsrat (Upper House) Each German state (eg. Prussia) sent representatives. Makes laws How did the Weimar Republic work? Controls Armed Forces Article 48 In an emergency the President could make laws without going first to the Reichstag Votes for with help of Reichstag Votes for Selects Needs support of
  • 9. Democracy? LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. Review the two system of Governance, what are the differences?
  • 10. Memory Test! • I will give you 2 minutes to learn the constitution of the Weimar Republic. • Close your books and put your pens down!
  • 11. THREE
  • 12. TWO
  • 13. ONE
  • 14. The President (elected every seven years) The Chancellor Chosen by the President Member of the Reichstag Needed support from majority of Reichstag The German People Everyone over the age of twenty can vote for the Reichstag, and vote for the President every seven years Houses of Parliament Reichstag (Lower House) Voted for by the German public, using proportional representation Reichsrat (Upper House) Each German state (eg. Prussia) sent representatives. Makes laws How did the Weimar Republic work? Controls Armed Forces Article 48 In an emergency the President could make laws without going first to the Reichstag Votes for with help of Reichstag Votes for Selects Needs support of
  • 16. The President (elected every seven years) The Chancellor Chosen by the President Member of the Reichstag Needed support from majority of Reichstag The German People Everyone over the age of twenty can vote for the Reichstag, and vote for the President every seven years Houses of Parliament Reichstag (Lower House) Voted for by the German public, using proportional representation Reichsrat (Upper House) Each German state (eg. Prussia) sent representatives. Makes laws How did the Weimar Republic work? Controls Armed Forces Article 48 In an emergency the President could make laws without going first to the Reichstag Votes for with help of Reichstag Votes for Selects Needs support of
  • 17. The President LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was.  He would be elected directly by the people over 20 years of age every 7 years  He would take no part in day-to-day government However, the President was a powerful figure because:  He chose the Chancellor (usually the leader of the largest party) & he could dismiss the Chancellor  He could dissolve/dismiss parliament (the Reichstag) & call new elections  He was Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces & could use them to suppress revolts. Friedrich Ebert
  • 18. The President LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. According to Article 48 he could rule by EMERGENCY DECREE? Article 48 of the Weimar constitution stated that in the event that the public order & security are seriously disturbed or endangered, the Reich President may take the measures necessary for restoration, intervening, if necessary, with the aid of the armed forces. Used 136 times by Ebert!! Friedrich Ebert
  • 19. The Chancellor LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was.  He was appointed by the President  He was usually the leader of the party with the most seats in the Reichstag (which had resulted from his party having achieved the most votes in the general election)  He chose ministers to help him run the country  He could pass laws but needed the support of the majority in the Reichstag. Phillip Scheidemann
  • 20. The voting system LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. In the UK, they use a system called ‘first past the post’ UK is made up of 83 counties. If we imagine that the UK only has 3. e.g. Kent, Essex and Sussex. There are three seats in Parliament, one for each county.
  • 21. Kent 100 voters 1 seat in Parliament Essex 100 voters 1 seat in Parliament Sussex 100 voters 1 seat in Parliament First Past the Post (what is used in UK):
  • 22. Kent Nationalists: 51 Socialists 49 Essex Nationalists: 1 Socialist 99 Sussex Nationalists: 51 Socialists 49 Nationalists Win! Socialists Win Nationalists Win! First Past the Post (what is used in UK):
  • 24. Proportional voting: All counties are merged into one and a PERCENTAGE (%) of votes determines who gets the seats.
  • 25. Kent Nationalists: 51 Socialists 49 Essex Nationalists: 1 Socialist 99 Sussex Nationalists: 51 Socialists 49 Proportional Representation ADD THEM ALL UP AND TAKE A PERCENTAGE
  • 26. Proportional voting: 300 voters 197 vote Socialist 103 vote Nationalist
  • 27. Socialist’s Win – A Socialist Parliament Parliament: Nationalists seats  34% (1 seat) Socialist seats  66% (2 seats)
  • 28. Same number of votes – completely different result!
  • 29. In reality by using a percentage you end up with lots of different parties in the Parliament – e.g. Parliament with a 100 seats: Nationalists: 30%  30 seats Socialists: 45%  45 seats Green Party 25%  20 seats Monster Raving Looney Party 4%  4 seats Mr Burrough to rule the world Party1%  1 seat Socialist are the biggest party but can’t rule with a MAJOIRTY so must rely on winning over other parties to pass laws
  • 30. The two biggest problems were: Proportional representation - Meant there was no party strong enough to get a majority, and, therefore, very difficult to get laws passed in the Reichstag. This was a major weakness of the Republic. Article 48 - The president could rule without consulting the Reichstag in an Emergency. The problem with this was that it did not say what an emergency was and this paved the way toward dictatorship.
  • 31. The Weimar Constitution LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. What problems might the Weimar Republic have? ICIP Ineffective Constitution Is Problem
  • 32. The Weimar Constitution LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. What problems might the Weimar Republic have? I= INSTABILITY C= CHANGE I= INACTION P= PUBLIC OPINION
  • 33. The Weimar Constitution LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. Instability: Due to coalitions; parties could very rarely agree, and even if they could agree and formed a coalition, they would often fall out quickly. Change: With coalitions constantly changing, it was hard to come up with a consistent government policy on anything Inaction: Constantly changing coalitions and lack of consistent policies meant that the government rarely got much done! Public Opinion: People were suspicious of all the change and inaction. They did not trust the new government.
  • 34. Bun - Point Salad - Evidence Meat - Explanation Bun - Link *History Skills Builder* Burger/PEEL Paragraphs
  • 35. Learn to write a PEEL paragraph *History Skills Builder*LO: To practice writing PEEL paragraphs Point: What you want to say – the answer to your question. Evidence: Your reason, your proof – give an example. Explanation: Explain your evidence. How does this evidence show that your point is correct? Link: Summary sentence that links back to the question
  • 36. Write a PEEL paragraph P: There were both strengths and weaknesses with the new constitution of the Weimar Republic. E: Outline what these strengths and weaknesses are. E: Explain why they are strengths or weaknesses. L: While the constitution is an improvement on the countries previous governance, there are areas where improvements should be made to make it a fully democratic society. Explain the strengths and weaknesses of the Weimar Republic’s Constitution LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was.
  • 37. The Weimar Constitution LO: To explain what the Weimar Republic was. Was the Weimar Republic doomed from the start? Explain the strengths and weaknesses of the Weimar Republic’s Constitution (8 marks) What are the main strengths and why they are strengths? What are the major weaknesses and why are they weaknesses?

Editor's Notes

  1. What is a constitution? - drawn up after a change from one political system to another (USA – Colonialism to Federal Republic. France – Monarchy to Republic, Wiemar Republic – Monarchy (Keiser – Weimar Republic)