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Word count: Date: 28/10/2011

Li Chun Ho (Alvin) IB History HL

Essay Question: For what reasons and with what results did Weimar Germany fail? Weimar Germany was victim to the Nazi Party who exploited Weimars constitutional flaws that compromised democracy and a fair election process which was further worsened by factors of situational disposition as a result of World War One. Situational factors by many played a significant role in the collapse of the first attempt of democracy in Germany. The fact Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles acknowledging guilt over beginning World War One, which in effect entitled her as the key compensator was received with great uproar from returning soldiers and the German public. In this respect, because the Weimar Republic was blamed, the government became unpopular and target for retaliation in reference to the November Criminals. Hitler, at this time was recovering as an injured soldier, who argued by many, experienced a turning point in his political thought upon the establishment of a new government signing away Germanys assets and freedom. This decision created the fall of Germanys economic market that was mainly kept afloat by US loans, the Dawes and Young Plan. It was with these plans that did the German economy was prevent from being stagnant. However, although these policies did improve the German industry significantly by reaching pre World War One production levels, financial aid from America clouded ineffective economic policies contributed by delays in reaching a census because of a multi-party coalition differences. Therefore, when Wall Street crashed in 1929, German markets failed accordingly, an event used by the Nazis to promise that a state similar to that would not happen in their regime. This was also enforced by physical appearances, marching in uniform around German streets when everything was in total disorder. The legal loopholes and problems of technicality in the Weimar Constitution mostly enabled the Nazi Party in attaining government power legally. Established in August 1919, the constitution aimed to create a government that promotes freedom of political choice, religion and equality that was promised under a Bill of Rights. Political choice was defined with having a coalition government, a group of different political parties who are led by the party with the most votes. Not only did this considerably delay a resolution in being reached as 51% of votes must be secured before Reichstag approves, this encouraged the establishment of up to 40 parties, some of whom were radical extremists, among the Nazis Working party. The militarys opinion and political views also affected Hitlers rise to power. Many were still strongly right-wing proposers who were intolerant of Weimar. This proved to be a tactical advantage. Although the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, demonstrations waged by the Nazis working party in the later were not put down by the army, however have done so in the past with Communist uprisings. The constitutional factors that enabled Hitlers rise to power onwards were Article 48, which vested the President with authority to rule by decree during an emergency. This was used by Hitler when it was suggested that a fire in the Reichstag parliament was set by the Nazis, with the event successfully causing a state of emergency being declared. Afterwards, in January 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor upon failures of other leaders under Von Hindenburg to bring stability. This was partially influenced by Von Papens urging to appoint Hitler as he had believed the Nazi leader was controllable under the environment of a coalition government, which proved to be wrong. Under the Nazi regime, tensions began to flare with international countries when Hitler first violated the Treaty of Versailles by a series of steps including the crossing of the demilitarized zone of 1

Word count: Date: 28/10/2011

Li Chun Ho (Alvin) IB History HL

Essay Question: For what reasons and with what results did Weimar Germany fail? Rhineland, the conscription of an army, the buildup of the military including weapons and vehicles. These steps had readied Germany for war, a preparation that was unlikely to have occurred did Weimar Germany was in place. Upon this, it can be said the rise of Hitler contributed to the waging of the Second World War. During that period, the regime has also been responsible of the Holocaust, the systematic killings of Jewish people.