The main threat to the stability of Weimar Republic in the years 1919-1923

Last Updated: 21 Apr 2020
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There are many people that would agree on the statement above due to the Consul Organisation and the Kapp Putch , these were political violence of the extreme right and indeed created instability in Germany however other people would disagree and say that the extreme left (spartasis) and other factors such the economical and constitional issues which had caused the Weimar Government to be unstable. Overall this essay will argue that the other factors such as economical and consitional issues were the main threat to the stability of the Weimar Republic.

The extreme right created a new threat in a form of a political assassination also known as “consul organisation” between the years 1919-1922 resulting to 376 politicians being murdered , 22 of which left winged while the remaining 354 were right winged politicians. This organisations had targeted key republican politicians such as Matthas Erzberger who was the finance minster during the years 1919-21 , he was assassinated because he had signed the Armistice , there are other factors to consider for Erzberger such as he was a catholic and a member of the centre party.

Another key politicians that was assassinated was Walther Rathenau who was the foreign minister between 1921-22 , the foreign minister was assassinated because he was Jewish , committed to democracy and had contributed to the Rapallo Treaty1 with Russia. The fact that this organisation had assassinated key republican politicians had caused the government to become unstable , by removing talented politicians it meant that there the replacements wouldn’t be as talented and driven as the previous member , there’s also a fact that politicians would be scared to replace the people that were assassinated because they know they would be killed to.

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Another effect the consul had caused was the public criticise and lose moral the government in a sense because if the government couldn’t protect its own politicians , how would it protect its citizens, therefore consul was indeed a threat to the stability of the Weimar Republic. The Kapp Putch was another extreme right which had caused instability for the Weimar republic . Wolfgang Kapp and General Lutttwitz had assembled 12,00 troops to march Berlin with intention to over throw democracy .

The government had called the army in-order to crush the threat as agreed in the Erbert – Groners Agreement however the army refused to go against the right wingers . General Von Seeckt the defence ministry stated “troops do not fire on troops” this states that there is instability within the German government because the army which is supposed to go enforce the government’s actions had actually gone against it and enforced its own interest hence the government had to call for a general strike which paralysed the capital therefore after 4 days Kapp realised he cannot run Germany and fled the city.

Hence the Kapp Putch was a threat to the stability of the German Republic however compared if compared to the consul , it wasn’t as big threat to their stability . However the Kapp Putch was described as poorly lead and un coordinated therefore it could be argued how could a unorganised and limited demonstration cause the government to become unstable. However it could be argued that the extreme left was a bigger threat then the extreme right .

The spartacist was led by Karl Liebknecht launched an armed uprising in Berlin , aiming to overthrow the provisional government and creating a soviet union . The government feared the a communist uprising therefore was seen a major threat and the army and freikorps were sent to crush the threat . if the spartacist were not a major threat then there would be no need to send the army as well as the freikorps therefore highlighting what a major threat the spartacist were to the German Republic .

On the other hand it could be argued that demonstration was badly coordinated , poorly lead and within the party there were divisions . when the demonstration had taken place the extreme left were not able to handle the governments unified attacked therefore leading to the spartacist downfall this enforces that the extreme right were indeed the main threat to the Weimar Republic . It could be argued that the constitution was actually the main threat for the Weimar Republic .

Germany was using a PR system which resulted into coalitions because it meant that there were more parties in the Reichstag therefore in-order to receive a majority and pass legislation through they had to receive 50. 1% of the votes leading to coalitions with parties that don’t want to compromise an example of this is a coalition had broke down because they couldn’t agree about what colour a flag should be .

This enforces the fact that it was extremely hard to actually make the government agree on a certain topic therefore the constitution would be seen as the biggest threat because the public can see that the government is not actually helping them but bickering about small thing which are less important , leading to loss of faith/moral in the government which ultimately would lead to the downfall of the Weimar republic for the reason that if the public has no faith in the system then everything goes downhill , because democracy is ultimately for the people and if they rise against it , it means that the system is not working .

However it could be argued that the PR system had given all German people a voice which is the ultimate aim in a democracy on the hand it could be argued by using the pr system it is a allowing extremist such as Volikish Nationalist a platform to herd from which would only lead to trouble in the future.

The economy was also threat to the Weimar Republic stability, during this period Germany was undergoing hyperinflation2 an example of this is the price of 1kg of bread , in 1913 this loaf of bread cost 0.29 , in the summer 1923 the loaf of bread cost 1,200 by November it cost 428,000,000,000 . Because was due to the terms in the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was made to pay back repartitions to Britain and France , this meant that government had to print more money in-order to pay back the reparations which were due , because they had to pay back the reparations it meant that they couldn’t fund companies and boast there trading , there was also the fact countries refused to trade with Germany leading to Germany importing more goods than exporting .

Eventually the government had stopped paying the reparations therefore Belgium and French troops occupied the Ruhr , with fuelled the inflation more because the government had called a general strike and had printed off money to in-order to compensate the workers . Because the money wasn’t backed up by gold it meant that the value of the money decreased leading to prices of goods spiralling out of control.

The fact that the government was not helping with people during this situation caused mass discontent and made the German people lose faith in the currency and the government altogether so when extremist parties said they would be able to provide them with bread and work , the people would support those parties therefore resulting into the downfall of the Weimar republic.

Overall it can be argued that the extreme right indeed was the biggest threat towards the Weimar Republic because the army had refused to go up against them however as mentioned above there were flaws within the demonstration which represent that they were no infract the biggest threat to stability the Government had faced .

The extreme left was also a threat to the stability to the Weimar republic and mentioned above was not the main threat as to the stability of the Weimar Government. Overall the economic and constitutional was the biggest threat to the Weimar republic for the reason that both of these issues had caused mass discontent which ultimately would lead to a uprising against the government .

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The main threat to the stability of Weimar Republic in the years 1919-1923. (2016, Aug 18). Retrieved from

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