On August 11, 1919, a few months after the abdication of Emperor
William II, the Constitution of the so-called Weimar Republic
– from the name of the city where the Constituent Assembly had held
its meetings - entered into force.
Republic, at least formally, was a real and advanced representative
democracy: the Constitution had established a parliamentary
republic in which the President was elected by the
citizens and appointed the chief of the Executive, the Chancellor,
who depended in the Parliament, the Reichstag; the latter was
elected by universal suffrage with a
proportional electoral system. The elections where regularly held and
citizens enjoyed civil rights.
reasons for its downfall and the rise of Hitler to power are to be
found, above all, in the economic crisis of 1929, that hit a
country already struggling with the consequences of the First
World War and the sanctions inflicted by the Peace
Treaties of Versailles – a combination of elements that
triggered inflation and unemployment – and in the
presence of extremist forces in the Country that destabilized
it, such as the Nazi party.
the Republic’s instability was also partly caused by its own
constitutional and electoral order: the parliamentary system,
together with the proportional electoral mechanism, in that political
and social context contributed to deadlocks in the legislative organ
and to the instability of governments.
Political instability and economic depression eventually led to the rise of the Nazi party – that gradually gained increasing consent and seats in the Parliament – and, on January 30, 1933, to the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor. In the following months, Hitler secured absolute power through a law that would allow him to rule without the consent of the Reichstag, putting an end to the Republic of Weimar.
BBC, Bitesize, Weimar Germany,
The Weimar Republic (1918-1933),
Britannica, Third Reich,
Britannica, Weimar Republic,
Treccani, Weimar, Repubblica di, http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/repubblica-di-weimar