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11 August 1919

Accade Oggi

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.

The 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.

The 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.

However, 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.


Sources:

BBC, Bitesize, Weimar Germany, https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z8vt9qt/revision/3

Deutscher Bundestag, The Weimar Republic (1918-1933), https://www.bundestag.de/en/parliament/history/parliamentarism/weimar/weimar-200326

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Third Reich, https://www.britannica.com/place/Third-Reich#ref1256085

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Weimar Republic, https://www.britannica.com/place/Weimar-Republic

Treccani, Weimar, Repubblica di, http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/repubblica-di-weimar


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  • L'Autore

    Chiara Vona

    Si è laureata in Relazioni Internazionali, con una tesi sulle trasmissioni radiofoniche americane verso i Paesi del blocco orientale durante la Guerra fredda e, attualmente, lavora nell'ambito della comunicazione.
    In Mondo Internazionale è Segretario di Mondo Internazionale Academy e redattrice per "AccadeOggi" ed "EuropEasy".

    She graduated in International Relations with a dissertation about American International broadcasting towards the communist bloc during the Cold War and, currently, she works in communications.
    Within Mondo Internazionale, she is Secretary of the Mondo Internazionale Academy and she writes for "It Happens Today" and "EuropEasy".



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