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starter activity

Ebert was the Weimar Republic’s first President. He was in power from 1919-23. He was a tailor’s son and trained originally to be a saddler. With this lack of political expertise he was a very worried man. What was on his mind in the summer of 1919? Use the pictures to help you.

what was the weimar constitution

What was the Weimar constitution?

 Aims

Understand the key elements of Weimar constitution

Evaluate its strengths & weaknesses

Assess the challenge to the government from the right

your task
 Your task
  • Create a table similar to the one below and list the advantages and disadvantages with this constitution. Your table should be about ½ side of A4
advantages
Advantages
  • All Germans had equal rights, including the right to vote
  • Proportional representation made sure parties had the same percentage of seats in parliament as they did in the election
  • Provided a strong leader to keep control over the country in an emergency
  • Each state had its own assembly to represent local interests
disadvantages
Disadvantages
  • It was too radical an experiment given the volatile nature of German society after the war
  • PR encouraged lots of small parties so no one party ever had enough seats to form a majority government
  • The president could use Article 48 to become a dictator
  • Local states could resist the authority of central government
kapp putsch march 1920
Kapp Putsch, March 1920
  • Take notes on the following:
  • Causes
  • Aims
  • Outcome

Wolfgang Kapp (1868-1922). Journalist & founder of Fatherland Party. Elected to Reichstag as monarchist in 1919. Following failure of Kapp Putsch, fled to Sweden in 1922 where he died awaiting trial

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Causes: resentment of Tr of Versailles, esp. limits on size of army & Freikorps; Weimar Constitution – gave prominence to extremist parties
  • Aims: replace Weimar govt. with new national government headed by Kapp
  • Outcome: workers rallied to Weimar govt and declared a general strike
extension task
 Extension task
  • How similar / different was the Spartacist Uprising (1919) to the Kapp Putsch (1920)?

Army & Freikorps defending Berlin

Spartacists defending govt. newspaper offices

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SIMILARITIES

Led by charismatic, political extremists

Disliked govt & aimed to overthrow it

Centred on Berlin

DIFFERENCES

Spartacists were anti-War, Kapp Putsch supported the army

Kapp was a monarchist, Spartacists wanted a Communist revolution

Kapp enjoyed support of Freikorps