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Essay Plan To What Extent Was The Effective Government Of Germany In The Years 1919–33 Handicapped By The Nature Of The Weimar Constitution Notes

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Essay plan - To what extent was the effective government of Germany in the years 1919-33 handicapped by the nature of the Weimar Constitution?

• Effective GVT mostly taken to mean stability, which is the main function of GVT + the main criterion against which the GVT's effectiveness will be judged, and the extent to which the nature of the Weimar constitution handicapped this, evaluated. Political stability + economic stability feature.

• Answer to Q must constantly focus on constitution in relation to "effective government" not just pros + cons of constitution. Handicapped by proportional representation:

• PR system v.democratic, Germany divided into 35 equal electoral districts w/1 Reichstag deputy per 60,000 votes, proportional link between votes + seats

• Unstable GVT:

• Difficulty of gaining an outright majority led to coalition GVTs, which were very unstable w/longest GVT (not dependent on Presidential power) lasting just 21 months under Muller, collapsing when stable GVT most needed after WSC.

• EG 1919-33 had total of 21 different GVTs + 13 Chancellors w/AVG GVT lasting 8 months + only 8/21 coalitions had majority Reichstag backing.

• Almost impossible to govern effectively w/complete lack of continuity + GVTs struggling to survive even 1 year in office.

• EG Hans Luther GVT collapsed after 5 months due to trivial dispute over appearance of German flag.

• Allowed rise of fringe extremists:

• PR may have been democratic, but allowed rise of small, extremist fringe parties not really possible in other systems, like FPTP in GB.

• EG 1928, Bauernbund (farmers' interests) gained 23 seats, KPD gained more than 10% of vote + 54 seats + KPD, USPD + Nazis gained 13.3% together.

• This contributed to rise of parties as sectional interest groups, not broad responsible parties of GVT.

• BUT, how much did this really impact on the effective GVT on the country, when coalitions successfully managed to exclude extremist parties for majority of period in question?

• Economic problems:

• Coalition GVT meant difficult, LT decisions could not be made, often leading to economic problems.

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