WEAKNESSES: disaffection by many citizens,regime that symbol of the German defeat and humiliation(myth of stab-in-the-back).
-Lack of democratic culture.
-Only the parties of the “Weimar coalition” (the SPD, the Center Catholic Party, the small German Democratic Party) and the German’s People Party supported the parliamentary democracy. “Republic without republicans”.
-Strong extreme right-wing and left-wing organizations, within and outside the Reichstag, opposed the democratic rules.
-High level of political violence. Left-wing and right-wing organizations had paramilitary squads that engaged constantly street battles, latent civil war.
-The main left-wing attack to the new born democracy was the Spartacist revolt(January 1919). Led by the Spartacist League (predecessor of the Communist Party). During a general strike the Spartacists seized key government buildings. The Weimar government found the revolt difficult to handle and had to call in the Freikorps. The Freikorps put down the rebellion, killing many protesters and the main Spartacist leaders. Consequently, socialdemocrat President Ebert was viewed as an enemy by the communists.
-Main right-wing attack to the new born democracy before the rise of Hitler was the Kapp putsch (March 1920). It attempted to establish a right wing military dictatorship. 5,000 Freikorps marched on Berlin. Ebert ordered the German Army to stop the rebellion but the Army was reluctant, refusing to do anything. So, the Freikorps managed to take over Berlin and declare a new government headed up by Wolfgang Kapp who then invited the Kaiser to return from the Netherlands to retake his post as Emperor. Only after a general strike the Army accepted to crush the putsch.-The development of the Kapp putsch showed that broad sectors of the army had no sympathy for the republic. Neither other sectors of the state apparatus (judges and civil servants) had it, nor the leading landowners and industrialists. The old elite was deeply anti-democratic, aiming to restore the pre-1914 autocratic order
-Political fragmentation. The proportional electoral system made the Reichstag composed of a large number of parties. It led to chronic instability (21 different coalition governments in 1919-1933). The fragile coalitions depended on the agreement of the democratic and constitutionalist parties (SPD, Catholic Center Party and German People’s Party).-This problem was exacerbated since the late 1920’s, due to the growth of the radically anti-system parties. The Communist Party obtained 10,62% in 1928, 13,3% in 1930 and 16,86% in November 1932.-The last truly democratic government of the WR, that had the support of the Reichstag composed by the 3 constitutionalist parties and led by Hermann Müller, fell in March 1930. Since then, President Hindenburg (1925-1934) ruled using extensively the art. 48.