Death of Weimar democracy - Coggle Diagram
Death of Weimar democracy
The Herman Muller government (1928-1930)
The Herman Muller government was the last one to have a majority in the Reichstag with the "Grand Coalition"
However his government was not able to cope with the onset of the depression
Credit from America dried up
Export markets rapidly shrunk and industrial production rapidly shrunk
Unemployment in 1929 had been at 2 million just before the crash, however by 1931 this had more than doubled to 4.5 million
However the diversity of the coalition made it extremely difficult to find a solution to the crisis, as the number of unemployed soared the government could no longer afford to pay unemployment benefits.
This led to the entire cabinet resigning in March 1930
The Heinrich Bruning Government
Heinrich Bruning came from the center party and was appointed as the Chancellor by the president without a Reichstag majority.
He attempted to follow a policy of deflation in order to cut the government deficit and ride out the crisis
However in order to do this he would need to pass his finance reform act to cut salaries and spending, when the Reichstag refused to do so he got the president to use his article 48 powers, the first time they had ever been used for such a bill
After he got his finance reform bill passed the SPD tried to get him to withdraw it, in response he called new elections in July 1930
The elections were a total disaster for the moderate center, with the extremists making progress on each side of the political spectrum
The Nazis got 18.25% of the vote while the communists increased by 2.5
Much of the support for the Nazis had come from the moderate middle class parties such as the DVP, BVP and DDP
DNVP support crumbled due to the hardline positions of its new leader Alfred Hugenberg
After the disaster of the 1930 elections Bruning was re-appointed as chancellor but any hope of a parliamentary government was dashed.
Between 1930 and 1932 the Reichstag passed on 29 minor bills while the president had to ratify 109 emergency decrees.
Bruning continued on with his austerity policies, raising taxes and cutting spending, earning him the nickname of the "hunger chancellor" and made him the most unpopular chancellor in living memory.
He did have some success however, getting a total end to reparations in 1932 as well as passing a ban on the SA in the same year in order to curb street violence.
The SA was banned after it was discovered that it was planning a coup if Hitler was elected president during the 1932 elections.
On many other areas he failed.
Hindenburg did not want to fight the upcoming general election in March 1932 and wanted Bruning to pass a constitutional amendment in the Reichstag in order to give him indefinite power, which he failed to do.
Moreover he also had plans to break up the bankrupt east prussian junker estates ( which were extremely unproductive and had received massive government loans)
However Hindenburg hated the idea and thought that it was agrarian bolshevism.
As a lost ditch through of the dice to prevent a total collapse of the german state he attempted a scheme to restore the Honelzollen monarchy which he was able to gain the support of the entire Reichstag, with the exception of the communists, Nationalists and Nazis.
many on the left and in the trade unions saw this as their last chance to save the german state, however Hindenburg had wanted Kaiser Wilhelm to come to power, which Brunning refused and was thrown out of Hindenburg's office
With Pressure from his cammillo such as General Schleicher and his son Oskar Hindenburg forced Brunning to resign in May 1932.
The Papen government
Papens appointment in 1932 was in effect an Acknowledgement of the breakdown of Weimar democracy
He was not a member of the Reichstag, nor any of his Cabinet ministers, who were drawn up from industrial and agrarian elites.
Papen attempted to gain the support of the Nazis and DNVP, to this extent he lifted the ban on the SA and curbed the communists, as well as agreeing to call new elections in July
The lifting on the ban of the SA on june the 15th unleashed a tide of street violence across germany, particularly in prussia.
In response Papen banned all political parades as well as seized control of the state government off prussia, appointing himself as Reich commissioner
his excuse for this was to deal with the political violence across the country, and he faced no major backlash from any of the left wing or centrist forces in the prussia, with the trade unionists refusing to go on strike
This sent a message to Hitler that if he were able to seize power then there would be little opposition from the unions.
Between the 1st and 20nd of June alone their were a recorded 461 pitched battles between the communists and the Nazis.
This was partly done to also prevent an immediate dismissal of Papen by the Reichstag
Similarly to the July elections under Brunning in 1930 the attempted to increase the support for moderate middle class parties backfired
The Nazis were able to win 230 seats with 37% of the vote, the largest party in Weimar history.
The communists also made gains, winning 89 seats.
While the middle class zentrum party was able to maintain its vote share the other two middle class parties (The DDP and DVP) became even more irrelevant, winning less than 3% of the vote combined, as their main supporters had voted Nazi.
The election left a combined majority for the Nazis and the communists, which meant that forming a coalition would be impossible, and the reichstag became even more fragmented.
The new Reichstag allowed for the Nazis to reach out to the center party to make Herman Goering the Speaker of the Reichstag.
The appointment of Goering as the speaker would prove critical, as when Papen attempted to dismiss the the Reichstag with an presidential decree, Goering pretended not to hear Papen and allowed for a vote of no confidence in the government which passed with 512 votes.
This forced yet another dissolution of the government and further elections had to be scheduled for November 1932
However at these elections the Nazis seemed to be past their peak
3 more items...
The Schleicher Government
Schleicher became the Chancellor of the republic on the 2nd of weimar, however at this point the state would crumbling, in no little part due to his own intrigues
Schleicher had a plan to break of around 80 members of the Nazi party, with strasser at its head then form and alliance with the SPD and middle class parties and nationalist in order to form a majority.
However Hitler expelled Strasser from the party and recalled all of his supported to Berlin were they gave a oath of loyalty to him personally
Moreover he also failed to win over the left wing of the reichstag, the unions already disliked him and his job creation schemes and the end of the austerity policies were not enough to garner support
He even managed to alienate Hindenburg and the Junkers, as he revived the old proposals to break up the prussian estates, which led to Hindenburg refusing his requests to rule by decree
moreover the financial difficulties of the nazis ended after Rhineland industry agreed to take on the debts of the Nazi party, as they were so outraged by Schleicher's appeal to the social democrats
During the brief Schleicher government Hitler and Papen were working together in order to bring him down.
Hitler and Papen meant with Hindenburgs son, Oskar, and convinced him to support the Nazis, likely through bribery as after Hitler became chancellor he was promoted in the army and received large amounts of land in the east
Papen continued to work on Hindenburg, in trying to convince him to appoint Hitler as Chancellor and Papen as Vice Chancellor.
On the 23rd of January 1933 Schleicher went to the President and admitted that he was not able to form a Reichstag majority and requested that the Reichstag be dismissed and that he rule by presidential decree.
By now Schleicher new that he was finished and on the 28th he gave his resignation to Hindenburg
With Papen, Hugenberg and the Nazis agreeing to all work together to form a new government Hitler was appointed as the Chancellor on the 30th of January 1933.
Hitler and the Nazis during the end of the republic
During the entirety of this period the nazis were working to expand their business contacts and try and get Hitler as chancellor
After the July 1932 election they had attempted to make Hitler Chancellor, however Hindenburg did not approve of Hitler during their meeting and did not even let him sit down.
They tried again after the November 1932 election, in this meeting Hindenburg was lost frosty, however he still required hitler to work with other parties in the reichstag which he refused to do so Hindenburg appointed Schleicher instead.
he had met with Brunning and Hindenburg in 1930 and 1931 respectively. however he made a poor impression on them during both meetings, partly as his niece had recently died.
There contacts with industiralists were also extensie with some of the big firms such as K