The Weimar Constitution
In January 1919 Hugo Preuss, whom was a left wing liberal set out tomake a constitution, which was drawn up and submitted to the nationalassembly in Weimar. Historian William Carr says, “Preuss set out tocombine democracy and parliamentary government with a high degree ofcentralisation for the left wing” which meant he was trying to givepower to the left. Following extensive debates the constitution waseventually declared on 11 August 1919. This constitution contained 181articles which was divided up into different groups called ‘ Rightsand Duties of the German people’ and also ‘Structures and Functions ofthe Reich. The German people over 20 years of age now had the power tovote for a president who would be elected for 7 years (Article 41),the president had all the power being able to appoint and dismissall-important officials, civilians military and also the chancellor.He also had total command of the army and was able to dissolve theReichstag and if there was an emergency he could issue laws by decreeand override constitutional rights of the German people this wasArticle 48 of the constitution. Historian Stephen J Lee said that theconstitution was regarded as the most advanced in its time. Alsoanother historian called A. Nicholls, says, “The Weimar Republic wasnot attributable to the democratic nature of the constitution”. Thishistorian is saying that the constitution was very democratic butGermany was not ready for this as it was new to them.
In January 1919 elections of the constituent assembly took place. TheSPD emerged as the largest single party with a 38% share of the voter…
… changed with the elites, as the army and right wing still had controlbut they were still not strong enough to stand up and overthrow thegovernment. I also think that the constitution looked good on paper asit gave the people laws and produced a federal country so it was verydemocratic. But it was steered more to the right wing as they couldabuse it, as if a right wing extremist became president he couldchoose his own chancellor and control all of the country by using theconstitution like article 48 which he would be able to stop anyonefrom intervening by getting rid of the Reichstag and using armedforces. I that the constitution was very democratic, but the peoplewere not used to having all this power and freedom so the constitutionwas there to be abused by the right wing government if they came topower.