The government of the Weimar Republic failed to maintain its hold on power.  It was overthrown by Adolf Hitler when he was appointed Chancellor of Germany in January 1933. The reasons for this untimely collapse of the republic include the following: –

The weakness of the Weimar parliamentary system led to the collapse of the government. The republic had a weak constitution based on proportional or equal representation where all political parties were to have a fair representation in the parliament.  Unfortunately, there were many political parties in Germany and therefore no single group could ever win majority votes. This led to chaos in the parliament, hence undermining the republic. It also hindered progress because no single party could command overall leadership to carry out its national programmes.  All this increased internal violence which undermined the infant republic.

Right from the start the, the German masses resented the Weimar Republic due to the fact it accepted the 1919 Versailles Peace Treaty imposed on Germany by the allied powers.  This treaty had very harsh terms like the disarmament, the reparation as well the war guilt clauses among others which greatly affected Germany and hence, accepting it by the Republic was considered betrayal. This made the republic unpopular, thus leading to its collapse.

The Weimar Republic was also unpopular right from the start due to the fact that by the 1920’s, the Germans had no respect for a democratic government.  They had a long tradition in the army officials and kings as the rightful leaders of Germany because the power of such leaders especially the kings was never questioned since it was hereditary. That is why they disrespected the democratic Weimar republic and supported Adolf Hitler who was a dictator to come to power in 1933.

The Weimar Republic was associated with defeat and humiliation since it was an outcome of the devastating effects of World War I on Germany. Therefore, the German nationalists refused to support it.

The effects of the allied reparations crippled the German economy and led to economic hardships like unemployment and massive poverty which resulted into untold suffering. The opposition party groups like the Nazi took advantage of this misery to mobilize the masses so as to end the Weimar Republic since it had failed to address these problems.

The republic had weak politicians like Friedrich Ebert and later Hindenburg who failed to deal with the internal problems of Germany like violence. Uprisings organized by the opposition groups like the Communists, Free Corps and the Nazi under Hitler became the order of the day. This insecurity made the republic to lose public confidence in Germany. They also lacked the ability to solve the prevailing economic problems like unemployment, hence leaving the republic unpopular which led to its collapse. The only strong politician of the time was Gustav Stresemann, the Foreign Minister but who suddenly died in 1929.

The Economic Depression that swept across Europe between 1929 and 1935 weakened the Weimar Republic by widening the scope of its troubles. Germany suffered from the negative effects of the depression such as massive unemployment and poverty due to the industrial breakdown that the Weimar government failed to address. This strengthened the propaganda of the opposition groups, especially the Nazi under Hitler, which enabled them to attract mass support that they eventually used to do away with the republic by 1933.

The weakness of the League of Nations led to the collapse of the Weimar Republic. The League of Nations was an international organization that was set in 1920 after World War I to promote World peace and democracy among other aims. Due to its military and economic weakness however,  it failed to defend the democratic Weimar Republic against its enemies like Adolf Hitler who eventually overthrew the government by 1933.

The rise of Adolf Hitler with his Nazi Party led to the collapse of the republic. Hitler undermined the Republic by promising to do for the Germans what the Republican government had failed to do. For example, he promised to restore the German glory, political stability as well as solving the unemployment problem. Most Germans accepted this propaganda and therefore they supported him to overthrow the republic. Hitler also carried out violence and made Germany ungovernable, thus forcing the leaders of the Weimar Republic to appoint him Chancellor in January 1933. It was from this high office that he overthrew the Republic and replaced it with a dictatorial government.


By 1932, the Weimar Republic was about to collapse and therefore, President Hindenburg had no option but to appoint Adolf Hitler as the new Chancellor in January 1933. He thought that by allowing Hitler to join the government, this would reduce the opposition from the Nazi party and thus enable the republic to survive. Instead, Adolf Hitler overthrew the republic and he set up a Nazi government in 1934.



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