History

Study Notes

Strengths of the Weimar Constitution

Level:
GCSE
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR

The Weimar Republic was designed to be one of the most democratic systems in the world and this was an important strength of the Constitution.

Democracy was ensured through several different methods. Firstly, there was universal suffrage, meaning anyone aged 21 and over could vote. Secondly, when German citizens voted they did so under a system of proportional representation. If a party received at least 60,000 votes, they received one member or deputy in the Reichstag.

The entire system was designed to spread power between the different parts of the government and make sure that no one part had too much power. The system borrowed from the democratic system used in the United States which had a system of “checks and balances”.

The President chose the Chancellor based on the elections to the Reichstag. The President could also call elections to the Reichstag and he too was elected for a seven-year term. The Reichstag was powerful as it controlled money in the Weimar Republic, but the Reichsrat also voted on laws which meant that, if they did not agree, then they could slow down the passage of laws. This was an example of checks and balances.

RECOMMENDED REVISION GUIDE FOR EDEXCEL GCSE HISTORY: WEIMAR & NAZI GERMANY (1918-39)

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