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5. How did the design of the West Germany constitution aim to avoid the problems faced by Weimar Germany?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about how the constitution of West Germany was designed to avoid the problems faced by Weimar Germany, focusing in particular on: (i) the perceived weaknesses of the Weimar constitution; (ii) the abolition of referendums; (iii) the creation of a presidency that was indirectly rather than directly elected, and which lacked the execute powers of the Reich President; (iv) the abolition of negative no-confidence motions; (v) the impact of these changes on political stability and culture in West Germany and (after 1990) in the reunified Germany; (v) the five percent hurdle; (vi) the ability for the Federal Constitutional Court to ban parties deemed to be anti-constitutional, e.g. the SRD in 1952, the KPD in 1956; and (vii) the extent to which the framers of the West German constitution succeeded in their aims.
In this course, Professor Matthew Stibbe (Sheffield Hallam University) explores Weimar Germany through twelve key questions: (1) Was Weimar Germany doomed to fail from the start?; (2) Why did Weimar fail in the early 1930s?; (3) How much of a problem was political extremism for the Weimar Republic?; (4) What kind of elections took place in Weimar Germany?; (5) How did the design of the West Germany constitution aim to avoid the problems faced by Weimar Germany?; (6) What was the impact of hyperinflation in Weimar Germany?; (7) How successful was the Weimar economy in the years 1924-29?; (8) What was the impact of the Wall Street Crash on the Weimar Republic?; (9) Did living standards improve in the Weimar period?; (10) What was Weimar culture?; (11) Did the lives of women improve in the Weimar period?; and (12) How did ethnic minorities fare in the Weimar period?
Matthew Stibbe is Professor of Modern European History at Sheffield Hallam University. He is a specialist in twentieth-century German and European history, and currently serves on the committee of the German History Society. His most recent publications include (as co-editor with Kevin McDermott) Eastern Europe in 1968: Responses to the Prague Spring and Warsaw Pact Invasion (2018) and (as co-editor with Ingrid Sharp) Women's International Activism During the Inter-War Period, 1919-39 (2018).
Cite this Lecture
Stibbe, M. (2021, January 29). Germany – The Weimar Republic, 1918-33 - How did the design of the West Germany constitution aim to avoid the problems faced by Weimar Germany? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-weimar-republic-1918-33-stibbe/how-did-the-design-of-the-west-germany-constitution-aim-to-avoid-the-problems-faced-by-weimar-germany
Stibbe, Matthew. "Germany – The Weimar Republic, 1918-33 – How did the design of the West Germany constitution aim to avoid the problems faced by Weimar Germany?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 29 Jan 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/the-weimar-republic-1918-33-stibbe/how-did-the-design-of-the-west-germany-constitution-aim-to-avoid-the-problems-faced-by-weimar-germany