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4. What kind of elections took place in Weimar Germany?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about what kind of elections took place in Weimar Germany, focusing in particular on: (i) the extent to which ordinary Germans were enthusiastic participants in the democratic process during the Weimar period; (ii) the various levels of parliamentary elections (federal, state, local) and the other activities in which Germans could express their democratic will (presidential elections, referendums); (iii) the means available to political parties for getting their across to a mass audience: newspapers, public events, political posters; (iv) the directness of the presidential election, i.e. the fact that you were voting for a particular individual rather than a political party; (v) the extent to which voters’ loyalties could shift based on the wider political context – e.g. Hindenburg’s adoption by the political centre following the rise of the far-right Hitler in the late 1920s; and (vi) the frequency of referendums in Weimar Germany, and how they worked; (vii) what the results of referendums can tell us about the public mood – even if they are not successful.
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 - What kind of elections took place in Weimar Germany? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/the-weimar-republic-1918-33-stibbe/what-kind-of-elections-took-place-in-weimar-germany
Stibbe, Matthew. "Germany – The Weimar Republic, 1918-33 – What kind of elections took place in Weimar Germany?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 29 Jan 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/the-weimar-republic-1918-33-stibbe/what-kind-of-elections-took-place-in-weimar-germany