Describe the problems faced by the Weimar Republic.
The problems faced by the Weimar Republic were present from its very inception. The Versailles Peace Treaty at the end of the First World War dispossessed Germany of its territories, its resources and its pride as a nation. In spite of the harsh terms, the Weimar Republic accepted the humiliating treaty, thereby making it unpopular amongst the German masses.
The German state was financially crippled due to overwhelming war debts which had to be paid in gold. The French occupied Germany’s chief industrial area the Ruhr to exact debts when the Weimar government refused to pay. The uninhibited printing of paper money caused the value of the German mark to fall considerably, thereby causing hyperinflation. When the Great Economic Depression occurred, the German economy was the worst hit because USA which had been bailing it out of debts discontinued its monetary support.
Democracy was a new idea in Europe, and the Weimar Republic came about to be one with huge problems during its infancy. The Weimar Republic was weak due to inherent constitutional irregularities such as proportional representation and Article 48 (which gave the President the power to impose emergency and rule by decree). The democratic parliamentary system seemed to give the people no solutions or benefits in the times of the severe economic crisis. Thus, beset with political and economic problems, the German people lost confidence in the Weimar Republic.