When taking the evidence at hand into consideration, it seems evident that the Weimar government, wasn't actually undermined by the depression as much as they were undermining themselves.
First of all, "Evidence now suggests that Bruening (Chancellor, 1930-2) deliberately allowed the economic crisis to continue as part of his campaign to get reparations ended and to dismantle the welfare state" (Hite, Hinton 105). Evidence such as this clearly suggests that the Germans were simply using the Depression as a "scapegoat" for why reparations should be dropped.
Secondly, "Many potential German investors had lost their savings in 1923 and were unable or reluctant to lend money. Foreigners shared this lack of confidence in the German finances" (Hite, Hinton 105). Quite obviously, the Germans had brought a slump upon themselves; they had cut off the circulation of funds to themselves, as a result of the hyper-inflation and slump of the 20s. "An economy without funding, is no economy at all" (Some future president, rallying for a tax increase)
And finally, the government intervened, only giving, "too little, too late" (Hite, Hinton 105). Due to Germany's reluctance to pay the reparations, they hadn't taken sufficient measures to start up their economy and gain independence of American loans. Of course, the government expenditure on welfare"increasing from 102 million in 1929, to 106 million in 1932" ; is a clear example of the government shows signs of vitality.
Through poor planning and low trust in each other, the German people brought an economic slump upon themselves.
I believe that the Weimar Government was undermined by the world economic depression.
The entire country was in crisis with every third person being unemployed, wages decreased, and no stability. When people are unemployed with no income they don't have much to lose and therefor protests and riots start because people want a change in the actions of the government and possible even in the government itself at any price. Industrial production fell, exports fell, wages fell and unemployment rose; there was no stability in the country and people demanded a change
The Weimar Government was undermined by the world economic depression.
•Government couldn’t borrow money The investors that could have lent the government some money, had lost it in 1923, therefore were unable to do so.
•“It was the slump that killed a developing system.” “Some historians argue that the Weimar Republic was fundamentally flawed, containing major weaknesses even before the impact of the slump. Others argue that it was the slump that killed a system just beginning to establish itself.”
•“The crash meant, the Government had to make decisive decisions, however they were unable to do that.” It was hard for a coalition government to agree on action, particularly if this called for sacrifices. In March 1930 the Muller SPD-led government collapsed when it failed to agree on what cuts in unemployment relief to make.”
Looking at the evidences in the book tend to indicate the Weimar Government undermined by the world economic depression
"50,000 businesses going bankrupt between 1930 and 1932 (pg 103)". When the numbers of businesses go bankrupt, number of unemployment will increase. "1932 over 6 million people were unemployed (pg 103)" When unemployment increase in certain country, the customers lose their purchase confidence. As a result, the economy in German starts the depression. Moreover, citizens start to disrespect their own government. Due to this disrespect, the number of people who follow government will decrease. In this case, Nazi party pointed out that Weimar government is not helping economy. As a result, "Voters for Nazi party increased about 13 million (pg 107)". Finally, biggest finance supporter, America stopped the financial supply for Germany and this led to downturn of Weimar Government.
Was the Weimar Government undermined by the world economic depression?
There had been some push and pull whether the Weimar Government was solely undermined by the world economic depression. The hyperinflation crisis of 1923 had demonstrated a decline in confidence of the economy, refusal of work, and drastically increasing prices.
As for the research compiled from textbook Hite/Hinton, I've came to conclusion that the Weimar Government was mostly undermined by the world economic depression. There had been a look towards the crisis of 1923, in hope that that situation wouldn't repeat itself. "Most crucially, the government was terrified by the thought of a recurrence of the hyperinflation crisis of 1923. It believed that spending its way out of the crisis...without raising taxes could provoke another inflationary crisis." (pg 105) This had been one significant way in which the German Governments reacted to the world economic depression (a.k.a the slump). Afraid to dile down into the crisis of 1923, eventually the situation proved itself a reality. The government had found it difficult to borrow money and eventually the people began to lack confidence in German finances. The governments had become weak and divided.
Growing with the fear from the people and governments of Germany, eventually all was leading to mass unpopularity of the democratic system. "In September 1930, it led to a large increase in the number of anti-democratic deputies (especially Nazis) in the Reichstag, a trend that continued in 1932." (pg 108) People gradually started perceiving the democratic system as a feeble and failing government. In my opinion, it a great reassurance that without the support of people, there's not any other. In the Nazi vote in Reichstag elections, there was an increase of about 6.8 million people in only 2 years (1928 to 1930). The quotation on page 108 states how this increase continued through 1932: another 5.9 million people in the next two years switched to the anti-democratic side.
So far, with all the fear and unpopularity towards the government, Hitler is step by step taking the advantages and making his way towards power. "The economy did start to improve late in 1932, but this was too imperceptible to influence the voters. It was Hitler who built on this recovery and took all the credit." (pg 105-106) Posters were being put up to praise Hitler, quotations such as "Our last hope: Hitler." So now, slowly with the fail of the Weimar Government, comes Hitler's power.
According to the evidence provided the world economic depression, due to several factors, gradually weakened the Weimar Government. The Great Depression's impact on Germany was greatly seen after 1929, as can be seen from statistics; in 1929-1930 unemployment increased by 1.3 million, by 1932 18,000 farmers had gone bankrupt, 50,000 businesses went bankrupt, and by the end of 1932 over 6 million people were unemployed. (103). It certainly led to an unbearable economic situation, which soon began affecting the government. For quite a while, it didn't take any action, which made it seemed weak and powerless. "It was hard for a coalition government to agree on action, particularly if this called for sacrifices. In march 1930 the Muller SPD-led government collapsed when it failed to agree on what cuts in unemployment to make." (105) Also, there was a lack of confidence in German finances among foreign governments. In my opinion this and other factors weakened the government and disunited it on some level, which was the first step to undermining it.
However, the main effects were seen when the Reichstag elections came up. From 1928-30 the was an increase of about 6.8 million votes for the Nazi party while in 1930-32 there was an increase of about 5.9 million, the total vote standing at almost 14 million in Jan 1932, while it was less than 2 million in 1928. (Source 6.6, 107) This clearly shows that people were looking for something new, ideally a new government, in this case the Nazi party.
Because the Weimar government could not deal with the effects of the world economic crisis, thus the population found it as a weak and failing democratic system.
However, it could be argued that the government itself was more guilty for Weimar republic being undermined by the economic depression: “Evidence now suggests that Bruning (chancellor 1930-2) deliberately allowed the economic crises to continue as part of his campaign to get reparations ended and to dismantle the welfare state” (105).
The Weimar government was undermined by the world economic depression.
1. " By 1932 over 6 million were unemployed." the depression had gone so far that it cost 6 million people their jobs. These people felt hate towards the government for putting them is such a situation, making them support any other party that would like the overthrow the Weimar, hoping for change. So economical problems led to political ones.
2. "In two years 50,000 businesses were bankrupt." The government benefited from different kinds of businesses, now that they have gone bankrupt, it affects the government. As in point nr. 1 these people that have lost their bussineses and their income want another government and a different economy in which their businesses would work.
3. "War victims pension was cut by 1/3." It is particularly sad for war victims, who have fought in war for their country, only to see it collapse this way. They have fought, lost their friends, been injured-in their opinion-for nothing. When matters coulden't be worse their pension is cut 1/3.
That last one is not valid, in the book it only says that some historians say it was. If you think that it was bound to fail support it or at least say that some historians say so instead of just stating it like a fact.
The Government was undermined. Yes they made some mistakes but how many Governments are there that did not make plenty of mistakes during crisises like this? That the Weimar Government was able to handle economic difficulties and other problems and did make good decisions can be seen by looking at how many hard times the Weimar Republic survived.
The main problems were unemployment "by 1932 over 6 million people were unemployed." (page 103)
And legal problems:
"Legal restrictions on the Reichsbank (as part of the Young and Dawes plans)meant it could not greatly increase the amount of money printed nor devalue the mark." (page 105)
Of course there were also decisions by the Goverment that directly upset people, but cuts had to be made:
"between 1928 and 1933 the budget for war victims' pensions was cut by one-third, embittering thousands of people who felt betrayed by the system." (page 105)
But mainly statistics show that anti-democratic parties mainly gained from the economic difficulties. For example the NSDAP lost support in November 1932 when the economic situation had improved. Even if the Government is partly at fault the economic problems were definately cause by the depression, therefore the Weimar Government was underminded.
Was the Weimar Government undermined by the world economic depression? No.
"Although the 1923 inflationary crisis was over by 1924 and there was no inflationary problem between 1929 and 1933, the inflation of 1923 still played a role in the slump because the government (along with most Germans) was determined to avoid another inflationary crises." page 104 book
"Evidence now suggests that Brüning deliberately allowed the economic crisis to continue as part of his campaign to get reparations ended and to dismantle the welfare state." page 105 book
"Once reparations were suspended in 1931, Chancellor Brüning set up some public works schemes and his successor Papen began to allocate unused land to dispossessed peasants and workers. But these measures were a classic example of 'too little, to late". page 105 book
"The biggest withdrawal of investment actually occurred late in 1930, partly as a reaction to the success of extremist parties in the September elections." page 104 book
There may have been much proof that the government was undermined by the world economic depression, but same goes for evidence against it.