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4. The New Constitution
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the drafting of the new constitution in February 1919, focusing in particular on: (i) the 1919 German federal election, which saw women voting for the first time, and which registered a turn-out of 83%; (ii) the range of parties that voters could choose from; (iii) the success of parties in support of a republican constitution, especially the SPD; (iv) the reason the National Assembly met in the city of Weimar instead of Berlin; (v) the selection of Friedrich Ebert as Reichspräsident; and (vi) the range of political powers afford to the Reichspräsident, including the controversial Article 48, which allowed the President to take "emergency measures" without the prior consent of the Reichstag.
In this course, Dr Nadine Rossol (University of Essex) explores the early years of the Weimar Republic (1918-23). In the first module, we trace events in the final years in the First World War up to the events in Kiel in late October/early November 1918. In the second and third modules, we explore the events of the German Revolution, before turning in the fourth module to the drafting of the new Weimar Constitution by the German National Assembly. In the fifth module, we think about the Treaty of Versailles, signed by representatives of the new government in June 1919, before turning to the national conservative reaction to the Weimar Republic in the period 1920-22, including the Kapp Putsch (1920) and the assassination Walther Rathenau by ultra-nationalists (1922). In the seventh module, we think about the events of 1923, including the problem of hyperinflation, the Franco-Belgian occupation of the Ruhr Valley, and Adolf Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch, before moving on in the eighth and final module to offer some concluding remarks about the period as a whole. In short: how did Weimar manage to survive this period at all?
Dr Nadine Rossol is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Essex. Her research focuses on German history, especially the social and cultural history of Weimar and Nazi Germany, and her recent publications include (as co-editor) The Oxford Handbook of the Weimar Republic (2021), Kartoffeln, Frost und Spartakus (2018) and Performing the Nation in Interwar Germany (2010).
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Cite this Lecture
Rossol, N. (2021, March 11). Germany – The Early Years of the Weimar Republic, 1918-23 - The New Constitution [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-the-early-years-of-the-weimar-republic-1918-23/the-new-constitution
Rossol, Nadine. "Germany – The Early Years of the Weimar Republic, 1918-23 – The New Constitution." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 11 Mar 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-the-early-years-of-the-weimar-republic-1918-23/the-new-constitution