This Day in the Law
November 9

Germany Declared a Republic (1918)

On November 9, 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany abdicated during the German Revolution and Germany created its first republic called the Weimar Republic.

The Weimar Republic was born in the aftermath of military defeat from WWI. The German people created a National Assembly that drafted a new constitution in 1919 and new parties political parties formed including the SPD, the socialist party, the DDP, the democratic party, and many minority parties.

The new German constitution created 19 German states and established a parliamentary system, a legislative body called the Reichstag, a strong president, a chancellor, cabinet ministers, and other official positions.

From the early 1920s to the mid 1930s, the outlying party of the NSDAP, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (German: National-Sozialistishe Deutche Arbeiterpartei), grew in prominence and stature under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. The NSDAP denounced the Weimar Republic, joined with other right-wing parties, and used propaganda to rouse the German people to support its causes.

By 1928, the NSDAP, otherwise known as the Nazis, still only had around 2.5% of the vote. But things changed dramatically once the Great Depression hit in Germany in 1929 and the early 1930s. Hitler employed more far reaching propaganda and created a very successful nationalistic campaign. By 1933, Hitler had taken over nearly all power and the Weimar Republic collapsed. Hitler then prepared to engage in war with the surrounding countries that would eventually lead to WWII.