The defeat of Imperial Germany at the hands of the Allied powers in World War I led to the abdication of the emperor Wilhelm II. This gave an opportunity for to parliamentary parties to recast the German polity.
Thus a National Assembly met at the town of Weimar to form a republic with a democratic constitution and a federal structure. But this newborn republic was not well received by its own people for the following reasons:
- The Allied imposed a harsh and humiliating treaty at Versailles, which squarely placed the blame of starting World War I on Germany’s soldier. It was the Weimar Republic that signed the treaty much to the displeasure of the German populace.
- Germany lost all of its overseas colonies and a tenth of its population, along with 75% of its iron and 26 % of its coal to France, Poland, Denmark and Lithuania.
- The War Guilt Clause held Germany responsible for the war and the subsequent damage it caused in the Allied nations. They were forced to pay compensation of £6 billion in total. Due to the loss of most of its revenue-generating colonies, Germany was unable to repay the amount.
- Due to the failure to pay compensation, The Allied Armies occupied the resource-rich Rhineland for a time. The Weimar Republic reacted to this by printing paper currency in large numbers to pay off the huge debt. This led to hyperinflation and the eventual collapse of the economy.
- Coupled with the humiliation of a foreign power occupying German territory and economic collapse, the German public held the new Weimar Republic for the defeat in world war I and accepting the disgrace at Versailles.