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Hugo Preuss, German political thought and the Weimar constitution

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The reputation of Hugo Preuss has been tainted by the failure of the Weimar Republic, whose constitution he drafted. Preuss has consequently been comparatively neglected in the history of German political thought and some have seen him as trapped in the conceptual world of the German monarchical state. This article argues against that view of Preuss, and against the same view of Robert Redslob who influenced him at a crucial stage. It also argues that Preuss had good democratic reasons for advocating a directly elected president and that the later problems with the German presidency were a product of subsequent reinterpretation of the role of the president, which was contrary to Preuss's intentions

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Politics, University of Durham, 48 Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3LZ. Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2002

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