The aftermath of World War I saw Germany in a bad place. First of all, it destroyed the nation's economy. Huge repreparation payments were levied on Germany as part of the Treaty of Versailles. Germany was forced to pay Great Britain and France £6.6 billion. When Germany was unable to make these payments on time, French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr Valley in Western Germany and seized many industrial assets. This led to even more economic damage, as it severely limited the industrial output of Germany. Without access to its industrial center, shortages of produced goods ensued throughout the country. At the same time, hyperinflation, which had already begun during the war, increased and led to the collapse of the German currency.
This was also a time of confusion and unrest for Germany. Throughout the war, German propaganda had told its citizens that the war was going well. Therefore, the German defeat came as a surprise to many. Many Germans felt that their government had betrayed them by signing the armistice. There were numerous assassinations of politicians who were seen by the public as traitors. Scapegoating was common, with the country's Jews often being falsely blamed for Germany's defeat. Unrest led to a lack of confidence in the new government. The rise of both right-wing nationalists and communists resulted in struggles with each other for greater influence and power.
The new Weimar government of post-war Germany was beset with problems. Although democracy increased to a large extent in the 1920s, there were serious flaws to the new government. For instance, the parliament guaranteed proportional representation to each party based on the votes they received. As a result, numerous small parties, each with their own agendas, prevented meaningful legislation from being passed.
Certain provisions also gave the chancellor and president the power to act without parliament's approval in certain "emergency" situations. However, without clear definitions as to what constituted an emergency, the power was overused and led to a loss of faith in democratic institutions. This set the stage for the rise and total takeover by the Nazi Party.