Following a successful career in the German Military Brüning entered politics and quickly rose through the ranks of the centre party, ZP. Shortly after being chosen as the leader of the ZP, in 1929, Brüning was appointed chancellor of the Weimar Republic by president Hindenburg.
As chancellor, Heinrich
Brüning sought to balance the budget in hopes of curbing the growing economic crisis and prevent the risk of reviving inflation. In July of 1930 Brüning's proposed budget was rejected in the Reichstag 256 to 193. After an unsuccessful attempt to rule by emergency decree, Brüning asked President Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag and call for an election for September 1930 (1).
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Heinrich Brüning
Heinrich Brüning
ains made by the leftist and rightist extremes made it incredibly difficult for the current system of government. Thus, making Brüning's position even more difficult. In fear of an extremist takeover the SPD sided with Brüning and his cabinet, letting Brüning govern by emergency decree (2). Under Article 48 Brüning pursued his economic and foreign policy goals, raising taxes and cutting government spending in the process (3).
President Hindenburg was re-elected in 1932. However, shortly into his term Hindenburg refused to sign any more emergency decrees and forced Brüning to resign from his post as chancellor (4).
Initially many citizens saw Brüning's continued use of Article 48 as an understandable reaction to the failure of party government. However after the publication of the Memoirs, 1918-1934, in 1970, it was revealed that Brüning "was an ultra-conservative monarchist...who aimed to weaken the Reichstag" (5) and return the government to authoritarian rule.
Thus, showing "Brüning's appointment marked a decisive move away from parliamentary democracy" (6).

1885- Born into a Catholic trading family
1904-11- Awarded a doctorate in economics from the university of Munich
1915-18- Volunteer soldier in WWI and gained a commission in the Machine Gun Corps
1918- Won the Iron Cross First Class
1920- After WWI he became involved in politics and joined the ZP
1924-33- Elected into Reichstag and soon rose to the top ranks of the ZP
1929- Chosen to lead the ZP
1930 March- Appointed chancellor by Hindenburg
July- Rejected by the Reichstag to pass the budget with a presidential decree, which resulted in Reichstag elections in September 1930
1931- Hoover Moratorium on reparations
1932- Proposal of land reforms of Prussian estates, however denied by Hindenburg
1934- Fled to Holland and then immigrated to the U.S
1947- Returned to Germany
1970- Died

(1) "Brüning, Heinrich." ////Encyclopedia Britannica////. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2009.


(2) Layton, Geoff. Weimar and the Rise of Nazi Germany.


3rd Edition, London. Hodder, 2005.

(3) ibid.

(4) "Brüning, Heinrich."

(5) Layton, Geoff.

(6) ibid.