The Weimar Republic (Weimarer Republik) was established on November 9, 1918, after the November Revolution. The November Revolution was the result of the imminent German First World War defeat and the general population's growing frustration with the monarchy. The civil conflict resulted in Emperor Wilhelm II renouncing all claims to the throne of Prussia and the German Empire in a statement of abdication. Soon after the other German monarchs resigned as dukes and princes. The revolutionary period lasted from November 1918 to August 1919 when the Weimar Constitution was created. The constitution replaced the German Empire's monarchy with the democratic parliamentary republic. On February 11, 1919, Friedrich Ebert, head of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, was elected as the first president.
On March 6, 1919, a provisional Reichswehr (German armed forces) was created. After the limitations of the Treaty of Versailles, the Reichswehr's official formation took place on January 1, 1921. The Reichswehr was divided into the Reichsheer (army) and the Reichsmarine (navy). Whenever the Treaty of Versailles tied the Reichswehr's hands it left its national defenses to the Freikorps. The Freikorps were also called the "Black Reichswehr" as they operated as a sort of "secret" army outside of the Versailles Treaty limits. The Reichswehr also maintained close contact with the Stahlhelm and Kyffhäuserbund veteran organizations.
On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. The Reichstag Fire occurred on February 27, 1933, and president Paul von Hindenburg, on the advice of Hitler, issued the Reichstag Fire Decree. An election was then scheduled on March 5, 1933, and the NSDAP obtained 17 million votes and 44% of the parliamentary seats. On March 15, 1933, the Enabling Act was introduced and passed eight days later. The Enabling Act essentially allowed Hitler to single handedly make and pass laws that could explicitly violate individual rights prescribed in the Weimar Constitution. This marked the end of the Weimar Republic and the start of the Third Reich era.