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Thread: MODERN HISTORY ESSAY HELP Weimar Germany

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    MODERN HISTORY ESSAY HELP Weimar Germany

    Weimar Germany

    I have an essay due on the topic "To what extent did weaknesses in the Weimar Republic account for the growth and rise of the Nazi Party in 1933?" does anyone have any notes or points on this?

    THANKS :)

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    Disillusioned BandSixFix's Avatar
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    Re: MODERN HISTORY ESSAY HELP Weimar Germany

    What weaknesses did the Weimar Republic have?
    - Faults in the democratic system -> Germany was never used to this sort of system yet they were forced upon it -> inability to sustain democratic traditions led to the rising use of "Article 48" that undermined the constitution by ruling by decree -> this very system was used up until Hitler's appointment made by back-room deals by conservative elites.

    - Could maybe talk about weaknesses attributed as a result of "Proportional representation" -> this lead to increased political instability as it allowed multiple parties to hold seats -> polarized the voting system allowing extreme left-wing and right-wing parties to be considered in times of economic, social, and political distress.
    - Could also talk about the Wiemar Republics inability to control the army and thus letting it operate as "a state within a state" -> could also talk about the Kapp Putsch and then link the Ebert-Groner Pact into it -> this all led to Hitler being able to influence the army into adopting Nazi ideals -> Freikorps etc.
    - The Wiemar Republic did not appeal to all class structures as well as Hitler did -> Propaganda was used by Hitler to appeal to all classes and ages of the German people that turned to him when the Republic was experiencing times of distress.

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    Re: MODERN HISTORY ESSAY HELP Weimar Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by BandSixFix View Post
    "Proportional representation" -> this lead to increased political instability as it allowed multiple parties to hold seats -> polarized the voting system allowing extreme left-wing and right-wing parties to be considered in times of economic, social, and political distress
    You have to be very careful with the proportional representation argument.

    I wouldn't say that the proportional representation led directly to the political instability. Proportional representation is of course successful in Germany today. What it did do was, in a sense, fail to dampen the electoral position of the extreme right and left parties. The Australian and British first-past-the-post system results in larger parties dominating the political environment and allows them to gain majorities of seats without the majority of voters on side, thus dampening the effects of a fractured political environment. The German system did not have this "buffer" that reduced the impact of small parties making the system more susceptible.

    To surmise I would say that the proportional system failed to take a leash and reduce the fractured political environment, therefore in a sense contributing in a secondary fashion to the Weimar Republic's instability.
    Last edited by MBTMaster; 8 Feb 2016 at 9:28 PM.

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    Disillusioned BandSixFix's Avatar
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    Re: MODERN HISTORY ESSAY HELP Weimar Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by MBTMaster View Post
    You have to be very careful with the proportional representation argument.

    I wouldn't say that the proportional representation led directly to the political instability. Proportional representation is of course successful in Germany today. What it did do was, in a sense, fail to dampen the electoral position of the extreme right and left parties. The Australian and British first-past-the-post system results in larger parties dominating the political environment and allows them to gain majorities of seats without the majority of voters on side, thus dampening the effects of a fractured political environment. The German system did not have this "buffer" that reduced the impact of small parties making the system more susceptible.

    To surmise I would say that the proportional system failed to take a leash and reduce the fractured political environment, therefore in a sense contributing in a secondary fashion to the Weimar Republic's instability.
    Well yeah - it did not lead directly to political instability but merely opened up circumstances in which politcal weakness could grow.
    MBTMaster likes this.

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    Re: MODERN HISTORY ESSAY HELP Weimar Germany

    I would definitely mention proportional representation but it cant really stand alone.

    Another semi-myth is the whole 'Germans hated democracy,' trope. The Reichstag existed before WWI and has links all the way back to the Frankfurt parliament of 1848. The fact of the matter is that Germans (at least German men) were used to, if not democracy, regular elections and voting. It in no sense took Germans off guard and there isn't much reason to suspect they instinctively recoiled after its expansion following Versailles. It is true that at some points the public became disillusioned with the system and longed for a 'Kaiser-esque' figure.

    But perspectives that conclude that Germany wasn't used to democracy and instinctively distrusted and disliked it aren't based in the facts.

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    New Member chiddyfield's Avatar
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    Re: MODERN HISTORY ESSAY HELP Weimar Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by MBTMaster View Post
    I would definitely mention proportional representation but it cant really stand alone.

    Another semi-myth is the whole 'Germans hated democracy,' trope. The Reichstag existed before WWI and has links all the way back to the Frankfurt parliament of 1848. The fact of the matter is that Germans (at least German men) were used to, if not democracy, regular elections and voting. It in no sense took Germans off guard and there isn't much reason to suspect they instinctively recoiled after its expansion following Versailles. It is true that at some points the public became disillusioned with the system and longed for a 'Kaiser-esque' figure.

    But perspectives that conclude that Germany wasn't used to democracy and instinctively distrusted and disliked it aren't based in the facts.
    I'm actually quite interested in what you're saying, and I do to an extent believe what your saying after thinking about it. I think it was more the transition that democracy ushered in, rather than the democratic elements itself. Democracy eroded at the traditional values of Germany in the post war period as there was no longer a judicial consequence for acting in a contrary way.

    For example, in pre-WWI Germany, acts of expressionism (particularly the obscene sexuality) would have been punishable by death. In post-war Germany though, the constitutional freedoms allowed a deviation from traditional values and morals.

    Even more, considering that the conservative right seized the majority of the governmental-functional bodies after the Sparticist uprising suggests that 'they' may have been able to feed lies of this erosion and amplify it in a negative connotation.
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    Junior Member meDAawesome's Avatar
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    Re: MODERN HISTORY ESSAY HELP Weimar Germany

    Another big weakness in the Weimar Republic is the split in the left. After the Spartacist Uprising and the SPD called upon the Freikorp to put it down, this resulted in a split in the parties of the left. The KPD and SPD would never work together again because of it, allowing the Nazis to rise up unopposed, where as if the parties of the left had worked together they might have been able to stop the Nazis.
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