Acccount for th failure of democracy in Germany between 1918 and 1933

Essay by chantelle280High School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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"Account for the failure of Democracy in Germany in the period 1918-1934"

The failure of democracy in Germany in the period 1918-1934 can be attributed to the many factors that contributed to the volatile political climate during this time and a German economy impacted by the harsh, impossible terms of the Versailles Treaty. These factors were disastrously compounded by the fall of Wall Street and the subsequent world depression leaving a fragile republic to flounder and fail unable to cope. Despite being hastily established in an attempt to restore a war torn and defeated nation to a semblance of order- the Weimar republic that was established was theoretically a well -organised federal estate with a democratic constitution with universal suffrage for citizens over the age of twenty years. The republic was highly proportionally representative and protected civil liberties and human rights. In essence on paper containing all the essential and necessary ingredients of a highly desirable and achievable democracy.

Yet tragically inherent flaws in the constitution particularly Article 48, which bestowed very strong powers of undemocratic rule by decree on the President, left democracy vulnerable to exploitation by political powerbrokers. Political forces that were determined and destined to undermine the democratic process plagued Germany. These included the role of various military factions, nationalism, and the political process in Germany during this time. When all these contributing factors were combined with national and international economic collapse Germany's fragile attempt to introduce democracy was doomed to failure.

The crushing defeat of Germany in World War 1 saw the collapse of the monarchy heralding a need for change in how Germany was governed and an allied desire to introduce democracy to the German people. The Weimar government was a government hastily conceived in a vein attempt to restore a semblance of order...