The Failure of Democracy in Germany in the Period 1928 to 1934

1115 Words5 Pages
The Failure of Democracy in Germany in the Period 1928 to 1934 Those in power in Weimar Germany so consistently mishandled the political and economic situation leading up to the period 1928-1934, that a well-structured challenge from the Nazi Party brought about the fall of democracy. This Nazi Party was stronger ideologically, structurally within the party and politically, with Hitler as Fuhrer a major factor himself. In addition, factions within Germany for whom a right-wing political system was more beneficial, such as the army and big business, aided the eventual change in governance. Thus a series of events occurred which can be summarised by these three main factors: failure of the Weimar Government, strength of the Nazi Party and finally the political finesse of Hitler himself in the total abolition of democracy in Germany in 1934. The Weimar democracy was weak in three key areas, which led to the failure of this democracy. These areas can be roughly classified as political, structural and economic weaknesses. The declaration of a German democratic republic on November 9th 1918 by Philipp Scheidemann was not a result of a revolution or popular movement within Germany, and thus it was not necessarily a solution with great support from the populace. Furthermore, historian Shirer argues there was a history within Germany of authoritarian rule under a Monarchy with close ties to a strong military, and hence there was no precedent of voting or democratic freedoms in German culture. Therefore, from its establishment, democracy was weak politically in Germany. This was not assisted by the structural problems of the constitution; pro... ... middle of paper ... ...strong enough to defeat democracy and instill a dictatorship. Therefore the weakness of Weimar and the various strengths of the Nazi party resulted in the failure of democracy in Germany between 1928-1934. Weimar had been historically weak politically, structurally and faced new economic problems by 1929. The Nazis utilised a popular ideology and an effective party structure, including use of brutality, to infiltrate German society. Historians have debated Hitler’s role, but his skills in speaking and manipulating assisted the party’s success. Finally, the economic capitalist base was a determining factor, as big business and the forces of the army supported the Nazi regime. Thus it was in 1934 that democracy failed in Germany, and Hitler was able to begin to move towards his ambitions for Germany as he saw fit.
Open Document