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Weimar and the Rise of the Nazi Party - Essay Example

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Summary
Adolf Hitler’s ascendancy to German political leadership occurred at a time when the country was undergoing serious economic and political crisis under Weimar system of government. Several weaknesses undermined Weimar government…
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Weimar and the Rise of the Nazi Party
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Weimar and the Rise of the Nazi Party

Download file to see previous pages... Although political revolution changed following the abolishment of monarchy, Nicholls (2000:62) notes that administrative structures of the previous authoritarian government remained unchanged. According to Nicholls (2000:65), Weimar republic government retained a large proportion of civil servants and judicial personnel from the previous administration. Retention of these civil servants hindered implementation of the new government’s policies. The country’s judicial system was conservative and nationalistic, which resulted to biasness in passing judgments to the various antagonizing parties in the country (Davidson, 1978:42). For instance, the courts heavily punished left wing rivals, while right wing enemies such as Hitler were handed light sentences (Nicholls, 2000: 72). In the education sector, officials with strong dislike to democratic reforms were allowed to retain their duties, where they “indoctrinated students with dictatorial and nationalist ideologies” (Kershaw, 1998: 19). Lack of cooperative administrative institutions encouraged the country’s industrialists to develop significant influence and power, which eventually toppled the Weimar republic. The military in the Weimar republic was highly autonomous and since it was one of the major institutions responsible for protecting the country against aggression, the government was compelled to make policies favourable to the force, creating further instability (Davidson, 1978:57). The autonomy in the military resulted in formation of private armies, such as Freikorps which undermined sustenance of stable and peaceful political environment. According to Davidson (1978), citizens inclined to democratic governance were violently suppressed by private security agencies. The apparent failure of the Weimar republic to discipline and take control of these security agencies exposed the public to threats and intimidation, which eventually undermined sustainable development of democratic government in Germany. Moreover, formation of many political parties necessitated formation of coalition government which made it more difficult to manage and run a successful government (Kershaw 1998:94) Several key events took place from 1918 to 1924. In October 1918, the military government handed power to civilians. In the following year, internal revolutions, violent uprisings and mutinies took place in Germany, creating political crisis. However, a constituent assembly was formed in January 1919 and new constitution promulgated seven months later. In June 1919, the treaty of Versailles was signed, a developed that severely undermined the incumbent government. In the beginning of 1921, German economy experienced high inflation, which developed into hyperinflation in 1923. According to Kershaw (1998:59)) the German currency totally collapsed where 4.2 trillion dollar marks exchanged for one US $ in November 1923. In November 1923, Adolf Hitler’s attempt to take control of Weimar government and conservative Bavarian state failed, but the Beer Hall Pursch exposed the then obscure politician to publicity (Nicholls, 2000: 69) In 1924, Stresemann became the leader of Weimar government and a period of rapid economic development and political stability that lasted for about six years followed. In 1924 for instance, German currency was reissued and Dawes plan that encouraged huge foreign investment from the United States to German economy and rescheduling of reparation payments was implemented. The collapse of the United States stock market in 1929 triggered a global economic depression and Germany was severely affected (Davidson, 1978:44). This event marked a turning point for the National Socialist Party ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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