Germany during the Cold War (West Germany) Introduction The effects of the Cold War were seen through the division that existed between world superpowers. This war was an ideological struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. The war began after the end of World War Two…
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West Germany was inclined to the western allies such as America, France, and Britain. The west side of Germany was known as Federal Republic of Germany with Bonn as the capital city. West Germany managed to maintain a stable democracy and a tremendous economic expansion. The division of Germany continued for a long time with several policy changes to facilitate the dominance. However, Germany was again unified in 1989 (Arnold 377). This paper seeks to focus on West Germany during the Cold War. Western Democracy Although the Second World War ended in 1945 followed by the defeat of Germany, the allied forces controlled Germany from 1945 to 1949. This was meant to reduce the effects and influence of the Nazi party. During this time, the allied forces realized the importance of Germany becoming a democracy. Democratic institutions were established at all levels such as parish and municipal levels and then in counties and districts. Consequently, the whole of West Germany state had democratic institutions in place. The allied forces wanted the German people to play a part in the formation of their government (Hiscocks 496-503). Britain established nominated councils in parishes that had to take a decision without authorization by political parties. The political party ban was lifted at the end of 1945 in the three zones. From this period, there was a rapid development of democratic institutions. Administratively, the German part increased, and the number of military officers significantly reduced. Furthermore, in the last period of 1946, the process of administrative unification had increased and Britain and United States decided on economic integration of their two zones (Hiscocks 497). According to Hiscocks, the other important step in democratization of West Germany was indirect means employed by America, Britain, and France (497). This was fundamental and incorporated Cultural, Education, and Information Division of the Allied Control Commission. In England, for example, prisoners of war were given lecture on democratic institutions and international civics. Moreover, the theories of Nazis were exposed during these lectures. Additionally, America relied on the press and print media whereby a number of journalists were taken to American universities for training on democracy. There were also other important materials on German newspapers. France facilitated democratization by ensuring Germany was acquainted with French culture. The democratization of Germany helped it to overcome challenges that were experienced before during preparation of the Reich Constitution of 1919 and the failure of the Weimar Republic. However, the bureaucracy employed in German civil service continued to be a threat for democratic ideals in the region. The other obstacle was the extreme authority vested in political parties. Federal Parliamentary Republic From 1949, Western Germany was controlled under the basic law that was authored by a German constituent assembly. This was known as the Parliamentary Council and was authorized by occupying authority and was intended to allow participation of free will of the German people. These laws led to the establishment of a Federal Republic with a bicameral legislature and a parliamentary form of government. The majority of single member constituencies elected 60% of the lower house. The remaining 40% were chosen based on proportional representation from reserves drawn from party lists
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