• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12

Despite it all too obvious political and economic failings, in terms of its society and culture Weimar Germany nevertheless constituted one of the most advanced and modern countries in interwar Europe.' Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


'Despite it all too obvious political and economic failings, in terms of its society and culture Weimar Germany nevertheless constituted one of the most advanced and modern countries in interwar Europe.' Discuss. The Weimar Republic was an extremely complex and diverse place throughout the entirety of the interwar years. The society and the culture that the Weimar created had several different facets and frontiers according to how one chooses to approach it. The fundamental themes of the period evolve around Political conflict, economic instability, social unrest and diverse ideologies. In relation to this essay I shall be focusing my attention on the latter themes, as I believe that the determinants of social unrest and conflicting ideologies are paramount when investigating the social and cultural development of the Weimar Republic. There is little doubt that pre-war and post-war German societies were very different. Prior to the Great War, under an autocratic regime, the innovative intellectuals within society felt that the institution oppressed their views and creative instinct. In contrast, post World War one Germany brought with it an extremely diverse and radical culture. It is with the benefit of hindsight that it becomes apparent that this period was an opportunity for those pioneering modernists to sow their ideology in fertile lands. Those observers who nostalgically refer to the Weimar years as the 'Golden Twenties' are clearly not referring to the socio-economic distresses of the period. ...read more.


Expressionist plays by Ernst Toller and George Kaiser to name just a couple became a national institution. Kolb declares that they were followed with an "Intensity that can scarcely be imagined today."(7) The outside world watched Germany develop into a world theatrical metropolis. It had the most influential producers, the most renowned actors and the most knowledgeable audiences. During the early Weimar years the most prestigious theatrical productions were conveyed in Germany, and Germany alone. One of the major reasons for the overwhelming support of the arts in Weimar Republic was the fact that they had always been decentralised since her unification. Due to this historical dimension, the cultural modernisation of the Weimar Republic was not confined to Berlin. Its origins spread throughout the nation, even to the smaller provinces. The experience of the Great War and the unsettled years that followed was not unique to Germany. All over Europe an entire generation of creative and receptive people had been deeply affected by the travesty. In the immediate post-war years Hungary and Russia followed a similar cultural and development path to Weimar Germany. The hopes of some of the artistic forms of the revolutionary movement seemed "almost as high-flown during the first months of the Weimar as in Russia or Soviet Hungary around the same time."(8) Further weight can be added to this claim with the above countries sharing similar cultural manifestations. ...read more.


It became ironic that the very factors that contributed to the advancement of German culture also ultimately led to the downfall of the regime. While the revolutionary attitude of the period combined with political instability created the perfect ambience and setting for cultural diversity to prosper. It only heaped further socio-economic pressures on an already fading Weimar government. Henry Pachter said in an autobiographical fragment, "It is a matter of historical injustice to say that, for all its shortcoming, the Weimar Republic was one of the freest states that ever existed, that it afforded the working classes greater opportunities for collective improvement than any other European state at the time." (14) The legacy of the republic will live on for many generations. It says much for the Weimar culture and its search for fresh horizons that from nineteen forty-five to the present day the majority of new artistic ideas and forms have deep routed origins in the nineteen twenties period. To conclude, by means of the evidence I have brought to light in my essay it would be extremely na�ve of any observer to discredit the cultural impact that the Weimar years had on European ideology. Laqueur is of the opinion that "As one of the main cradles of cultural modernism its place in history is certain." (15) There is little doubt in my mind that despite its all too obvious political and economic failings, in terms of society and culture the people of the Weimar Republic had the privilege to be apart of one of the most advanced and modern countries in Europe. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Problems of the Weimar Republic and the Path to War.

    3 star(s)

    Straight away, a ?political vacuum? appeared within the Republic. As the Social Democratic Party who were considered a moderate left wing party, had gained much respectability during the War (5) was now in power with the USPD. Their leader Fredich Ebert and members wanted to lead Germany down the pathway of parliamentary democracy.

  2. Assess the reasons why the Weimar Republic faced so many problems in the 1920s

    Chancellor Schneidermann resigned, but since the military was so weak, Chancellor Baver was forced to accept the Treaty. President Ebert made an address to the Weimar assembly in February 1919 saying "We have lost the war.

  1. Describe the stages by which the Weimar Republic emerged from the collapse of Imperial ...

    Moreover it was also indicated that under the proposed changes that Germany would become a British style parliamentary democracy, ceasing to be an autocracy, furthermore it was also suggested that the Kaiser would turn into a constitutional monarch, a figure head but abject of any real political power.

  2. How stable was the Weimar Republic 1924-29 ?

    they would get; they would work long hours and get paid hardly the right amount for the amount of hours they worked. These gave them a voice making them feel they were finaly part of the nation and were not only just ?the working class.? Advances were made in social services.

  1. Was the work of Gustav Stresemann the main reason for the Weimar governments ability ...

    But another way of exploring this interpretation would be to try and identify other elements within the Weimar government whom played their role in overcoming major challenges faced by the Republic. While Stresemann?s input was paramount, one must also acknowledge the other existing factors that helped save Weimar democracy to a certain extent.

  2. How effectively did Weimar governments deal with the problems faced between 1919-1929?

    By doing this, Stresemann stopped hyperinflation and money rose in value, it also restored confidence in the economy. However, people who had lost their savings or businesses because of hyperinflation were still unhappy with the Weimar government. The Dawes plan 1924 was Stresemann?s idea of how to get money into Germany.

  1. The Weimar Republic was doomed from the start! How far does the evidence ...

    Not only did the new republic need to govern a people who were outraged by the terms at which peace was made, but the careful political manoeuvring of generals like Ludendorff had managed to shift the blame for the Treaty of Versailles from themselves, and onto the bureaucracy which was now in charge.

  2. How far can the impact of the depression be seen as a key turning ...

    These terms clearly forced German Foreign policy to change and adopt a more peaceful regime- however this was so fragile and temporary that it cannot really be seen as a turning point. However, in addition to destroying the German economy, it also completely undermined this desire for Weltpolitik and the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work