• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15

To what extent were economic conditions the predominant factor in the proliferation and manifestation of Nationalsocialist ideology in post World War I Germany?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Lukas Schmelter To what extent were economic conditions the predominant factor in the proliferation and manifestation of Nationalsocialist ideology in post-World War I Germany? Word Count: 6813 The process of Germany?s degeneration from an extensively progressive and acculturated society, infused with a fundamental Christian morality, and propelled by an impetus of modernity and advancement, to a totalitarian regime of visceral quality, characterized by ruthless authoritarianism, is of intricate nature as well as profound historical significance. As the product of a precarious combination of interrelated factors, the manifestation of National Socialist ideology in post-World War I Germany, as well as the ensuing conflict of unprecedented proportion, persists as the defining moment of the 20th Century, substantially influencing the developments of human history even beyond its own calamitous ruin. Conventional historic analyses attempting to discern the key elements that enabled the ascent of Nazism frequently identify the immense personal charisma of Adolf Hitler and his effective implementation of demagogy as the main contributory factor. Although Hitler certainly distinguished himself as a talented man of political rhetoric, his success was to a large extent the product of developments beyond his own control. It was his ability to exploit circumstances for his own benefit that was perhaps of greater significance, yet ultimately factors of a different sort constituted the driving force behind the elevation of Nazism from a fringe party to the predominant force in Germany. A theory that is often propagated in combination with the emphasis on Hitler?s personality outlines that the proliferation of extremist Nationalism was essentially inevitable in Germany, due to a peculiarity in its culture that prompted it to retain a distinct hostility toward democracy and a certain susceptibility to political manipulation and militarism. However an accurate conclusion to one of the most debated, and thus almost inexorably most controversial, questions of our time may only be attained through an examination that is inclusive of the period of German history that occurred prior to the tumultuous times of the Weimar Republic upon which so many studies narrow their focus. ...read more.

Middle

As a result they were completely immobilized when they were faced by the success of parties that employed violence and illegality as means to fulfill their political ambitions. The SPD?s inability to act as the solid foundation for democracy illegitimated the Weimar Republic from its outset, and in turn provided a legitimate point of criticism for the radical right, that tacitly utilized the blatantly dysfunctional Republic, and its primary supported the SPD, as an embodiment of the flaws of democracy, underlining their appeal for an authoritarian, nationalistic leadership. The second party of the founding political allegiance of 1919 was the catholically constituted Centre Party. Despite persisting as one of the Republics largest and most consistent parties, mainly due to the adherence of the Catholic community to this political institution, the Centre Party materialized as an unreliable supporter of Weimar. Naturally inclined toward conservatism due to its profound religious roots, the Centre Party succumbed to a perilous undercurrent of radical nationalism emanating from the papal authority in Rome, which drove a deep cleft between itself and the democracy of the Republic. The presence of socialistic and even communistic inclined sentiment in Weimar Germany worried the Pope, who feared that an ascent of the atheist adherent left would spell the demise of Catholicism in Germany. Therefore Rome increased its degree of interference in the political orientation of the Centre Party, directing it onto a radical course of nationalism, believing that only a strong, authoritarian government could mitigate the rise of a leftist revolution. Thus the Centre Party, though as aforementioned one of the largest parties, employed its political weight for an antidemocratic course, tolerating the Republic out of necessity rather than conviction, and thus actively contributing to its dysfunctional nature, its subsequent demise and the consequent rise of Nazism. In fact Richard J. Evans regards the Centre Party as a prime example of the key, underlying problem of Weimar. ...read more.

Conclusion

With the increased electoral support and crucial financial backing of business in Germany, the Nazi party excelled in its march to dominance, and attained its ambition of an authoritarian state with the help of the arbitrary economic circumstances of the time. The study of the Nazi movement has produced myriad conclusions, perspectives and explanations, and perhaps there is no one approach that succeeds in combining all the relevant aspects and associated ramifications into one coherent synthesis. Yet from the considerations outlined above, ranging from historic to political and socioeconomic factors, it appears evident that though several aspects were significant and to an extent paved the way for later developments, it was the economic circumstances of the Weimar Republic that constituted its demise and subsequently enables the rise of Nazism. Without the combined destitution of inflation and depression, the political institutions of the time may have been able to stem the extremist sentiment procured by historic consequences. Yet the Weimar Republic was impotent in this respect, as it was confronted by insurmountable economic realities, and so permitted the eclectic ideology of Nazism to be forged from various in current elements of extremism, into one conformed conception that was able to effectively translate ideas into violent action, eventually toppling the nation of Germany into oblivion. Works Used Burleigh, Michael. The Third Reich: A New History. New York: Hill and Wang, 2001. Print. Evans, Richard J. The Coming of the Third Reich. New York: Penguin, 2004. Print. Fest, Joachim C. Hitler. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974. Print. Gregor, Neil. Nazism. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Print. Kershaw, Ian. Hitler. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999. Print. Shirer, William L. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich; a History of Nazi Germany. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960. Print. Taylor, A. J. P. The Origins of the Second World War. New York: Atheneum, 1962. Print. Winkler, Heinrich August. Weimar, 1918-1933: Die Geschichte Der Ersten Deutschen Demokratie. MuÌnchen: Beck, 1993. Print. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Notes on German unification - main events

    That was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849, it is by iron and blood" - Bismarck disregarded the fact that the parliament rejected the bill; he went off and got the money anyway - The King of Prussia was very pleased with Bismarck seeing as he had solved the

  2. Notes on Italian unification - background and main events

    Although outnumbered, the Austrians defeated the Italians at the Battle of Custozza. The newly formed Italian navy was defeated at the Battle of Lissa in the Adriatic - Italy could not occupy Venetia - Following their defeat against Prussia, the Austrians preferred to hand Venetia to the French rather than

  1. The Civil War was not inevitable; it was the result of extremism and failures ...

    Hence, the North experienced higher number of European immigrants and birth rates than the South. Unfortunately, the North's population growth ruined Southern attempts to maintain a balanced federal government as it meant the future addition of more free states. Extremism about slavery came from politicians in both the Senate and

  2. the importance of the role of Bismarck in the unification of Germany in 1871

    lack of dedication from the two biggest German states; Austria and Prussia - it did lay down the ideas of a Grossdeutschland and a Kleindeutschland, and more importantly; it represented the desires for a unified Germany in pre-Bismarck times. By the time that Otto von Bismarck was appointed as Chief

  1. French Revolution: Success or Failure?

    Furthermore, the French Revolution promoted the creation of �migr�s; the counter revolutionists. It is also great examples to support that the French Revolution was not effective and main factor that produced the White Terror. The �migr�s, the political people who emigrate from their own country due to the political reason,

  2. History internal Assessment (The subsidiary role of women in Nazi society)

    On the other hand: Hitler's attempts (...) won some acceptance amongst German women, who found that, on balance, economic security and the motherhood cult more than compensated for sex discrimination24. Nevertheless, let us not forget the other part, who wanted to achieve something in the world and did not want

  1. IB History HL, Extended Notes: Russia, the Tsars, the Provisional Govenment and the Revolution.

    All land was to be confiscated by the state; it would then be redistributed to peasants by local Soviets. 1. Bolsheviks worked to take advantage of the riots and strikes in the hope of achieving a second revolution. Helped by the PG?s failure to meet expectations and decision to launch a new offensive in June.

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    - In December 1988 Arafat officially renounced terrorism and began engaging in serious discussions about peace. - Gulf War interrupted this process. The PLO's support of Saddam Hussein was a big mistake and cost them much credibility. The Madrid and Oslo Peace negotiations were completely undermined by extreme terrorist acts.

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