The Effects Of The Great Depression Of 1929 On Democracy In Germany

679 words - 3 pages

Effects of Depression on DemocracyThe depression that hit Germany in 1929 is said to have been the most severe depression in modern world history. It devastated the lives of the German republic as well as caused the German Reichstag of 1930 to crumble. However, there were many other reasons for the demise of democracy. These include, but are not limited too, radical right wing extremists challenging democracy, structural problems within the government and hyperinflation.The most significant factor that contributed to the downfall of democracy was the economic repercussions caused by the depression. These consequences devastated the lives of the German population. Unemployment rates for ...view middle of the document...

Moreover, the continued unrest due to the depression further exacerbated a general feeling of loss in faith in the republic and support of it therefore deteriorated.The crisis served to break up the centralist coalitions headed by the Socialist Democratic Party, which was lead by Herman Muller in 1930. This served as the third most significant reason in the crippling of democracy's progress. The elaborate system of proportional representation, which meant that minority parties had a share in the government, was indeed a great weakness in times of crisis. The system literally tore apart and paralysed the government. Proportional representation led to two differentiating views within the government. The left-winged (Democratic) supporters refused to give up unemployment insurance in order to cope with the depression, whereas the right-winged (Nationalistic) supports insisted upon a balanced budget. Unfortunately, proportional representation also made it virtually impossible for a single party to hold a majority in the Reichstag and therefore coalition governments were inevitab...


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