European Political Science
Lecture 11: The Rise of the Nazis
Germany in the 1920s
• Highly developed country with was a major industrial power by the late
19 century. They were highly educated.
• They had Little Democratic History, and had a monarchy until 1918, which
opposed democracy drastically. The end of World War I until World War II
would be called Weimar Germany, which was dominated by hostile
international conflict. Germany had been forced to pay the World War I
costs, which was about 300 billion (Never paid). After this the monarchy
ends and a democracy is established known as the Weimar republic.
• The constitution created gave the President enormous powers. The
President could appoint the chancellor (PM), disband parliament, and
could rule by degree if parliament did not have majority. They were a Full
Proportional System meaning that the percentage of the vote you get is
the exact representation you will have in parliament (usually countries will
have a 5% vote minimum to avoid fragmentation).
• Communists vs. Nationalists threatened the nation. The communist
revolution in Russia sparked a failed communist in 1919, which created a
large right wing reaction, and polarized the country. There were right wing
conflicts in parliaments against left-wingers and communists. The Nazi
Party got some support off of these because they wanted to fight the
• The Great Depression greatly affected Europe, and especially Germany.
Half of the population was unemployed between 1929 and 1933, which
polarized the country even more (who would lead the country?). Between
1919 and 1933 there