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Week 9 Grenville notes

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Neville Panthaki

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1. Democracy on trial: Weimar Germany even before the outbreak of the war, the more discerning conservatives such as Bethmann Hollweg recognized that imperial Germany must move in the direction of a more broadly based constitutional monarchy then it happened with the proximity of defeat facing Germany in November 1918: the Social Democrats joined the Cabinet of Prince Max von Baden; government, it was intended, should in future be dependent on a Reichstag majority peaceful transfer of power was almost successful and there can be doubt that this is what the vast majority of the German people desired political democracy requires that the majority feel a concern for their rights and the rights of others and are ready to defend them when on November 8 1918, Prince Max von Baden announced the renunciation of the Kaiser and handed over his office to Ebert who thereby became chancellor on the basis of the constitution, German people were pleased to learn not that there had been a revolution, but that the revolution had been pronounced as having occurred unbeknown to all but a few between November 1922 until June 1928 (except for a brief period of 3 months in 1923)that is, for the greater part of the life of the parliamentary republic they had done so much to createthe Social Democrats refused to participate in government at all the parties of the centre and moderate right formed the basis of all the coalition governments, sometimes seeking to strengthen their position in the absence of the Social Democrats by seeking the more extreme-right support of the Nationalists; even so, every one of the coalitions without the Social Democrats was a minority government, generally lasting only a few months though Social Democratic leaders recognized that they had most to lose from the destruction of the democratic republic, their own short- sighted political attitude contributed to the spectacle of government instability, which lowered esteem of parliamentary government in the eyes of the German people when that esteem was already being constantly assailed by the anti-democratic movements republic was necessary to deal with the Allies, who were in occupation of the Rhineland the French still enjoyed overwhelming military strength and could occupy parts of Germany at will, as they did in 1920, 1921, and 1923 besides attempted coups and violence from left and right, every German was affected by the unprecedented experience of hyperinflation it was due not to reparations payments made by Germany but to decision of government to organize passive resistance when French, in response partly to threatened political disintegration of Weimar Germany and evasion of reparations, occupied Ruhr in January 1923 at home, the years from 1924 to 1927 were a brief golden period for the republiccurrency was stabilized 2. Britain, France, and the US from war to peace to the right, fascist movements and later the Nazi movement developed, promising new solutions to the left, communists pointed to the Soviet Union and the new society being created there as the right goal for all progressive peoples tide first turned against democracy in Russia after revolution of 1917, in Italy in 1920s with Mussolini and emergence of fascists although the Soviet Union lacked the strength to endanger peace in Europe directly, communist tactics in the democratic states and fear of communism were among the formative influences of the 1920s communists were weakest in country which they had mistakenly believed would lead capitalist assault on Soviet UnionBritain an immediate problem fac
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