Termination of the Republican Government Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1450 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Drama - World

The new cabinet included the influential media mogul Alfred Hugenberg, who was chairman of the (also right-wing) DNVP party at the time.

When Hindenburg was finally presented this plan, he appointed Hitler to be the new Reichskanzler on January 30, 1933. Although he was fiercely anti-Nazi and had defeated Hitler in the 1932 presidential election, he reluctantly agreed to von Papen's theory that, with Nazi popular support on the wane, Hitler could now be controlled as chancellor. The date dubbed Machtergreifung (seizure of power) by the Nazi propaganda is commonly seen as the beginning of Nazi Germany.

The formation of Hitler's conservative-Nazi coalition government and its rapid transformation into a Nazi dictatorship within a matter of months illustrates two central features of Nazi politics: on the one hand, the willingness when necessary to collaborate with traditional conservative political elites, who in effect gave Hitler the keys to the Reich Chancellery; on the other, the radicalism of the Nazi movement, which broke the opposition on the ground and forced the pace of the Nazi "revolution" in early 1933.

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One of the by-products of the conservative modernization of Bismarck during the Second Reich, was militarism. To unite the upper classes-both the military-aristocracy and industrialists-militarism proved necessary to continue modernization without changing socio-political structures. Observing the rise of trade unionism, socialism, and other protest movements during an era of mass society in both Europe and later North America, the elite in particular was able to utilize nationalistic imperialism to co-opt the support of the industrial working class. Thus, Prussia, heir to the garrison state built up by figures such as Friedrich Wilhelm I and Frederick the Great in the 18th century, managed to create a sufficiently powerful military machine not only able of challenging rivals on the continent such as Austria and France, but to make its presence known in the arena of international politics.

Term Paper on Termination of the Republican Government Assignment

Prussia, unlike the powers to its West, had little power outside the continent in the past, lacking an overseas colonial history completely. Bismarck, once openly uninterested in overseas adventurism, was eventually brought to realize the value of colonies for securing (in his words) "new markets for German industry, the expansion of trade, and a new field for German activity, civilization, and capital." The absolutist Central Powers, led by a newly unified, dynamically industrializing Germany, with its expanding navy, doubling in size between the Franco-Prussian War and the Great War, were strategic threats to the markets and security of the more established Allied powers and Russia.

By the time Bismarck had to leave the Chancellor's office in 1890, France and Russia were working to forge an alliance in both commercial and military terms. French capital markets were supplying Russian industrialization with the investment that was drying up, not least thanks to Bismarck's intervention, from the German side. The French arms industry looked to provide the Russian armies with modern equipment. Russian officers were lavishly entertained in Paris, and naval squadrons paid much-heralded visits to Le Havre and St. Petersburg. This was the "nightmare" that Bismarck had always feared, posing a threat to Germany's strategic borders in the west and to Austria's existence in the east.

Subsequent German foreign policy initiatives, notably the initiation of a large battle fleet under the naval laws of 1898 and 1900, drove Britain into diplomatic alignment (the Entente) with a Franco-Russian alliance already in the offing at the time of Bismarck's fall. "In 1912 Lord Haldane, then the British Secretary for War, hoped that, given the new correlation of forces, Germany might be willing to sign a naval agreement to limit numbers. In Berlin, however, Haldane met with stiff resistance from Tirpitz and the Kaiser: too much prestige and funds had been invested to retreat and acknowledge defeat. There was to be no arms control."

Intensified by the reign of the far more militaristic Kaiser Wilhelm II, Bismarck's legacy would contribute to the political culture in which Nazism found significant support-bases. As a result, in Germany, as in Japan and Italy, later attempts to extend democracy would succeed in establishing the unstable democracies of the Weimar Republic. Despite advances in industry and science under the Second Reich, Germany retained a despotic aspect to its character, due to [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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