Totalitarianism refers to a system of governance where the state regulates all features of private and public life. The government regulates the country’s social, cultural and economic environment. The political leaders maintain power and favor from the people by spreading propaganda. The concept of totalitarianism was developed in Italy during the Fascist regime, and it quickly spread throughout Europe after the First World War. This paper explores the form of totalitarianism in Germany, its effects on the people and its eventual downfall.
In order to comprehend the factors that led to the formation of a totalitarian state in Germany after the First World War, it is crucial to have some background information about Germany. The German Empire was created in 1871. The constitution placed a lot of authority in the hands of the president. Kaiser led Germany to new heights. Germany’s economic and cultural environment flourished to surpass many European countries. The general German citizenry was proud of these accomplishments and revered the monarchy. They did not complain that the monarchy wielded too much political authority thus undermining the operations of the parliament. After the First World War broke out, German citizens supported their country viciously. They felt that they could win the war since they had superior weapons. However, after a few years, the Germans lost the war. This resulted in hunger, starvation, loss of economic wellbeing and general discontent among the population.
As a result of these ill feelings towards the Kaiser monarchy, a number of right-wing socialist groups began to form. There were groups of extreme socialists, social democrats and moderate socialists. On 9th November, under the face of strong opposition, Kaiser stepped down. After the First World War, Germany faced a myriad of problems. There was high inflation and unstable currency, the Weimar constitution was weak, rampant unemployment struck the nation and poverty and misery ensued. To add salt to injury, the German republic was forced to pay millions of pounds in reparations to the Allied powers. This caused huge financial strain on the German economy and inflation soared.
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