In 1918 to 1924 Germany was facing changes. They had just surrendered and lost a war. After the war Germany suffered a great depression. The depression led to high unemployment and inflation, and as Germany had no history of democracy, the problems got worse. Instead of democracy, Germany had a Kaiser, who was born into the role. Germany was a strong industrial nation with an empire, and the depression suffered Germany greatly. Germans felt they had been stabbed in the back as the Government were the ones who surrendered the country. The Germans were very angry.
The Treaty of Versailles damaged Germany even more. The treaty limited Germanys army to 100,000, gave land back to countries surrounding Germany. The treaty also de-militarised Germany in the Rhineland as France feared an attack from Germany. Many Germans suffered with this change created by the Treaty of Versailles as it involved German people being forced away from Germany .
Additionally, in 1918 the Kaiser was pressured to abdicate, which he eventually did. The country was in desperate need of someone to get Germany back to their high standard. This could well have been a great invitation for fascism to take off.
However, once the Kaiser abdicated his thrown, a democracy was forced on Germany by America. This pissed the Germans off greatly. Although, with the democracy came Proportional Representation. This meant that if a party received 5% of the vote, they also received 5% of seats in the Reichstag. This does however encourage lots of parties to form, as they all stand a chance of winning seats. This therefore gave a further opportunity for Fascism to advance on.
Article 48 also gave fascism a chance as Article 48 gave emergency powers to the President and letting the President Abandon democracy. In the early 1930’s the socialists left the Reichstag which gave Fascism yet another chance to kick off. Article 48 meant that Germans were more willing to accept Hitler’s rule.
By 1920, right wing were trying to take over Germany. The communist ‘Spartacists’ were the hot favourite of taking over. They wanted the Second Reich to be back in power, and despised the thought of the government replacing the Second Reich. This also gave the chance for fascism to advance as they could have overtaken Spartacists and caused the emergence of fascism.
Also many revolutions were taking place as Germans felt a drastic change was needed as people were living in squalor, and a change would change this. In 1919, there was a revolution occurring in Munich. This was attempted by extreme left wing and extreme right wing groups; however the freikorps soon put an end to it with the insertion of the government. With all the revolutions taking place, fascism could have involved in the revolutions and taken charge.
Gustav Stresemann became the new chancellor in 1923. Stresemann decided to take decisive action as the head of the coalition. He introduced a new currency which would help benefit the new Germany, instead of the old mark currency. He ordered the Strikers back to work and Germany to pay reparations again. This helped to solve some problems which were faced in 1918-1924 in depressive times after and in-between the war.
What Gustav did looked as if he was giving into the countries which defeated Germany in the war, although he was really doing it to help Germany back on its feet. Gustav Stresemann made a democratic government successful and this thus led to people willing to give democracy a chance. In this era fascism didn’t stand much of a chance evolving as democracy was working and Germany seemed to be reinstating their maximum.
Additionally, this era of 1924-1929 is also referred to as the Golden Era; this is because people had money to spend. Berlin became the place to be and became known as the pleasure capital of Europe. Clubs and Cafï¿½’s became a necessity in Berlin life. Berlin had little censorship which attracted many people like artists and gay people. People could do whatever they wanted. Unemployment was also at a low, which meant more people in work receiving wages. All of this thus isn’t the ideal time for fascism to advance as people have gained for what they lost and want to enjoy it whilst it lasts. Fascism was representing a change which people didn’t need during the Golden Era as they were greatly benefiting, Fascism was the last thing wanted by Germany.
However, from 1929-1933 a worldwide depression hit, this was due to the Wall Street Crash. Countries dramatically suffered with their economy. This led to many Germans losing faith in democracy as it cost the, their jobs and this thus led to people turning to extremist parties. Fascism was promising to create jobs which would solve the unemployment crisis, which is what Germany was wanting after all.