Historical Enquiry Essay

1066 words - 5 pages

The reasons for the rise of the Nazi Dictatorship of the 1930’s and 40’s have been a topic much debated upon by historians for decades. Arguably the most prominent theory is the idea of a “Sonderweg” or special path taken by Germany that “deviates from the normal path to modernity… the British way, the first and therefore classical model.” There is ample evidence of a “Sonderweg” throughout Wilhelmine/Bismarckian Germany, from the lack of a real democracy in 1871 to attempts to repress threats through policies such as Kulturkampf and the anti-Socialist laws. There is also evidence in Weimar Germany, such as the structural weaknesses of the constitution, for example proportional representation and Article 48. There is, however, evidence to suggest that Germany did not follow a special path to modernity – the evidence that Weimar did have support and that attempts to overthrow the government failed as well as the interpretation that the failure of Weimar was more due to the impact of WWI, Treaty of Versailles and the Depression than any innate longing for authoritarian government. This essay will consider both interpretations and will evaluate how valid each one is in the light of new evidence and research.

There is evidence during Bismarckian and Wilhelmine Germany for the existence of “Sonderweg”. Conveniently for Bismarck who was of a Prussian Junker background, according to the 1871 constitution the head of state was the King of Prussia which effectively made Prussia the leading state. There was a false sense of democracy instilled in the constitution that said that the Reichstag be elected by all German males over the age of 25. This, at first, gave the impression that Germany was more democratic than Britain at the time, however, “A majority in the Reichstag could do nothing against the Chancellor: if they voted against him, he did not resign, but dissolved the Reichstag.” These elements of the constitution proved the system to be more authoritarian than democratic as the Reichstag had no prerogative right to dismiss a tyrannical Chancellor and that the “universal” suffrage was a sham.

Another sign of a “Sonderweg” in Germany during Bismarck’s reign was his attempts to repress threats through force. “Bismarck always held that the best foundation for an alliance was to have a common enemy.” This was illustrated in his Kulturkampf policies in which he attempted to appeal to the Protestant population in the German Empire which made up 61% of the populous by restricting and persecuting the Catholic population. For example, in 1872, religious schools were forced to undergo official inspections carried out by the government and religious teachers were banned from government schools. Then in May 1873 when the May Laws were enacted, nearly half of all seminaries in Prussia closed as a result. Bismarck’s failed attempts to suppress the threat of the socialists through use of the anti-Socialist laws was another sign of a special German path....

Find Another Essay On Historical Enquiry

weimar germany and the implications of german invasion of the rhur - thomas alleyne acdameny - Eassy

589 words - 3 pages November Criminals. Exam Practice Question: How useful are Source A and B for an enquiry into attitudes in Germany towards the Treaty of Versailles? Explain your answer using Sources A and B and your knowledge of the historical context. Source A: From a German newspaper, Deutsche Zeitung, 28th June 1919 Vengeance! German nation! Today in the Hall of Mirrors (Versailles) the disgraceful treaty is being signed. Do not forget it. The German people

HUME AND BILL Essay

1090 words - 5 pages In Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hume argues that “we know that, in fact heat is a constant attendant of flame; but what is the connection between them, we have no room so much as to conjecture or imagine” (8). From this Hume argues that the correlation between cause and effect can not be known 100% of the time. If one follows the path of Hume, moral relativism is the end result. Relativism is described by Stanford Encyclopedia of

The Transformation of Roman Catholicism

3762 words - 15 pages ecclesiastical teaching office; their active infallibility in teaching is the cause of the passive infallibility of the faithful in believing and ascending.' (Kung:1971:55) The main elements of Kungs enquiry according to Haring and found within Kung's book 'Infallible? An enquiry' are 1. The serious problem with the biblical basis of infallibility; 2. Objections on principle from tradition of the whole church; 3

Proposal for personal project on historical figure "MATA HARI" citing intended sources and questions

1049 words - 4 pages from my initial question of "Why was Mata Hari so significant in history?" some enquiry questions that have transpired through my research are "How is the use and misuse of history in the context of Mata Hari evident from various historical perspectives?" and "How has varying perspectives emerged through time illustrated in different historical biographies?". I am fascinated in the historical debate of whether or not Mata Hari was actually

The United Nations

1660 words - 7 pages /hsie.html pg 15, a site study ‘will enable students to understand their historical environment and participate actively in historical enquiry.’ In addition, the economic and social impacts of previous natural disasters will be examined so that the issue can be seen from two perspectives –that of Civics and Citizenship and Australia as a good global citizen. Social impacts include: Health issues due to damaged sewage, limited access to clean water

Muslims in West

1010 words - 4 pages . They found that Muslims in Europe were mainly prone to becoming targets of prejudice, even before the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Thus, the subject of anti-Muslim prejudice in West has to be put in its historical background by considering the extent to which the mediaeval period is a forerunner to contemporary forms of prejudice, as well as questions about whether the term British can accommodate religious minorities such as Muslims. The work

Labour Riot

1677 words - 7 pages may come days which are the concentrated essence of twenty years’. This statement can be used in reference to the Labour Riot of 1937 in Trinidad and Tobago. I chose this topic to educate the readers of the historical event that took place on June 19 1937 in Trinidad and Tobago. The fight their forefather’s fought to make working life civilized for us today allowed for this day to become a public holiday in Trinidad and Tobago known today as

The Optimal Gauge of the Absurd

892 words - 4 pages known starting point for any (further) enquiry into the ever less known facts among which one is the optimal gauge of the absurd. I will not prolong this concrete suspense by my theoretical incursions any more. These hints, vague as they may be, are all the asker is left with from studying all the possible answers for the proper length a literary text should have in order to become absurd. Moreover, these hints, historical as they might indeed be

Mid-Term Essay

1038 words - 5 pages the potential to be excluded since Value Judgment can change over time. Literature can be classified according to whether it is fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose; and be further renowned according to major forms such as a novel, short story, or drama: works are often categorized according to the historical periods, or their adherence to certain aesthetic features or expectations (genre). Collected works, written in Poetry emphasizes the

Historical Perspective

1570 words - 6 pages Historical Perspective Unfortunately, all most Americans know about the event known as Bloody Sunday, they learned from U2's smash hit, "Sunday Bloody Sunday." The source of this song's popularity stems from its ability to evoke widespread sympathy for Irish by painting an unforgettable picture of death and despair in the minds of each of its listeners. So what is unfortunate about this song being the primary source of historical knowledge

Evaluate empiricism as an ideology and methodology for writing history

1257 words - 5 pages ‘…Agreement among historians is remarkably difficult to achieve, and historical events are open to a multiplicity of interpretations.’1 When writing history, it is difficult to conspire up one, objective and truthful view upon an event. It is clearly evident that ‘historians down the ages have held widely differing views on the purposes to which these things were to be put, and the way in which the facts they presented were

Similar Essays

Investigating The Extent To Which Historians Can Be Objective

1603 words - 6 pages ’. Partiality is exactly how a map fulfils its purpose.[2]But here Zinn appears to overlook the moral aspect of historical writing. A map is purely practical – there are no moral connotations when deciding what features to include and what to leave out. Edward Carr believes that a personal interpretation of the basic facts is central to historical enquiry, and part of what he terms the “dialogue between the past and the

"What Can We Learn From History?" Discussion Of John Tosh's Thesis On History

1019 words - 4 pages Since Herodotus' first annotations of history simply for the purpose of ensuring that "the great deeds of man may not be forgotten", there have been many developments in the reasons behind historical enquiry. As John Tosh outlined in "The Pursuit of History", humanity has changed its theories regarding the purpose of history from seeking understanding of our fate as determined by God, to the belief that we determined our own fate and later that

Within The Context Of The Period 1880 1980, How Valid Are A.J.P Taylor’s Theories In Explaining European Imperialism In Africa?

665 words - 3 pages historical debate amongst historians as there have been multiple interpretations about the colonisation in Africa. The historical debate is between metropolitan theories (which focuses on the motivations of each European power), for example by Lenin and Hobson, the peripheral approach which looks at the African perspective. Also, what aspects of these African regions made the European powers want to colonise? Finally an international relations

The Crisis Essay

971 words - 4 pages In section 15 of The Crisis, Husserl proposes an introspective enquiry of ourselves that is guided by the teleology of philosophy. As part of trying to understand ourselves, we must go back and look at what other philosophers in history have been saying in a bid to “understand the unity running through all the [philosophical] projects of history that oppose one another and work together in their changing forms”. In as much as this historical