Monarchism in the Weimar Republic

Monarchism in the Weimar Republic

Monarchism in the Weimar Republic

Monarchism in the Weimar Republic

Excerpt

The present essay is a pragmatic study of monarchism as a political factor in Germany during the period of the Weimar Republic. It seeks to illuminate the history of that period by concentrating on the most powerful opposing force with which the democratic republic in Germany was confronted during the major part of its existence. It also aims at an answer to the question why the fall of the Weimar Republic did not bring about a restoration of the monarchy but, on the contrary, destroyed monarchism together with democracy.

In tracing monarchism during the Weimar Republic, we shall distinguish two main periods. During the first, until 1923, monarchism was the core of a violent rightist opposition to the republican form of government. During the second, from 1923 to 1933, monarchism adopted a more moderate policy. It became an oppositional movement in the republican state in whose government it participated at various times, while it gradually became outflanked by a non-monarchistic rightist movement -- National Socialism.

A short explanation should be given concerning the sources used in this study. Aside from the official German governmental and party publications, there exists a vast amount of private literature dealing with the various phases of the Weimar Republic. Most of these books, pamphlets and articles have been written during the Weimar era, others engage in retrospective analysis. With few exceptions, all present a partisan view or try to furnish an alibi for alleged personal or party mistakes and shortcomings. Although a critical evaluation of the various sources has, as a rule, been omitted in the text of the essay, I have, of course, carefully scrutinized the authenticity of the available material and weighed personal claims and opinions against the historical evidence. Autobiographies and diaries, especially vulnerable to the charge of not being fully reliable, have been used with particular caution. It . . .

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