Government in the Third Reich

Government in the Third Reich

Government in the Third Reich

Government in the Third Reich

Excerpt

The generous attention which Germany has received on the front pages of newspapers throughout the world since the National Revolution of 1933 is in itself adequate evidence of the significance attributed everywhere to Hitler's rise to power. It would be an understatement of the first order to characterize this event merely by saying that political control changed hands. Landslides are a regular feature of democratic evolution, particularly in times of social transformation and economic stress. In England, for instance, the Labor Party has twice since the World War succeeded in seizing the reins of government, only to experience defeat at the polls each time in the subsequent national elections. To the conscientious observer of foreign affairs, however, these thoroughgoing shifts of public sentiment had but negligible repercussions on the general framework of Great Britain's parliamentary institutions and her traditional policies, domestic and international.

The remarkable measure of continuity in the major lines of orientation displayed by British cabinets of entirely different party composition needs no elaborate explanation. In the first place, the political tenets of the Labor Party are tempered by its sense of reality and its preference for practical accomplishments rather than for orthodox Socialism. Its aim is reform, not revolution; it therefore looks upon democracy as an ally instead of an opponent. Secondly, its aging leaders, brought up in the spirit of reasonable compromise and gradual adjustment, were instinctively disinclined to engage in bold experiments. Consciously or unconsciously, the Labor leaders placed greater emphasis on conforming to established standards and proving themselves worthy of the confidence of the Crown. True to . . .

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