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Nationalism and the Weimar Republic

            Nationalism was an integral factor in the downfall of the Weimar Republic, which in turn ensured the failure of democracy in Germany during 1918-1934. The sense of loyalty and devotion to one's nation that the German people felt in their militaristic past, was ultimately devastated by the consequences of WWI. Nationalism hence became the driving force of many other factors that lead to the failure of democracy, including the Treaty of Versailles, the Reparations Bill and the occupation of the Ruhr. Several attempts to install nationalistic beliefs back into the government manifested itself into the violent Kapp Putsch by the right-wing nationalists and the Munich Beer Hall Putsch by the Nazi Party. The disillusionment felt by the people of Germany and their need to restore pride in their nation can thus be perceived as the most important factor, as it influenced many other events and ideas that led to the collapse of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Adolf Hitler.
             The shattering defeat experienced by Germany in WWI lead to the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II's monarchy in favour of a republic. These unstable political conditions were further worsened when the Treaty of Versailles was signed by the Weimar Republic, causing the majority of German citizens to despise the newly established form of government, as the Treaty ensure that Germany would never regain the economic and militaristic strength needed to return to dominance in Europe. This loss of nationalistic beliefs paved the way for the 'Dolchstosslegende myth' (the 'stab in the back' mentality), meaning that neither the army nor the Kaiser was to be blamed for the WWI defeat. The myth undermined the faith that many Germans had in the new republic and was used to attack the new democracy that lacked the moral support of the German citizens.
             This lack of public support can be further attributed to the dramatic change from the stable autocratic leadership of the 'military-like state' of Germany's old political structure, to the unstable state of democratic Weimar Germany.

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