Student Number: 27048382 Modern History Essay ‘With reference to the quote and your own knowledge, assess the impact of the Terror on Soviet society in the late 1930’s. In the late 1930’s, the purges and show trials which comprised the Terror, had a significant impact on Soviet society. The Communist party was coerced in powerlessness, the working class suffered considerably, both physically and psychologically, and copious members of the intelligentsia were exiled or killed as a direct result of the Terror. Furthermore the military was damaged, as many of the leaders of the Party’s formerly powerful Red Army were purged. The purges and show trials aimed to terrorise Soviet society into compliance with Stalin’s regime, and ‘remove potential enemies,’ to allow Stalin to found an almost entirely ‘new’ Communist party, which comprised of ‘more dependable’ members.
From the start there was economic instability because of the cost of World War One and there was widespread disillusion within the German people. The public did not support the Weimar, and the administrative branch of the government, including the Judiciary, also teachers did not back it up either. Mass unemployment, damages to the infrastructure also from World War One, and the demand for reparation payments put lots of pressure on the inexperienced democracy. Not only in Germany, but all over Europe, fundamental and anti-democratic movements gained support. 2.
This led to the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 Hitler aided by General Lundendorff and a few hundred supporters marched on the Munich town hall as a pretext to a national revolution, unfortunately for Hitler this attempt failed and he was sent to prison. Similarly during the late 19th century and early 20th century Russia's political situation was as problematic as Germans. It is important to mention
It is clear that Terror and intimidation were important factors in allowing the Nazis to consolidate power 1933, for the reason that violence still had an impact on political developments, for example, even negotiations between Hitler, von Papen and Hindenburg took place against the conditions of well publicised acts of SA (Storm troopers) violence. In May 1933 ¬, ¬SA members stormed trade union headquarters and disbanded it. This violence cuased many leaders of the SPD to flee abroad and in June its party was officially banned. The majority of the 3000 members of the party that remained were arrested and taken to the Dachau concentration camp where they were later tortured and killed. This ulitmately potrays the brutality of the Nazis, which effectively contributed to their consolidation of power.
To a large extent the main threat to the stability of the Weimar Republic came from the political violence of the extreme right in the period 1919 to 1923 with incidents such as The Kapp Putsch in 1920 and the numerous assassinations. However, although the violence from the extreme right was a huge factor in creating instability, there were many other factors including threats from the Elites, economic threats, the Treaty of Versailles, threats from the Left and finally the weakness of the Weimar Constitution. This proves that the threats from the Right were some of many threats to the Weimar Republic but there is not enough evidence to suggest that they were overall the main threat. The aim of the political violence from the Right was to overthrow the new Weimar Republic in order to return it back to an autocracy and secondly to reject the Treaty of Versailles. They planned to do this through the event of the Kapp Putsch in March 1920 where General Luttwitz led his Freikorps brigade into Berlin, seized the government district of the city and Wolfgang Kapp was declared chancellor by Luttwitz.
Did Germany face a bigger threat from the Left or Right wing between 1919-1923? From its start, the Weimar Republic experienced problems from both the Left and Right wing. The hatred for the government of those on the Left was encouraged by the successful Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 whilst the Right wing felt betrayed by a government who had allegedly stabbed them in the back by agreeing to the armistice and signing the Treaty of Versailles. However both threats from the Left and the Right had underlying problems, which made them easier to put down by the government. After the unsuccessful attempt at a revolution, which was easily repressed, the Left never fully recovered its momentum and did not have enough support to overthrow the government whereas although the Right attempts quickly fell short, the threat from the Right wing continued to grow.
The reason why so many people joined these extremists was that in the Treaty of Versailles the Germans would have to accept ‘the War guilt clause’. Everyone found this an outrage as the Germans eventually signed the Treaty. The Govterment system that was put in through the Weimar was democracy. This new system was new to Germany and looked to be crumbling after the first few years. The country had a militaristic past as which had gave the President some concerns that the old elite may try and overturn the Weimar with much support.
Hitler then took away the “Power of the People” by replacing parliament with a self proclaimed dictatorship, which most Germans welcomed. Hitler was often described as a “Leader that got mad with power” as he lead a war that lead to many, many people dying. This so called “madness” leads to him taking over Poland and starting the war, consequently meaning Germany broke the “Treaty of Versailles”. After Germany took over Poland, Britain declared war on Germany as they refused to leave from Germany and the fact that they broke the “Treaty of Versailles”. After Britain declared war on Germany, France joined in with Britain as they felt threatened that Germany was going to take over them.
With Germany in both political and economic turmoil, the introduction of a democracy could not have come at a worse time. In the years that the Weimar Republic was in power there was separation in between classes due to the humiliating Treaty of Versailles, political revolution, economic tragedy, consequences of rushed constitution, cultural expression, the great depression, and in between a frenzy of politics. The Weimar Republic was quite inevitably doomed from the start. When the Weimar Republic formed in the aftermath of World War 1, Germany was suffering with the burden of defeat, and now to add to their trouble a Treaty imposed by their enemies that the newly formed Weimar Republic accepts, would effectively strip the German people and nation of all dignity. One thing that the German people did not cope well with was the loss of the war.
They were also in a country plagued by a financial crisis with the majority of the population automatically having hatred for the government. The treaty of Versailles also posed a serious threat to the government with the country left embarrassed by its ruling and the war guilt that Germany faced. The extreme right in particular were a threat to the republic. The actions of the Spartacists in particular concerned the leaders of the SPD as they knew that they could not rely on the support of the army in the face of a revolt. Thus a deal was done with the right wing (the pre 1918 military, judiciary and civil service).