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Germany In 100 Years Essay

2851 words - 12 pages

Word count= 2000
Word count= 2000
World War Two (WW2) and the situation it created within Germany saw the creation of two rival political systems which were influenced by rival foreign powers. In this aspect, it can be seen as the key turning point in German political systems. When Germany at the end of WW2 was conquered and occupied by the allies between the years 1945-1949 (point zero), the subsequent rift between the capitalist allies (Britain, France and America) and the communist allies (Russia) formed two opposing democratic Germany’s; The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). This is significant, due to foreign powers controlling Germany’s ...view middle of the document...

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The economy of the FRG can be seen as further reason for it success as a democracy and why post 45 was more compelling. The significances of the economy in West Germany was its aim for the German people. By this, all economic benefits from trade were invested into German living standards, improving them to a standard which is still held by Germany to date. These benefits came from the introduction of the ‘free economic market’ by Erhard, economic minister under Adenauer, which allowed for outside countries and companies to invest, as well as purchase raw materials from the Ruhr at low prices due to the undervalued Deutschmark. Along with this, when the Marshall Plan was introduced in 1948, it furthered the significance of the economy in terms of political status. By this, America ensured that democracy looked superior, due to the fact that if the economy failed in the FRG, it would make America look weak. This was due to both countries having a capitalist democracy and creates the idea of two different economies driven by a political agenda, making it politically significant due to democracy as an ideology being accepted and used to unify the country and re-define its focus as a nation.

The sudden decline in German militarism and nationalism can be linked to one of the GDR’s significant factors, in which it removed the Prussian elite. Elements of the Prussian aristocracy (Junkers) survived after the fall of the Kaiser Reich in 1918 and continued to influence well after 1918. They had a large influence in the undermining of the Weimar Republic as well as Hitler’s ideals during the Third Reich. So why did they suddenly disappear after 1945? This can be answered during Russia’s occupation of East Germany, in which Prussia was located. This allowed the Prussian elites to be driven out by imposing a socialist republic, known as the GDR, or what was seen to many as an extension of Russian communism.

These ideals of communism influenced the type of economy the GDR would have (a command economy). This furthered the significance of the GDR removing the Junkers. This is seen in the collectivisation of agriculture, in which the Junkers power and wealth was removed by dividing their land between the different social classes.

Both regimes had distinctly opposing foreign policies, however, what was significant about this is the amount external control both foreign policies were under as well as the amount of influence it had on the military. This was shown when Konrad Adenauer became chancellor of the FRG in 1949, he did not resume the pursuit of “traditional nationalist interests” which were the core of German politics since 1871. Instead West Germanys foreign policy introduced more integration and multilateralism towards the other European nations. The first step towards integration was under the Truman Doctrine, in which American and British armed forces were stationed as well as nuclear...

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