[Answered] “There arose a serious challenge to the Democratic State System between the two World Wars.” Evaluate the statement.

The world wars have been analysed from multiple perspectives of causes and factors leading to the crisis. Challenge to democratic state system was a fundamental challenge in the inter-war years in light of events that followed.   

Several challenges to democratic state system emerged in inter-war years, such as:  

  1. Rise of Hitler to power in Germany was amidst weak institutional checks. Nazi Party soon became the only political party in Germany. Communism was banned. Constitution was suspended.  
  2. Poor conceptualization of minority rights facilitated ethnic targeting of Jews and Romanis and growth of imperialistic ideas like lebensraum.  
  3. Political intolerance of communism by the capitalist bloc countries led to oversight of German excesses, such as in Munich Agreement. 
  4. Spanish civil war was a result of unresolved political contestation between Nationalist Party and the Communist Party.  
  5. Rise of ultra-nationalism and conscription promoted militarism in international politics. 
  6. Militant rise of fascists under Mussolini in Italy was supported by liberal classes.  

However, the challenges to Democratic State System were not only limited to the inter-war years:  

  1. The democratic traditions in Germany had been weak since days of Bismarck. 
  2. The major democracies of the time from USA to UK had been practicing colonialism which is fundamentally opposite of democratic ideals. 
  3. Self-interest of capitalist countries and support for dictatorial regimes in Germany and Italy had domestic democratic legitimacy in UK, France etc. due to economic and ideological reasons. 

The inter-war period saw crisis of democratic values as we understand them today. The democratic shortcomings actively led the world to the second world war. 


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