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:
- 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.
- Poor conceptualization of minority rights facilitated ethnic targeting of Jews and Romanis and growth of imperialistic ideas like lebensraum.
- Political intolerance of communism by the capitalist bloc countries led to oversight of German excesses, such as in Munich Agreement.
- Spanish civil war was a result of unresolved political contestation between Nationalist Party and the Communist Party.
- Rise of ultra-nationalism and conscription promoted militarism in international politics.
- 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:
- The democratic traditions in Germany had been weak since days of Bismarck.
- The major democracies of the time from USA to UK had been practicing colonialism which is fundamentally opposite of democratic ideals.
- 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.