Assemble Your Democracy – April 19, 2013
1. Barring the fascists from holding office, and removing Nazis from leadership positions was the most important factor in achieving democratic success. This allowed potential leaders to emerge who were not affiliated with the Nazi Party. Konrad Adenauer was allowed to run and elected because of his anti-fascist viewpoints. This created great reputations in post war Germany for the leaders who would be trusted by many citizens. They centralized power as so to maintain the democratic ideals.
2. The second most important factor in achieving democratic success was to learn from the mistakes of WWI and the Versailles Treaty. The Western power realized they would be better off if they helped to rebuild Germany and not make them pay reparations for the damages they caused. This helped to ensure that German citizens didn’t see the foreign powers as greedy and then there would be no vendetta against them. The Allies were also committed to avoiding the mistakes made at Versailles.
3. The third most important factor in ensuring democratic success was building a strong, global economy tied with the other Western powers. The new political parties forged links with the business, bureaucratic and union elites which produced the greatest period of economic growth called the “economic miracle.” The leaders made sure that there was broad consensus when it came to social and economic policy to produce balanced growth and stability, so people would see how democratization would benefit them. Having ties with economies around the world also helped Germany continue on the road to democracy because they had a responsibility not only to themselves, but to others as well. Currency reform also helped tie the countries together.