AQA GCSE History: Germany, 1890-1945: Democracy and dictatorship

Teach AQA module AB: Germany, 1890-1945: Democracy and dictatorship, no prep needed!

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AB Germany, 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship

This module focuses on the development of Germany at the turn of the 20th century. It explores the turbulent period of change from democracy during the Weimar Republic era to that of dictatorship during the rise to power and eventual fall of Nazism. Topics covered include the political, economic and cultural environments and their aspects under the two different political systems. Key individuals and policies are also examined to frame and contextualise the changes that occurred.

The module is divided into three parts, which are detailed below and are aligned with the specifications of the AQA handbook.

Part one: Germany and the growth of democracy

Themes covered include:

  • Kaiser Wilhelm II and the difficulties of ruling Germany: the growth of parliamentary government; the influence of Prussian militarism; industrialisation; social reform and the growth of socialism; the domestic importance of the Navy Laws.
  • The impact of WWI: war weariness, economic problems; defeat; the end of the monarchy; post-war problems including reparations, the occupation of the Ruhr and hyperinflation.
  • Weimar democracy: political change and unrest, 1919–1923, including Spartacists, Kapp Putsch and the Munich Putsch; the extent of recovery during the Stresemann era (1924–1929): economic developments including the new currency, Dawes Plan and the Young Plan; the impact of international agreements on recovery; Weimar culture.

Part two: Germany and the Depression

  • The impact of the Depression: growth in support for the Nazis and other extremist parties (1928–1932), including the role of the SA; Hitler’s appeal.
  • The failure of Weimar democracy: election results; the role of Papen and Hindenburg and Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor.
  • The establishment of Hitler’s dictatorship: the Reichstag Fire; the Enabling Act; elimination of political opposition; trade unions; Rohm and the Night of the Long Knives; Hitler becomes Führer.

Part three: The experiences of Germans under the Nazis

  • Economic changes: benefits and drawbacks; employment; public works programmes; rearmament; self-sufficiency; the impact of war on the economy and the German people, including bombing, rationing, labour shortages, refugees.
  • Social policy and practice: reasons for policies, practices and their impact on women, young people and youth groups; education; control of churches and religion; Aryan ideas, racial policy and persecution; the Final Solution.
  • Control: Goebbels, the use of propaganda and censorship; Nazi culture; repression and the police state and the roles of Himmler, the SS and Gestapo; opposition and resistance, including White Rose group, Swing Youth, Edelweiss Pirates and July 1944 bomb plot.

Each module is accompanied by three evaluation assignments and a homework assignment as well as an assessment quiz and answer sheet.

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