West German politics today - a historical introduction
William Paterson The political history of Germany since unification in 1870 has been one of marked instability and dramatic change. Imperial Germany collapsed as a result of military defeat in 1918. The Weimar Republic which succeeded it never enjoyed the un reserved support of all its citizens and was finally brought down by the effects of the 1929 Depression. From 1930 on, govern ment on the basis of a parliamentary democracy was impossible and it finally succumbed to the sustained onslaught of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Movement in 1933.