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Since the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, Germans have looked back anxiously to the collapse of the Weimar Republic in the early 1930s and the rise of Nazism. But with many of the world's democracies under growing strain and authoritarianism on the rise, the lessons of that period should be heeded elsewhere as well.This is an obvious lesson not just from the Weimar years, but also from a large body of research on the economic logic of democracy.When a country's politics are fragmented, PR is more likely to deliver an incoherent electoral majority, usually comprising parties on the far left and the far right that want to reject "the system," but agree on little else.Taken together, these two lessons constitute the conventional wisdom among political scientists about the Weimar experience. To pre-empt complacency, it helps to consider eight further lessons from the Weimar era. In the Weimar Republic, the National Socialists had virtually disappeared by 1929 .Third, constitutions don't necessarily protect the system.In the Weimar Republic, that pattern began before the Nazis became a significant force.The Weimar Republic initially appeared to have a miracle economy.
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