Mark Mazower : The Struggle For Supremacy Essay

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When discussing the twentieth century in Europe everyone can agree that this period was a brutal one for the continent. A common opinion, many have is that despite all of the turmoil experienced throughout this period, including two world wars, the success of democracy as a style of government was never truly in doubt. This paper will go against this widely held belief, and argue that democracy’s success in this period was not written in stone. As Mark Mazower notes in his Dark Continent text the tale of democracy in the twentieth century, was not one of, an inevitable victory, but rather one “of narrow squeaks and unexpected twists,”.( Preface, Kindle Location 116). This paper will examine important events of the era that factored into the ideological fight for supremacy. While also highlighting examples that show that Europeans largely have not always been incredibly enthusiastic about democracy.
Part 1- The inter-war period: The fall of democracy in Europe Perhaps one of the best examples to demonstrate how democracy’s triumph in Europe was not guaranteed, is the inter-war period. At this point, many countries in Europe were shifting from monarchies to parliamentary rule. Prior to the First World War there were only three republics in Europe, immediately following it at the end of 1918 there were a total of thirteen republics, including Poland and Germany. While these new democratic regimes initially garnered support among the populace, this success was relatively

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