Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
From the Second Empire to the Third Reich: Weimar Germany 1914-1933
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 1 - 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment Essay 2 - 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 1 - 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 2 - 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate familiarity with a substantial body of historical knowledge in the field of German history between 1914 and 1933.

2. Engage in source criticism, discussion and understanding of evidence relating to developments in politics, culture and society in the Weimar Republic.

3. Demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of historical techniques relevant to the study of late-modern politics and society.

4. Gather and sift through appropriate items of historical evidence.

5. Read, analyse and reflect critically on secondary and primary texts, in particular the work of D. J. K. Peukert.

6. Develop the ability to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of historical arguments respectively emphasising the significance of elements of `backwardness’ and of `classical modernity’ in the crises of the Weimar Republic.​


This module is intended to provide students with an introduction to German history during the period 1914-1933. It will also explore key themes in the politics, culture and society of the Weimar Republic. Beginning with World War One, this module will trace the history of the crises experienced during the Weimar Republic and explain the rise of Nazism. Through a range of primary and secondary literature students will be acquainted with developments in the politics, society and culture of the period. The module will provide an additional element of choice for Part II students and is particularly important to students interested in European History, as well as modern History more generally

Brief description

The Third Reich and Second World War are key themes in the history of the twentieth century Europe. This module examines Germany’s path from monarchy to republic and finally to dictatorship covering the period 1914-1933. Drawing on a range of historical interpretations the module will explore Germany’s route from war to revolution to stability and then to crisis again. It will cover key historical events such as the collapse of the German Empire, the crisis of 1918-1923 and the rise of the Nazis. It will also provide a thematic approach by focusing on political milieus, gender, youth, the arts and popular culture. The historian Detlef Peukert argued that the collapse of the Weimar Republic was due to a ‘crisis of classic modernity.’ The evaluation of this interpretation is a key theme running through the module. It will explore the extent to which the contradictions brought about by Germany’s experience of modernity were instrumental in the rise of Nazism.


1. Introduction: Themes in the History of the Weimar Republic
2. Germany and the First World War
3. The German Revolution, November 1918 to March 1919
4. The Weimar Republic in Crisis, 1919-1923
5. The Period of Relative Stability, 1924-1928
6. Return to Crisis, 1930-1933
7. Political Culture and Milieus
8. The Nazi Party: Ideology and Propaganda
9. Who voted Nazi?
10. Gender and Sexuality
11. Youth and Generational Conflict
12. Berlin and Bartenstein: Urban and Rural Germany
13. Culture I: Jazz and Metropolis
14. Culture II: Dadaism and Bauhaus
15. The Modern State: Crime, Order and Policing
16. The Modern State: Welfare and Medicine
17. The Nazi Seizure of Power, 1932-1933
18. Conclusions: The Weimar Republic in History and Memory

1. Revolution
2. Hyperinflation
3. The ‘Golden Years’
4. Cabaret, Jazz and the Avant Gard
5. The Rise of Nazism
6. A Crisis of Classical Modernity?

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination.
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop an awareness of appropriate sources and historical literature associated with the study of post- World War Germany and Europe.
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 6