2021 GS1 Answer

Q. ” There arose a serious challenge to the Democratic State System between the two World Wars.” Evaluate the statement.

Question from UPSC Mains 2021 GS1 Paper

Model Answer: 

The period between the two World Wars was marked by significant challenges to the democratic state system, particularly in Europe. Some of the major points in this regard are:

Rise of authoritarian regimes

The period between the two World Wars saw the rise of authoritarian regimes in several countries, such as Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan. These regimes were characterized by a rejection of liberal democratic values, suppression of civil liberties, and the establishment of one-party rule. This posed a serious challenge to the democratic state system.

Economic turmoil

The Great Depression of the 1930s resulted in economic turmoil and instability in many countries. This led to a rise in extremist political movements, including fascism and communism, which posed a threat to the democratic state system.

Failure of international institutions

The League of Nations, which was established after World War I to promote international cooperation and prevent future wars, failed to prevent the aggression of authoritarian regimes. This failure weakened the democratic state system, as it demonstrated that international institutions were unable to prevent the erosion of democratic values and the rise of authoritarianism.

Weakness of democratic institutions

In many countries, democratic institutions were weak and ineffective, which made them vulnerable to the challenge of authoritarian regimes. In some cases, democratic institutions were corrupted by elites who sought to preserve their own power and privilege at the expense of the broader population.

Rise of nationalism

Nationalism, which emphasizes the primacy of the nation-state and often involves a rejection of multiculturalism and diversity, was on the rise during this period. This posed a challenge to the democratic state system, as it often led to the marginalization of minority groups and the suppression of dissenting voices.

In conclusion, the period between the two World Wars was marked by significant challenges to the democratic state system, including the rise of authoritarian regimes, economic turmoil, the failure of international institutions, weakness of democratic institutions, and the rise of nationalism. These challenges posed a serious threat to the values of liberal democracy and underscored the need for continued vigilance in defense of democratic institutions and values.

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