The South Sea Bubble

When Robert Harley sat down to his new role as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1710, the last thought on his mind was the prospect of causing a war with Spain 30 years in the future. To begin with, as a baffled Harley would explained to any curious time traveller, Great Britain[1] was already at […]

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“The Great Silence Reigned”

With the Reichstag Fire Decree in hand, Hitler moved towards his endgame. Snap elections were called for March 5th with the express aim of securing overwhelming Nazi control of the Reichstag. The Decrees certainly helped the Nazis put their thumb firmly on the electoral scale, and SA, SS, and regular police were out in force […]

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Weimar Burns

While Hitler’s triumphant ascension to the Chancellorship was extremely disquieting, the reaction on the left and in the international press was almost muted complacency. Yes, Hitler was in power. That was bad. But the Nazis would have just three ministers in the cabinet. Which was good. The remainder would be old aristocratic Junkers though, which […]

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The False Red Dawn

By September 1932 Papen had managed to infuriate just about everyone with little to show for it. Even worse, the KPD and Nazi parties were colluding on a planned vote of no confidence in Papen’s government. By themselves that alliance was enough to bring Papen down, even if the other parties voted in favor of […]

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The Coup of Altona Bloody Sunday

The SA celebrated their re-legalization the only way they knew how, which meant getting in everyone’s faces and shooting a bunch of people. The biggest example of both came when they marched into the Hamburg suburb of Altona on July 17th 1932. Long a Communist haven the Nazis had decided to be as provocative as […]

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