The evolution of democratic tradition and regional variation in resistance in Nazi Germany

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Are deep-rooted democratic traditions related to geographical manifestation of resistance to authoritarian regimes? We address this question by studying the regional pattern of the most serious form of resistance experienced in prewar Nazi Germany, namely, those acts of resistance that resulted in arrest for treason and high treason. Specifically, we examine whether spatial variations in participation in one of the significant events of the German Revolution of 1848, the Second Democratic Congress, and voter turnout in the 1924 Reichstag election are associated with precinct-level variations in arrest for treason and high treason. We also explore whether regional communist traditions are likewise associated with later resistance. We find that each additional precinct delegate at the Congress, the presence of a past communist uprising in the precinct, and each percentage point increase in the voter turnout is associated with 0.40, 4.35, and 6.16 additional unconditional expected charges per 100,000 inhabitants respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1320-1344
Number of pages25
JournalSouthern Economic Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • democratic traditions
  • Nazi Germany
  • resistance

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