It is, perhaps, all too easy for the student of German political history to adopt the device of speaking of events in the capital city as if they could be taken to represent developments occurring on a national scale. But it is far less accurate to use Berlin in this way than it is to use, for example, Paris or London. For one must keep in mind that the federal structure of Germany was by no means a mere legal fiction. Local political issues and the local organizations of the national parties retained considerable importance throughout the Weimar period. Indeed, one could well argue that in a number of instances, especially in the early years of the Republic, local political struggles were decisive for the formation of national policies.