• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was the Nazi consolidation of power from 30th January 1933 until 2nd August 1934 a legal process?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was the Nazi consolidation of power from 30th January 1933 until 2nd August 1934 a legal process? The term 'legal revolution' is often used to describe the transformation of Germany in 1933-34. The term is paradoxical. The two words 'legal' and 'revolution' appear to contradict each other since most revolutions use force to overthrow the constitution and are, therefore, illegal. Hitler was appointed as chancellor of Germany on the 30th of January 1933. He was appointed legally by President Hindenburg who agreed to dissolve the Reichstag on the 1st of February and hold new elections. On the 27th February 1933 the Reichstag was destroyed by a fire. This was blamed upon the Dutch communist Van der Lubbe; although many historians have no doubt that there was Nazi involvement. The Nazis were then able to exploit this to show the danger of the communist threat and so, have the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and the State issued by Hindenburg using article 48. ...read more.


In other words, brainwash the German population into the Nazi way of thinking. Not illegal, but, could be considered immoral. The beginning of the end for Democracy in Germany came on the 24th March 1933 when the 'Law for Terminating the Suffering of the People & the Nation' was passed i.e. the Enabling Act. It was passed by the Reichstag (which had been relocated to the Kroll Opera House after the fire). SA and SS men surrounded the building and intimidated deputies by jeering and hurling abuse. The Nazi's were able to have the Enabling Act passed by 441 votes to 94, as the KPD had been 'suppressed' by the police (completely legal due to the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and the State). This allowed Hitler to 'legally' destroy democracy and set up his dictatorship as he could pass any law he wanted for the next four years! ...read more.


Finally, on the 1st of August 1934, the Law concerning the Head of State of the German Reich merged the offices of the President and chancellor in the new position of Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor. On the 2nd of August 1934, Hindenburg dies and the Army must take a oath of personal loyalty to Hitler. In conclusion, the Nazi's did not simply rely on force to overthrow the constitution as the word 'revolution' would suggest. They attempted to give the impression that the dictatorship they built rested on a legal foundation. The steps they took did not necessarily break the letter of the ever changing constitution, though they did break its spirit and, cumulatively, changed it beyond recognition. Hitler's consolidation of power was brought about by a combination of legal measures, terror, manipulation and willing collaboration. Since this was the case and sense the threat of violence was ever present, it could be argued that it would be more accurate to take of a 'pseudo-legal' revolution. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tom Saunderson 13Q AS History ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. How and why did the Weimar Governments collapse between October 1929 and January 1933?

    lost their jobs and could not support their families, forced even more strain on resources as more and more people required unemployment pay and Germany's industry slowed to a fraction of what it had been during the peak of the Golden Years.

  2. Free essay

    The consolidation of power

    But Hitler was in power in 1934, and there was no opposition left - the SA were an embarrassment, not an advantage. Also, Rohm, the leader of the SA, was talking about a Socialist revolution and about taking over the army.

  1. The Bolshevik Consolidation of power 1917-21.

    The Cheka's full name was "The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Fighting Counter-revolution, Sabotage and Speculation". * The cheka were led by a remorseless Polish intellectual called Felix Dzerzhinsky. He came from a privileged background and set to atone for this by absolute dedication to the Bolsheviks.

  2. The Bolshevik Consolidation of Power 1918-21.

    Their first concern was to spread the anticipated proletarian revolution elsewhere. Before signing the treaty on March 3, 1918 Sokolnikov, the Soviet representative, declared, under instruction from Trotsky, that it was not a freely negotiated settlement but a German Diktat imposed on a helpless Russia.

  1. In the process of consolidating his position, Napoleons reforms, had by 1808, destroyed the ...

    principle of the Revolution against dictatorships - if it was extremely difficult to rob Napoleon of his position in power, then it meant that his system was not equal; no one else had a fair chance at gaining his position.

  2. Why did Hindenburg appoint Hitler as Chancellor in 1933?

    The enormity of poverty and homelessness in Germany did have a mass effect on what the public believed Germany needed - they wanted change. Desperation led them to believe that communism or an authoritarian government would be the only way Germany could be helped.

  1. Why was Hitler able to consolidate his position in power by August 1934?

    After the Reichstag fire, the KPD (communist) and the SPD had been banned and the DNP, DVP and DNVP disbanded themselves, as well as the Centre Party. This made it easier for the exclusion of other political parties to become official in July 1933 when Hitler introduced the Law Against the Formation of New Parties.

  2. Nazi consolidation of power in 1933 was primarily due to their use of violence ...

    power in 1933 through the destruction and weakening of both the communists and regular citizens of Germany. Despite this, there were many other reasons as to why the Nazis were able to consolidate their power that didn?t involve violence or terror, thus challenging this as being the most prominent reason.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work