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Hitler’s Rise to Power

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Introduction

Hitler's Rise to Power Question 1 The Wall Street Crash and economic depression were major contributory factors in Hitler's rise to power. The nation was in crisis: the mark became valueless again, as it had done in 1923 during the occupation of the Ruhr, and unemployment was very high as more and more businesses became bankrupt. As the economic situation worsened, the people of Germany largely lost faith in the Weimar government, as they had now proven that they were ill equipped to cope with crises such as the Depression and the occupation of the Ruhr. Instead of looking to the conventional political parties, the people began to look to extremist parties, as they believed they could offer solutions to these problems. These extremist parties were essentially the Fascists and the Communists. There are also other factors that helped in Hitler's rise to power that are connected with the Depression. The Treaty of Versailles played a major role in causing the Depression. The Treaty of Versailles demanded that the defeated countries should pay reparations to the victors, especially France and Belgium. Germany was required to pay a total of �6.6 billion in materials and money. This was made even worse, as the Treaty of Versailles had removed many of Germany's mineral-rich colonies. When, in 1923, Germany failed to make a payment, French troops forcibly seized minerals from Germany's main industrial area, the Ruhr. This caused hyperinflation in Germany, and so America lent Germany money, in a plan known as the Dawes Plan. Then, in 1929, when Wall Street crashed, America recalled the loan immediately. Germany could not afford to repay the loan, so the government printed more bank notes, eventually rendering the mark worthless. A major reason for Hitler's rise to power was his oratory skills. This can also be linked with the Wall Street Crash, as although the Depression encouraged people to turn away from the conventional political parties, it did not directly encourage these people to turn to the Nazi party. ...read more.

Middle

He was also a very good politician, so his policies were designed to appeal to as many of the population as possible, and this was a far more effective way of winning support than violence. The Wall Street Crash and the Depression also had short and longer-term effects. The Wall Street Crash caused a loss of security in Germany. When the American economy collapsed, the American government recalled the loans that Germany had taken in order to pay the reparations demanded by the Treaty of Versailles. Germany had had a time of prosperity after the occupation of the Ruhr, but they still could not afford to repay the American loans. In order to repay these loans, the German government printed more marks. This meant that the German mark lost value, resulting in very high inflation. This situation worsened, resulting once more in hyperinflation. Savings increasingly lost their value and business owners could no longer afford to pay as many workers. More and more people became unemployed as gradually more businesses became bankrupt. Relatively well off families were left penniless and unemployed. In the short term, this caused an enormous drop in the security of the German people, so they began to look away from the conventional political parties, as they could not solve the problems of the nation. Instead they looked to those parties that offered drastic answers to the crises. These parties were the Nazis and the Communists. Support for the Nazi party in particular grew very steeply. In 1928, they had only 12 seats in the Reichstag, but by 1930 they had 107 seats. This rise was because of the depression and the problems it caused. Gradually the situation worsened and as it did so, the support for the Nazis increased, as their policies appealed to those that the Communists could not appeal to. In conclusion, both long and short-term causes contributed to the Nazi rise to power. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Enabling Act of 1933 was important in the final rise of the Nazi party. Previously, German presidents had had emergency powers. This was the power to, in an emergency, suspend the Fundamental Laws and pass new laws without consulting the cabinet or the Reichstag. This gave the president enormous power, but Hitler took it one stage further. He wanted to pass an Enabling Act, which allowed the Chancellor to pass laws without consulting the Reichstag. This would give the Chancellor almost complete power. In order to pass this, Hitler needed a two-thirds majority vote in the Reichstag. Hitler used an emergency decree to expel all Communists from the Reichstag, and made a deal with the Centre party: in return for voting for the Enabling Act, the church would be given special guarantees. This meant that only socialists were voting against the Enabling Act. Hitler had his two-thirds majority, and the act was passed. Hitler had almost succeeded in gaining supreme power over Germany. The Enabling Act was vital in the final stages of Hitler's coming to power, as he could pass laws without consulting anyone. In conclusion, I have established that every reason for Hitler's coming to power, whether large or small, was essential for him to be able to attain supreme power, but that some reasons had a greater impact than others. The Treaty of Versailles, for example, had an enormous effect on Germany that led to the formation of the Nazi party and many things that followed; the Depression had a great effect on the Nazis popularity, as the people lost faith in the conventional government. On the other hand, the Munich Putsch itself was less important, but still essential in the Nazi rise to power. Without each cause, and there are many more than I have mentioned, the Nazi party may never have come to power, and there may never have been a Second World War. History may have been completely rewritten. ...read more.

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