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How did the Munich Putsch (1923) contribute to Hitler’s rise to power?

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Introduction

Coursework Assignment A Question 1: How did the Munich Putsch (1923) contribute to Hitler's rise to power? The Munich Putsch stemmed out of the economic situation in Germany in 1923. In January 1923 French and Belgium troops marched into the Ruhr, the industrial part of Germany, to try and seize industrial raw materials to make Germany pay reparations. Many Germans resented reparations and the treaty of Versailles and the workers in the Ruhr responded with the policy of passive resistance where all German workers in the Ruhr went on strike. Hitler and the Nazis party hated the Treaty of Versailles especially reparations and they therefore supported passive resistance in the Ruhr. In early September Streseman called off passive resistance because it was making Germany poor because of the lack of industrial production. This was the final straw for Hitler and his party; they saw the calling off of passive resistance as a humiliating climb down- yet another illustration of the weakness of the Weimar government and on the 9^th of November 1923 Hitler, Ludendorf and 3000 Nazis marched into Munich with the intention to overthrow the Weimar republic. Hitler and many members of his party were arrested and put on trial, but Hitler managed to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. The trial gave Hitler a stage on which to show his political talent to the public including his leadership qualities. ...read more.

Middle

Hitler promised people jobs, farmers higher prices, shopkeepers protection against competition, there was something for everyone. Because of the depression people were encouraged by these promises. The Weimar government had been a disaster and people looked to other solutions. Hitler's personality and leadership skills, previously displayed to the nation after the Munich putsch, gave him an advantage over other speakers. He was a very good speaker and could voice his opinions to the public very well. After the elections of 1932 where the Nazis lost 33.1% of their votes, things looked very bad for the Nazis, but on the 30^th of January 1933 Hitler was appointed chancellor because of his co-operation with von Papen, who persuaded Hindenburg to appoint Hitler. This short term luck for Hitler put him in very important position which he took advantage of. This immediate short term affect gave Hitler an important position and power that he could abuse. In February 1933 Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to create the enabling act which gave Hitler full control in an emergency. Shortly after, the Reichstag building caught on fire and Hitler decided this was an emergency worthy of the enabling act. He declared a dictatorship which rendered the Reichstag useless, now he was in full control. The decision by von Hindenburg and von Papen to make Hitler chancellor was an indirect direct short term affect of his rise to power, it gave him the opportunity to get the enabling law which was also a direct short term affect. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hitler would have had no chance of gaining power had it not been for these political and economic circumstances. The decision by von Papen and von Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor in 1932 saved the Nazis. After years of campaigning they were running out of money and the 1932 elections saw their vote drop by 33.1%. In February 1933 Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to give him an emergency act which suspended all the articles in the constitution that guaranteed personal liberty, it was called the enabling act. In the elections of 1933 the Nazis got their best ever result but they were still short of an overall majority by 72 seats. Later in February there was a fire in the Reichstag which Hitler classified as an emergency giving him full power by the enabling act. Hitler banned the communists and other political parties and set up a dictatorship which rendered the Reichstag useless. If Hitler had not become Chancellor it is very unlikely he would have got to power by winning a majority of votes. It can also be argued that without oratory, personality and leadership skills he would have got anywhere with the Nazis party. Without his persistence, speaking skills and extreme ideas he would never have become famous in the Munich putsch trial. So as British Historian J.W. Hiden said in 1974: "No single problem caused the downfall of the Weimar republic. The interaction of problems progressively weakened the new German state, and reached its climax in the crisis of 1929-33". ...read more.

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