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How far do you agree that the main reason for Hitler coming to power was the great depression?

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Introduction

How far do you agree that the main reason for Hitler coming to power was the great depression? The great depression was undoubtedly an important reason in Hitler's coming to power. However, it was not until 1933 that leadership of Germany was handed over to the Nazis, but the great depression occurred in 1929, which leaves a three year period in which events would occur which determined the outcome. For Example, the role of the elite, the weakness of the Weimar Republic, the appeal of the Nazis and the role of Hitler all contributed to Hitler's rise to power. These factors were all more immediate than the great depression. It is however debatable that the great depression was the most important cause. It triggered economic turmoil and widespread depression in Germany, which paved the way for Hitler and his Nazis to offer a brighter future for the German people. A major factor which contributed to Hitler's rise to power was the widespread appeal of his Nazi party. At the time, many people feared the spread of communism. It would be particularly damaging to Germany's poor economic situation if they were taken over by communists. ...read more.

Middle

It is true that Hitler was only able to get into power because of the elite's actions. The Nazis never won an election and their voting power was actually declining towards 1933. It is likely that given a bit longer the Nazis would have been out of the election altogether. Thus, it could be said that the elite were solely responsible for Hitler's gain of power, as there was no way that Hitler could have got in without them. However, it is possible that the elite would not have been so willing to let Hitler have control if there was not such a widespread fear of Communism. They may not have turned to other parties with such extreme left-wing ideology; they were just desperate to avoid the right. Also, if the Weimar Republic had been better organised and not so weak and failing, then it would not have been necessary for a change in government. The Weimar Republic was set up after the war and the overthrow of the German Kaiser. It was a brand new system of government for the German people and so was not easily adjusted to. But aside from this, Weimar was structurally weak. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is clear that the economic depression was to an extent the most important cause of Hitler's rise to power, as it led to the collapse of Weimar and thus gave Hitler a pathway to power. However, without the depression, Weimar may still have collapsed due to its structural weaknesses and vast opposition. The Nazi's popularity relied greatly on exploiting external factors such as the depression. Nevertheless, many other aspects could have been exploited in the same way to their advantage, such as the weakness of the elite and the Weimar Republic. It is evident that all the effecting factors that have been examined are closely linked together. Therefore, if one had not occurred, it would have been likely that the other factors would be altered thus differing the outcome. For example if the Weimar Republic had not been collapsing, then the elite would not have turned to Hitler for help with the economic situation. On the other hand, Hitler could still have come to power through the appeal of his ideology and his leadership qualities. It is difficult to speculate what would have happened if one of the factors did not occur as they are all so cloesly linked. They are all of equal importance as they all contributed to Hitler's eventual domination of Germany. ...read more.

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