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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 an important reason as to why Hitler came to power in 1933. This because it both highlighted the Weimar Republic's weaknesses and encouraged many desperate Germans to turn to extreme parties (Nazis). However, when compared to other factors it is evident that it is not the most important reason as, without it having occurred, there is a big possibility that the Nazis would still be as strong as they were. The other factors which need to be considered, therefore, are the Weimar Republic's weaknesses, Hitler's charisma, the Nazi appeal and the role of the elite in directly bringing Hitler to power. We must also take into consideration the weak underlying problems with Germany. If they hadn't suffered so greatly in World War One, the Wall Street Crash and the Depression may not have had such a devastating effect on Germany, its economy and its Government. Due to this devastating effect, people's situation became desperate and they turned to extremist parties, such as the Nazis. This was because these alternative parties offered radical solutions to their problems and they had lost faith in the government as they were offering no fix. ...read more.

Middle

The Nazis specifically wouldn't have had much support as they only gained popularity through the Weimar Republic's failures. In general people's dissatisfaction with the Weimar Republic made them look for an alternative and this both made Hitler and the Nazis visible and gave them the opportunity they wanted. The weakness of the Weimar Republic heightened the Nazi party appeal. Their policies were attractive to a broad section of society and their views were very appealing as they represented the views held by the masses. They gained votes by acting upon the unpopularity of the Weimar Republic such as their want to overthrow the Treaty of Versailles. This notion was very popular among the people and therefore the party gained mass support. The party was well organised with a strong leader and through their propaganda work they gained a lot of support Also as the Nazis were anti-Communist they provided a popular alternative to both Communism and the Weimar Republic and thus became increasingly popular as a result. However much of their ideology was based on external factors and without these the Nazi party wouldn't be so appealing. If the Weimar Republic were strong, people wouldn't have turned away from them following the Depression, and therefore wouldn't be looking for an alternative party. ...read more.

Conclusion

Without Hitler being elected into power he may never have held any high positions because at the time votes and support for the Nazi party were declining. Another politician who helped Hitler to power was von Papen. He encouraged Hindenberg to appoint Hitler as he wanted revenge on the current Chancellor, Schleicher, who Papen was previously dismissed for. These two people were key factors in Hitler's rise to power, however they are only the short-term reasons. If all the long-term factors, such as the Depression and the Weimar Republic's weaknesses, were eliminated the elite would not be in a position to consider Hitler for Chancellor. Therefore this is an important factor but not as much so as the others. In general all the above factors are important reasons to helping Hitler and the Nazi Party rise to power. However the Depression is not the most important factor as without it occurring there was still a big possibility that Hitler would have risen. Also, even though the Depression highlighted the Weimar Republic's weaknesses, this was inevitable, and therefore decreases its importance again. Even if the Depression had still happened, and the Government had been stronger, then the Republic would be able to deal with the problems and it would not have provided the Nazis an opportunity or the need for people to turn to alternative parties. ...read more.

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