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"Only the Great Depression put the wind into Hitler's sails" (A.J.P. Taylor) Do you agree that this was the most important factor in Hitler's rise to power in 1933, or are there other reasons which are equally important?

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Introduction

"Only the Great Depression put the wind into Hitler's sails" (A.J.P. Taylor) Do you agree that this was the most important factor in Hitler's rise to power in 1933, or are there other reasons which are equally important? On 20th April 1889, at 18.30, Adolf Hitler was born in a small Austrian village. There is not one sole reason as to why this young farm boy grew up to become one of the world's most well known leaders, but the main factors in Hitler's rise to power were his natural leadership skills, clever use of words, charisma, passion for German nationalism, abhorrence of Jews, communists, foreigners and his ability to use the Treaty of Versailles, Wall Street Crash, Munich Putsch, Weimar Constitution and Enabling Act to his advantage. Hitler's father, Alois, greatly influenced Hitler's personality; having retired from the Austrian civil service when Hitler was six, he was used to giving strict orders and seeing them obeyed. He was a strict authoritarian figure that watched over his children and expected them to be disciplined. This enforcement of discipline, need for order and traditionalism emotionally scarred young Adolf. He wanted to pursue his artistic talents but was forced, by his father, to attend a technical college in preparation for a career in the civil service, this ...read more.

Middle

This economic crisis, undermined the government, as in an attempt to help the nation, Ebert printed more money, however, when Stressman came to power, he established a new currency and with the help of the Americans he paid back the reparations. This was also partly the cause of the Great Depression in Germany of 1929. The Wall Street Crash occurred in October 1929 and was a major economic crisis that affected the whole of the world, including Germany, as America had lent her some money through the Dawes Plan of April 1924 to help pay the reparations costs set by the Treaty of Versailles. However, the Depression meant further funds were not forthcoming from America. This had a domino effect on Germany which also slumped into a Great Depression that caused starvation, unemployment and a low morale of the people. Hitler took advantage of this and promised solutions to the problems facing Germany, he promised to improve and build it up as a new nation; this idea was appealing to most Germans, due to their quality of life and Hitler's strong views and young, enthusiastic personality. The 'white-collar workers' were the ones most affected by the Depression, their disgruntlement, anger at the Treaty of Versailles and growing respect for Hitler and his words ensured that they would become his main supporters. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that Hitler's rise to power was due to multiple factors. He developed leadership and public speaking skills at a young age becoming rebellious and defiant of his father's authority. His interest in military expertise, anti communist, anti semetic, nationalistic feelings developed from a young age and propelled him to establish the Nazi party. He was cunning and manipulative both in public and behind the scenes. He used the Treaty of Versailles, Ruhr Crisis, Wall Street Crash, Munich Putsch, Weimar Constitution, and Enabling Act to establish himself as a dictatorial leader of Germany by 1934. Hitler used the opportunities presented by each of the afore mentioned to his advantage. However, the most significant factors for Hitler's rise to power would be the Wall Street Crash, which resulted in global depression and growing unrest amongst the German people; the 'failed' Munich Putsch that propelled Hitler to the forefront of politics and made a martyr of him, for serving nine months in prison where he did not waste his time as he wrote his vision in the infamous 'Mein Kampf'. He had an understanding of the general German public (had "his finger on the pulse of Germany" -Walden-) and was able to utilise effective propaganda to inflame the nation. The ineptitude of the Weimar Constitution was the 'icing on the cake' that gave Hitler ultimate power. Aishaini Puvanendran - 1 - ...read more.

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