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'Only the great depression put the wind into Hitler's sails'. How far do you agree?

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Introduction

'Only the Great Depression put the wind into Hitler's sails' (AJP Taylor) How Far do you agree? AJP Taylor implies that only the effects of the Great Depression led to Hitler's rise in power. However, for Hitler a poorly educated, ex corporal to become the leader of one of the strongest countries in Europe, there must have been many factors involved leading to this staggering achievement. The Treaty of Versailles, the Munich Putsch, Hitler's personality, the Weimar Constitution, the invitation to become chancellor and the enabling law all played an integral role to Hitler's rise to power. These factors were all closely interlinked and ultimately led to Germany's demise. The Treaty of Versailles had inspired resentment in Germany; Hitler used this as a tool and promised to overturn the treaty. The Armistice of 1918 led many people to believe that the German army had been 'stabbed in the back' by the government. They felt that they had not lost the war and shouldn't have had to suffer the consequences. The terms of the Treaty stated that Germany's armed forces were 100,000 men, six battleships, no submarines and no air force. All of Germany's colonies were taken away and became mandates of the League of Nations, and perhaps the most hated by the Germans, they were held responsible for the cause of the war and thus were subject to pay the astronomical reparations. ...read more.

Middle

German culture developed - music and cinema flourished. The signing of the Locarno pact and the eventual joining of the League of Nations improved Germany's foreign relations. There seemed to be little need to turn to the extremist parties like the Nazis and the communists. Hitler was helped, to gain power, by the Weimar Constitution which used proportional representation. This was a fair and democratic system, yet, it allowed small parties to gain seats in the Reichstag, or parliament. The system tended to produce coalition governments. This meant that it was difficult for a strong government to be formed and that it was almost impossible to come to a decision. This flaw, in the political system, had only perpetuated the effects of the Great Depression; the Reichstag could not decide on the best course of action and left the country in a worsening state of desperation. This system allowed Hitler to gain seats initially, but he never gained the overall majority. However the initial seats got him started so he already featured in parliament when the opportunity arose. When Hitler was invited to be Chancellor he was given the power that without which he would of not risen power and would have had no hold over Germany. In July Hitler had 230 seats but in November he had only 196. ...read more.

Conclusion

As well as this all young people were indoctrinated to be loyal supporters of Hitler and the Nazi party. Hitler's ascent to power was furthered by his paramilitary organisation called Sturm Arbeitung or Storm troopers. They fought in the streets with the communists. The storm troopers protected Nazi party meetings and disrupted those of opposing parties. Many young people who were unemployed were drawn to the military element of the storm troopers. The storm troopers were organised and uniformed and gave something for the members to be proud of. If Hitler was ever asked about the violence he blamed the communists claiming the storm troopers were trying to keep the peace. I think that all the factors have a part to play in Hitler's rise to power. I don't think that you can easily set one factor above the any other as they are closely linked. However, considering that Hitler had only twelve seats in 1928, the great depression is clearly of enormous significance. Hitler first gained attention due to the economic crisis in Germany in 1930, but without his ideas and skills as a party leader he would never have gained power. Hitler was an opportunist and used his all of his skills to make the best of a bad situation and seize power. ?? ?? ?? ?? Lucy Sawyerr 10s ...read more.

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