• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was the backstairs intrigue responsible for Hitler being able to take power in January 1933?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was the backstairs intrigue responsible for Hitler being able to take power in January 1933? Hitler's appointment as chancellor on the 30th January 1933 has prompted extensive analysis. Critics of democracy often claim that Hitler was democratically elected to power. This is believed untrue. Hitler never had the popular votes to become Chancellor of Germany, and the only reason he got the job was because the German leaders entered into a series of back-room deals known as the backstairs intrigue. Some claim that Hitler's rise was nonetheless legal under the German system. The problem is that what was "legal" under the German system would not be considered legal under a truer and better-working democracy. Yet it is clear that there was are other reasons for the Nazis rise to power not least the strength of the actual party itself and failings of the Weimar republic. Assessing how far the backstairs intrigue was responsible involves looking closely at the sequence of events that finally led to Hitler becoming chancellor. The starting point of the study will be the downfall of the Weimar republic; as it was clear there were factors that proved pivotal in the failure of the Weimar republic. I will then look at the rise of the Nazis to power and the methods, which the Nazis utilized in attracting mass support. Finally I will carry out an assessment of the 'backstairs intrigues' and the sequence of events between August 1932 and January 1933 culminating in Hitler becoming Chancellor. 'The German Weimar Republic was doomed from the start'. ...read more.


'It was the range of propaganda techniques and their increasingly sophisticated application which marked a new approach to electioneering.'(21) The Nazis practiced mass politics on a grand scale by exploiting modern technology, employing loud speakers, radio, film but it was perhaps it was in the organization of the mass rallies that the Nazis showed their mastery of modern propaganda. 'To many, it marked the future, 'the new Germany,' born out of a complete break with the present, but resting on true values - as they saw it -of the Teutonic past. The vision of the future went hand in hand with the denunciation of the past in Hitler's appeal.' (22) In the first election, held on March 13, 1932, Hitler received 30 percent of the vote, losing badly to Hindenburg's 49.6 percent. But because Hindenburg had just missed an absolute majority, a run-off election was scheduled a month later. On April 10, 1932, Hitler increased his share of the vote to 37 percent, but Hindenburg again won, this time with a decisive 53 percent. A clear majority of the voters had thus declared their preference for a democratic republic. However, the balance of power in the Reichstag was still unstable, lacking a majority party or coalition to rule the government. All too frequently, Hindenburg had to evoke the dictatorial powers available to him under Article 48 of the constitution to break up the political stalemate. In an attempt to resolve this crisis, he called for more elections. On July 31, 1932, the Nazis won 230 out of 608 seats in the Reichstag, making them its largest party. ...read more.


Backstairs intrigues weren't solely the underlying reason for Hitler being able to take power in 1933. Hitler's propaganda techniques for winning mass support could have achieved little success without the external conditions, which exposed the electoral masses to the Nazi political alternative. Without the longstanding resentment and hostility against the Versailles treaty and the new Weimar republic, the depression, the worsening crisis of the government and state Hitler and the Nazis would have remained an insignicant minority on the extreme fringes of the political system. In bringing Hitler to power, chance events and conservative miscalculation played a larger role than the actions of the Nazi leader himself. 'Hitler's own actions were of only secondary importance in the bringing them to power.'(29) Biography: 1. William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, chapters 3, 5-7, and Alan Bullock's Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, abridged edition, chapters 3-5. 2. William Shirer's The Rise and fall of the Third Reich p. 155. 3. Ibid., p. 175. 4. Alan Bullock, p. 137 Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, abridged edition, (New York: . 5. Shirer, p. 189. 6. Ibid., p. 194. 8. Shirer, p. 199. 10 Patrick salmon 'Weimar republic could it have survived' 11 Ian Kershaw 'Hitler 1889-1936 Hubris' 1998 12 Ian Kershaw 'Hitler 1889-1936 Hubris' 1998 18 Dick Geary 'Hitler and Nazism' 1993 28 Ian Kershaw 'profiles in power- Hitler 1991 29 Ian Kershaw 'Hitler 1889-1936' 1998 21 Geoff Layton 'Hitler and Nazism' 1993 22 Ian Kershaw 'Hitler 1889-1936 Hubris' 1998 Shaun Kirby 13G GCE History Personal Study 6 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Germany 1918-1939 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. The weak Weimar government was a major factor in Hitler rise to power, however ...

    By Oct. 1923 Hitler gathered 15,000 storm troopers. They wore brown uniforms and the swastika on their sleeves to give them a sense of unity. They were armed with machine guns and rifles. Their job was to fight communists and any opposing force trying to break up Nazi rallies.

  2. How significant was Nazi Propaganda in maintaining Hitler in power in the years ...

    However, it was not only the physical gains made in foreign policy that were important, so were Hitler's methods. (Peukert, 1987, p.68) Foreign policy propaganda portrayed Hitler as a man of peace; able to recover Germany's 'lost' territories, thereby restoring greatness to Germany but at the same time, able to do so without bloodshed.

  1. How did Hitler establish a dictatorship?

    Hitler had to choose between the army and the SA. He made his choice and acted ruthlessly. On the weekend of 29-30 June squads of SS men broke into the homes of R�hm and other leading figures in the SA and arrested them.

  2. Year 11 History GCSE Coursework- Weimar Republic and Hitler

    Hindenburg despised Hitler calling him 'the little Bohemian corporal', and chose Von Papen as Chancellor instead. However, Von Papen's Catholic Centre Party failed to make an impact in elections, which he called to try and gain more seats in the Reichstag and safeguard his already precarious and unpopular position.

  1. How was Hitler able to win Power by 1933?

    only leads to small electoral gains, but it illustrates Hitler's uncanny ability to use a crisis to his advantage. Hitler prominently said "If out-voting them takes longer than out-shooting them, at least the result would be guaranteed by their own constitution ...

  2. To what extent did the Nazis achieve an economic miracle in Germany between 1933-1939?

    The New Plan gave the government the powers to regulate imports by forcing importers to apply for permission to import goods before a transaction. The government gave priority to two things: raw materials and foodstuffs. Consumer goods were to be relegated in importance, but, if sustained, the risk was a fall in standard of living (and consumer spending)

  1. Was Backstairs Intrigue or Popular Support Responsible for Hitler's Ascension of Power in January ...

    The party wanted to restore old values and a more authoritarian style government, which appealed to the elites. They told the Germans that the problems were not their fault and blamed the Jews and that they could solve their problems.

  2. What was the most important factor in Hitlers rise to power as Chancellor in ...

    made up of around three million members, were the only force preventing a Communist revolution. At that time there was a huge fear of Communism because everybody was worse off. This shows the interconnectedness of factors because the massive decline of German wealth was caused by the Wall Street Crash and Hitler played on the fears of this.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work