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What was the most important factor in Hitlers rise to power as Chancellor in January 1933?

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Introduction

What was the most important factor in Hitler’s rise to power as Chancellor in January 1933? Hitler was appointed Chancellor in January 1933 as a result of a combination of interlinked factors; some acted over a long period of time, such as the harsh impact that the Treaty of Versailles had on Germany, but others some short-term in nature, such as the economic depression of 1929. I believe that the long-term animosity and bitterness felt by the German people was caused by the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles. This laid the groundwork for Hitler’s rise to power through the events that the treaty subsequently caused; thereby indirectly proving to be the most important factor in his rise to power. The Treaty of Versailles was a real issue in German society and many Germans disliked it. The most crippling of the terms were the war reparations as Germany was forced to pay for the damage the war had caused in France and Belgium. The cost was a massive sum of £6,600 million and in addition cost Germany 10% of its industry and 15% of its agricultural land, which made it very unlikely that Germany would ever be able to afford this immense payment. This soon resulted in inflation that sprouted hyperinflation, which made many people hate the Weimar Republic as they believed that it had absolutely no economic credibility and, overall, resulted in making the German people considerably poorer. ...read more.

Middle

After the Wall Street Crash in 1929, the Germans had to pay back the money they owed to America but this pressure was too much for both the German people and its fragile economy to bear. The Weimar government failed to do anything to stimulate domestic demand as they did not want to risk hyperinflation and also the structure of the Weimar government (and its propensity for coalitions) meant that it was impossible to pass any preventative measures to try to save their economy. The Great Depression in Germany caused the number of unemployed to grow and many people starved on the streets. In this crisis, people wanted someone to blame, and looked to extreme solutions in desperation. Hitler offered them both, and Nazi success in elections grew. The number of Nazi seats in the Reichstag rose from 12 in 1928, to 230 in July 1932. Weimar relied on being successful enough to stop people voting for extremism but, after two economic crises in quick succession, the German people had lost all confidence in Weimar and thought that it was not working. The effect of the economic depression was made worse due to the poor state that the German economy was in, as a result of the harsh economic sanctions invoked by the Treaty of Versailles. ...read more.

Conclusion

He appointed Hitler just at the point when his appeal was dropping as he had been overexposed and people were starting to see through his policies. Nevertheless, Hitler would never have been considered for the role of Chancellor had he not received the popular vote and the main reason why Hitler was popular was because of his extremist views on the Treaty of Versailles. It is very hard to decide on the most important factor in Hitler?s rise to power as Chancellor as the factors are deeply interlinked and dependent on each other. For instance if Germany had not lost the war and had to pay vast reparations, the effects of the Wall Street Crash wouldn't have been as disastrous. Conversely, had the Wall Street Crash not occurred, Germany would have most likely been able to continue paying reparations. However in my opinion the most important factor was the detrimental effects of the Treaty of Versailles because it put Germany in a position, both politically and economically, where extremism could thrive and provided Hitler with the framework for his policies that ultimately gave him the votes he needed to be appointed Chancellor. However, the most important cause that the Treaty of Versailles brought about was the connection between Weimar and the ?Stab in the Back? myth because once Weimar had stopped working, it was only a matter of time before Hitler would come to power. What was the most important factor in Hitler?s rise to power as Chancellor in January 1933? ...read more.

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