Why was Hitler able to become chancellor of Germany in 1933?
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Why was Hitler able to become chancellor of Germany in 1933? On 30th January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany and Von Papen descended himself to a vice-chancellor position. There was political scheming between the leaders which allowed Hitler to become chancellor. There were factors that helped the Nazis and Hitler to gain recognition and come to power. Some factors were long-term reasons such as the Treaty of Versailles which indirectly helped Hitler to become chancellor because the Weimar Government could not cope with the reparations payments. The weaknesses of the Weimar Republic is another long term reason playing a huge part giving the Nazis opportunities to take action and persuading people to vote for them. Some were short term factors such as the Wall Street Crash which led to a depression. This essay will look at how Hitler achieved his chancellor ship. Germany was never governed by a strong leader who kept serious issues under control. The three main leaders Ebert, Hindenburg, and Stresemann all had problems. Ebert could not deliver his promises because he had to form coalitions and had to agree with the people who joined. Hindenburg was not a good politician; he was 84 years old and was controlled by army leaders and business men. The best leader was Stresemann who was respected within and outside Germany. He died, however, before having a big effect. Without a strong leader and a weak government made German citizens turn to more extreme groups.
Hitler took this opportunity of the economic problems the Weimar government faced and started to market themselves as 'the party that may have the solutions to Germany's many problems'. After the Wall Street Crash in 1929, the Nazis gained 107 seats in the Reichstag, 95 more seats have increased within the last two years. Then in July 1932, the Nazis gained 230 seats in the Reichstag. Germany was very badly affected by the depression and since 1929; unemployment increased. By January 1933 the unemployment figure in Germany had risen to 6,100,000. Businesses were failing; homelessness and poverty increased and was common amongst people. Taxes were raised and unemployment benefits were cut. The government's failure to deal with the depression left the Nazis with a disappointed nation especially workers, young people, farmers and businessmen. The economic crisis allowed Hitler and the Nazis to enter Germany's political scene and take advantage as what was originally planned. The depression weakened the government as they introduced unpopular economic policies; the chancellor raised taxes, cut wages, and reduced unemployment benefits, this made the Germans feel unsupportive as Weimar was no longer meeting the expectations of Germany. This made the people turn to the more extreme groups such as the Communists and the Nazis who gained more support. The two reasons; the depression and Weimar are closely linked because it was Weimar's failure to deal with the depression that allowed the Nazis to seize their opportunity and put their new, more lawful approach into action.
He used his own personal qualities, he was an expressive speaker and his self-belief convinced people to believe in him and that he was their "last hope". The effectiveness and appearances of the SA and Hitler's élite SS and propaganda conveyed that the Nazis were powerful and organised. Whereas their opponents; the communists were disorganised and this made people vote for Hitler. But the reason why Hitler and the Nazis took the advantage to publicise themselves was because of the crippling government. The Weimar Republic was consistently weak ever since the Treaty of Versailles was signed. The hyperinflation of 1923 and the depression of 1929 suggested that the government could not deal with huge sums of reparations and debts. Germans doubted them because if they still in power of Germany there would be constant economical and political issues which would cause many social problems in Germany. This made people turn to other parties with a strong leader, many fair policies and organised group. So when the Weimar Republic was failing, Hitler took the advantage to broadcast himself and the Nazis and persuade people that they would make "Germany great again". If it hadn't have been for the terrible economic crisis then Germany would probably still have been doing reasonably well under Gustav Stresemann's leadership and the Germans would have had no need to re-consider re-electing Stresemann despite the governments many problems. Therefore it was the depression and the weakness of the government to cope with it, otherwise if Weimar was quite successful and if the Nazis publicised they would struggle to compete to win over votes.
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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay
This is a very comprehensive response that is well written and persuasive. Although there could be more examples used in places, it covers all major factors and explains how they link together well.
Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 14/03/2012
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