Was any one of these reasons more important than the others in Hitler’s rise to power?
All of the reasons on the list were important for Hitler to rise to power in the way that he did. However, even then some reasons are more important than others. Therefore, it is necessary to see which factors were important not only in the way in which he did rise to dictatorship, but also whether Hitler could have risen to power in any other way either with or without some of the factors on the list.
Therefore, the Treaty of Versailles was the most important reason on the list to explain why Hitler rose to absolute power in Germany, when he did, how he did, and above all that without it he would have gone into politics but remained a fringe party. The desire in Hitler and others around him was one of the most important reasons why Hitler joined politics. He felt that his country had been betrayed by the ‘November Criminals’ and that the Treaty of Versailles was too harsh and unfair considering many believed that the German army was still unbeaten. Despite all of this, the Treaty of Versailles was also the most important reason on the list because it was so unfair and because of some of the terms for peace which it stipulated. The main problem was the great loss of German land to other countries and the loss of Germany’s industrial heartlands in addition to the great level of reparations. The reparations, which were a result of the Treaty of Versailles and the ‘War Guilt clause’, started all of the other factors on the list.
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If the German people and the army had not felt angered by their treatment under the treaty, they would not have been dissatisfied with the victors of the war, and would not have felt so great a desire for revenge. The Weimar Republic’s weakness also stemmed from its link to defeat and never had enough power or support to succeed. If the Weimar Republic had not been so weak, hyperinflation would not have occurred and the reparations would have not affected them as much. Without the hyperinflation and the inability to pay reparations, France would not have invaded the Ruhr, which sparked off the Munich Putsch. Furthermore, without reparations the depression would not have hit Germany so badly because they would have been less dependent on loans from America, which was a direct result of their inability to repay reparations. When America called back all of her loans, Germany could not pay and were plunged into depression.
With Hitler’s rhetorical skill, he managed to draw attention to his party and its message. His skill to manipulate the emotions of the crowd allowed him to fully tale advantage of the weakness of the government and to exploit them. This was shown when Nazi seats more than doubled from 1930 107, to 1932 230 in the Reichstag. If the depression had not changed the public opinion to such a degree, Hitler would not have gained much support and would have remained a fringe party with only 12 as in 1928. If Hitler had joined the Nazis and had stayed in a fringe party, he would never have risen to power, not just with votes, but also he would never have been given help from Von Papen and Von Hindenburg when they made him Chancellor. If he had not become Chancellor the Enabling Act of 1933 would not have given him didactorial powers. However, this does not matter because if the Weimar Republic was strong and could rule the country effectively, there would have been no need for Von Papen and Hindenburg to appoint anybody Chancellor outside elections. Then, there would never have been a crisis, which caused the Enabling Act, because the Nazis or the Communists would not have been in a position to burn the Reichstag down since neither party had anything to gain from it.
However, if the Treaty of Versailles was as harsh as it was in reality, the most equally important factors on the list would be the Depression and Hitler’s rhetorical skill. Without Hitler’s public speaking skills, he would not have become the leader of the Nazi party and would never have been in a position to come to power. However, before the depression the Nazi party was a fringe one and had very few seats in the Reichstag. With Hitler’s rhetorical skill he managed gain the edge over the other parties because in comparison to other leaders he seemed to be the strongest and most dedicated. His rhetorical skill allowed him to draw support from the weaknesses and failures of the government.
The appointment of Hitler as Chancellor, the enabling act and the Munich Putsch were all unimportant overall because after the Depression it was likely that Hitler would win with the popular vote. However, he would have found it more difficult to rise to the power of dictator. Therefore, he would rise to power, but not to the power of dictator. The Munich Putsch made very little difference to Hitler’s rise to power because although it gave him publicity and his party’s seats in the Reichstag increased to 32 seats but rapidly dropped to 14 seats seven months later. Despite this, even though these factors were unimportant they all set up the scene for Hitler to rise to power easily and made it certain that he would rise to absolute power.
Therefore, the level of reparations, which were decided in 1921 and were a direct result of the Treaty of Versailles, was the most important factor for Hitler’s rise to power. That was the one and only thing, which caused all of the other factors on the list. Without their cause, events cannot take place, and absolutely nothing in Germany would have been the same if the reparations had been less. If the national atmosphere was not right, which it was in reality, Hitler could never have come to power not only in the way in which he did, but not at all.
Here's what a teacher thought of this essay
This is a very well focused and detailed response that offers persuasive analysis throughout. By being clear about the links between factors, the author offers a comprehensive explanation of Hitler's rise. 5 out of 5 stars.