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Franklin Roosevelt And Adolf Hitler Essay

2045 words - 8 pages

Franklin Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler were both charismatic and vigorous leaders who successfully led their respective nations through the politically and economically tumultuous thirties. However, whilst it could be argued that many of their social and economic policies were similar, their methods differed greatly in that one's administration was characterised by democratic socialism with the other by strict and brutal authoritarianism. The depression of the 1930s created many economic and political problems for the United States and Germany. Roosevelt and Hitler both gained power because they offered their people a sense of hope and a viable solution to these problems. Both leaders espoused similar polices in response to the crisis, which included: the creation of relief agencies, public works schemes and significant government intervention in the economy. However, their policies differed in that Hitler advocated ideas of Aryanisation, violence as a means to hold power and the state sanctioned slaughter of any opposition and minority groups whereas Roosevelt endorsed peace and prosperity.During the 1920s the United States and Germany were both vastly different nations. The Twenties in America brought a period of unprecedented freedom, individualism and prosperity. The 'Roaring Twenties,' as the decade was termed, was aided by a thriving economy. Consumer confidence was high and the average income grew rapidly. As a result of this, investment levels were high and the agricultural and manufacturing sectors boomed. "At year's end in 1925, the market value of all stocks totaled $27 billion. By early October 1929, that number had grown to $87 billion." (Sparknotes) All seemed to be prospering. Conditions in Germany; on the other hand, were far more disconsolate. The Versailles Treaty, signed in 1919, had treated Germany harshly. The country struggled to overcome the humiliation and massive reparations payments associated with the treaty. The country was led the Weimar republic; however, many Germans saw it as ineffectual and inefficient. The economy was stagnating and with a policy of deliberate inflation practiced by the government many people began to see their life savings disappear. A state of hyperinflation soon ensued. A brief attempt to relieve the situation by the Allied powers via means of the Dawes Plan, which was a series of loans to the government, failed to produce long-term effects. Overall, the Germany population was humiliated and disillusioned which in turn incited the growing sentiment that "the Weimar Republic was associated with all things wrong with post-war Germany." (Mason, 1996:99)The Wall Street Crash of 1929 caused a state of great economic and social hardship for the United States and Germany, which ultimately led each nation to find solace in a new government. The crash of 1929 was caused by a number of diverse factors such as: widespread overproduction in the industrial and agricultural sectors, the misdistribution of...

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