Hitler's Rise To Power Essay

1083 words - 4 pages

Hitler’s rise to power was not inevitable. It depended heavily on a range of factors, events and circumstances that were occurring at the time. The most important of these being, the collapse of the German economy, the failed beer hall putsch and the weakness and infighting of the Weimar Republic. It was only through a combination of these unlikely circumstances that Hitler was able to come to power.
One of the key events that allowed Hitler to come to power was the collapse of the German economy. Primarily due to the harsh conditions of The Treaty of Versailles the German economy was always precariously close to falling apart. It managed to survive an extreme amount of hyperinflation in the early 1920’s, wherein “money became worthless, not even worth stealing” (Geary, 2001 pg 18), before having a brief period of recovery between 1924 and 1928. It was during this time that the economy was set up to fail spectacularly because Germany began relying increasingly on international support and depending on “foreign loans… American capital in particular”. (Geary, 2000 pg 20) Thus when the Wall Street Crash occurred in 1929 it sent the country into turmoil with unemployment rates rising from 2 258 000 in 1930 to 6 031 000 in 1932. (Geary, 2000 pg 22) This paved the way for Hitler’s rise to power because the voting population began to lose faith in the Weimar Republic and consequently casting their vote for the extreme left and right parties, including the NDSAP which gained a rapid amount of votes, increasing its representation from 12 – 107 members (Kitson, 2001 pg 135), and becoming the second largest party in the Reichstag. The total collapse of the German economy allowed Hitler to come to power because voters desperate to end the depression turned to extreme parties such as the NDSAP (Kitson, 2001 pg 142), Hitler used this loss of voter faith in the Weimar Republic to his advantage, employing propaganda specifically designed to cater for those who had suffered from the collapse of the economy, promising to “protect agriculture against foreign competition, to save the peasant and to lower taxes”. (Geary, 2000 pg 21) Without this incentive to vote for the Nazi party, Hitler may never have come to power.
Another significant event in Hitler’s journey to power was the Beer Hall putsch. The Beer Hall putsch was an attempt by the Nazi party to gain control of the government by force. It is widely regarded as a total failure with 16 stormtroopers being killed and Hitler being sent to prison for High Treason (Kitson, 2001 pg 120). It was during his nine months in prison that Hitler was able to reflect upon the fortunes of the Nazi party, coming to the conclusion that if he were to ever become leader of Germany it would have to be through gathering electoral support rather than through sheer force. (Kitson, 2001 pg 120) He also made several other important decisions that would greatly impact the future of the party and ultimately allow Hitler to...

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