Rise Of Hitler Gaining Power Essay

2900 words - 12 pages

Instead of working to achieve power by armed coup, we shall hold our noses and enter the Reichstag against the opposition deputies. If outvoting them takes longer than outshooting them, at least the results will be guaranteed by their own constitution. Sooner or later we shall have a majority, and after that- Germany." Adolf Hitler spoke these words in 1920, soon after becoming leader of the newly named National Socialist German Workers'' Party, commonly known as the Nazi Party. There are many contributing factors which lead to Hitler''s gain in power over the next thirteen years. The recent history of post-war Germany, and the events that would follow were of perfect conditions for the rise of an extremist party such as the Nazis. World War One had left Germany in defeat. Germany was put under immense pressure by the treaty of Versailles, which contributed to the disastrous and politically unstable early twenties. Hitler was a strong and manipulating character, with extraordinary leadership skills and his party was very tactical. He was very much underestimated by opposing political parties. He seized his opportunity to gain power in the years of the depression. This essay will review these conditions in Germany which lead to Hitler and his Nazis'' becoming the sole political party in the Reichstag in 1933.The German Empire was formed in 1871 and soon became one of Europe''s most influential countries. It dominated in industrial and military power, and the German people were proud of their achievements. Up until the end of World War One, Germany was ruled by a Kaiser. From 1888 the Kaiser was Wilhelm II. He was very ambitious and militaristic and a threat to other countries. The German people were very accustomed to success, and when Germany was defeated in World War One, they were shocked and angry. It was a condition for peace that the Germans got rid of the Kaiser and become democratic. A new constitution was drawn up, called the Weimar Constitution. This constitution was genuinely democratic but had some weaknesses that made it harder for the Republic to cope. A president ruled with a chancellor and proportional representation in the Reichstag. Proportional representation made the Republic weak in that parties were very uncooperative. No party could get a majority, so the government had to be run by coalitions. There could never be a strong government. The president had too much power over the government and could turn himself into a dictator. This was made possible by Article forty-eight in the constitution which stated that in an emergency, the president could make laws without going first to the Reichstag. The Social Democratic Party, or SPD, was the largest party in the Reichstag in the early years of German democracy. It was the only party which held strong support for the Weimar Republic. A lot of the disasters which happened in the early stages of the republic was blamed on the SPD by extremist groups like the German Communist Party,...

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