The Rise of Hitler
During the 1920's and early 1930's Germany was trying to recover from
World War. It had to pay reparations and try to rebuild the economy
from bankruptcy. It was because of the weaknesses of the economy and
the Weimar Government, together with the growing popularity of the
Nazis that Hitler was able to become Chancellor.
After the First World War, Germany was forced to establish a
democratic government based on proportional representation. The main
problems with the German system were that no one party had absolute
control. So any decisions took a long time to make. Moreover, no one
party had 50% of the votes the parties had to form coalitions. This
meant that parties could not always deliver their promises because
they had to please the parties with which they had formed coalitions.
The government was weak which made it is easier for Hitler to gain
power. Using proportional representation, the Nazis gained more seats
than they would have done in the 'First Past the Post' system. This
meant that the Nazis could slowly build popularity and have some power
even though they are not the most popular group.
Germany never had a strong leader to guide them in the right direction
and gain respect throughout Europe. 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 please the
people that joined him. Hindenburg was not a good politician and was
only in power because he was popular from the War. The best leader was
Stresemann, who was respected not only within Germany but in Europe as
well. He died, however, before having a big effect. Without a strong
leader, made the people turn to more extreme groups.
The Treaty of Versailles made it almost impossible for Germany to
recover financially, largely because all Germany's colonies were taken
and they were made to pay reparations. In order to try to pay the
reparations, Germany started to print money and ended up with
hyperinflation. There was economic instability.