During a depression, political trends become extremist and so the Nazis flourished; Hitler offered both a scapegoat and himself as a strong leader to look up to. The depression gave Hitler the edge he needed to gain ninety-five seats in the Reichstag and ultimately progress from the leader of a minority party to the Dictator of the Third Reich. The Depression also drew attention to the weaknesses of the Weimar Constitution; as poverty and unemployment increased, respect for the democratic system drastically decreased. The German population did not want to be governed by a democracy as it was such a governing body that signed the Treaty of Versailles. Hatred for this document was still rife in Germany and so Hitler, who openly detested the Treaty, became the obvious choice.
Germany was in major debt and this created depleted economic conditions for business and industries. Hitler promised Germany to restore the profits of small businesses and the value of savings, to end the communist threat, employment and the most appealing promise was to make Germany proud again. Another factor which contributed in Hitlers rise to power was social conditions. After Germany's loss of World War I, Britain, France and USA discussed peace terms in Versailles, France. Germany was blamed for the war and harsh repercussions were listed for the German people.
The mutual fear of Nazi Germany brought together an improbable ‘Grand Alliance’ the world’s greatest communist state, the Soviet union led by Joseph Stalin, the world’s leading capitalist state, America led by Roosevelt and the world’s greatest colonial state, Britain led by Churchill. After the war Britain was on the decline which was evidently shown when it could not support the Greek civil war against communism. The decolonisation which took place after the war brought further decline. So the United States developed into a superpower by replacing Britain as the world’s leading power and supplier of financial credit. And although the Soviet union had suffered the heaviest loosed during the war it also came out of the war as a major power.
German rearmament was a key reason for the outbreak of WW2; the Germans resented the restrictions imposed on them by the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler's rise to power increased the speed of rearmament, the annexing of Austria-Hungary, areas of Czechoslovakia and the NAP with the USSR all prompted the events from 1939-1945. France and Britain being the two biggest powers in the League of Nations should have been expected to do more, as well as this France was especially harsh on Germany in the Treaty of Versailles. Essentially, the French and British did nothing. Britain was still recovering from the Depression which had devastated her economy; her economy could not afford a major conflict.
The Depression which began in 1929 was a great mean for Hitler to come to his power. During the Depression (1929-33), the Weimar Republic was seriously undermined by the social and economic conditions, which were also exploited by the Nazi Party. The Nazi ideologies appealed to those people who had seen no hope on the Republic. The Party promised people jobs, money, and homes, plus, they also wanted to abolish the Treaty of Versailles so there wouldn’t be huge reparations. That’s what German people want; they liked to be reminded of the humiliation caused by the War, and they wanted to get it back from the Republic.
The causes of the second World War are easily traceable to the first World War, especially in the European theatre. Germany was decimated by the treaty of Versailles, and was essentially humiliated in European relations. As a result of the costs piled on to Germany as a result of Versailles, and the disarmament of its military, Germany was in a serious depression. It is an observed historical pattern that when a country is in bad economic pattern such as a depression or recession, there tends to be a shift to the conservative right. Germany was no exception and a far right nationalist, and militant, leader came to power.
Therefore, the statement “peace settlements create conditions for new conflict” is correct when assessing peace settlements that succumb to the demands of others. This statement holds true especially in the context of the interwar years. An example of blatant appeasement is the Lausanne Conference. During this time, the world was undergoing a great economic recession. Germany, after their defeat in World War I, was especially affected by the recession.
It makes the standard of living for the masses suffer. The price of basic necessities sky rocket, like the recent price rise in gas and other fuels. I hope to explore several individual cases of economic disasters and depressions and asses what was the root cause of their failure. My first case study is the German Hyperinflation of 1918-1924. Before the first world war had started the Germans over spent and went into a massive deficit because they thought that when the won the war they would inherit the country and its wealth.
In contrast the Tsar weakened the Duma and a progressive bloc was formed. This suggests that the Tsar is vulnerable to revolution whereas the Communist rule is repressive and very few ever speak out against it. Economically the Civil War had the greatest impact in shaping the Russian Government policies. This is because War Communism was introduced and later fine tuned into the New Economic Policy. War Communism was radical and involved the militarisation of Labour which was disliked by the people and made people focus purely on the needs of the war.
In Europe, the Great Depression strengthened extremist forces and lowered the prestige of liberal democracy. Economic distress directly contributed to Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933. The Nazis' public-works projects and their rapid expansion of munitions production ended the Depression there by 1936. Hitler adopted policies that were more interventionist, developing a massive work-creation scheme that had largely eradicated unemployment. Also rearmament, paid for by government borrowing, started in earnest.