Hitler used propaganda, elimination of the opposition, and a cult of personality to gain the support and trust of the German people in a time of economic crisis to his benefit and the rest of the world's loss. Single party states arise from a crisis, and Germany was suffering from a very large one at that time. The end of World War I in 1918 had left the economic state in shambles, and the loss struck the German people hard. Furthermore, the Treaty of Versailles the following year resulted in the demilitarisation and many cuts from German land and territory. Hitler criticized the carving up of Europe by the "Big Four" (the US, UK, France and Italy), stating that the Germans were the "master race".
Hitler’s strategy incompetence, the Allied bombings and losing the Battle of The Atlantic were all also important factors in the defeat of Germany. This essay will aim to judge to what extent the failings of the economy contributed to Germany’s defeat in conjunction with various other factors that led to the downfall of Germany. The Nazi’s economic policy did nevertheless, have significant contribution to the defeat and fall of Germany during the war. The Four-Year Plan of 1936, which was major part of their economic policy, was meant to make Germany ‘fit for war within four years’. However, the German economy was not really ready for a long war and was struggling by 1939; its capacity was only strong enough to sustain a couple of short campaigns.
One of the major causes of tension was the Berlin blockade which caused an accelerated involvement of the US in Europe. The US disagreed with many of the SU’s political ideologies and decisions like its control over Poland. Also, Britain sided with the US and backed Iran in its struggle to be independent of the SU. There were several other problems concerning the Soviet Union’s pursuit of power; namely its conquests in Turkey, Greece and Korea. These heightened the US’s fear of communism and continued to radically change its foreign policy to deal with this threat.
The war had created the division of two superpowers; The Soviet Union and The United States. After 1945, the United States had become the leading power due to it’s military strength and economic advantages after the war and Soviet Union play it’s role to challenge the state’s power (Young & Kent: 2) due to it’s ideology of communism and wanted to expand their influence globally, in which the United States wanted to prevent this from happening because their idea was absolutely conflicted with the Soviet Union; capitalism (Young & Kent: 6). These two countries reshaped Europe and the world. In contrast, World War II also weakened Britain’s and France’s powers because both of these countries faced a devastated loss by the war especially Britain. Likewise, both of the powers had to dismantle their colonies and ended their overseas and territorial empire.
The imbalance of trading caused deficits and upset the foreign exchange market, especially against America. After the World War II, American political leader committed to promoting international trade by supporting for multilateral organizations such as General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. They made the international currency markets the Breton Woods system. However, since the Japanese economy grew so fast, the United States was worried to lose the leadership to Japan, which linear projections called as the “superstate”, the world’s largest capital market to boot. On the other side, the United States government was complained by its domestic industry companies during its recession period since Japanese products was very competitive.
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.
! After the First World War, unlike some other nations that were prepared to fight another major war, Britain had an aftermath of the war. Britain was struggling with economy as they met the economic depression; they were still on the stage of recovering. Also as the Americans were insisting on maintaining their isolationism, which they were willing to be isolated from the European countries’ conflicts, this eliminated any other possibilities and chance for the British to earn loans. Moreover, as Britain was one of the major power of the WWI, the effects on both of their men and arms were not recovered from the WWI.
The injustice of the settlement unintentionally gave birth to long term problems, including key events for the lead up to the Second World War. The peace treaties were poorly established due to the restless state of Europe after the war. It was not a reasonable time to try and create peace amongst countries that are still feeling hatred towards each other after the war. The aim of the treaties was to avoid another war. The German people resented the fact that they alone were blamed for the war.
The feeling swept especially throughout Britain that the Treaty of Versailles had been too harsh, and Germany should be able to make some amendments to its more extreme elements. The British were not willing to go to war, nor prepared. However Appeasement regardless of the reason failed as it only encouraged Hitler. The result of the appeasement policy was that Britain and France did nothing more than diplomatically protest when Hitler violated the peace treaty. Hitler then announced to the world he was following a policy of re armnent in March 1935 by largely increased military manpower though conscription and announcing the creation of the Luftwaffe of 2500 planes.
This angered the German public as they thought that the government’s plan would just make living harder if they did increase the taxes. Taking advantage of this, Hitler told the public that the reparations and the Treaty of Versailles was to blame for Germany’s hardship. When America recalled all the loans that they gave Germany, Germany was left in immense debts. This proved Hitler’s point that the reparations and the Treaty of Versailles were wrong. After that the people of Germany began to vote for Hitler because the Weimar government had proved itself useless and Hitler was the only one offering a way out.