Rough attacking the treaty, which everyone in Germany

Rough draftSection A: Source Identification and EvaluationThe focus on this investigation is “To what extent did the great depression lead to Hitler’s rise to power in 1932?” and will be taking a close look at the economical state that Germany was around the time Hitler gained popularity.Source 1: History in Dispute by Paul du Quenoy 2004This source is a book that deals with many of History’s questions and goes into important topics. Quenoy goes into the main things happening in Germany in the 1930s and delves into my topic, taking a different approach in wording the causes that may have lead to Hitler’s rise to power. He looks mainly at the the treaty of versailles and the large amount of debt western countries left Germany with and how that eventually lead to the state that Germany was in at the time Hitler rose to power.

This source is important because it directly has to do with Nazism and the economical position Germany. Not only does Quenoy answer my question he takes a second stance, one where the rise of Hitler was through legal democratic process where he still claims the great to depression had a role to play, but not being the main reason that Hitler rose to power. Furthermore this source includes a speech that Hitler gave about the Treaty of versailles which is important towards this investigation because it’s Hitler attacking the treaty, which everyone in Germany was most likely on his side considering the situation they were in . A limitation would be that the author more focused his argument towards the treaty rather than the depression. I still value this source and information because he goes into the treaty causing the depression and the economic ground from which Hitler rose.Source 2: journal of Contemporary History, Petzina, Dieter 1969This source attempts to demonstrate the effects of the Great Depression in Germany after World War 1 and before Hitler’s rise to power. This is of benefit to my historical investigation because it attempts to not only take into consideration Germany at the time that Hitler rose to power but also the before and after which provide more context into Germany and allows me to look deeper.

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This source does have valuable information about the life of Germans at the time and also the desire to chose Nazism from a 1930’s German civilian perspective which is very important to single out the main reasons Hitler rose to power and figure out what things lead to it indirectly, it also discusses how the depression changed Germany.A limitation to this source would be it doesn’t take Hitler into much consideration.Word count: 396Section B: InvestigationsThe end of World War I was were it all began.

The treaty of versailles was signed June 28, 1919 and it required Germany to pay the war reparations to take care of some of the damage caused by World War 1. The Germans were of course unpleased with the treaty as they had to pay a large sum of money but in article 231 of the treaty, Germany had to accept blame for the war and some war penalties.”The article proclaimed that Germany alone was responsible for the war by carrying out an attack against France and Belgium and extending the war from Russia to Western Europe.”(Quenoy 231)In order to determine the amount of reparations Germany had to pay there was a conference in Spa July, 1920 that included France, Belgium, Italy and Britain where they discussed how the preparations were going to be paid out so they came up with the London Schedule which divided the money in three bonds (A,B and C bonds) which separated the amounts of money to be paid at a certain time and in a particular order but rather than raise their taxes to meet the requirements of the London Schedule, Germany wanted to show that they were not capable of paying the reparations “And as a part of that strategy they permitted price-wage inflation and currency depreciation”.(Merriman 2205) In response Germany had no choice but  to lower the value of their currency which would be the only way to pay the war preparations but also further worsening the conditions in Germany. By 1923 Germany was in a difficult situation because of the inflation of currency which had bad consequences for Germany’s economy by severely reducing their savings and other liquid assets.

(Quenoy 292) This, of course doesn’t help Germany as it continues on a downward slope. The German people were beginning to lose faith in their current Government which ultimately led for people to search for a different path which made German extremist more of an optimal choice than continuing to live in unstable conditions “Indeed, for German patriots leery of the Soviet-controlled German Communist Party, Adolf Hitler was seen as the country’s last hope.”(Quenoy 293)  Another major issue at the time was unemployment, during 1927, it was estimated that there was six million people unemployed but the actual number is significantly higher because those who were unemployed for a long period of time where stopped being counted in the statistics. (Dieter 60) The inflation of German currency didn’t just affect Germany. With the German markets having to shut down, it eventually led to surrounding European countries to limit their trade which resulted in depression throughout Europe because of the Bankruptcies and Germany wasn’t the only European country to have extremist groups rising, nearly all of them did and about this time is when Hitler and Nazisms grew substantially from having around 2.6% of the vote in 1927 to an astounding 37% in 1932.

(Quenoy 293) These number grew after the depression hit all of Europe.Considering all of the issues Germany dealt with since the Treaty of Versailles including the large sum of money Germany had to pay, unemployment, economic crash and inflation it was around the time that the great depression set in (estimated to be around 1929) that Hitler’s popularity saw  an over 35% percent increase. So it would be safe to assume that the main reason that Hitler rose to power was because of the Great Depression.

The German people saw Hitler as an escape from the situation they were placed in. It makes sense that people would want a different rule over Germany because the rule at the time wasn’t doing that well of a job with the unemployment, unstable economy and living conditions so in a regular German perspective, a change in power was a necessity in order to bring change to issues and lives of Germans. It wouldn’t make sense to continually vote for people that were not bringing change and order to Germany.If the great depression was the main reason for the rise of Nazism then it would make sense to assume that other European countries would also have extremist gaining popularity and support. Like stated previously, nearly all European countries had extremist groups rising at the time of the depression. Why was it only Germany which had the rise of Nazism? At this time most of the European countries have these two things in common, the Great Depression and the rise of extremist groups, this suggest that the Great Depression may not be the main reason Hitler rose in popularity. Although the Great Depression may not have been the main reason, it remains as one of the most important reasons for the rise of Hitler. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that Hitler’s popularity increases the same time period the depression hits.

Plus Germany had the large amount of debt to pay off which other countries didn’t have. Germany was in far worse than other countries prior to and during the time of the Great Depression. Another reason as to why other countries did not have extremist groups rise to power could be because the Depression for them was more easily fixable than Germany because Germany would be still paying the war preparations for a long period of time. To other countries the rise of popularity towards an extremist group wouldn’t make much sense as conditions there were not the worst. So it stands to suggest that the Great Depression was the final blow against Germany before they decided that it was time to change. It’s important to note there isn’t just one thing that lead to Hitler’s rise to power.

Another reason Hitler gained support and a significant following was because of propaganda. “The German Fascists have learned to dramatize their talk, their deeds, their very existence. It is the drama of Fascist propaganda and the smooth functioning of the Nazi propaganda machine, under the direction of Joseph Goebbels, that have generated the phenomenal rise of Hitler’s party.”(Lerner 267) Hitler rising to power was a case of being in the right place at the right time. Not only did he take advantage of the Germany’s economic hardship, but he did so in a dramatic way taking advantage of the German people’s desperate state they were in the 1920s-1930s.  To directly answer my question, the Great Depression laid the grounds from which Hitler rose. Although Hitler likely wouldn’t have risen to power without the Great Depression, he utilized other methods like propaganda and promising a better future for Germany, he managed to become the chancellor of Germany 1933Word Count: 1115Section C: Reflection Throughout my investigation, I attempted to gather as much background information and events that may have also led to Hitler’s rise to power.

Due to the abundance of information about my topic I found that finding the right resources that directly related to my topic was not as difficult as expected. The main thing that was struggling was coming up with a counter-argument and disprove it with analysis from the information I had. At the beginning a struggle was to find  sources that would be of value. There were a lot of sources that related to my topic but only a few had information worth putting in this historical investigation. My research methods were books that are in my evaluation of sources which is a method utilized by historians. The purpose of a historian is to provide analysis on Primary resources and answer some of history’s many puzzles. It doesn’t seem that any source can be called non bias source, every author has a favorable side and you never truly know what information was left out so you may interpret it in a certain way.

Even if a source is primary that doesn’t automatically mean it is more reliable than a secondary source. It’s all circumstance based, if the source has where it got its information from and a reliable historian it’s more likely to be reliable. I noticed a major limitation when it comes to trying take information from sources and try to make an argument. Even if the source has accurate, reliable information, sometimes that’s not enough to make a true claim. It’s no secret that governments keep secrets. There is some information that will never be known so when a historian attempts to put most of the puzzles into a claim or argument, he’ll have to do so without potentially important information.

A true historian’s goal or objective would be to make a claim or argument without letting their position on the matter influence their claim or argument. A world full of true historians would be a more reliable world but even then it won’t be perfect. The reason I believe history is important is because it helps us understand the previous generations and what led to hardships and immoral acts and learn from them. Because of everyone’s awareness of war has gone up we’re currently living in more peaceful time because of it. There is of course still war, there always will be, but there is progress. Considering all the bad events in history, I feel lucky to be alive in these times.


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