Hitler's Rule in the Third Reich

Topics: Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, Nazism Pages: 8 (2556 words) Published: August 8, 2006
Term 3 History Research Paper

Discuss the impacts of Hitler's political, social and economical control of Germany in the Third Reich. (1500 words)

Hitler rose to power after President Hindenburg's demise yielded him presidency in addition to the Chancellor role he already held. This made him the Fuhrer (Supreme Leader) with complete control of Germany. He took numerous political, social and economical measures to ensure his popularity amongst his people so as to prevent rebellion. He already in fact had some of these measures implemented way before Hindenburg's death in August 1934, when he was just Chancellor. These policies kept him in power until his death in 1945.

Hitler's political control was about making him the sole dictator of a totalitarian state without any opposition. Though there was still opposition from different groups like the Communists and the Church, generally he succeeded in busting his enemies. He even got rid of his ally, leader of the Nazi's private army, the Sturmabteilung (SA) Ernst Rohm as he was getting too powerful within the Nazi party and was not highly regarded by the leaders of the German national army. Over that weekend known as the Night of the Long Knives other leading figures of the SA were killed by SS members, accused of plotting to overthrow him. Hindenburg commended Hitler for clamping down on treason and the army, too was pleased with Hitler. After Hindenburg's death Hitler established the Gestapo which infiltrated anti-Nazi organizations and sent their leaders to concentration camps, destroying them. Hitler also agreed with other parties that they would remain in existence provided they stayed out of politics. This allowed the Nazis to take every seat in the Reichstag, and under the Enabling Law Hitler still held from the March 1933 Reichstag Fire, he duly abolished the Reichstrat, the second Parliament for state representatives, such that only himself and his fellow Nazis were in control. As such he was able to obtain control of Germany's civil services and place Nazis in the high-ranking positions such as judges or chief commissioners. These allowed the Nazis to manipulate laws in their favour. Furthermore Hitler presented Germany as an anti-Bolshevik state, finding favour amongst industrialists and the middle classes who resented control over their finances, and the Church, which felt that Bolshevik ideology was wrong.

Hitler's political control helped keep him in power. He purged his rivals to ensure nobody could politically topple him from his post as Fuhrer, and got rid of Rohm who possessed sufficient clout to challenge him from within, in the process making the SA subordinate to the Schutzstaffel (SS) , his private bodyguards. Also he swayed the courts with a huge Nazi bias and this allowed Nazis to commit crimes against opponents and escape the law. It also kept people happy by declaring itself anti-Bolshevism, reducing the possibility of disenchantment and revolt.

Hitler's economic control brought wealth back to Germany's coffers. Hitler's policy of rearmament and his emphasis on military supremacy had positive economic repercussions for Germany. The construction of tanks, aircraft, naval equipment and weapons boosted the steel, iron and engineering sectors, while chemical, coal and the transport industry also benefited from the increased production volumes, while conscription increased the need for uniforms, helping the textile industry. Rearmament also provided 500,000 jobs, and conscription to military service was a form of employment. The need for advanced military technology put many engineers and designers into business. Aid was also provided for the car and agricultural industries and central boards or markets were established to buy up the produce and sell them to the public for the companies involved, therefore they did not bear losses and could afford to employ more staff. Public works like construction of autobahns and clearing of wastelands...

Bibliography: I would like to acknowledge and thank the following sources and their respective authors for their invaluable assistance and help over the course of my compiling this essay.
GCSE World History: 1870 to the Present Day. Lane, Peter. Letts Educational
Modern World History. Walsh, Ben
Inroads, Modern World History. Lim SH; Tham YP; Wang ZP; Yeo, Lloyd
Modern World History. Sawyer, Ralph. Science Press.
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