The Establishment of Hitler's Dictatorship and Its Legality Essay

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The Establishment of Hitler's Dictatorship and Its Legality

The career of Adolf Hitler was marked by a spectacular rise to power. He went from being a nobody in the streets of Vienna to the supreme leader of one of the most powerful nations on earth. Hitler came to power through a combination of legal means and backroom politics. The events leading up to the rise of the Nazis and Hitler are prime examples of the myriad of factors intertwining in the area of social action. Economists view the economic conditions as the major reason for the downfall of the Weimar republic and the rise of the Nazis but political scientists like to point out the constitutional structure of the Weimar constitution.
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Polling 44 percent of the votes, the Nazis won 288 seats in the Reichstag. With the support of their conservative nationalist allies, who held 52 seats, the Nazis controlled a majority of the 647 member Reichstag. The Nazi majority was even more substantial, since none of the 81 Communist deputies were allowed to take their seats.

The Enabling Act, March 1933

On March 23, 1933, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, which gave dictatorial authority to Hitler's cabinet for four years. Armed with full powers, Hitler moved to eliminate all possible centers of opposition. His policy is known as Gleichschaltung, which translates literally as coordination. In this context, however, it meant more precisely subordination, that is, subordinating all independent institutions to the authority of Hitler and the Nazi Party.

It was the Enabling Act of March 23, 1933, which in a legal way conferred dictatorial powers on Adolf Hitler. Only 94 Social Democratic votes were cast against it. The date for its abrogation (see Article 5) was never kept. Indeed, the Enabling Act is the last measure which the Reichstag passed under the republican and democratic Constitution of the Republic. It spelled its end and the beginning of National
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