In 1929, the American Stock Exchange collapsed, and caused an economic depression. America called in all its foreign loans, which destroyed Weimar Germany. Unemployment in Germany rose to 6 million. The government did not know what to do. In July 1930 Chancellor Bruning cut government expenditure, wages and unemployment pay – the worst thing to do during a depression. He could not get the Reichstag to agree to his actions, so President Hindenburg used Article 48 to pass the measures by decree.
By this time the The Nazis gain support and anger and bitterness helped the Nazis to gain more support. Many workers turned to communism, but this frightened wealthy businessmen, so they financed Hitler’s campaigns. Many middle-class people decided that the country needed a strong government. Nationalists and racists blamed the Treaty of Versailles and reparations. By July 1932, the Nazis held 230 seats, butiIn 1928, the Nazis had only 12 seats in the Reichstag; by July 1932 they were the largest party.
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The government was in chaos. President Hindenburg dismissed Bruning in 1932. His replacement – Papen – lasted six months, and the next chancellor – Schleicher – only lasted two months. Hindenburg had to use Article 48 to pass almost every law. Hitler was handed political power on a plate. In January 1933, Hindenburg and Papen came up with a plan to get the Nazis on their side by offering to make Hitler vice chancellor. Hitler refused and demanded to be made chancellor.
They agreed, thinking they could control him, but they were greatly mistaken. In January 1933, Hitler became chancellor, and immediately set about making himself absolute ruler of Germany using Article 48. Article 48 of the Weimar constitution allowed the president to rule by decree at times of an emergency and gave the president the right to override the Reichstag and provide leadership with no government input or influence Article 48 of the Weimar constitution allowed rule by decree in a state of emergency.