Causes of the Munich Putsch
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Last updated 20 Jan 2019
The Munich Putsch had several causes, both long and short-term.
Long term causes are those which happen over a period - normally years or decades. They ‘bubble’ away in the background. Short term causes, sometimes referred to as triggers, occur just before the main event and are often seen as a direct cause.
Long Term Causes
The Nazis built their support around people who were patriotic Germans and who agreed with Hitler that those who had signed the Treaty of Versailles were criminals and had betrayed Germany. Therefore, many of the people who supported the Nazis detested the Weimar Republic and what it stood for. The more problems that the government had such as hyperinflation or unemployment, the more support the Nazis gained. Hatred and resentment had built after the First World War and the Munich Putsch was an outlet for it.
The idea of marching on a city and taking power was not new, certainly not in Germany which had seen the Spartacist and Kapp revolts. Hitler drew inspiration (and learned) from these two revolts and also from events in Italy where Mussolini had successfully marched on the Italian capital Rome with his Fascist movement and taken power.
Short Term Causes or Triggers
In the months leading up to putsch, Germany was gripped by hyperinflation. Money became worthless and savings were wiped out. The occupation of the Ruhr by French forces also added to the impression that the Weimar Republic was poorly lead and weak. The Nazis and their supporters capitalised on these and launched the putsch, hoping that they could bank on the dislike of the Republic by ordinary people.