A Comparison of Two Charismatic Leaders - Online

of Two
Charismatic Leadership
• The German sociologist Max Weber
described certain leaders as having
exceptional qualities—a charisma—that
enabled them to motivate followers to
achieve outstanding performance.
Charisma is a Greek word meaning “gift
bestowed by the gods.”
Requirements for
Charismatic Leadership
Four conditions give rise to charismatic
1. A crisis situation
2. Potential followers in distress
3. An aspiring leader
4. A doctrine promising deliverance.
A Blessing and a Curse
• "Charisma is a tricky thing. Jack Kennedy oozed
it—but so did Hitler and Charles Manson. Con
artists, charlatans, and megalomaniacs can make
it their instrument as effectively as the best CEO's
entertainers, and presidents. Used wisely, it's a
blessing; indulged, it can be a curse. Charismatic
visionaries lead people ahead—and sometimes
astray." Fortune, January 15, 1996
The Crisis
• Both Franklin D.
Roosevelt (FDR)
and Adolf Hitler
came to power in
1933, at the height
of the Great
Depression. The
situation was
The Situation in the United States:
An Economic Crisis
• Unemployment was at
25% (i.e., 2,830,000
people were unemployed).
• Wages for those who
retained their jobs fell
almost 43% between 1929
and 1933.
• Farm prices fell
dramatically. Many farm
families lost their homes
or went hungry.
- 40%
US Incomes: 1932
Weekly Salary*
Factory Worker
*National Averages for 1932
US Prices: 1932-1933
• The 1932-1933 Price List for Mooresville,
Indiana, reveals these costs:
1 loaf of Grandmother's Quality bread: 5 cents
1 quart of milk: 25 cents
1 pound of cheese: 19 cents
1 pound of bananas: 15 cents
Mortgage 2-BR, 1-BA bungalow:
$35 per month
• Payment on Chevrolet coupe: $14.09
The Situation in Germany: An Economic and
Political Crisis with Low National Morale
• After World War I, Germany faced a series of crises:
• Under the Versailles Treaty, Germany had to disarm, give up land and pay heavy
• The devastated country suffered from
widespread unemployment, runaway
inflation, and low national morale.
• By 1923 the mark was worth
one-trillionth (0.000000000001)
of its original value.
• The middle class, a necessity for
a stable democratic government,
Value of Mark
was wiped out.
• The Weimar Republic, established in 1919, had a divided democratic Reichstag
with many parties including Communists, Socialists, and Fascists.
• The Germans were used to a strong autocratic regime.
• Many feared a Communist revolution.
Pre -War
Decline in German Incomes
• Companies throughout Germany
went bankrupt.
• Millions of workers were laid off,
affecting nearly every German
• Unemployment increased from
650,000 in 1928 to 6,100,000 in
1933 (25 % of the workforce):
• 1928: 650,000
1929: 1,320,000
1930: 3,000,000
1931: 4,350,000
1932: 5,102,000
1933: 6,100,000
German Political Disunity
• The crisis of the Great
Depression brought political
disunity to Germany.
• Members of the Reichstag could
not get together to enact
desperately needed legislation.
• It broke up into squabbling,
uncompromising groups and was
finally dissolved in July 1930.
• There was a call for new elections.
This gave Adolf Hitler his chance.
The Way is Clear
• The German people were
tired of all of these things:
• The political squabbling
• The misery and the suffering
of the Great Depression
• The weakness exhibited by the
democratic Weimar Republic
• These were desperate times
and they were willing to
listen to anyone.
How FDR Restored Hope
• FDR was perceived as a man of action
(promised a “new deal for the
American people”)
• His predecessor Herbert Hoover was
viewed as a “do-nothing president” and
attacked the Democrats as dangerous
• Norman Thomas, the Socialist candidate,
was viewed as a radical alternative. He
advocated government ownership of the
means of production.
• Results of election of 1932: a landslide for
Democrats and a mandate to use the
government as an agency for human
How FDR Restored Hope
• FDR had a solution to the desperate
situation the country was in when
he entered office in March, 1933:
• Country was virtually leaderless
• Banking system had collapsed.
• His first inaugural address restored
confidence: “The only thing we
have to fear is fear itself…” In that
address, he promised:
Vigorous leadership and bold action
Called for discipline and cooperation
Expressed his faith in democracy
Asked for divine protection and
How FDR Restored Hope
• FDR had personal qualities that
made him an effective leader:
• He was a practical politician (practiced
the art of the possible)
• He genuinely liked people (exhibited a
warmth and understanding of people)
• He knew how to handle the press
(focused attention on Washington)
• He provided dynamic leadership in a
time of crisis (1st week: special session
of Congress, bank holiday, Emergency
Banking Act, 1st fireside chat)
• He was willing to experiment
How Hitler Restored Hope
• Hitler used his strong nationalistic
convictions and oratory skills to deliver a
simple 3-part message.
• Part 1 involved finding scapegoats. (This
made people feel in control. If they know
the reason for the desperate situation they
are in, they can do something about it.) He
told them:
• Germany did not loose the war but
was stabbed in the back by the Jewish
and socialist traitors.
• The Versailles Treaty imposed by the
Allies was the root of all evil and had
to be denounced.
• The Jewish capitalists and the Jewish
communists are the mortal enemies of
the German people.
How Hitler Restored Hope
• Part 2 gave the German people
confidence in their ability to
succeed. He told them:
• The Germans are a superior race
destined to rule the World: "In
ourselves alone lies the future of
the German people. Only when
we ourselves raise up our German
people, though our own labor, our
own industry, our own
determination, our own daring
and our own perseverance, only
then shall we rise again."
How Hitler Restored Hope
• Part 3 established himself as the
savior of Germany: He told people:
• The Fuhrer is infallible and the
destiny of Germany is in his hands:
“Germany is now awakened. We
have won power in Germany. Now
we must win over the German
people. I know, my comrades, it
must have been difficult at times,
when you were desiring change
which didn't come, so time and time
again the appeal has to be made to
continue the struggle - you mustn't
act yourself, you must obey, you
must give in, you must submit to
this overwhelming need to obey."
How FDR Achieved His Goals: Economic
Relief, Recovery, and Reform
• FDR increased the size and
scope of the federal government
to meet the needs of the
• He worked within the democratic
political system to create new
government agencies and
sponsor legislation with these
objectives in mind:
• To put people back to work
• To raise prices for business
and agriculture
• To bring about permanent
economic reform
How FDR Achieved His Goals: Economic
Relief, Recovery, and Reform
• Examples of New Deal legislation to bring about recovery
and relief:
• National Recovery Act - for the recovery of industry (created a
partnership of business, labor, and gov’t to attack the depression
with such measures as price controls, high wages, codes of fair
• First Agricultural Adjustment Act – for the recovery of agriculture
(paid farmers who agreed to reduce production of basic crops such
as cotton, wheat, tobacco, hogs, and corn; money came from a tax
on processors such as flour millers and meat packers who passed
the cost on to the consumer)
• Federal Emergency Relief Admin. – relief (gave money to states
and municipalities so they could distribute money, clothing, and
food to the unemployed)
• Civilian Conservation Corp. – relief (gave outdoor work to
unemployed men between the ages of 17 and 29; they received $30
per month, but $22 were back to the family
How FDR Achieved His Goals: Economic
Relief, Recovery, and Reform
• Examples of New Deal legislation to bring about
permanents reform:
• Social Security Act (gave money to states for aid to
dependent children, established unemployment
insurance through payroll deduction, set up old-age
pensions for retirees)
• National Labor Relations Act (put restraints on
employers and set up a National Labor Relations
• Second Agricultural Adjustment Act (paid farmers for
conservation practices, but only if they restricted
production of staple crops)
• U.S. Housing Authority (used federal funds to tear
down slums and construct better housing)
How Hitler Achieved His Goals: Power,
Economic Recovery, German Superiority
• Immediately after becoming Germany's Chancellor in
1933, Hitler started an extensive process of consolidating
his power:
• The Reichstag Fire: On February 27, the Nazis created a crisis by
setting the Reichstag on fire and blaming it on the Communists.
• Suspension of Civil Liberties: The next day Hitler persuaded
President Hindenburg to suspend civil liberties to deal with the
• The Enabling Act: Two weeks later, Hitler requested the Reichstag
to temporarily delegate its powers to him so that he could
adequately deal with the crisis. The “Enabling Act” made Hitler
dictator of Germany, freed of all legislative and constitutional
• Control of the Judiciary: The Nazis gained control of the judiciary
when they transferred jurisdiction over treason cases from the
Supreme Court to a new People’s Court controlled by the Nazi
• The New Order: On August 2, 1934, Hindenburg died, and the title
of president was abolished. Hitler’s title became Fuehrer and Reich
How Hitler Achieved His Goals: Power,
Economic Recovery, German Superiority
• At home, Hitler achieved economic
recovery with rearmament and public
works projects related to the military:
• An extensive highway system (the
• Extension of the Navy and Air
• An increase in the size of the army
to 500,000
• Compulsory service in the Labor
Corp (which reduced
• As the world depression receded, high
government expenditures wiped out
How Hitler Achieved His Goals: Power,
Economic Recovery, German Superiority
• On the international scene, Hitler embarked on a
series of high-risk adventures to achieve
• He renounced the Treaty of Versailles
• He occupied the Saar Land, annexed Austria,
and dismembered Czechoslovakia.
• This improved the national morale and made Hitler
very popular but caused problems:
• The 45 billion marks spent on rearmament
tripled the amount of money in circulation and
caused inflation.
• There were not enough goods and services
available to satisfy the demand caused by the
increased supply of money.
• Facing a collapse of the economy, Hitler embarked
on new international adventures: Poland, France,
and Russia – precipitating World War II.
How FDR Handled Opposition
• By 1935, political disunity was evident
(critics on right and left)
• Criticisms of Conservative Opponents of
the New Deal (ND went too far)
• It was socialism (ND was destroying the
“American system” of individualism)
• It added to the national debt (money thrown
away on relief, encouraged idleness, $35
billion debt)
• It violated the constitution (ND legislation
unconstitutional, states rights violated)
• It increased the power of the Presidency
(FDR was reaching toward dictatorship,
Congress a rubber stamp, independence of
judiciary threatened, separation of powers
• Organization: American Liberty League had
money but small in numbers, so FDR not
How FDR Handled Opposition
• Criticisms of Radical Opponents of the New Deal (ND didn’t go
far enough)
• Sen Huey Long (LA): ND relief measures mere crumbs, advocated a share
the wealth plan (guaranteed annual income of at least $5,000 by
confiscating wealth over $5 million)
• Fr. Charles E. Coughlin: a rabble-rousing radio priest from Detroit,
broadcasts called “Golden Hour of the Little Flower,” said there was an
international bankers conspiracy and Jews were responsible, advocated
nationalization of banking and currency and national resources, and
demanded a “living wage.”
• Dr. Francis E. Townsend: an elderly physician from CA, had a plan
whereby the federal government would pay $200 per month to unemployed
people over 60, program would be financed by a 2% national sales tax,
each pensioner would be required to spend the money in 30 days (this
would stimulate the economy)
• These people were demagogues (rabble-rousers) and had popular
followings, so FDR was concerned.
How FDR Handled Opposition
• FDR used the democratic political
system and sponsored moderate
legislation to silence radical
• Revenue Act of 1935 – Response to
Huey Long. Increased taxes on large
incomes and corporations.
• Banking Act of 1935 – Response to
Coughlin. Extended federal control
over private banking practices.
• Social Security Act of 1935 –
Response to Townsend. Included
provisions for unemployables
(dependent children, the handicapped,
the blind), unemployment insurance,
and old-age pensions.
How Hitler Handled Opposition
• Propaganda: Hitler tried to gain
cooperation first and foremost by
using propaganda (see PPT on
Nazi Propaganda): “The effective
propagandist must be a master of
the art of speech, of writing, of
journalism, of the poster, and of
the leaflet. He must have the gift
to use the major methods of
influencing public opinion such
as the press, film and radio to
serve his ideas and goals, above
all in an age of advancing
technology. . . It may be good to
have power based on weapons. It
is better and longer lasting,
however, to win and hold the
heart of a nation.” -- Joseph Goebbels
How Hitler Handled Opposition
• Terrorist Tactics: The Nazis also used terrorism to achieve their goals:
• The SA: The Nazis created a party organization called the Sturmabteilungen (SA). It was
a semi-military voluntary group of young men trained for and committed to the use of
violence to control the streets.
• Rollkommandos: The Nazis used physical violence and terror to break up meetings of
political opponents, and to suppress opposition in their own meetings. The
Rollkommandos were a group organized by Goebels to interrupt meetings, make noise,
and unnerve the speaker. They also used raids, resulting in fights, during which furniture
was destroyed and a number of persons hurt. The Nazis armed themselves with
blackjacks, brass knuckles, rubber truncheons, walking sticks, and beer bottles.
• The Gestapo: The Gestapo was part of the SS (Schutzstaffel), Hitler's elite paramilitary
corps. They constituted the Secret Police and
• Einsatzgruppen (Task Force) became an integral part of the Gestapo. It was the Task Force's
job to round up all the Jews and other "undesirables" living within Germany's newly conquered
territories, and to either send them to concentration camps or put them to death.
• The army units within the Gestapo were taught many torture techniques, and were also taught
many of the practices that German doctors in Dachau tested on the inmates of concentration
camps. The Gestapo, during its tenure, operated without any restrictions by civil authority,
meaning that its members could not be tried for any of their police practices. This
unconditional authority added an elitist element to the Gestapo; its members knew that
whatever actions they took, no consequences would arise.
The Outcome: FDR’s New Deal
Physical and human rehabilitation of country
Revitalization of politics and extension of democracy
Attacked soil erosion
Built dams and planted trees to prevent floods
Reclaimed the grasslands of the Great Plains
Developed water power resources
Encouraged regional reconstruction projects like the TVA and Columbia River project
Established the principle that government has responsibility for the health, welfare, and security, as well as the
protection and education of its citizens
Embraced social security, public health, housing
Entered the domain of agriculture and labor
Strengthened executive branch
Reasserted presidential leadership
Revitalized political party as a vehicle for the popular will and as an instrument for effective action.
Redefined democracy: came to mean more than just a form of government (rule by the people, political rights for
the individual). It now defined a way of life in which economic security and social justice were just as important as
political rights.
Maintenance of a democratic system of government and society in a world threatened by totalitarianism.
Increased size and scope of government to meet needs of the depression
Provided the leadership that enabled Congress to put through the necessary relief, recovery, and reform measures.
Sponsored moderate legislation to neutralize the popularity of radical opponents
Redefined the concept of democracy so that it included not only political rights but economic security and social
justice as well.
• “I never forget that I
live in a house
owned by all the
American people
and that I have been
given their trust.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Outcome: Hitler’s New World Order
• Total destruction of the German nation (it was defeated in
World War II and occupied by France, Great Britain, the
United States, and the Soviet Union).
• The city of Berlin (divided between the Soviet Union and the
West) became a pawn in the Cold War
• The Berlin Wall dividing East and West Berlin, erected by the
Soviet Union to protect its interests, did not come down until 1989.
• Loss of lives:
• Over 7 million Germans lost their lives during World War II:
3,250,000 military casualties, 3,810,000 civilian casualties.
• Hitler was largely responsible for the 56 million lives lost by all
nations during World War II
• The Holocaust: 6 million Jews (2/3 of the Jewish population of
Europe) lost their lives.
• “We shall not
capitulate... no
never. We may be
destroyed, but if we
are, we shall drag a
world with us... a
world in flames.”
– Adolf Hitler