Saturday, October 20, 2007

Four year plan
For a high school academic guidance plan, see 4-year plan.
The Four Year Plan was a series of economic reforms created by the Nazi Party. The Four Year Plan included: increased synthetic fibre production; public works projects, headed by Fritz Todt; called for increased automobile production; initiated numerous building and architectural projects; and further developed the Autobahn system. The plan also placed an emphasis on building up the nation's military defenses, which was a direct violation of the terms set up by the Allies of World War I at the Treaty of Versailles, which stated:
The German army was to be restricted to 100,000 men, there was to be no conscription, no tanks or heavy artillery and no general staff. The German navy was restricted to 15,000 men and no submarines while the fleet was limited to six battleships (of less than 10,000 tonnes), six cruisers and 12 destroyers. Germany was not permitted an air force. Finally, Germany was explicitly required to retain all enlisted men for 12 years and all officers for 25 years, so that only a limited number of men would have military training.

Global reaction
The Four Year Plan favoured both the protection of agriculture and economic independence. Hermann Göring was put in charge of the Four Year Plan on October 18, 1936 and was given extraordinary powers for an extraordinary situation. In short, Goering had complete control over the economy including the private sector, especially after the Minister of Economics, Hjalmar Schacht, began to lose favour with Hitler because of his opposition to growing military expenditures. During the following years, Germany began building refineries, aluminium plants, and factories for the development of synthetic-materials. The four year plan technically expired in 1940, but the "Office of the Four Year Plan" (considered a cabinet level agency) had grown to such a power base that the Four year plan was extended indefinitely. Indeed, much of the Four Year Plan's goals relating to economic production were accomplished between 1941 and 1944.

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