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The Rise of Fascism and Totalitarianism

fascism and totalitarianism in Italy

David Smock

on 24 March 2017

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Transcript of The Rise of Fascism and Totalitarianism

extreme nationalism
strong state - rigid control of people
demands blind loyalty
= authoritarian regime
glorifies action, violence, warfare, discipline
individual rights subordinated
= anti-democratic
upper & middle-class oriented, protection of private property
fasces symbol of gov't authority
bundle of rods with axe protruding
entered WW1 late on Allies side
they wanted Italy to open a southern front
Treaty of London = promised Italy regions of Tyrol, Istria, Dalmatia
heavy losses, humiliation 600,000 dead 950,000 wounded 250,000 crippled
Post WW1 Italy




labor strikes
Mussolini stepped into this political opportunity

Mussolini had been a socialist early on but WW1 impacted his thinking
became a strong nationalist
appealed to the middle class and lower middle class
promised to prevent proletarian revolution
pledged to restore national prestige & military strength

businesspeople and landowners began to support as well

His group - the Black Shirts - planned a March on Rome to take power

the government did not defend itself, cabinet resigned, Mussolini offered post of Prime Minister
"Il Duce"

five years after being a corporal in the army, Mussolini was head of the Italian government, begins cementing a dictatorship
intimidated politicians to pass the Acerbo Law
automatic 2/3 majority in Parliament to whoever gets most votes
Mussolini now controlled government

most vocal critic - Matteotti, a socialist in Parliament - was murdered. Fascists, main suspect.

Socialists appeal to the king but he hates them (republicans) more than Mussolini. King ignores them. Mussolini survives the scandal and grows stronger.
The rise of Fascism & The Totalitarian State
"I declare….in front of the Italian people……that I alone assume the political, moral and historic responsibility for everything that has happened. Italy wants peace and quiet, work and calm. I will give these things with love if possible and with force if necessary."
1926 - rival political parties & opposition newspapers banned.
1927 - establishes a secret police force to spy. Potential death penality for "serious political offenses.
appoints Fascist Party officials to gov't posts
gov't takes control of labor unions, outlaws strikes
civil liberties suspended
begins to build up the military
takes control of elections
"corporations" (industry/labor syndicates) submit list of 1000 names for election
Grand Council picks 400 they approve of
people vote for entire list, not individuals
1929 - 90% approval
1934 - 97% approval
That's how you take control of a government
and have the government control everything.

= Totalitarianism
At Versailles negotiations following WW1, Italy not given areas promised to them.

humiliation, powerlessness
We will look at:
The Soviet Union
In 1920's Japan,
extreme nationalism takes hold in 1930's
scaled back earlier aggressive expansion
agree to limit size of navy
leave Shandong province in China
reduce military spending
rural peasants did not share in prosperity of 1920's
Marxist ideas have appeal to urban working poor
younger generation revolt against tradition
reject family authority
adopt Western styles and values
massive earthquake creates chaos
nationalists demand renewed expansion
need resources
invade Manchuria - 1931
build back navy
assassinate politicians & business leaders
1937 - military takes control of gov't
crack down on opposition & eliminate democratic freedoms
build cult of the Emperor
attack China
"The rape of Nanjing"
use gov't schools to teach obedience
1936 - becomes allies with Germany & Italy
1940 - Tripartite Pact
The Axis Powers
Stalin's USSR 1924-1953
brought all economic activity under gov't control
command economy
gov't owns all businesses & distributes all resources
opposite = free market economy
Central planning did not work well
low standard of living
low quality goods
Agriculture under gov't control too
forced farmers onto state-owned farms & made to grow grains
for urban workers & export
state set prices & owned all supplies & equip.
Ukrainian "Famine"
Yet one of Stalin's lieutenants in Ukraine stated in 1933 that the famine was a great success. It showed the peasants “who is the master here. It cost millions of lives, but the collective farm system is here to stay.”
6-7 million starve to death
The Great Purge
4 million sent to Gulag
replaced older party members with younger (more loyal to Stalin)
sends message to all that better be loyal
cost though = loss of expertise in industry, economics, engineering
as well as military leaders & officers
and writers, thinkers
Totalitarian control:
"win" the "hearts and Minds" of the people
1) propaganda
2) censor what's published/
3) replace religion w/ ideology
4) impose culture on minorities
build a "cult of personality"
bombard with messages of success
and evils of "enemies"
meet production quotas
Russia controlled the 14 other republics
some had their own language, customs, cultures
Stalin does away with wealthy landowners and peasants at bottom as "classes"
but replaces with a new, different group of elites
the Communist Party
party membership not automatic
needed approval by committees
past closely scrutinized
"Young Pioneers"
age 14
Communist Youth League
only approx 2% of pop. members
got benefits no one else did
The general population does get some benefits
medical care
day care
cheap housing
women's equality
best apartments
scarce commodities
best vacation homes
Nazi Germany
Weimar Republic
politically weak
humiliation from WWI
look for scapegoats
Mein Kampf
blamed Germany's defeat WWI on
corrupt politicians
business leaders
Germany must unite into one great nation
must expand
inferior races must bow to Aryan
extreme nationalism
Gets out of prison, develops following
1 million 1920's
global Great Depression
unemployment etc.
1933 - elected Chancellor
quickly moves to suspend civil liberties
eliminates the Communists
outlaws other political parties
purged his own party of questioners/critics
sets up police (SS) and secret police (Gestapo)
instigates education program to indoctrinate youth
eliminates democracy & dem. freedoms
demands/enforces loyalty & obedience
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