Term Paper: Rise of Communism and Fascism and Political Responses to Hitler's Aggression

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Rise of Communism and Fascism

Rise of Communism in Russia, Fascism in Italy and Germany.

The events at the end of World War I gave rise to the three divergent, yet totalitarian, system in Europe in the 1920s; communism in Russia, fascism in Italy, and Nazism in Germany. All three were systems that were put in place because of disaffected citizenry, and all three in response to World War I. In Russia, the populace was starving, the classes very distinct, and the economy in shambles. Russian men and boys did not know why they were fighting, and many simply put down their rifles and left. Since the basic needs were not being met, time was ripe for revolution. This came about through a moderate government at first, then a Marxist style revolution led by Vladimir Lenin. The stress on the infrastructure of Russia actually culminated in February 1917 -- the winter was hard, inflation rampant (to finance the war the government simply printed more currency), lack of food, disruption of transportation, and the government's autocratic response to strikes. This revolution resulted in a Provisional Government, but so many problems were left unsolved that Lenin's Bolshevik Party was able to wrest control and form a new government based on Marxist ideals. (Fitzpatrick, 2008).

In Italy, Benito Mussolini's brand of fascism emphasized imperialism, expansion of territory, and a more efficient form of governmental bureaucracy (the old adage, "Mussolini made the trains run on time") (Lee, 1999). The basic struggle in Italy also revolved around the events of World War I. The Italian industrialists felt that despite Italy being a full Allied Power, they were cheated by the treaties for compensation and that Italy was not taken seriously as a great power. There was tremendous worker unrest, both at the left- and right-wing stances; discontents all over, and peasant opposition. Mussolini offered great things: order, efficiency, pride, power, and a power structure based on flagrant nationalism -- a message most Italians wanted to hear (Mussolini, 2000).

For Germany, the tragic Treaty of Versailles and the inept post-War Weimar government led to an even more exacerbated set of circumstances that were ripe for someone of great ideas and speaking power -- Adolf Hitler. In general National Socialism was a unique variety of fascism that included vehement anti-communism, biological racism, and anti-Semitism. The Nazis promulgated the superiority of the Aryan Race (the German People), the expansion of territory to include lands that were traditionally German, uniting of German peoples all over Europe, the repudiation of Versailles, and the ability to rearm and reindustrialize the country as they saw fit (Hitler in Perry, et.al., 164).

Italian fascism was a… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Rise of Communism and Fascism and Political Responses to Hitler's Aggression."  Essaytown.com.  October 21, 2010.  Accessed August 17, 2019.