The interwar period marked a significant time in political history in many European nations. The unexpected results of World War I placed looser at brims of social, political, and economic collapse since much attention had been placed on the Wars (Casanova 148). The situation resulted in the overall instability in the countries as they fought back for resurrection from their turmoil. At the time, in nations such as Germany, Italy and Russia strong men came up to help their country overcome the challenges. However, the leaders, Adolf Hitler of Germany, Benito Mussolini of Italy and Joseph Stalin never turned into opportunist for obtaining absolute powers for themselves. The following factors are believed to be factors that contributed rise of the dictatorship.
The Germans believed to have been harshly punished with the terms of the Versailles Treaty, a peace agreement that was signed between nations after the world war (Quine 7). They had lost both the national pride and a global reputation as a superpower, hence they believed in Adolph Hitler to be an experienced military leader that can awaken their spirit of nationalism. In the event, Hitler became famous among the Germans for they believed that would arouse the anger and payback the losses they endured in terms of financial cost, military power, and territories.
Germany was suffering from the economic and political crisis. As such, Hitler's Nazi idea was much appealing to the emotions compared to the political strategies introduced with other political leaders (Quine 10). They promised to raise the nation from the post-war economic crisis. The Nazi party agenda targeted mainly the post-war victims such the small scale farmers and people in businesses who were suffering huge due to the financial crisis. As such, Hitler promised them a tax-free transaction, subsidized food prized and fertilizers, favorable policies against corrupt trade unions, and abolishment of the communism to the business community. Among men, Hitler was famous due to his military characteristics and among the females; they wanted a leader who appreciates their role in society by conceiving the Aryan children to serve the nation. Similarly, Hitler proclaimed his position in the national politics when he openly detested the Jews in Germany who were being blamed as a source of the whores the nation had suffered. The speech led to mass voting for Hitler, who then began his dictatorship rule in the country.
Aftermath World War I, Italy felt neglected with the terms of the Versailles treaty in that they were not paid the full cost for the losses as expected in the previous agreement. They were not provided with territories in Adriatic island, lands along the Austria-Hungary borders and Ottoman Empire. In essence, the political leaders in Italy lost their fame for failing to fight for the national share before the international community as they lost to the British and France (Casanova 148). As such, Benito Mussolini got the opportunity to air his strategy for the nation that he would proclaim back the glory of the country as it was in the Ancient Roman Empire an idea that was celebrated by many Italians. The Italians wanted an influential political figure that would be feared by other nations. Mussolini went on to invade Ethiopia and Albania as a plan of increasing Italy territories in the world.
Equally, postwar economic crisis contributed to the rise of Mussolini to power. Aftermath World War, Italy suffered huge debts which were borrowed from other nations in support for the war activities (Foot and Hibbert 18). Its industrial and manufacturing sectors slugged behind as more attention shifted towards the war. After the war, unemployment rates had increased, and the nation lacked enough resources to rebuild their economic power. The economic inflation and high unemployment rates encouraged riots and strikes in the entire nation which termed the government incompetent governing the people (Foot and Hibbert 17). Hence, a group of nationalists led with Mussolini to merge to form a fascist party which was supported with a large number of Italians. As a result, Italy came under the rule of Benito Mussolini who was perceived as a unifying force to fight both the political and economic crisis.
For Russia, the ineptitude of war overthrew the old government, and as a result, Joseph Stalin was left in power. Under the rule of Stalin, he used the police force to suppress his opponents' activities and assassinated several of them (Quine 14). He created a great purge of eliminating the Communist rivals both at party level and in government. With economic instability affecting the nation due to the effects of war, Stalin formulated a five-year financial plan to fix the Russian industrial sector and create employment for the youths (Quine 14). The steel and oil production firms significantly improved but the set production expectation from the government was very high. The government forcefully took control of private firms to which the Soviet Union was made a totalitarian power.
The interwar period marked a historical period in many European nations as it significantly altered their political structure. The impacts of WW I came as a breakthrough for a few political elites rise to power who became authoritarians, racists, and supreme leaders. Without the war, then such leaders could not have raised to power.
Casanova, Julian. "Republic, Civil War And Dictatorship: The Peculiarities Of Spanish History". Journal Of Contemporary History, vol 52, no. 1, 2017, pp. 148-156. SAGE Publications, doi:10.1177/0022009416678803. Accessed 3 Mar 2019.
Foot, John, and Christopher Hibbert. "Benito Mussolini | Biography, Definition, Facts, Rise, & Death". Encyclopedia Britannica, 2019, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Benito-Mussolini.
Quine, Maria Sophia. Population Politics In Twentieth-Century Europe. Routledge, 2013.
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