Rise of Totalitarian Dictators

Rise of Totalitarian Dictators
Benito Mussolini
• Italy after WWI
– Disappointed w/ Versailles settlement
– Severe Economic crisis
War drove up expenses
Cost of living shot up 500%
Unemployment was rising
Widespread social unrest
– Upper and middle classes feared unrest
might lead to Communism
Mussolini Seizes Power
• Mussolini organized war veterans
– Known as Black Shirts
– Roamed the streets beating up
• Fascists won support from the
middle class, aristocracy and the
• By 1922, Mussolini was named
Prime Minister
– Effectively taking power from King
Victor Emmanuel III
– By 1924, he is known as Il Duce
Italy under Il Duce
• Democracy was removed
– All political parties were abolished
– Press was censored
– Secret police clamped down on all
• Mussolini believed business owners
and workers must be forced to
– Set up 22 state corp. to run all parts of
Italy’s economy
• Strikes were against the law
• Both Franco in Spain and Hitler in
Germany would borrow ideas from
Stalin’s Rise to Power
• Born in Georgia
– Southern border of the
Russian empire
• Changed his name to Stalin,
means “man of steel”
– Cold, hard, and impersonal
– Beaten by his father
– Low self-esteem because of
his looks
Became leader of Russia in 1928
• He believed that foreign
enemies would attack the
Soviet Union (since 1922)
– Felt Russia needed to
modernize or be taken over
Industrial Revolution
• Five-Year Plan for development of USSR
– Desired growth in all parts of the country
– Set specific goals for each industry
• Goals were high
• Economists thought them to be impossible
– Government took control of production
• Decided who worked, where they worked, how long
– Secret police imprisoned or executed those who didn’t contribute
– 1st and 2nd Five-Year Plans produced great results
• USSR was becoming an industrial power
Five-Year Plan Propaganda
Agricultural Revolution
• 1928, privately owned
farms were abolished
– There were 25 million small
farms in 1928
• Replaced with collective
– Worked by hundreds of
– Equipped w/ modern
– Eventually produce more
food w/ fewer people
Agricultural Revolution
• Peasants resisted change
– 5-10 million peasants died
– Millions were shipped to
– Farmers horded and
destroyed their crops and
• 1931 and 1932, one of the greatest famines in the countries
– 1938, 90% of all peasants lived on collective farms
• Produced about as much wheat as it had in 1928
– Before collectivization
Stalin turns against his own Party
• 1936-1938, tried and executed millions of people
– Old Bolsheviks from Lenin’s Era
– Others were tried as well
• People who had friends in foreign counties
• Factory and farm managers
• Second in command and most loyal advisor
Germany and Adolf Hitler
• No country suffered more after WWI than
– Factories stopped production
– Banks closed
– 1932, 40% unemployment
– Upper & middle classes
turned to Fascism known
as Nazism
• Blamed the Treaty of Versailles
for Germany’s troubles
• Condemned democracy as a
foreign system
– Forced on them by Allied Powers
• Declared economic problems
stem from
– Losing it’s European territories
and colonies
– The burden of reparations to
France and GB
• Believed that Germany must
regain its military power
Hitler’s Rise to Power
• Born in a small town in Austria
in 1889
• Dropped out of High School
• Moved to Vienna tostudy art
& architecture
– Lived an aimless life
– Lived in hotels and did odd jobs
Hitler’s Rise to Power
• WWI broke out
– Volunteered for the German
– Fought well and twice won
the Iron Cross
• WWI ended and Hitler went
to Munich
– Joined National Socialist
German Workers’ Party
• called Nazis for short
• Adopted the swastika in 1920
• Set up private army called the
Storm Troopers or SA
Hitler becomes Fuhrer of the Nazi’s
• Public speaking
– less polished than Mussolini
– filled with hatred
– He would began his speech
in a normal voice, get louder
and louder as anger swelled up. Finally, he would
seem to lose all self-control. His face would puff with
rage, his voice would rise to a screech, and his hands
would flail around in the air. Then he would suddenly
stop, smooth his hair, and calm again.
Hitler takes control of Germany
• Nazis became the largest party in Germany
during the Depression of the 1930’s
• 1933 Germany’s president named Hitler
– Hitler’s first act as chancellor
was to call for new Reichstag
(parliament) elections
• someone set fire to the
Reichstag building just days before the elections
– the Nazis blamed the Communists
• Nazis won a majority of
the seats
– Due to “Communist
– Nazi storm troopers at
voting centers
The Revolution begins
• Nazis excluded Communists from
• Passed the Enabling Act
– gave Hitler the right to make laws for the
next 4 years without the approval of the
– gave Hitler his dictatorship
• Banned competing political parties
• Ruled through his secret police, the
• By mid 1930’s, concentration camps had
been set up to jail anyone who had
opposing political ideas
– Later “Final Solution”

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