Fascism Essay, Research Paper
Fascism is defined as a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
Fascism takes many forms, but despite the many forms that fascism takes, all fascist movements are rooted in two major historical trends. First, in late 19th-century Europe mass political movements developed as a challenge to the control of government and politics by small groups of social elites or ruling classes. For the first time, many countries saw the growth of political organizations with membership numbering in the thousands or even millions. Second, fascism gained popularity because many intellectuals, artists, and political thinkers in the late 19th century began to reject the philosophical emphasis on wisdom and progress that had emerged from the 18th-century intellectual movement, called the Enlightenment.
Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)
Adolf Hitler was Chancellor of Germany during World War II. He transformed Germany into a military state, based on the beliefs of Nazism, making Germany an Anti-Semitic, Nationalist state. During his rule, he expanded his empire, conquering most of Europe, and some African states, in an effort to conquer the world. His Germany was a state of racial purity. Millions of Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, and non-Germanic people were slaughtered, because they were considered inferior. The slaughter of the millions of people became known as the Holocaust. Germany and the axes lost World War II, and Hitler committed suicide in 1945.
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)
Benito Mussolini was dictator of Italy from 1922 to 1943. He was the founder and leader of Il Duce, or Italian Fascism. Mussolini joined the Germans in the Second World War, and following their example, he also had millions of Jews slaughtered in Italy. In 1943, King Victor Emmanuel dismissed him, because of the many military defeats. King Victor Emmanuel then signed an armistice with the Allies. The Germans rescued Mussolini, and they forced him to organize a rebellion in Northern Italy. He tried to escape to Switzerland, but was caught and shot.