Edited Invalid date
30 -- Part 5: The Great Depression and
Stalin had a hard life in the Soviet Union.
There were constant shortages of housing and it was a serious problem.
A relatively lucky family got one room and shared a kitchen and toilet with other people on the floor.
People build scrap-lumber shacks in shantytowns.
Communism was seen as heroically building the world's first socialist society while capitalism crumbled and fascists rose in the West.
The belief in the Soviet Union's future attracted many people to communism in the 1930s.
Old-age pensions, free medical services and education, and day-care centers for children were some of the important social benefits that Soviet workers received.
Unemployment was not known.
There was a chance of personal advancement.
A growing technical and managerial elite joined the political and artistic elites in a new upper class, whose members were rich and powerful.
Women's lives were profoundly affected by Soviet society's radical transformation.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 made equality of rights for women a reality.
Women were encouraged to work outside the home in the 1920s because of the availability of divorce and abortion.
Stalin favored a return to traditional family values after coming to power.
Work and education are the most lasting changes for women.
Millions of women now toil in factories and heavy construction as Peasant women continued to work on farms.
The better-paid specialists are women.
By 1950, 75 percent of the doctors in the Soviet Union were women.
Culture was politicized through propaganda.
Party activists lectured workers in factories and peasants on collective farms, while news papers, films, and radio broadcasts recounted socialist achievements and capitalist plots.
The push to build socialism and a new society culminated in police terror and the purge of the Communist Party.
Sergei Kirov, Stalin's number two man, was murdered in 1934.
Kirov's murder was used by Stalin to launch a reign of terror.
In August 1936 sixteen prominent "Old Bolsheviks" -- members of the party before the Russian Revolution of 1917 -- confessed to all manner of plots against Stalin.
In 1937 the secret police arrested a bunch of lesser party officials and newer members and tortured them for more show trials.
All of Soviet society was included in the purges.
At least 8 people were arrested and executed or never returned from forced labor camps.
1.5 million new members were recruited by Stalin.
More than half of all Communist Party members joined after the purges.
Mussolini's Fascist movement and his seizure of power in 1922 were important steps in the rise of dictatorships.
Mussolini and his supporters were the first to cal themselves "Fascists" -- revolutionaries determined to create a new kind of talitarian state.
His dictatorship had elements of both conservative authoritarianism and modern totalitarianism.
Italy had civil rights and a constitutional monarchy in the early 20th century.
There were serious problems.
The national state was often weak and poverty was widespread.
Middle-class lawyers and politi cians who ran the country largely for their own benefit were opposed by the papacy, many conservatives, and landowners.
Relations between the church and state were tense.
Class differences were extreme, and by 1912 the Socialist Party's radical wing led the powerful revolutionary socialist movement.
Italian nationalists were disappointed with Italy's modest gains at Versailles, having fought on the Allied side almost exclusively for territorial expansion.
After the war, the government promised social and land reform, which it did not deliver.
Italy's revolutionary socialist movement was rejuvenated by the Russian Revolution, and workers and peasants began occupying factories and seizing land in 1920.
The property-owning classes were scared by these actions.
The revolutionary Socialists, antiliberal conservatives, and frightened property owners were all against the liberal parliamentary government.
Mussolini used Rome's ancient heritage to promote Italian fascists.
The Way of the Imperial Forum was built through the old city because he wanted a grand avenue to stage triumphal marches.
Mussolini rides at the head of a grand parade in 1932 to open the new road and pass the Roman Coliseum, one of the focal points along the route.
Mussolini stepped into the crosscurrents of unrest and fear.
Mussolini was the leader of the Social ist Party.
Territorial expansion, work ers' benefits, and land reform for peasants were included in Mussolini's program.
When Mussolini saw that his verbal assaults on rival Socialists won him support from conservatives and the frightened middle classes, he shifted his focus to exalting nation and race over class.
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