The fascist philosophy spread quickly across Europe and the world because of the ideas of communism.
It had a large following in Austria, Portugal, Spain, and Argentina, but its world-shaking triumph was in Germany.
Here fascists were fused with deeper and older forces in the German tradition to turn the words of elitism and imperialism into actions of conquest and genocide.
The ground for Hitler and his National Socialists was prepared after Germany's humiliation at Versailles.
The Germans adopted a democratic constitution in 1919, but the new government was inexperienced and it was associated with the crushing military defeat.
It fell under the weight of its unresolved problems in little more than a decade.
The problem was that Hitler was the son of middle-class parents in a small Austrian town.
He became an ardent German nationalist early in life, and though he spent some of his formative years in Vienna, he found its cosmopolitan atmosphere distasteful.
He didn't find a place for himself until the outbreak of the First World War.
Hitler experienced the comradeship and discipline of military life when he enlisted in the German army.
He went to the capital of the south German state of Bavaria in 1919 because he was bitter about the war's outcome.
There were large numbers of unemployed veterans and political dissidents there.
The new role gave Hitler an outlet for his ambitions.
He was attracted to the National Socialist banner because of his hatred for Jews.
He had the support of a number of people, including a pilothero, a journalist, and a military commander during the First World War.
He had an intuitive grasp of the concerns of his fellow Germans, especially the middle class, about the decline of culture, the threat of social revolution, and the mixing of the races.
Like Mussolini, he had a gift for rousing speech-making.
Rioting and street fighting were commonplace in Germany during the early 1920s.
The Nazi party seemed to have been crushed by the government reprisals after it was stopped in the streets of Munich.
He founded the party after his release from prison.
The international economic crisis of 1930 gave the German revolutionary parties a great opportunity, despite the fact that the revived party made little headway.
Many men were looking for work.
Many of them found " jobs" as Nazi storm troopers, similar to Mussolini's Blackshirts.
During the years of economic hardship, the party gained electoral strength.
Powerful industrialists came to the rescue when it ran out of funds.
In January 1933, Hitler received a promise to pay the wages of his storm troopers and the party's debts.
Conservative politicians were preferred by German business leaders.
They turned to the Nazis as a "bulwark against communism" in order to protect themselves against the possibility of a Nazi victory in the elections.
The Nazis did not have a majority in the legislature.
Hitler suspended constitutional guarantees after the Reichstag building was burned.
The Social Democrats were the only opposition party left after the Communist party was banned.
The Enabling Act of March 1933 gave the government the power to rule by decree for four years.
The flag of the republic was replaced with a Nazi swastika and Hitler declared the beginning of the Third Reich.
By mid- 1933, Hitler's political opponents were either in jail or in exile.
He assumed the office of president after Hindenburg's death.
The act was approved by the German electorate.
One of the most educated and civilized nations of the world was ruled by the mad Austrian.
The army and leading industrialists cooperated to marshal the country's manpower and resources.
Hitler wanted to make Germany the most powerful nation in Europe and the world.
Italian fascists had a lot in common with Nazism.
The myth of the "organic state," the importance of struggle and will, the glorification of militarism, insistence on authority and discipline, rule by an elite, and a mystical faith in the Leader were all present.
NeoRomanticism, nihilism, and violent racism were added to Germany.
The first two were out of the 19th century and the last one was an outgrowth of the war.
The Nazi racial theories led to genocide for the Jews of Europe.
In most parts of Europe, Jews were liberated from the ghetto in the 19th century because of the liberal philosophy of equal civil rights for all.
The supremacy of Nordic "races" over other races began to be asserted by some writers in France, England, and Germany.
Hitler and his associates, resentful of the resurgence of Jewish social and cultural influ ence in postwar Germany, embraced these racial ideas and made them a central part of their program.
Building on that passion, they enacted discrimination legislation, banned marriage and sexual relations between Jews and citizens of German blood, forced Jews to wear a humiliating badge, and laid plans for the systematic destruction of the Jewish people.
The Nazis were contemptuous of reason and intellectuals.
Hitler declared that the German peasantry's values were the basis of Nazi goals.
The country became divided between industrialized and urbanized under Hitler.
The Nazis covered up the reality of technological change by encouraging popular belief in the myths of rustic purity and racial superiority.
Millions of people became converts to the Nazi faith during the 1930s.
It suited the traditional romantic longings of most Germans, offered a total view of life, and appealed to national and racial pride.
The urge to violence was finally released.
The murder of Jews and political opponents was one of the steps taken by the Nazis.
Some indi viduals and groups struggled to resist Hitler.
The Roman Catholic hierarchy criticized many of the Nazi policies, but they were able to secure the Church's functioning while enduring an uneasy relationship with the state.
In Rome, Pope Pius XII kept silent about the systematic destruction of the Jews, in the belief that moral condemnation of the Nazis by the pope would only make the situation worse for both Jews and Catholics in Germany.
Less fortunate were the German Protestant churches, which Hitler wanted to organize into a supporting force for his party.
Some individuals formed a separate "Confessing Church" which openly opposed Nazi power, but most of them yielded to the relentless threats and pressure.
They paid a high price for failing to stop Hitler, as their chief leader, the Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller, was arrested in 1937 and remained in a concentration camp until the Allies liberated him at the end of the war.
The theologian and also arrested, imprisoned, and executed in 1945.
The shift from liberalism to communism took place in a different way in the West than it did in Germany, Italy, and the USSR.
The major prewar social institutions in the Nordic lands, France, Great Britain, and the United States held firm.
There was no security from the disruptions that followed the war or the march of science and technology.
In response to these forces, democratic governments intervene more and more.
Some of the principles and practices of historic liberalism were left behind by the governments as their functions expanded.
The historic liberal spirit and principles of this country have been identified more than any other country.
Britain in the 19th century was the main stronghold of capitalism and free trade, as well as having an extraordinary tradition of stability.
Prior to 1914, one wouldn't have expected this nation to move toward collectivism.
Even before the war, the British had distanced themselves from liberalism.
Parliament had passed many laws regulating industrial conditions, and trade unions had become a force between workers and their employers.
By 1914, compulsory national insurance was put in place to protect workers against the costs of accidents, sickness, unemployment, and old age.
Revenues from progressive income taxes were to be used to support such programs.
There were new problems that the government had to deal with after the First World War.
The experience of the war made it easier for the British to accept state intervention in the postwar period.
England's most pressing problem at the end of the war was to recover its financial and trading position in the world, as it had suffered severe losses of manpower and wealth during the struggle against Germany.
Britain's aging industrial plants were an obstacle to the effort.
Organized labor would not agree to lower wages after the war.
After 1921, Britain fell into a chronic depression because it failed to regain the lost markets.
Unemployment and poverty were a way of life for millions of Britons.
The 1920s saw the growth of organized labor in British politics.
The Labour party was formed by the unions and moderate socialists.
The Conservative party had the largest number of seats in Parliament by 1924.
The working class realized that political power did not guarantee a better standard of living for workers or a solution to the country's economic problems.
The policies of Labour governments were not very different from those of Conservatives.
Both parties agreed that the protection and advancement of the public well-being required continued and widening intervention by the state.
The traditional policy of free trade was ended as the British depression grew deeper.
The home market was protected against imports from the United States.
In 1931, the government went off the gold standard and devalued the pound.
The latter step was taken as a means of aiding British exports, but it was undone by the depreciation of other currencies in capitals around the world.
Coal was voted subsidies by Parliament when it proved unable to compete.
The government laid out plans for the development of British industry and agriculture.
The United States became the strongest capitalist country after the First World War.
During the 1920s, the nation pulled away from its military adventures overseas and from the domestic controls imposed during the war.
The decade of "normalcy" was defined by the President chapter 14: the west divided Warren Harding.
The power of big business and finance was rarely checked by the governing Republican party.
During the 1930s, the government of the United States was pushed into the kind of intervention that had become common in other Western democracies.
The economic boom of the postwar years brought temporary prosperity to the nation, but it was driven by artificial and unstable forces.
The stock market Crash of 1929 wiped out many of the inflated values.
The Crash signaled the beginning of the Great Depression, a long and bitter experience for millions of Americans.
They discovered that the "free-market" economy wasn't all it's cracked up to be.
President Herbert Hoover was in office at the time of the crash.
Hoover didn't understand that a system and an era had ended.
Although he approved limited government measures to assist certain financial institutions and railroads, he held the view that business would recover on its own.
Production and employment went down when Hoover told the public that the recovery was "around the corner".
During the winter of 1932- 1933, they struck bottom.
Wages were down by the same proportion as physical production, and farm income was reduced by half.
About fifteen million people were out of work.
Depressions were not a new experience in capitalist countries.
There was reason to believe that normal recovery forces were unlikely to work in this depression.
The factors that contributed to this were rigid price and wage structures, rapid technological advances in industry, and the near-hopeless situation of farmers, who were producing for a depressed and uncontrollable world market.
It is likely that some kind of balance in the economy would have come about through natural forces.
The economy had grown so complex that the forces would have been too slow.
The strain on the social system could have proved intolerable, and so many individuals and families would have been crushed in the process.
Franklin D. Roosevelt promised the American people that he would lead the federal government in an attack on the depression as if it were an enemy.
More radical leaders might have gained a mass following if he had not promised to act.
Roosevelt began the first hundred days of his "New Deal" program after his party won an electoral victory.
The New Deal was built on the ideas and policies of earlier American "progressives" as well as the wartime experience of industrial mobilization.
Roosevelt realized that the challenges were much greater and that they needed a new boldness.
He proposed remedies with no ideology.
The New Deal was meant to strengthen the capitalist system.
Relief, recovery, and re form are the headings Roosevelt classified his measures under.
Legislative provisions for the Social Security system, bank deposit insurance, regulation of the securities exchanges, stabilization of agricultural production, and guarantees for labor collective bargaining were some of the most important and enduring.
The New Deal programs did not cure all of the nation's ills, but they did place the federal government in a new and generally accepted role in the social and economic life of the country.
FDR was attacked by some of his opponents as a traitor to his class, but he saw himself as a duly elected president making necessary reforms in light of new economic realities.
In America and Europe, the democratic welfare state did not lose sight of the dual.
What was needed for the protection and well-being of the majority of individuals was what it aimed to do.
Western men and women have had less economic freedom in the twentieth century than they did in the nineteenth.
Increased wealth and economic security due to advances in technology and social organization have given them more freedom in their personal lives.
The areas include education, leisure and travel, the arts, books and magazines, and material consumption.
Wilson was determined to fulfill his promise after the conflict ended.
The goals of "open" diplomacy, freedom of the seas, arms reductions, removal of trade barriers, and political "self-determination" for peoples everywhere were included.
Wilson proposed a "general associa tion of nations" to guarantee their independence.
Wilson traveled to Paris after the war to make sure that this association was established.
The plan for a League of Nations was written into the Treaty of Versailles.
Wilson made concessions to them on the other provisions of the treaty in return for them approving it.
Wilson believed that the League could correct injustice and lay the foundation for a warless world after it was established.
The Treaty of Versailles was later approved by all the Allied governments except the United States.
The League's high purpose was crippled by America's failure to join it.
The organization was not universal because Germany and the Soviet Union were excluded from membership for a number of years.
The United States would one day become a member, despite the fact that it had some strong supporters.
Disillusionment with the war and the Great Depression turned Americans inward.
The League provided aid to refugees, returned prisoners of war to their homelands, and held popular votes in disputed territories.
The commission arranged for the exchange of scientific and cultural information and the collection of social and economic statistics.
The sponsoring of the conferences proved to be useless, as the participating nations viewed the proposals for arms reduction as another arena for the continuing power struggle.
Wilson intended the League to prevent war.
The treaty required member states to submit their disputes to the Council of the League if they failed to do so.
The Council, which consisted of representatives of the principal countries, could only call for sanctions against any state that attacked them.
Collective action against potential aggressors would not start acts of conquest.
If the leading powers put priority on stopping aggressors, collective security might have worked.
In and out of the League, each nation continued to pursue their own goals and refused to act when their interest seemed to be in danger.
Japan, Italy, and Germany were conspiring to support one another's seizure of territory.
The balance between countries that want to preserve territorial boundaries and those that want to break them proved to be too much for the collective security idea to succeed.
Japan was the first country to test the will of the League.
The Japanese soldiers occupied Manchuria in 1931.
In response to China's appeal, the League sent an investigating commission to Manchuria and concluded that Japan was guilty of aggression.
The Council of the League could not agree on sanctions.
Britain was reluctant to offend the Japanese, who had a powerful Pacific fleet.
The British decided that nothing should be done because they couldn't get a guarantee of assistance from the United States.
Britain was the most influential member of the League.
The League's failure encouraged the militarists in Tokyo to prepare for more ambitious conquests in China and beyond, as well as emboldening the aggressors in Europe.
After the First World War, the Wilsonian hope for collective security was shattered.
The road to the Second World War was already begun by the great powers.
He tried to gain a foothold in the ancient empire of Ethiopia during the 1920s.
The emperor of Ethiopia had refused.
Mussolini decided to move by force of arms after observing the League's weakness.
The tribesmen of Selassie were not able to hold out against the Italians.
Ethiopia was annexed to Italy within a year.
The Council of the League called for economic sanctions against Italy because Britain was more aroused than in the case of Manchuria.
Mussolini continued to receive needed supplies from Germany despite the measure only being partially effective.
Japan and Germany had already left the League.
By now, it was clear that the three nations were linked in a plan for conquest.
In 1936, the Rome-Berlin axis joined the fascist states of Europe.
Germany and Italy signed an Anti-Comintern Pact with the militaristic and profascist government of Japan.
The pact was supposed to check the spread of communism by the Comintern in Moscow.
Germany was the strongest member of the alliance.
Hitler decided to rearm Germany in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles.
His air force was growing in strength.
Hitler continued to violate the 1919 peace settlement even after he moved cautiously.
The absorption of Austria into the new German Empire was announced by the Fuhrer in 1938.
Hitler supported an army rebellion against the newly established Republic of Spain a year earlier.
The war became a bloody theater for the ideological struggle between Left and Right in Europe after the government appealed to the Soviet Union for help against the rebels.
It proved to be a testing ground for new weapons.
The fascists won the war in 1939.
Franco's repressive government was supported by the Spanish Church and lasted until his death in 1975.
Britain and France were alarmed by the fascist threat, but they were not able to respond effectively because of their political incompetence.
The only power that could check Hitler was the Soviet Union.
The defensive alliance between France and the Soviets ended in 1935.
The collapse of the Franco-Soviet alliance was due to the failure of France and Britain to honor their treaty obligations.
In September of 1938, the two Western powers agreed to Hitler's demands for a portion of Czech territory.
The Soviet dictator was worried that some British diplomats were secretly hoping that Hitler would smash into the Soviet Ukraine so that they wouldn't have to worry about the Nazi and Soviet threats.
The Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact of 1939 came as a shock to British and French diplomats, as Stalin chose to remove the threat of an invasion of his country by working out a deal with Hitler.
Stalin would not interfere with Hitler's next territorial grab in Europe in return for pledges of non-aggression and territorial promises to the Soviet Union.
Poland was invaded by the Nazis on September 1, 1939.
The British and French had made last-minute pledges of assistance to the Poles.
They declared war on Germany this time.
The Second World War began.
Within a month, Poland was destroyed by the Germans.
The Polish troops were surrounded by swift tank formations.
By agreement with the Nazis, Soviet troops moved into the eastern part of Poland.
The Soviet Union was savagely attacked by Hitler in June 1941.
Between 1939 and 1942, the German armies advanced eastward into territories that had held the majority of the world's Jews since the western European persecutions of the Middle Ages.
The Germans separated the Jews from the rest of the population and placed them in ghettos or concentration camps, where many died from brutality, hunger, and disease.
There were mass shootings and gassings by special task forces.
Jews from all over Europe were transported and selected for immediate gassing or hard labor at the most notorious of the camps, which were located in Poland.
Six million Jews and three or four million non-Jews died.
The German diversion of men, supplies, and transport from the war effort was enormous.
It was aided by the cooperation of governments and non-Jews throughout occupied Europe, as well as the passivity of the Allied governments.
The Holocaust stands as a warning of the possibilities of evil released by the combined technical advances and inner conflicts of modern civilization in general and Western civilization in particular.
The fascist forces made huge gains in the early part of the fighting.
There is a happy Hitler in this picture.
He has a good reason to be happy.
His aides just told him that France had accepted the German cease-fire terms.
Germany has become the dominant power on the mainland of Europe after conquering France.
Britain held out against Nazi bombs and threats of invasion.
Japanese forces had occupied large areas of China before 1941 and hoped for further gains as a result of the defeats suffered by the main European imperial powers in the Far East, Britain, France, and the Dutch.
Six months after the German attack on Russia, they struck the United States' Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor.
They conquered the British colonies in the western Pacific Ocean and its islands, as well as the Dutch East Indies, and the American-controlled Philippine Islands.
By 1942, the fascist power was at its height in Europe and the Far East, and all the major powers were involved in the war by land, sea, and air.
The population and resources of the Allies were vastly superior, however, and in the end they achieved victory.
The final outcome of the six-year war was decided by Soviet armies and the United States air power.
After their attack on Russia, the Nazis penetrated deep into the country and were close to overthrowing the regime.
They were stopped just short of Moscow, having suffered heavy losses.
They surrounded and destroyed twenty-two Nazi divisions in the largest battle in history.
In the war in the air, the Americans first pursued a tactic called "strategic bombing", which was to destroy key transport and production facilities whose elimination would cripple the enemy's war machine.
This type of bombing, which depended on "pinpoint" accuracy and spared the civilian population, was only partially successful.
The strategic pattern was the same as it was during the First World War.
A group of opponents was confronted by the powers.
The opponents were hesitant and distrustful and faced the threat of Japanese expansion in the Far East.
For a time, theAxis powers made spectacular conquests in western Europe, eastern Europe, and North Africa until the rival coalition mobilized enough resources, determination, and mutual cooperation to crush the bloatedAxis domain.
The war against Germany was marked by fire raids.
The Pacific and Europe were both on the defensive by mid-1943.
Allied forces based in Britain under the command of American General Eisenhower landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
Their Russian allies advanced from the east while they moved cautiously toward Berlin.
The war in Europe ended in May 1945, when the Germans surrendered.
Before the end of World War II, American forces had bases within the range of the Japanese home islands.
The enemy's population centers and air defenses were now open to unlimited attacks from the sky.
By the standards of nuclear weapons, the weapon that wreaked this destruction was small.