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Historical significance of two world wars

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Introduction

Tiffany Wong 5A(38) 1(a) Was the rise of Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany primarily a result of the First World War? Explain your answer. There are several reasons led to the rise of Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany, including the resentment about the Paris Peace Settlement, the Post-war economic problems, the weaknesses of the democratic governments and the rise of Mussolini and Hitler. The first three reasons are directly resulted by the First World War, only the last reason which is the rise of Mussolini and Hitler is indirectly affected by the First World War. Therefore, it is believed that the rise of Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany was primarily a result of the First World War. First, the resentment about the Paris Peace Settlement was aroused among the Italians and Germans. Both countries believed they were treated unfairly but the terms that they concerned were different. For Italy, the discontent was they thought they were not well rewarded although she was one of the victorious powers. Italy joined the Allies in 1915, with the hope that she would get Dalmatia and Fiume after the victory. The Italians believed that they had contributed much to the war as they sacrificed 600,000 lives. ...read more.

Middle

While the US stopped its assistance to Germany, France and Britain pressed her for payment for reparations. Germany's economy was utterly collapsed. Enterprises went bankrupt and banks were closed. The unemployment rate rose to 6 million in 1932. As the governments in Italy and Germany were failed to solve post-war economic difficulties, their people were discontented with the democratic government. This resulted in paving the seeds for the rise of Mussolini and Hitler as they desperately wanted a strong leader to restore glory. Thirdly, Italians and Germans were both disappointed with the democratic government as both governments failed to solve the problems, especially in dealing with the Paris Peace Settlement. The inabilities of both democratic governments were also revealed in tackling with the political instability. For Italy, the democratic government was not supported by the people because the government failed to get Dalmatia and Fiume in the Paris Peace Conference. Moreover, although Fiume was occupied by some Italians nationalists in 1919, the government did not support their action and even expelled them from Fiume. This greatly disappointed the Italians. For Germany, it was similar to the Italians. The Germans also did not support the democratic government because they thought the government had betrayed them and they did not believe that they were defeated in the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

All these promises satisfied the desire of the people. Moreover, they both were good at making use of the circumstances to arouse the discontent of the people about the government. In order to get people's support, both leaders displayed propaganda everywhere, held political rallies and delivered public speeches. Their eloquence and charm fascinated the public. Besides, the personalities of Mussolini and Hitler were perceived as suitable for the idea of national recovery in political and economic aspect Thus, many people were attracted to them and supported them wholeheartedly.. With popular support, they were rise to power. However, without the circumstances created by the First World War, they were unable to make use of the circumstances to arouse the discontent of the people about the government. Furthermore, if the ability of both leaders were so important, they should have rose to power soon after establishment of Fascist and Nazi Party. The rose in power of Hitler in 1930s instead of 1920s further proved the failure of only relying on the ability of leader. This indicates by comparing the ability of leaders with the favourable circumstances, the former was insignificance while the latter was significance. All in all, although ability of leaders was also important, by comparison, the favouarble circumstances created by the First World War outweigh the importance of personal contribution. The above reasons proved that the rise of Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany was primarily a result of the First World War. ...read more.

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