History on Rising of Dictators
Dictators in Europe and Asia
The term “dictatorship” was first used in ancient Rome. The title dictator is taken from the Latin dictator meaning to “say or declare”, literally translating as one who dictates.
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In the early 20th century, many countries across Europe and Asia adopted totalitarian regimes that imposed strict single-party rule and limits on civil freedoms. Authoritarianism is the belief in and advocacy of strong government authority.
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The leader of a country or government is always an authoritative figure; dictators may take charge during war or natural disasters. In the past, authoritarian regimes were typically led by a dictator referred to as Dictator President or Dictator for short and often by Julius Caesar (or Julius Caesar Augustus for short).
Examples of well-known dictators in history include Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), Benito Mussolini (1883-1945; 1929-1943), Josef Stalin (1878-1953), and Mao Zedong (1893-1976; 1926 – 1976). There have been thousands of dictators throughout the history of Earth.
Reasons for the rise of dictators
1. Rise of the bourgeoisie
During the 19th century, the bourgeoisie seized power in Europe and Asia. The bourgeoisie is a class of people whose primary interest is the gaining, maintaining, and extending wealth. The profit motive drives them to compete against each other for profit, status, and power.
When there are only a few countries compared to today, where wealth is produced by labor & commerce rather than war, the bourgeoisie has no choice but to work together to protect & extend their wealth.
2. The rise of Nationalism
In the 19th century, states such as Germany and Italy unified under strong central leadership in a bid to create a single nation-state. Similarly, China’s last imperial dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, was overthrown in 1911 through a revolution led by republican revolutionaries. The Boxer Rebellion followed in 1900, fighting against foreign influence in China and European trade control.
In this period, Asia and Africa were still dominated by imperial governments, which encouraged a sense of nationalism. Explorers had already set foot in Africa.
The German chancellor Otto von Bismarck played upon the concept of German nationalism to unify the many small German states into a single country. Following the unification of Germany, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck became an extremely powerful leader who ruled Germany peacefully through a series of effective alliances with other nations such as Italy and Austria-Hungary. Bismarck also played upon the powerful nationalism of the various German states to pressurize other states into accepting the hegemony of his country.
3. Civil wars
During this period, many states and regions saw civil wars break out either between the government & opposition forces or between different races. Civil wars are usually fought by army units (both a regular army and militia), but they can also be fought by irregular groups of rebels such as guerrillas.
Civil wars occur when countries have become divided into opposing factions (or factions within a country). The most common reasons for civil war are minority ethnic groups living within an otherwise dominant group/nation. Another reason for civil war is the fact that the dominant nationality groups have oppressed some ethnic minority groups.
While the mechanization of the industry with its accompanying growth of population, trade, and markets led to new forms of capital and competition for profits in the late 19th century, it was unlikely that this process would have a major impact on patterns of power and authority. However, the rise of a new middle class and the spread of literacy led to the growth of newspapers and other media that could report on and analyze political matters. Mass media began playing a role in politics during the 19th century, with radio broadcasting its first news programs in 1920.
5. The rise of communism & socialism
During the 19th century, political ideologies such as socialism, communism, anarchism, and Marxism began attracting widespread interest among workers who opposed capitalism & landowners whose wealth was being eaten into by huge rents imposed by larger landowners & capitalists.
Socialism is a political and economic philosophy based on the idea that all of society’s members should own & control their livelihood and that the government should be responsible for providing basic services such as health care, education, transportation, and communication. Socialism is also known as “Social Democracy”. Communism is a form of socialism where there is no private property; everything is owned by the state (which may take the form of a dictatorship).
How the world war contributed to rise in dictatorship
World war contributed to a rise in dictatorship in the following ways:
1. Economic collapse
As the world entered the 20th century, economic collapse was a major problem in industrial states. The war had destroyed much of Europe’s resources and industries, forcing economies to be retooled for peacetime production.
2. A weakened liberal democracy
Before World War I, the world saw several large liberal democracies such as the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany emerge as powerful forces on the world stage. The war proved to be a major setback to liberal democracy. In 1917, most of the Western world embraced some form of authoritarianism.
The United States saw the creation of a military-controlled government known as the Military Commission Government. Many elected officials were removed from office and replaced by former military officers.
Many world leaders saw the repression of socialism & democracy in Italy and Germany before World War I as a successful model to learn from. As a result, the authoritarian rule became many countries’ preferred form of governance.
As nationalism increased in Europe and Asia, many countries sought to create an authoritarian government that could help unify the country and suppress internal strife.
5. The Great Depression
The Great Depression struck full force in the 1930s and lingered into the next decade. This economic collapse had its roots in several factors, including the policies of President Hoover, the government’s failure to regulate stock markets and banks, a decline in international trade, drought conditions in North America, and low prices for farm produce. In response to these factors, Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act to protect American manufacturers from foreign competition.
How rise in dictators contributed to world war
The rise of dictatorships during the 1930s and 1940s contributed to the outbreak of World War II in three ways:
1. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy
The rise of dictatorships in Italy and Germany delivered a wake-up call to Western democracies against the dictatorship of Mussolini or Hitler. In particular, The Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 was seen as an example of Italian expansionism and fascist imperialism, which resulted in a massive international outcry.
2. Increase in totalitarian states
As authoritarianism rose, many Western democracies began to seek a new order in which they could create a new dispensation, liberate themselves of the onerous and restrictive commitments of the past, and regain their rightful position as a world leader.
3. Stalin’s popular rule
The rise of dictatorships in Russia, China, and Eastern Europe (which were more dictatorial than fascist) had significant international effects. There was a feeling among the Western democracies that it was no longer necessary to pursue a policy of appeasement in dealing with Hitler and his fascist allies. The time had come to choose between war and peace and to prepare for the inevitability of another conflict.
4. World War II
World War II was a collision between two opposed political ideologies: democracy vs. totalitarianism. This war became the focal point that cemented in people’s minds the seemingly clear distinction between authoritarianism and freedom, liberalism vs. socialism, and capitalism vs. communism.
Events that led to the rise in dictators in Europe
Cause of the World War
The Axis Powers included Germany, Italy, and Japan. Although other countries allied with them, the Axis Powers were at the heart of World War II.
The Allies included Great Britain, France, Russia, China, and the United States. Although other countries fought against them during some parts of the war (including Poland and Germany), these nations were also allies during other parts (such as Russia in World War II)
Rise of Communist Party in Russia
After the Russian Revolution, the Soviets sought to create a government that was communist. The long-time ruler of Russia, Tsar Nicholas I, was overthrown. Vladimir Lenin took over as the leader of Soviet Russia. Lenin’s government allowed the freedom of many groups in freedom struggles but also made alliances with others who wanted to have Soviet Communism rule them. In 1917, there was a communist revolution in Russia when the Bolsheviks seized power and made Lenin their leader.
The League of Nations fell apart in the 1930s
In the 1920s, the League of Nations was created to be an organization that would keep peace and help with disputes between nations. Many countries were members, but Germany was not. There were many reasons why the League failed. Before World War I, Britain was one of the strongest countries in the world.
However, when it fought against Germany in World War I, London suffered horribly and lost much of its power to France and the United States (it had previously been on equal footing with these countries).
The coups in Germany and Italy led to dictatorships
Following World War I, there was an increase in military dictatorships in Germany and Italy. The leader of Germany, Adolf Hitler, had called for a totalitarian state. He wanted all of the power for himself and his government.
He also wanted to use a strong army to expand into Eastern Europe and Austria and Czechoslovakia (which he thought were being unfairly treated by France). In 1933, following a series of scandals that led up to the Great Depression (such as the Wall Street Crash), Hitler became dictator of Germany.
How did the rise in dictators raise a concern
· The invasion of Ethiopia by Mussolini’s Italy in 1935 was an example of Italian expansionism and fascist imperialism, which resulted in a massive international outcry.
· Many leaders saw the repression of socialism and democracy in Italy, Germany, and Russia before World War I as a successful model to learn from and sought to create an authoritarian government that could help unify the country and suppress internal strife.
· The Great Depression brought economic collapse to the world in the 1930s. · Most countries were economically dependent on each other. If one country fell into hard times, other countries’ economic well-being would also fall.
· Many governments took measures to get out of debt and keep their economies strong. In Germany, the government spent a lot of money on social services to help people out of poverty.
· The rise of dictatorships in Italy and Germany made it more difficult for people from different countries to live in peace.
How did dictators help Greece in democracy?
When Greece was in a state of war, it had a dictatorship called the Regime of the Colonels. In this period, democracy was suspended. The people who lived during this time did not always have their rights respected by the government.
However, this situation ended when Greece defeated the Italian Army in the Greco-Italian War, and there was peace in Greece again. After that war, King George II tried to make democratic changes in Greece but soon got into a dispute with his Parliament over how he should rule.
Why is the league of nations ineffective in stopping dictators
The League of Nations was a group created to prevent war between countries. The League met from 1921 to 1932, and it was often difficult to get countries in the league to agree on a policy. The British government never approved of the league’s policies, and Great Britain often vetoed resolutions that it wanted to be defeated. Britain did not always agree with other nations. For example, Great Britain favored the idea of German domination in Eastern Europe/during World War II.
In 1932, the league was dissolved. Its powers were taken over by the United Nations, which was created after World War II.