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Are the Similarities Between Italian Fascism and German National Socialism More Significant Than the Differences?

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Fascism was an totalitarian political movement that developed after 1919 as a reaction against the political and social changes brought about by World War 1 and the spread of socialism and communism. It flourished between 1919 and 1945 in several countries, mainly Germany, Spain, Italy, and Japan. Fascism is a form of totalitarian dictatorship that had ideals such as extreme nationalism, economic self sufficiency and military strength. The dictators abolished all opposition against them and basically took complete control of the lives of everyone in their country.

Benito Mussolini was the founder of Italian Fascism and premier of Italy from 1922-43 and ruling as a dictator from about 1925. In 1919 Mussolini and other veterans from the war founded a revolutionary, nationalistic group called the Fasci di Combattimento in Milan. His movement gained the support of many landowners in the lower Po valley, industrialists, and army officers. Fascist blackshirt squads carried on local civil was against Socialists, Communists, Catholics, and Liberals.

On Oct. 28, 1922, after the Fascists had marched on Rome, Mussolini secured a mandate from King Victor Emmanual lll to form a coalition government. In 1925-26, after a lengthy crisis with parliament he imposed a single party totalitarian dictatorship. In his new "corporate-state", employers and workers were organized into party-controlled groups representing different sectors of the economy. The system preserver capitalism and expanded social services, but abolished free trade unions and the right to strike. He ended a half century of friction between the church and the state with the Lateran pacts with the Vatican in 1929. He also defied the League of Nations and conquered Ethiopia in 1935. This won him acclaim in almost every sector of the general public. His popularity declined after he sent troops to help General Franco in the Spanish Civil War, linked Italy to Nazi Germany, enacted anti-Jewish laws, and invaded Albania.

After a seers of military disasters in Greece and North Africa, the leaders of his party abandoned Mussolini. The king dismissed him on July 25, 1943, and had him arrested. The Germans rescued him and made him the leader of a brutal puppet Social Republic in northern Italy. In the final days of the war Mussolini attempted to escape to Switzerland with his mistress. Italian partisans captured and shot them on April 28, 1945.

Adolf Hitler was one of the 20th century's most powerful dictators. He was the ruler of Germany from 1933 to 1945. He established a brutal totalitarian regime based on the ideologies of National Socialism, of Nazism. His desire for total power resulted in the devastation of World War ll, including the slaughter of millions of Jews and others whom he considered inferior human beings.

In World War 1, Hitler volunteered for service in the Bavarian army, where he proved to be a dedicated courageous solider. After Germany's defeat in 1918 he returned to Munich, where, in 1919 he joined the Nazi party. In 1921 he was elected party chairman with dictatorial powers. He soon became a key figure in Bavarian politics and by January 1933 he was appointed chancellor.

Once in power Hitler quickly established himself as dictator. He started hauling off thousands of anti-Nazis to concentration camps. The economy, the media, and all cultural activities were brought under Nazi authority by making an individual's livelihood dependent on their political loyalty. His desire was to establish German rule over Europe and other parts of the world. He realized that this would lead to a European conflict and so he started his plan to conquer Europe by invading Poland in 1939 and started World War ll . The war started off good for the Germans but once the United States entered the war they started to lose. As time passed, defeat became more certain, but Hitler refused to give up. Finally with all of Germany overrun by Allied invaders, Hitler finally admitted defeat by committing suicide along with his wife of one day on April 30, 1945.

Francisco Franco was a general and authoritarian leader who governed Spain from 1939 to 1975. He started out by gaining a reputation in the army for efficiency, honesty, and complete professional dedication. He eventually ended up becoming army chief of staff in 1935.

In February of 1936 the leftish government of the Spanish republic exiled Franco to an obscure command in the Canary Islands. The following July he joined other right-wing officers in a revolt against the republic. In October they made him commander in chief and head of state of their new Nationalist regime. After three years of civil war he lead his forces to a complete victory on April 1, 1939.

During the civil war, Franco established his control over Nationalist political life and expanded the Falange into an official political party. Tens of thousands

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