After the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the peace agreement between the allies and central powers of the Great War, new republics and Constitutional Monarchies arose from the ashes of the empires of Europe. Within a few years, some governments of Europe stood on the verge of collapse based on unfair treaties, weak governmental institutions, poor economic conditions, and despair of its citizens. Amidst the situation, began the rise of Ultra-Nationalist political movements in many European countries, but only in Italy and Germany would the power of governments have radical transformations. Based on similar ideology, the political parties are known in Italy as the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento (later to be transformed to the Partito Nazionale Fascista), or the Fascists under the leadership of Benito Mussolini ,and in Germany, the National Socialist German Workers Party, commonly referred to as the Nazis under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Throughout their growth, both parties would attain great successes in the political systems of their countries, economic achievements, and military conquests; the latter would be the fatal demise of both countries.
Both the Fascist and Nazi parties conducted comparative growths in strength and power during the 1920’s. Starting with Italy, the Fascist Party formed in 1919 by former Socialist Benito Mussolini, expounded strong nationalistic sentiment, believed in the suppression of left-wing socialist movements, and the philosophy of a politically resilient Head of State. The Fascist party would appeal to people of the middle class backgrounds, which feared the rise in Socialist and Communist parties, who were pressing for equality among social and economic classes. With the convictions of ethnocentrism and militarism, the Fascists believed they would become the new Roman Empire and Mussolini was the new “Caesar,” leading Italy to become a great imperial society.
Similar to the Fascists, the Nazi party believed in a strong military, staunch nationalism, and the repression of all political parties. Led by Austrian-born Adolf Hitler, the Nazi party initially tried to overthrow the Germany democratic regime in 1923. While this attempt failed, within a few years the Nazis gained wide appeal throughout German society as rampant unemployment, hyperinflation, and war reparations enforced the bitterness toward the republic. Hitler vowed to return Germany to the great power it once was and create a new empire or “Reich.” During the late 1920’s through the early 1930’s, the National Socialists gained more seats and power within the German Parliament.
How both Hitler and Mussolini came to power (both by legal means) are similar in many ways. In Italy, as violence rampantly swept the country and was about to enter into civil war, King Victor Emmanuel III asked Mussolini to become Prime Minister and establish order throughout the nation. Within the next few years, by eliminating all other political parties,...