Dictators that Emerged in the World War I Aftermatch
World War I had left many European citizens feeling that life was insecure and difficult. Their economy was weak and suspicion grew among one another. Many of these citizens began to call for the government to fix their problems. Skilled leaders arose and promised that they would build a better country. Many of these leaders were dictators. Dictators are known as leaders who had absolute control over a country, they denied individual freedom and rights. People who were opposed them were executed.
There have been 3 famous dictators emerged in Europe after World War I. They were Benito Mussolini of Italy, Joseph Stalin of Soviet Union, and Adolf Hilter of Germany. These leaders gained power because of their country was dissatisfied with the outcomes of the war.
Benito Mussolini was the first fascist came to power. When Russia entered World War I in 1915, Mussolini was one of the soldiers serving on the frontier. The war had brought Mussolini serious injuries and he had to leave the army. Mussolini soon accepted the idea that war is essential in achieving national goals. The Treaty of Versailles, which later brought World War I to the end, left the Russian Public feeling betrayed. The treaty did give Italy some war reparations and lands, but Italy had not received the territory promised by the secret agreement signed by the allies, The Treaty of London. They thought that the sacrifices of so many people were in vain. In addition to that, the cost of the war was great which caused an economic crisis in Italy, many people were unemployed and fell into poverty. The old political parties and the King became unpopular because of its inability to fix the problems. Mussolini took advantage of this and found the National Fascist Party, the party guaranteed that it would restore the country order and fix all the economic and social issues. Mussolini soon gained popularity and started his regime from 1922. But in 1925, he turned Italy as a totalitarian state and ruled as the country’s dictator.
After its defeat in World War I, the German leader abdicated and Germany was transformed into the democratic Weimar Republic. The Germans felt humiliated and resented the Weimar Republic for signing the Treaty of Versailles and didn’t like the form of democracy. The Great Depression broke out in 1929, in addition to the debts it owned, Germany’s economy was in a huge crisis. As it kept on worsening, people saw that the Weimar Republic had no way to solve the economic problems and demanded a strong leader that could help them out. Such circumstances had paved the way for the rise of the Nazi Party. Adolf Hilter had been one of those Germans who dissatisfied Germany’s loss, the Treaty of Versailles and the democratic government. By the end of 1921, Hilter led the Nazi Party. The party called for extreme nationalism, anti-democratic and anti-Semitism(discrimination against Jews). Hitler promised he would bring back the country’s glory and people gradually turned to Hilter. Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state without any protests.
Joseph Stalin was the leader of the Communist Party during Lenin’s regime. Following Vladimir Lenin’s death in 1924, Joseph Stain competed with Leon Trotsky to become the leader. Trotsky looked forward to a worldwide communist revolution while Stalin called for socialism in one country which was to focus on strengthening the country’s power. He claimed that to improve the nation’s ability to the greatest to achieve bigger goals. Stalin’s beliefs attracted a lot of people and defeated Trotsky and took over the Soviet Union. He then began to transform the Soviet Union into his vision of communism. Stalin extremely feared that foreign countries would invade the Soviet Union. He understood how important industrialization was for a nation ‘s power. In the late 1920s, Stalin introduced the Five Year Plans to rapid industrialization in the country. The Five Year Plans was a list of plans that contribute to economic growth. Stalin’s ultimate goal was to defend the Soviet Union by modernizing the industry and building a strong military. Stalin introduced The Great Terror in 1936. The period of The Great Terror was known as extremely brutal and harsh. Stalin was paranoid of opposition, anyone who opposed to him would be executed. The Great Terror took away approximately over a million lives.
World War I had put some countries in an extreme political and economic situation. Politically speaking, governments were weak in dealing with state affairs and did little to improve living standards. Economically speaking, financial hardship occurred due to the war cost, debts, and The Great Depression. The social order was in chaos. Citizens were unrest and this provided better opportunities for dictators seize control of the public. Although dictators promised they would lead better lives for people, they still ended up destroying many people’s lives.
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