A Brief Introduction to the Rise of Fascism

Italian and German National Socialist movements had revolutionized political thought in Europe, and in turn, catalyzed fascist movements throughout the continent during the 1920’s. Many characteristics of Italy’s and Germany’s movements were imitated as more Western European countries adopted basic fascist characteristics. Moreover, not only instilling a new doctrine within their respective societies and countries , but also conjure other unique characteristics which have all become external elements usually pertaining to that country and only that country.


The evolution of fascism within Europe, outside of German and Italian movements of that era, witnessed the growth of fascism as many countries began to adopt the new doctrine. Using the characteristics of Germany and Italy, eastern and western European nations attempted to build themselves what German and Italian movements were so successful in accomplishing. The emergence of these movements, at this time, were very similar in nature and can be compared relative to the original doctrine.


The British Union of Fascists headed the revolutionary movement in Britain which was lead by Sir Oswald Mosely. British fascists in their own right began with a non-anti-Semitic view, but by the mid 1930’s they “nonetheless moved to anti-semitism”1 In an authoritarian manner, he had resembled the Fuehrer type element of the fascists doctrine, but unfortunately or fortunately, BUF as a fascist entity was not able to keep its strength and prosper.


The lack of appeal could correlate directly with the outcome of the First World War. During that time, Germany had suffered great blows , both socially and economically. The administered treaty, “Versailles” had crippling affects. This, followed by the great depression could only lead to the hesitation of entering a productive capitalist environment. With communism on the rise and capitalism right next door, there seemed to be no whereto turn. However, on the other hand, America and other former allies had enjoyed success financially and had no desire to attempt to change anything. Authoritarian rule did not have a place in most countries, therefore, we see the failure of an ideology.


As fascism rose out of Italy, some countries viewed this as a new political ideology with potential, furthermore there were ill attempts at harnessing the ideology and implementing it. Unfortunately, many were successful. It would have been socially acceptable to take someone’s freedom away. In essence, society did not allow such an ideology/belief system to be practiced , however, due to extreme circumstances, sometimes the worst choices are the only choices.

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