This article contains an explanation of the rise of Totalitarianism countries between WW1 and WW2 such as Germany, Italy, Spain, USSR and Japan. Find the definition of Totalitarianism, how the totalitarian governments gained control, examples, key traits and characteristics of totalitarianism. Learn about the difference between Totalitarianism and Dictatorship and the ideologies of Fascism, Nazism, Communism and Militarism and the rise of the Dictators.
Totalitarianism Definition: The "total" in totalitarianism provides the best clue to its meaning. The term 'Totalitarianism' refers to the type of government that attempts to assert absolute and total control over the public and private lives of its citizens. Totalitarianism is a form of government that puts absolute power in the hands or a group of people in a political party such as fascism or communism. Totalitarian governments are often led by a single individual such as a dictator.
Totalitarianism: Totalitarian governments between WW1 and WW2
Totalitarian governments were able to take control in the period between WW1 and WW2 because:
Existing governments were weak and lacked strong leadership giving rise to the opportunity for dictatorships to emerge
Countries were subject to serious economic problems
The terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles caused anger and resentment and the League of Nations failed
The leaders and dictators of Totalitarian governments initially provided strength and a sense of security to people and gave a direction for the future
Examples of Totalitarianism Countries between WW1 and WW2
Examples of Totalitarianism countries with kinds of governments that became totalitarian between WWI and WW2 were:
The Fascist governments in Italy and Spain that included dictatorships adhering to nationalism, imperialism and and militarism
The Nazi government of Germany, that included a dictatorship, combined fascism with racism
The USSR Communist form of government that included dictatorship and adhered to socialism and state control
The Military Dictatorship in Japan that combined fascism with tradition by which the Emperor of Japan remained the head of state - refer to Japanese Militarism
Totalitarianism Characteristics and Common Beliefs: What do Totalitarian Governments have in common?
Although the WW1 - WW2 totalitarianism governments adhered to different political systems, such as Fascism, Nazism, Communism and Militarism, they had many beliefs and practices in common. The key traits and characteristics of totalitarianism are as follows:
The Centralized state control of totalitarianism denied basic liberties and personal freedom and demanded absolute loyalty from the people expecting personal sacrifice for the good of the state
Totalitarianism encompassed a highly aggressive form of nationalism by which the nation is more important than the individual
The ideology of totalitarianism determined and glorified the goals of the state and justified government actions
Totalitarianism countries and governments enforced the will of the state by one-party rule, censorship, propaganda, indoctrination and persecution
State control of society and culture under a totalitarianism regime was extreme and regulated the Arts, Literature, Education, Religion, Youth Groups, Business, Labor, Housing and Personal Life
Totalitarianism countries used a strong military force and secret police to enforce their policies. In a totalitarian state the police operated without the constraints of laws and regulations
All of the countries adhered to an aggressive and expansionist foreign policy
All of the Totalitarianism countries withdrew, or were expelled from, the League of Nations
Totalitarianism: What is the difference between Totalitarianism and Dictatorship?
What is the difference between Totalitarianism and Dictatorship? In Totalitarianism a government takes total, centralized state control and regulates nearly all aspects of public and private life and behavior. Dictatorships are ruled by a single, dynamic individual (dictator) who seizes control over the state and individuals and governs without the consent of the people. A dictatorship is a system that does not adhere to democracy.
Totalitarianism: Totalitarian governments are those that exert total control over the people they govern
Dictatorship: Dictators govern without the consent of the people, dominate the government and have no limits to their authority
Democracy: A Democracy is the political system by which those who govern are selected by the people
Many dictatorships are also totalitarian.
Examples of Totalitarianism Dictators (WW1 - WW2): Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Stalin
Examples of Totalitarianism Dictators who rose to power between WW1 and WW2 were Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, General Franco and Joseph Stalin.
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) established himself as dictator of Italy and assumed the title of "Il Duce" meaning "The Leader". Mussolini founded the ideology of Fascism. Mussolini sought to restore the power and the glory of the Roman Empire
Adolf Hitler (1889 – 1945) established himself as dictator of Germany and assumed the title of "Fuhrer" meaning "Leader". Hitler was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, better known as the Nazi Party. Nazism shared many features of Fascism but also featured racism. Hitler sought to restore the glory of the German Empire by establishing the "Third Reich"
General Francisco Franco (1892-1975) established himself as the Fascist dictator of Spain and assumed the title of "El Caudillo" meaning "The Leader". General Franco received support from the fascist dictatorships in Italy and Germany but generally kept out of WW2
Joseph Stalin (1878 – 1953) established himself as the Dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Totalitarianism in 1984: George Orwell's Novel 1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four)
The famous novel "1984" also published as "Nineteen Eighty-Four" was written by George Orwell and first published on 8 June 1949. In his famous book George Orwell describes the terrors of Totalitarianism and a Totalitarian government of the future. Orwell portrays a world in which personal freedom and privacy have vanished as television cameras survey the every move of citizens, even in their own homes "Big Brother". George Orwell illustrates the world in 1984 that is characterized by the horrors of Totalitarianism and a highly aggressive form of nationalism with censorship, manipulation, surveillance, propaganda, indoctrination and persecution. George Orwell's 1984 portrays a terrifying world that was made possible through modern technology...