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Compare and contrast totalitarianism in the 1920s and 1930s with absolutism in the...

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cedmidy | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:11 AM via web

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Compare and contrast totalitarianism in the 1920s and 1930s with absolutism in the seventeenth and eighteenth century.

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equeenan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:37 AM (Answer #1)

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Cedmidy,

I already answered on question you presented on totalitarianism, but I will add it here again in case you missed it.

Totalitarianism is a political system that has no checks and balances on its authority. By definition the governing power has absolute control, whether it is by the “state or a governing branch of a highly centralized institution.”[i] In addition to complete control it also tries to control all aspects of public and private life, which can wreak havoc on its citizens.[ii] Totalitarianism is generally viewed as an “extreme version of authoritarianism, which will be addressed next.”[iii] A good book on Totalitarianism was written by Hannah Arendt.[iv]

Italian Fascism has been debated on whether is falls into totalitarian or authoritarian section. Enotes provides excellent research on Fascism in Italy that can be accessed here.[v]

When asking about absolutism I assume you are referring to the seventeenth and eighteenth century in Europe. The absolute monarchs in Europe during this time were “absolute” because their power was unchecked by other institutions or political parties. Enotes provides a great background on European absolutism that can be accessed here.[vi]


[i] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/totalitarianism

 

[ii] http://www.enotes.com/topic/Totalitarianism

[iii] http://www.enotes.com/topic/Authoritarianism

[iv]http://books.google.com/books?id=8f2y0F2wzLoC&dq=Totalitarianism&printsec=frontcover&source=in&hl=en&ei=MNO1TcqqGMnfiAKuq9GvBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=17&ved=0CIQBEOgBMBA#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

[v] http://www.enotes.com/topic/Italian_Fascism

 

[vi] http://www.enotes.com/topic/Absolutism_%28European_history%29

 

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