What contributed to the rise of totalitarianism in Europe prior to WWII?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main thing that contributed to this was economic uncertainty.  In places like Italy and Germany, the end of WWI brought a time of economic chaos.  In times of economic chaos and uncertainty, people will look to any potential leader who seems strong enough to lead them out of their problems.  

Totalitarian leaders are good at looking strong and acting as if they have all the answers.  Therefore, totalitarians tend to become more popular in bad times.  Because many European countries were undergoing bad times between the wars, many moved towards totalitarianism.

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