What is the era of dictatorship after the First World War?

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jerseygyrl1983 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The span of time between the end of World War I in 1918 and the beginning of World War II in 1939 (let us not forget that the United States did not enter the war until 1941) is sometimes called "the period between the wars." However, one could also refer to it as an era of dictatorships.

Germany and Italy fell to the fascist dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, respectively. Spain fell to the fascist dictator Francisco Franco after the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939. However, Franco and his supporters are not typically called fascists but instead, Nationalists. Some historians view the sectarian war as more of a fight between leftist revolutionaries and reactionary counter-revolutionaries instead of a fight between fascists and those loyal to the Second Spanish Republic.

Franco wanted to create a totalitarian state that would have been allied with Germany and Italy. His plan to join the Axis Powers was foiled by the British Intelligence agency, MI-6, which bribed Spanish officials with about $200 million dollars to avoid supporting Franco's scheme. 

However, while Hitler's and Mussolini's reigns ended with the surrenders of their countries at the end of the Second World War, Franco remained in power until 1978. His later regime was not fascist, but very authoritarian, resulting in limits on free speech, crackdowns on political opponents, limits on political institutions, and a vaguely defined executive power.

 

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