What factors helped cause the rise in anti-democratic governments after WWI?
The rise of anti-democratic governments after World War 1 can be traced back to the Treaty of Versailles. World War 1 ended with the surrender of the Central powers to the Allies. The Treaty weighed heavily on Germany.
Germany was required to take full responsibility for all the damage caused during the war, including destruction caused by its allies. Germany was required to pay reparations to the countries forming the Allies powers. The country was asked to disarm and, as a result, this weakened the nation’s military. Germany and some of her allies were forced to make territorial concessions.
Italy, which joined the Allies powers against the Central powers, did not acquire territories promised by her allies in the Treaty. The countries that participated in the war suffered economically. The economic situation led to the rising threat of communism, especially among the peasants. Existing governments failed to meet the needs of the people after the war, and this created a vacuum in leadership.
To address these issues, Benito Mussolini of Italy founded Fascism, a totalitarian, single-rule type of government. The same was applied in Germany by Adolph Hitler and in other countries such as Spain. They promised to improve the economy, restore their countries pride and military strength and reclaim their territory. However, these dictators restricted the freedoms and rights of their citizens and avoided democracy at all costs.
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