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Fascism is an authoritarian political belief in the organization of a highly nationalistic corporate structure. It originated in Italy in World War I, and fascists are usually highly conservative with beliefs to the "far right" politically, economically and socially. Fascists believe the nation should be a collective community, rejecting individualism and promoting a totalitarian view. They promote strong leadership at the national level and the right to use violence or wage war when necessary to suppress opposition and promote the national spirit.
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Fascism is an extreme political philosophy that holds nation and race above the individual, advocating the establishment of an authoritarian government with absolute power vested in the leader. After World War I (1914–18) a fascist movement developed in Italy under the leadership of Benito Mussolini (1883–1945). Around this time another fascist group, the National Socialist German Workers' party (Nazis), was gaining power in Germany. Mussolini took control of the Italian government in 1922, instituting strict economic and social programs: opposition to his dictatorship was forcibly suppressed. In 1936 Italy became allied with Germany (under German chancellor and führer (supreme leader) Adolf Hitler; 1889–1945) and Japan to form the Axis powers, an alliance that was ultimately defeated by the Allied nations (chiefly Great Britain, the United States, and Soviet Union) in World War II (1939–45). Mussolini died by execution in 1945. As a result, the fascist movement in Italy dramatically declined at the end of the war.
Further Information: "Fascism." Compton's Encyclopedia. [Online] Available http://www.optonline.com/comptons/ceo/01603_A.html, November 7, 2000; "Fascism." MSN Encarta. [Online] Available http://encarta.msn.com/find/Concise.asp?ti=04196000, November 7, 2000; Fascism in Italy. [Online] Available http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/modern/fascism/fascihtm.htm, November 7, 2000; Hartenian, Larry. Benito Mussolini. New York: Chelsea House, 1988.
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