What made the ideologies of communism and fascism appealing in the 1930s?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The 1930s were a period of extreme crisis around the world. People were desperate as a result of the Great Depression, and even thinking people questioned whether the economic disaster did not make the principles of liberal capitalism obsolete. Both communism and fascism offered answers to hungry, desperate, frightened people. Communism promised a more equitable society and the destruction of industrial capitalism, and fascists promised to put people back to work as well as emphasizing nationalist feelings which appealed to people who were looking both for something to be proud of and someone to blame for their condition. Interestingly, the popularity of fascism was tied to fears of communism as well, and both communist and fascist dictators proved especially effective in using propaganda to appeal to their people. In the broadest sense, both fascism and communism represented a rejection of the forms of government that many people felt had failed them during the Depression.