Why did dictatorship rise after WWI?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There were several reasons why dictatorships rose after World War I. In Germany, the Weimar Republic was established after World War I ended. However, the Versailles Treaty was so harsh on Germany, especially with the $33 billion Germany had to pay to the Allies in reparations, that the Republic was doomed to fail. There were serious economic problems in Germany, in part caused by these high reparations. Germany’s paper money became worthless. Germany, which hadn’t had much experience with democratic government, was quick to turn to a totalitarian leader that promised the German people better economic times and a return of German pride.

In Italy, Mussolini came to power by promising to restore Italy to the glory days of the Roman Empire. The Italians felt they weren’t given enough land in the Treaty of Versailles. He also promised the Italian people more jobs and a program similar to Social Security.

In Japan, the military was in charge. The Japanese felt they should have been put on equal footing with the United States and with Great Britain at the Washington Naval Conference. As a result of the Five-Power Naval Limitation Treaty, the Japanese were unhappy they could only have three warships to the five both the United States and Great Britain could have. When the Prime Minister of Japan tried to end the invasion of Manchuria, he was assassinated. This sent a message as to who was in charge in Japan.

Many times, when a country is struggling economically, they turn to dictators to resolve the problems. That clearly happened in several countries after World War I ended when economic difficulties arose. There were many factors that contributed to the rise of dictatorships after World War I ended.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial