Nikhil GudipalliMr. YeraceHonors American CultureJanuary 08, 2018A totalitarian government is a regime that controls all aspects of society. A totalitarian government not only tries to control the economical and political fields of society, but also tries to control the daily life of a citizen. This regime tends to influence the attitude, beliefs and opinions of citizens through many manipulation techniques like the press, concentration camps etc.
The government wants to create a perfect society based upon its own beliefs. Many totalitarian states were formed after World War 1. The major totalitarian regimes that formed were the Soviet Union under Stalin, Italy under Mussolini and Germany under Hitler. Although all of those people did terrible things to their state, the citizens let them take control due to many problems that arose in their states after World War 1. A totalitarian regime to form was Stalin in the Soviet Union. Stalin rose to power through manipulation. The positions that Joseph Stalin held were crucial to his power. The first position he held was in 1917 when he was appointed for the commissioner of nationalities.
This position made Stalin responsible for 65 million Russians which included Ukrainians, Georgians and Byelorussians. Stalin persuaded these people to become Bolsheviks and this got hi respect and power of the people outside of Moscow. Stalin’s next position was a military role which meant that he was in control of the Red army. He fought in many wars beside them, which gained him respect and popularity. In 1922, Stalin became the general secretary of the communist party.
Lenin chose Stalin for this position because he realized the respect and the trust that the people have for him, so he also started to trust Stalin. Being the secretary of the party allowed Stalin to control the members of the party because he could control who entered the part and who couldn’t, essentially being the gatekeeper of the party. Stalin then because the first post editor for the newspaper called the Pravada. This helped him get his ideas through to other Bolsheviks. Towards the end of 1922, Stalin became a member of the Orgburo, which also helped him gain more power and respect. Then Lenin fell ill and this was almost a set back for Stalin’s rise to power.
When Lenin fell ill, he wrote a testament stating that there was a split in the party and he blamed Trotsky and Stalin. Luckily this testament was not released publicly, but if it did, it would have stopped Stalin’s rise to power. Stalin also took advantage of Lenin’s funeral. It was another opportunity for Stalin to gain more power and respect. Stalin gave several speeches in Lenin’s funeral, letting the people know his loyalties for Lenin and his ideas. Stalin also put Lenin’s body in a marble tomb on display in Red Square and dressed in smart clothing. During this funeral, Trotsky was in South of Russia because he took a sick leave. Trotsky claimed that Stalin told him the wrong date of the funeral.
This might be another manipulative technique that Stalin used because since Trotsky did not come to the funeral, it made him look like a bad guy who did not appreciate Lenin and it made Stalin look like a good guy who respected Lenin and was mourning for everybody’s losses. Trotsky and Stalin were enemies on everything. In 1924, the Politburo still argued about the future of Soviet economy. Stalin and Trotsky had their worst argument on this. Trotsky argued that the west capitalist countries feared communism and they would try to fight it, so it is necessary to spread communism throughout Europe by using a permanent revolution method. Stalin’s idea to counteract this was to make socialism in one country. Trotsky’s ideas were not liked by the people in the Soviet Union because the Russia had already set up an organization to help revolutionaries. Trotsky could not fight Stalin to gain power so in 1925, he resigned as a commissioner.
In all of his arguments, Stalin always took the side of rightists because he wanted his competition out of the Politburo. With this, Stalin made sure that everyone was outvoted by the rightists. At the end of 1925, the party congress voted three of Stalin’s friends in place of the other members in Politburo. This helped Stalin tremendously because he could sway his friends into supporting his ideas and beliefs. Through this, Stalin became the leader of the Soviet Union.Stalin rose to power through the trust he gained in the positions he held and his manipulation of the people by seeming loyal and caring.
Another totalitarian regime that formed after World War 1 was Mussolini in Italy. The Italian government was faced with many problems after World War 1. The first problem was that Italy was no happy with their reward for winning the war. According to the Treaty of London, Italy was promised Trentino, Trieste, Southern Tyrol, Istria, Dalmatia, the coastal districts of Albania, a share in the division of the Ottoman Empire and the German colonies in Africa. Even though Italy fought and won the war, they lost 600,000 men and they were only rewarded Trentino, Trieste, Tyrol and Istria in the Paris Peace Conference. Another problem was that Italy faced economic failure.
Italy was a poor nation and they could only fight in the war due to the foreign loans they obtained. After the war, Italian tourist trade and export trade stopped and there were many people that were unemployed throughout the country. The problem with unemployment was that millions of soldiers who fought in the war were coming back home and they had to jobs to works and serve for their household.
Citizens started to revolt and they turned to the Socialist parties. In 1919, the Socialist Party won more than one-third of all votes and became the largest single party in the Chamber of Deputies. The Popular Party were close with one-fifth of all votes on a platform of social reform. Due to this success, the General Confederation of labor for strikes in 1920.
During the strike, workers took over many factories. This was the perfect setting for Benito Mussolini to gain power. Mussolini was a former socialist himself but he realized that the idea of socialism is a failure. In 1919, after the war ended, Mussolini recreated the Milan fascio as the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento (Italian Combat Squad).
The party consisted of 200 members. The party was focused on universal suffrage, the abolition of the Senate, land for the peasants, improvement of workers conditions and a strong foreign policy. The property class did not like Mussolini’s party program. In the elections of November 1919 for the Chamber of Deputies, Mussolini failed to win a seat for himself.
Although he failed to win a seat at a election, there were several other factors the led Mussolini’s rise to power. One of the factors was D’Annunzio and his followers were driven from Fiume by the end of 1920. This caused many Italian citizens and nationalists to see Mussolini as a leader because he advocated a strong foreign policy and due to the annexation of Fiume and Dalmatia. Another factor was that the socialist government from 1919-1920 failed to solve Italy’s economic and civil problems, so they were desperate for a leader. The most important factor was that after the General Strike of 1920, the wealthy industrialists and landowners feared a communist revolution and desired a strong central government to return law and order. With the support of the property class, Mussolini and his National Fascist Party won 35 sets in the election of 1921, which was better than his last election. Mussolini rose to power because the Italian citizens thought that he could do what the government can’t and fix their country. Italian citizens were also desperate for a leader to save due to the fact that they faced many problems after World War 1.
Finally, the totalitarian regime that everyone is familiar with is Hitler in Germany. After World War 1 ended, British and France started to blame Germany for the war. They created The Treaty of Versailles which was not in favor of Germany. The Treaty of Versailles stated that Germany had to pay high reparations to fix the damage done during the war, take the blame of the war, give up land to other countries, have their military reduced and the League of Nations takes over their sea colonies. The unfair treatment towards Germany in The Treaty of Versailles was the reason why Germany was vulnerable to totalitarianism and the rise of Nazism.
The main goal of Nazism was to reunite all the German speaking countries that were taken from them. Many countries like Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark etc took Germany’s countries, which infuriated many German citizens. The German citizens started to blame other people like the November Criminals who signed the armistice that ended World War 1. Many revolts occurred in Germany. Inflation rose because of the reparations that Germany had to pay. All of these problems caused many German citizens to lose hope in their government.
This was the perfect setting for a totalitarian regime to rise.Adolf Hitler rose to power by gaining control of the Nazi Party and also found someone to blame for the war. Hitler blamed Jews for the problems that rose after World War 1 because the people who agreed and signed The Treaty of Versailles were Jews. During the 1930s, Hitler used communism uprising as a threat to gain power. He went against the government and created a fascist totalitarian state in Germany based on the ideas of Stalin and Mussolini. When Hitler came into power, he refused to pay the reparations and the League of Nations couldn’t do anything because they had no army.
If the League of Nations was more organized and fit to stop war, it would have stopped the rise of totalitarianism. Hitler convinced people to overthrow the Weimar Republic and blamed every problem that Germany had on Jews. He also started to increase his military to help unemployment which was against the Treaty, but the League of Nations could no do anything due to the fact that they were so unorganized and lacked military power. Germany going into the great depression due to the high reparations caused the German people to become desperate and look towards anyone who could help them. The German people chose Hitler and he turned Germany into a fascist totalitarian state. During the totalitarian regimes forming in Germany, Italy and Soviet Union, America was largely insulated from experiences this rise of totalitarianism.
This is due to the fact that America ran things differently than other countries like Germany and also focused on different things than other countries like Germany. America had different voting systems that did not allow someone like Hitler to not rise up to power. In America, whichever candidate gets the most votes wins but it is different in Germany. Germany’s voting system caused the parliamentary systems to receive the same votes as the supporting parties. This caused Hitler to get into office even if only a small amount of people favored him.
American voting system ensured that the candidate that most people favored in was elected, but the German voting system was flawed because any person could get elected even with a few votes.American governments were mainly focused on improving their citizens lives. They focused on things like education and conditions of their citizens habitat. American governments built schools to educate children on the world.
This was a great step for America but there were also some setbacks due to the rules and regulations of the education system. There were rules on what teachers should teach to the children and what they should not. Although most people followed these rules, some did not. A high school substitute teacher named John Thomas Scopes taught his children the evolution of man. This was not something that was allowed to teach so he was apprehended.
It was a big case which focused on beliefs and religion, but Scopes ended up getting fined at the end. Although there were regulations, America still had the opportunity to educate themselves in schools. Meanwhile, other countries focused on propaganda and altering other peoples beliefs. America also started to provide for themselves instead of depending on the government or other countries.
This is very beneficial for American citizens because it taught them to not depend on others for their better future but to depend on themselves. It also brought a sense of hope to citizens because it meant that they don’t have to hid behind others. People like Henry Ford revolutionized America and its ways. Henry Ford created the automobile which changed transportation forever, making it faster. He also created the assembly line, which not only made building the automobile less cheaper, but also gave people many jobs to run it. The assembly line was also used in many other industries, which made their products cheaper and efficient to make out.
Henry Ford also changed workers conditions forever. He gave people jobs, he gave them reasonable wages and he made them work for reasonable hours. Henry Ford was not a simple citizen who waited around for the government to fix things, he took matters to his own hands and changed workers conditions. This made America excel and not depend on someone else. Meanwhile, other countries like Germany looked desperately for someone to help them when inflation occurs due to the reparations they had to pay.
This caused someone like Hitler to use that desperation to his advantage and rise to power.Sometimes, America did trust the government to help them. At times of need, American government created things like Liberty Bonds or War Bonds or many other ideas which benefited the government and America in the economical field. The Liberty Bonds caused the government to get back money during the war.
The War Bonds ensured that the economy and were materials were protected. Meanwhile, other countries like Germany looked for a leader to help them because even the government was at loss. This gave someone like Hitler all the power he needed to control people. In general, America focused on the lives of its citizens and how to make it better.
They advanced their technology which created more jobs and helped boost their economy. They also used War Bonds and Liberty Bonds to boost their economy. The focused on what needs to be taught to children.
They stopped looking for power and started to improve people’s lives. This is the reason why America was insulated from totalitarianism. A contemporary example to Germany’s situation during the World War 2 is Iraq. Iraq and Germany are similar because of the totalitarian regimes and who those totalitarian regimes came into power. After World War 1, Germany was devastated. As stated before, Germany was devastated.
Germany had high inflations because of the reparations they had to pay because of the damages due to World War 1. The German citizens were desperate and they were open to any suggestions. They did not care about the process, they cared about the end result of them being saved. Hitler used this desperation and rose to power.
Hitler wanted someone to blame so he blamed the Jews for the bad things that happened to Germany. This is similar to Iraq because they also ended up in a bad shape after their eight year war with Iran. Saddam Hussein did have the support of the American economy. Iraq had to fix its economy and its damaged structures caused by the war. A large part of Iraq’s economy is the oil they buy from Kuwait.
Kuwait realizes that Iraq wants to build its economy by using them so they raised the prices oil, which is an important economic factor in Iraq. Kuwait did not want other countries to benefit so greatly from their cheap prices on oil. Hussein tries to negotiate with Kuwait and make them reduce their prices on oil, but Kuwait refused Iraq to buy their oil for cheap price. This infuriated Hussein and he devised a plot to capture Kuwait for himself.Hussein wants to invade Kuwait and capture it. America was supporting Iraq until they found out Hussein’s plot to capture Kuwait. Kuwait was devastated from the invasion and they tried to ask for help.
They reached out to America for help and America attacked Iraq, which created feud between both countries. The American military did plan to capture Hussein but they back down to his luck. If the American military did capture him, Iraq could be a very different place today. American then decided to put economic sanctions on Iraq.
This meant that Iraq would have a slow decline in stability of the economy. Following this, Hussein started to build grand palaces for himself. During the end of the 19th century, Iraq was beginning to look a lot better. Hussein worked on Iraq’s infrastructure and his power. During his leadership, people did not get paid as much and took home very little money.
They did receive cell phones, but the main purpose of the cell phones were for Hussein to hack them and know where his people are and what they are doing. He improved the physical condition of Iraq and maintained power at the same time. In 2003, American military made the effort to attack Iraq again. The Iraq military were not much of a fight so the American military easily defeated the military and captured Hussein. When Hussein was taken away, the citizens of Iraq had to fend for themselves.
This is a problem because the citizens of Iraq have always depended on someone to save them and lend them a hand. Since the citizens of Iraq had no idea on what to do, which created some problems in the country. This event reveals a common idea between Germany and Iraq.
Germany was devastated at the end of World War 1 and Iraq was devastated at the end of its eight year war. Both countries were facing major problems. The citizens of both countries did not know what to do and they both looked for a leader that would solve their problem and lead them into a better future. Hitler and Hussein took advantage of the citizens desperation’s and rose to power. Although Hitler and Hussein were smart in they way they got power, they were poor leaders. Hitler blamed the Jews for all the terrible things that the Germans went through after World War 1, and waged wars against them to eradicate them.
Hussein focused on capturing Kuwait just because they would not let him buy oil for cheap prices. Germany was in trouble from the beginning due to World War 1 and Germany gets in more trouble because Hitler does not help the economy or the people, he just involves them in another war against the Jews. Iraq was already in trouble at the end of the eight year war against Iran and then Iraq gets in more trouble because Hussein uses his resources towards capturing a country for a simple reason. Both leaders had tremendous power but they used it for the wrong purposes which made things even for their countries.
In conclusion, totalitarian regimes had different effects on different countries. Countries like Germany, Italy, Soviet Union, Iran etc suffered much more pain before the rise of totalitarianism and after. Countries like America were insulated from the rise of totalitarian regimes due to the fact that America did things very differently than other countries and focused on things that other countries did not focus on. America focused on building automobiles, creating jobs, improving education etc whereas Germany and other countries focused on revenge and wars which made them get into more trouble.
The main reason why totalitarian regimes were formed in countries and caused so much harm is because of the fact that the citizens of those countries could not rely on themselves to solve their problems.