Comparing The Factors of the Rise of Mussolini to Those of Hitler

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Comparing The Factors of the Rise of Mussolini to Those of Hitler

A. Similarities:

Benito Mussolini

Adolf Hitler

Decisions of the Paris Peace Conference

Italy joined the First World War in 1915. Yet after the war Britain, France and other victorious allies did not fulfill their territorial promises as stated in the Treaty of London. Italians felt cheated. Since the Italian government failed to fight for the gains, it was deemed incompetent. Mussolini who promised revival of the glory of the ancient Roman Empire naturally got popular support.

Germany was the major defeated country of the First World War. She was forced to sign the harsh Treaty of Versailles. She was to lose large
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It faced the problems similar to those of Italy. There were 9 cabinets in 1920-28. Moreover, Germany was unified by Bismarck. It inherited from Prussia the tradition of authoritarianism and contempt for democracy. German people were dissatisfied with the inefficient administration of the Weimar government. In addition, the Weimar Constitution vested too much power in the hands of the President, which increased the chance for Hitler to become a dictator.

Postwar Economic Difficulties

Production came to a halt in Italy after the war. Over one million people became unemployed. Besides, 2.5 million soldiers had returned and waited for jobs. Italy also owed a huge amount of war debts. There was hyper-inflation. Enterprises and factories closed down. The economy was going to collapse. People longed for a saviour.

Other than war debts, Germany was also burdened with the huge indemnity imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. No money was available for reconstruction. The mark dropped in value horribly when the French troops occupied the Ruhr district in 1923. Although Stresemann could overcome the economic hardship for the time being with American aid, the Great Depression of 1929 put Germany in an economic crisis again. By 1932 6 million people were unemployed. People had no hope for the Weimar Republic.

Threat of Communism

Some Italians were

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