The Causes Of Fascism

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Fascism is a widely debated topic, many theories are proposed regarding its origins, its appeal, the support it gained from big business and the cooperation it received from the Catholic Church. What I believe to be an inalienable truth is that early signs of fascism are firmly rooted in the First World War. To argue that the First World War caused fascism however is debatable, I will hold the belief that the First World War was a catalyst for fascism, that fascism as Roger Eatwell puts “was embryonic rather than fully formed”(R. Eatwell, Fascism: A History) and that the war created a unique environment and opportunity for the nurturing and growth of fascist ideologies. I will discuss what I believe to be the most potent factors that pushed the growth of fascism, the economic crisis of the 1920s and the subsequent weakening of western liberal democracies, the discontentment and chagrin of the Italian and German public towards victory and defeat respectively and most importantly, the threat of Communism and its political manipulation.
Hobsbawm argues that,“fascism did not exist before 1919”(Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes). This paper follows that belief and it allows us to pull our focus towards the time directly post- war. It is in this time that I will argue that the seeds of fascism were planted and that the unstable socio-economic landscape of Europe resulted in volatile nationalist politics in the 1920s and allowed for the resultant fascism to take root and to grow at an

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