1.) Unstable New Democracies
At the end of the war the world saw the formation of new democracies. 1914 to 1918 Europe had its last rulers overthrown. The first of teh new Governments was in Russia, 1917. It was called a provisional government. It was supposed to make a democratic government but soon fell under communist rule. The little experience with republic government made it hard on the European countries. Even in France and Italy, whose parliaments had existed before World War I, the large number of political parties made effective government difficult. Much of the reason was because there were so many parties it was hard for one to get a ton of political support. When no party won a Coalition government was formed, a temporary alliance of several parties for a parliamentary majority to be reached. But disagreements didn't let this last long. Government changed often and this made it hard.
Fascism Rises in Europe
a.) Fascism’s Rise in Italy
Fascism was a Fascism was a new, militant political movement that emphasized loyalty to the state and obedience to its leader. Fascism had no clearly defined theory and preached nationalism. They pledged loyal to and authoritarian leader and wore certain outfits, used salutes and had mass rallies. They were similar to communists by one leader rule, no individual rights, states were supreme. Neither practiced any kind of democracy. However, unlike Communists, Fascists did not seek a class-less society. They often had members of low middle class.
1.) Mussolini Takes Control
Fascism in Italy was disappointing after being unable to get large land after the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and rising inflation and unemployment causing social unrest they wanted a leader to take action. Benito Mussolini promised to save Italy by rebuilding economy and their army. He had founded the fascist party in 1919. As conditions got worse he became more popular. Finally, Mussolini publicly criticized Italy’s government. Groups of Fascists wearing black shirts attacked Communists and Socialists on the streets. Because he feared worker revolt he got support from middle class. In October 1922, about 30,000 Fascists marched on Rome. They demanded that King Victor Emmanuel III put Mussolini in charge of the government. The king decided Mussolini was the best for the dynasty.
2.) Il Duce’s Leadership
Mussolini was now Il Duce or the leader. He destroyed democracy made secret police and took over broadcast. He outlawed strikes. He wanted to take control by befriending land and business owners.
Aggressors Invade Nations
a.) Japan Seeks an Empire
In the 1920s Japan became democratic and signed treaties to respect Chinese borders. In 1928 they signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact renouncing war. Japans parliament had weaknesses. Its constitution restricted the Prime minister and cabinet and civilian leaders had little control over army and Military leaders reported inly to the emperor.
1.) Militarists Take Control of Japan
Japan was fine with civilian power till the 1929 Great Depression and military leaders gained support. The Militarists wanted to restore old power and gave emperor the symbol of state power. Keeping Emperor Hirohito as head of state won popular support for the army leaders who ruled in his name. Like Hitler militarists wanted to fix things by foreign expansion and to conquer China. China would give japan raw materials.
2.) Japan Invades Manchuria
Japanese business was highly invested in Chinas northeast province Manchuria and they took it over despite objection from japan parliament. They set up a puppet government and Japanese engineers began arriving in large numbers and building mines and factories. This was the first direct challenge of the League of nations. The league was all major democracies except the US.
3.) Japan Invades China
Four years later Border implications led to full war between japan and China and China army led by Jiang Jieshi was no match to the better equip and trained japan army. Beijing and more Northern cities as well as the capital Nanjing fell to Japan in 1937. anese troops killed tens of thousands of captured soldiers and civilians in Nanjing. Forced to retreat westward, Jiang Jieshi set up a new capital at Chongqing.
b.) European Aggressors on the March
The Leagues failure to stop Japan encouraged Europe fascists and the Italian leader Mussolini dreamed a colonial emperor in Africa like Britain.
1.) Mussolini Attacks Ethiopia
Ethiopia was one of three African independents and they coolant resists the more equip Italy a second time in October 1935. Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie appealed the League of nations the league did not want the attack but did not try to stop it.
2.) Hitler Defies Versailles Treaty
Hitler promised to undo the Versailles treaty that limited the German army size and in March 1935 they said they would break the rules. The failure to stop Germany made Hitler take more risks and on march 7, 1936 German soldiers crossed a restricted river into Rhineland. The British urged appeasement, giving in to an aggressor to keep peace. Hitler admitted that he would've backed down if challenged. The German occupation here changed the coming of war. Hitler’s growing strength convinced Mussolini that he should seek an alliance with Germany. In October 1936, the two dictators reached an agreement that became known as the Rome-Berlin Axis. A month later, Germany also made an agreement with Japan. Germany, Italy, and Japan came to be called the Axis Powers.
3.) Civil War Erupts in Spain
Hitler and Mussolini tested Democracies in Europe again and in July of 1936 army leader favoring Fascist government joined Francisco Franco in a revolt. This made a civil war. Hitler and Mussolini sent Franco help and Republicans received little help abroad. Early in 1939 Republican resistance collapsed. Franco became Spain's fascist dictator.