Watch on the Rhine Historical Context

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Fascism

Fascism is a totalitarian system of government that directs the state to take absolute control of the lives of its people. The term was first used by supporters of Benito Mussolini, Italy's dictator from 1922 until his capture and execution during World War II. Other countries that have established fascist regimes include Spain under the rule of Francisco Franco and Germany under the rule of Adolph Hitler. Fascism emerged as a counter force to the egalitarianism of socialism and democracy, which frightened many conservative Europeans at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. They feared that the lower classes would take power away from the bourgeoisie (middle) class. These conservatives also feared the chaos and general anarchy that inevitably ensued after political revolutions. Fascists played on these concerns, appealing to the people's nationalistic sentiments and promising a return to law and order...

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This section contains 572 words
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Watch on the Rhine from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.