The World Before World War II Motivation: Who are the people in the picture below, and what country did they represent?
Aim: Prior to the start of World War II, what were the political, social, and economic conditions that existed in the Soviet Union, Italy, and in Germany?
Joseph Stalin • Joseph Stalin- came to power in 1924 after the death of Nikolai Lenin • Stalin ruled the Soviet Union as a dictator (a ruler who has complete power over the country) • During his time in power he ruled the Soviet Union as a Totalitarian State
Totalitarian State • In a Totalitarian State, a single political party controls the government and every aspect of people’s lives. • Characteristics of a Totalitarian State are: • Citizens must obey the government without questions • If someone criticizes the government they will be severely punished
Collective Farm • In the 1930’s the government ordered peasants to hand over their land and farm animals to join Collective Farms (farms run by the government) • Stalin’s purpose behind this plan was to modernize Soviet farms.
Benito Mussolini • In 1922, Benito Mussolini seized power in Italy • He played on Italian anger about the Versailles Treaty ending World War I. • Italy felt cheated by the treaty because it did not grant the territory that it had wanted • Mussolini also used the current economic situation, and fears of a Communist Revolution to help him gain control
Fascist Party • The Fascist Party was the name of Mussolini’s political party • Once in power, the Fascist Party • Outlawed all political parties except its own • They controlled the press • Banned criticism of the government • In schools, children recited that Mussolini is always right
Aggression • In the 1930s, Mussolini used foreign conquest to distract Italians from economic problems at home. • In 1935, Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in an attempt to create a new Roman Empire • Mussolini and Italy were able to overtake Ethiopia
Adolf Hitler • Hitler like Mussolini took advantage of the Treaty of Versailles to help him gain power in Germany. • The heavy financial penalties imposed by the treaty forced Germany into a poor financial state
Hitler in Power • Hitler and his political party the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis) took control • Hitler like Stalin used a dictatorship as his form of rule, and created a Totalitarian State.
Hitler in Power • Hitler and the Nazis preached a message of racial and religious hatred • Hitler blamed Jews, communists and others for Germany’s situation • Hitler used Concentration Camps (prison camp for those considered to be enemies of the country) to stop people from going against his rule
Which country will be the most responsible for the start of World War II in Europe?