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The Politics of World War II

            World war one caused destruction to human life and property on such a scale that never had been witnessed before. The destruction didn't end there however as the pre-war political system also was destroyed. Thus the post war Europe saw differing political beliefs fighting for control. While the victors accepted democracy of war most European countries saw it as an alien belief and while some countries e.g. Germany flirted with it for a brief period the peoples longing and belief in a strong totalitarian leader soon became manifest. This was due to a number of factors including the post-war economic stagnation, a political polarization and the threat of Communism. Therefore in the period 1919-1939 fascist dictatorships with their promise of a strong nation state employment for all gained support in the inter war years and came to power in Italy and Germany.
             Economic Crisis.
             During the war years most European countries experienced booms however war strained the limited finances forcing them to borrow. With the end of the war these loans had to be repaid. Most European countries owed large repayments.
             Britain and France owed large sums to the USA this made them seek reparations from Germany crippling her further.
             At the end of the war there was large scale unemployment due to the shutting down of arms plants and disbanding of army. Hyperinflation was widespread in European countries in Italy cost of living rose 500percent in period 1919-1923. In Germany the situation was worse. The middle classes suffered most savings were wiped out. The weak govts. Already facing huge problems were unable to tackle the problems especially in Italy in 1923 and in Germany following the wall street crash in 1929 due to heavy borrowing by the Weimar govt. from the USA. .
             The fascist parties promised to make countries strong and economically stable the people listened and supported them.
             There was an anti communist hysteria in post war Europe following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.

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