There are many similarities, as well as important differences, between Italian fascism and German Nazism during the 1920s and 1930s. In this activity students will compare and contrast the rise of fascism in the two countries and draw their own conclusions about the unique path each movement took.
Students will go to the Modern World History Web site to read about the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany. After answering a series of questions, students will write an essay comparing and contrasting the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany.
- Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of dates, events, and places relating to the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany.
- Students will be able to apply what they have learned to write an essay comparing and contrasting the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany.
Student Web Activity Answers
- Germans had expected Woodrow Wilson to treat Germany with leniency and were surprised by the reparations and other harsh conditions. Germans such as Adolf Hitler felt that Germany had not lost World War I but had been "stabbed in the back" by the "November Criminals," the German politicians who signed the armistice at the end of the war. Many Germans also rejected the War Guilt Clause, which made Germany accept the blame for the war.
- Italians were angry that the Italian prime minister, Vittorio Orlando, was largely ignored at Versailles and that the treaty did not turn over the lands promised to Italy during the Secret Treaty of London.
- Mussolini relied primarily on his own newspaper, Il Popolo d'Italia, to spread his message. Hitler was able to rely on the backing of 53 newspapers, owned by millionaire supporter Alfred Hugenberg.
- Mussolini was appointed by the Italian king to lead Italy for one year. The Acerbo Law made it possible for Mussolini's party to gain two-thirds of the seats in the Italian parliament in 1924. Hitler was appointed chancellor by the German president. After the next election, Communists boycotted the first meeting of the Reichstag, giving the Nazis a free hand, even though they had not won a majority of the seats.
- Students' essays will vary but should include historical evidence to support their positions.
Go To Student Web Activity