The Great Depression and Rise of Authoritarian Regimes

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The Great Depression

From 1920 until the end of 1930. The problems that led to the crisis include:

Overproduction: American industry produced more goods than the population needed and had to close.

Falling consumption: When companies closed down, people lost their jobs and stopped spending money, reducing the demand for goods.

The Wall Street Crash: Many companies whose shares were sold on the stock market began to fail and crashed. This led to a series of protests against the government and the capitalist system that had produced the crisis.

Politics in United States

Two political parties: The Republican Party and The Democratic Party.

In 1920, Republicans governed the United States due to fear of Communism, but Democrats returned to power in 1933 with President FDR, who passed The New Deal measures.

Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism

In the 1920s and 1930s, dictatorships came to power in many countries. It is divided into:

Left-wing Authoritarian Regime: Anti-capitalist and aimed at society classes.

Right-wing Authoritarian Regime: Pro-nationalist and opposed to communism and democracy.


Characteristics: Authoritarian system, economic and social control through propaganda, ideological inequalities, and militarism for the expansion of territory.

Benito Mussolini

He founded the Fascist National Party and formed paramilitary groups to confront workers' parties. In 1922, the fasci organized a march into Rome. The king appointed Mussolini head of state, and Mussolini imposed a fascist dictatorship.

Adolf Hitler

He was an ex-soldier who founded the National Socialist Party. The 1929 crisis blamed the Jews, the communists, and the democrats. In 1932, the party won the elections, and Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. He proclaimed the Third Reich and imposed a severe dictatorship, eliminating opposition and sending people to concentration camps. He controlled through propaganda. His actions provoked the Second World War.


After Lenin's death, Stalin became the leader of the USSR, and a totalitarian regime developed. Stalin controlled all branches of government, and the economy was planned and controlled by the state. In theory, the Soviet Union was a classless, communist society, but there were enormous social differences. Also, Stalin restricted women's rights, suppressing the progressive measures that had been in place. Women were expected to get married and have children.

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