Main article: Anti-communism
The internationalist minded, radical Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in November 1917 and subsequently supported attempts to set up similar regimes elsewhere, with brief success in Hungary and Bavaria. This caused many central and western Europeans (and Americans) to fear that a violent Communist revolution would overwhelm their own countries. Beginning in 1919 the victorious Entente Powers established a cordone sanitaire of border states on Russia’s western frontier in the hope of quarantining Communism in Russia. Both Italian and German national socialist fascism were in part a reaction to international communist socialist uprisings, in conjunction with nationalist fears of the Slavic empire. A further factor in Germany was the success of fascists Freikorps (voluntary paramilitary groups of discharged soldiers) in crushing the Bolshevik Bavarian Soviet Republic in Munich in 1919. Many of these veterans became early components of the Nazi party’s SA which would be the party’s troops in the street warfare with the Communist armed militia in the decade before 1933. The street violence would help shift moderate opinion towards the need for Germany to find an anti-Communist authoritarian leader to restore stability to German life.  Expansionism (imperialism/colonialism)
Expansionism is the doctrine of expanding the territorial base (or economic influence) of a country, usually by means of military aggression. At the time of World War II, various European powers (such as France, the United Kingdom, and Russia/the Soviet Union) had long held large amounts of territory under imperial or colonial rule. Germany and Italy had not been as successful as the other Great Powers in gaining and holding territory. In Europe, Italy’s Benito Mussolini sought to create a New Roman Empire based around the Mediterranean and invaded Albania in early 1939, at the start of the war, and later invaded Greece. Italy had also...