By Patty James-Buchanan
Professor Kevin Cramer
Fall 2010 B393
December 12, 2010
The experience of World War dominated the history of Europe in the 20th century. Europe and its population, suffered from an atmosphere of insecurity and threats of disruption in the social, economic and political arena during the years between1919-1939. Western Europe faced large government debts, inflation and unemployment. Its memory, commemoration and image incorporated into the culture of the interwar period.
World War I had inaugurated a new era in warfare. The spirit of the trenches invented during WWI was to be reborn in the new fascist man of the 1920s and 1930s. Fascist regimes ascended in Italy and Germany with parties playing a role on the national scene. Resistance movements arose during the outbreak of the Second World War against Fascist regimes and Italy was said to have produced one of the most successful and mass-based resistance movements in all of Europe.
The year 1935 marked for Italy the beginning of what historian Alexander De Grand terms a “downward spiral,” during which there were fewer internal policy innovations and more focus on foreign affairs and the dream of “empire.” Within three months of annexation of Ethiopia, Benito Mussolini’s Italy was at war with Spain, in a secret unfruitful pursuit of the keys to the western Mediterranean, the Baleares and Ceuta. The consensus of the Italian people in which Mussolini, Duce of Italian Fascism/dictator from 1922 to 1945, had constructed solidified by the Ethiopian War in 1935 had started to disintegrate with his intervention in the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and with his alliance with Germany in the summer of 1940. The Spanish Civil War took home a deeper ideological and international implication of what Fascism-Nazism really meant and why there was a need of resistance.
The antifascist Spanish War veterans had no desire to return to... [continues]
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