HIST 233 Fascism, Nazism, and the Crisis of Democracy

The turn to authoritarianism and rise of fascism in Europe between the First and Second World Wars represented a profound turning point in European  politics and society, as nations from Italy to Hungary, Germany, to Greece became home to fascist regimes or movements. This History course studies the rise, function, and fall of fascism , especially as it existed in Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany, between 1922 and 1945. In the period between World War I and World War II, new and alternative models for the relationship between state and society challenged the existing political and social order, as many Europeans abandoned democracy as the ideal political system. Many turned to nationalist authoritarianism as the answer to the political, economic, and social crises shaking Europe. Italy, under the National Fascist Party, and Germany, ruled by the National Socialists, were the nations in which this flight from democracy became a full-fledged descent into dictatorship and one-­party rule. This course examines authoritarianism and dictatorship in interwar Europe and we assess how the elevation of the state and the nation, promoted by these regimes and parties, impacted the societies involved.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus