The "Cult of the Leader" was integral part of totalitarian systems in the early 20th Century. How did this develop in Italy with Mussolini and the "Cult of the Duce?" What factors contributed to its growth and success?

The triumph of the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution is often described as "serendipitous' or "lucky." How do the events of 1917 support this claim?

Among which social groups, in their respective societies, did totalitarian leaders gain most support?

In what ways did Hitler and Mussolini come to terms with institutional churches?

What was the "Night of the Long Knives"?

What use did our various totalitarian leaders make of propaganda?

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Totalitarian systems in the early 20th century in Italy and Germany relied mainly on the charismatic authority of the leaders, such as Mussolini and Hitler. Mussolini with the support of his fascist party styled himself as the "Duce” (The Leader) of the Italian Social Republic. Fascism was a political ideology promoted by Mussolini and his projections for Italy to be a great and powerful state like the ancient Roman Empire. Fascism, like Nazism was based on extreme nationalism focused on mainly military power to control the people. It is also based on militaristic ideals of courage, unquestioning obedience to authority and discipline. The role of the leader, or the ‘cult of the Duce’ was an important factor in the rise of Fascism....

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