Rejecting Liberalism Russia and Germany Hannah Moulds Humanities 30-1 Mr. Kabachia
Desperation There were many conditions and circumstances that lead to the radical transformation in Russia and reactionary transformation in Germany. The rejection of Liberalism in these countries affected the lives of the people who lived in these totalitarian states. The question is, why or how did the citizens of these countries put aside there Liberal ways of life? The answer to this question is desperation. Sometimes when life gets too hard, and someone comes up with a way out, you will take it. But sometimes you don’t know what you are actually giving up.
Russia Just a brief explanation of what went on in Russia before Lenin and the Bolsheviks: Suffering from great social inequalities of laissez-faire capitalist system Small, unorganized groups who suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of Russian aristocracy and absolute monarch. Working class asked for basic human rights and freedom of speech, the press, religion, and fairer wages and workday hours reduced. Outrage broke out after “Bloody Sunday” incident. (protestors gunned down by czar’s Imperial Guard) These condition lead to the Russian Revolution, this revolution was due to injustices of the authoritarian czarist system and uncontrolled free-market. Vladimir IlichUlyanov, also known as Lenin, sought to destroy the class-based system, reject classical liberal economics and provide better working/living conditions. Since the people were so desperate, they supported the revolutionary groups. The only way the revolutionaries could relinquish political control was through violent revolution. Lenin and the Bolsheviks started a civil war, lasting 5 years, against the White Army. After this war ended, communism was established in Russia.
Germany Conditions and circumstances leading up to totalitarianism in Germany: (aka the Holocaust) After the Treaty of Versailles was signed, the populace of Germany blamed the government for the humiliation and economic hardship the treaty would cause. This weakened the voters’ confidence in their liberal democratic government. The German economy was in ruins, causing Germany’s inability to pay the reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. Invasion by France and Belgium caused the German workers to strike, putting manufacturing at a halt. The stock market crashed in 1929 and the following Great Depression put the country in economic hardship once again. Hitler and the Nazi party took advantage of the widespread unemployment and desperation the depression caused on the population. The Nazis advocacy of law and order in Germany appealed to much of the populace who were tired of years of instability. Hitler capitalized on fear the Great Depression caused the Germans, by claiming that a stronger government was needed to control the lawlessness. So did desperation play a major role in the citizens of Germany turning away from the old liberal ways. Hitler gave the people of Germany a sense of pride once again. And when people had nothing left, a sense of pride seems to be the right track to follow. But little did the people of Germany know, that they would go down in history for supporting a man responsible for the most horrific extermination of innocent people.