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which can be found in the description, will get their first 2 months of Skillshare for just 99¢. (£0.76/€0.85) Be sure to try it out using the link in the description, and learn something new today. Now, without further ado - It's 1902. A young man by the name of Benito Mussolini moves from Italy to Switzerland to avoid military service. He gets big into socialism, working for trade unions, writing for socialist newspapers, advocating a violent overthrow of European monarchies, the whole shabang. This gets him in a bit of trouble with the Swiss police. So he gets arrested, sent back to Italy, set free, returns to Switzerland, is arrested again, goes back to Italy again, completes his military service after previously avoiding it, and then after a brief stint as an elementary school teacher, he finally returns to work as an avid socialist. His speeches and journalistic abilities made him famous among Italian socialists. He was anti-war, so when Italy colonised Libya in 1910, he rioted. And got arrested. Then WW1 came along, and once again, he protested Italy's involvement. But then he thought, 'Wait a minute.' 'This war could bring about the social climate needed to overthrow European monarchies, and bring about the socialist revolution everywhere.' And suddenly he was pro-war.
But his fellow socialists didn't like his new pro-war stance, so they kicked him out of the party. So then he said, 'You know what? I'm done with socialism. We need something new. Not based on class divisions tearing us apart, but based on unity through nationality. We'll conquer the Mediterranean, and reunite all Italian peoples, just like the days of the Roman Empire. I'll call it "Fascismo" and it will guide the Italian nation to greatness. 'That's all well and good, Mr Mussolini, but what kind of haircut am I giving you?' 'Let's go with... bald.' ♪ Tchaikovsky - 1812 Overture ♪ Italy had been on the winners' side in WW1, and they hoped they were going to get a lot out of it. But in the end, they only got a little, and they felt cheated. On top of that, a bad economy, and weak governments meant that the Italian people were a little unhappy. So when Mussolini came along, and said that he could fix everything, his fascist movement gained a lot of support. In 1922, he went to the King and said, 'Make me prime minister, or I'll make me prime minister.' And the King said, 'You and what army?' 'This army.' 'Fair enough.' Then he went about establishing a dictatorship with himself at its centre. Europe had its first fascist dictator. Next up: Germany.
Germany had been on the losers' side, and they got absolutely wrecked by the Treaty of Versailles. They lost territory, had to demilitarise the Rhineland, had to reduce their army to just 100,000 men, couldn't have an airforce, had to pay the Allies a huge amount of money that it didn't have, and a new rule was established that every Englishman witheld the right to walk into the center of Berlin, pick out any German they wanted, and spank the hell out of them. I made that last one up, but it helps you understand how all of this felt to Germans. On top of that, a bad economy and weak governments meant that when a small, angry man with a silly moustache came along and said that he could fix everything, the German people loved it. Hitler had been a soldier during WW1, and he was crazy patriotic. And nobody was madder than him about Germany's humiliation. He helped start a new political party, and in 1923, attempted a march on Munich with his boys. And then he got arrested. But his popularity grew and grew, and in 1933, the President made him Chancellor. He believed he was Germany's great destined saviour, and he went full megalomaniac, establishing a dictatorship with himself at its center. Europe had Fascist Dictator No. 2. Hitler and Mussolini had a lot of the same ideas. But more importantly,
they had the same enemies. And they started to get along. 'Anyone else wanna be friends? Franco? No? You good?' 'I do.' 'Who's that?' It's Japan. And they've taken over northern China. Let's rewind a bit - Japan had isolated itself from the rest of the world for over 200 years. Until the Americans showed up and said, 'You're going to trade with us, and you're going to like it.' Then the Western powers imposed a bunch of 'Unequal Treaties'. Meaning Japan's economy was bust. They also had no natural resources. So they decided to go get some. They went to war with China to gain a sphere of influence over Korea, and they took a bunch of China's stuff.
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