Over the course of the late 19th and early 20th centuries most European countries were struggling to find an efficient form of government. Government revolved from monarchies to democracies and evolved to totalitarian dictators. Totalitarian governments, such as Nazi Germany, exhibited great differences from previous form of political control by an elite group, With the lock of much consistency, totalitarian governments were flexible and blended many forms of ideology of government. One great difference in the modern totalitarian governments is administration and leadership. Modern totalitarians, such as Hitler of Nazi Germany, held their countries in a tight grip of control and took on the title of dictators. (Hitler was known in Germany as the Fuhrer.) Hitler, for example, used the Gestapo, secret police, to terrorize any opponents to the Fuhrer or the will of the people (Volk). Hitler also conducted a mass murder of any persons in the Riechstag or otherwise that he felt were a threat to him.
This weekend in October 1934 was known as the Night of the Long Knives where up to a thousand people were killed be Hitler’s dreaded SS men. Hitler and his propaganda minister Joseph Geobbel, bombarded the people of Germany with ideas of how elite Germans and Hitler were. A common slogan cheered by Germans was Sieg Heil- “Hail to Victory!” In this area Nazi’s showed a bit of conservative with their high regard to hierarchy and order. Another characteristic of modern totalitarianism is the vital spirit of nationalism. Nationalism was carried out to an extreme extent in Germany.
German people were bombarded with the idea that they were the supreme Aryan race and only the deserved to reap the benefits of their great country. This idea was carried out so far that they began to form a closed-community, and sparked a great deal of anti-Semitism. Under Hitler’s influence, German People began to unite in hatred for wrong acts against their country, such as the Versailles Treaty and the parliament stabbing Hindenburg and the German Army in the back, and the terrible economic crisis the were undergoing because of liberalism and capitalism. The importance of building a strong industrial and military state also became a pattern of policy in the modern totalitarian governments. Hitler, like the fascists and their principle of autarky, wanted to form a self-sufficient economy based on mass industrialization, the common trait of developed countries, and the search for new technology.
All of this, of course, was used to build a greater military machine. Hitler had divided the country into 34 Gaue each run by commissioners. Within each Gaue were commissioners of factories, giving Hitler much control over every German. Under Hitler factories boomed and the standard of living rose, and people were content with the stability of their totalitarian government. In conclusion, over the time between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s European government underwent drastic and sometimes rapid change.
Governments went from monarchies to parliaments to dictators and the new policies of modern totalitarianism.