Document Type

Social Sciences



Submission Date

August 2017


The first half of the twentieth century was a period so fraught with politi-cal, military, and economic tumult that it is easy to see why several of the world’s most powerful (and some not so powerful) nations turned to totalitarian forms of governance. Indeed, nations like the United Kingdom, the United States, and (temporarily) the Republic of France, where democratic rule of law had been maintained after the 1929 Stock Market Crash, were usually the exception and not the rule. Regimes such as Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and the Estado Novo in Brazil were often established in reaction to the perceived instabilities and often deemed necessary for progress and peace. In the period leading up to the Second World War, however, the dichotomy between the ideologies of governance cre-ated two bases of international power, which provided the original basis for the Axis and Allied powers. This bipolar distribution was not written in stone (with the Soviet Union changing sides and the United States abandoning its official neutrality), but this view by and large provides a description for international political developments throughout this time period.


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