The Nazi form of government was developed by dictator Adolf Hitler and was a catalyst in starting World War II. Also called Nazism, this form of government is actually a form of fascism. Personal liberties were restricted and minorities suffered as the one-party government grew in power. Of all the types of governments you study in this course, Nazism is probably the most extreme form of tyranny.

It is puzzling to understand why people would want a government that hated democracy, incorporated mass murder, and controlled the press. Yet as you learn of the steps leading up to Hitler's rise to power, you will see how people can grab for glory and stability whenever they have hope of little else. It is at times of great distress that tyrannical governments make their boldest moves.

The first opportunity for the Nazi movement came after World War I. Germany suffered a crushing defeat in 1918 and fell into extreme poverty nationwide. A democratic government did nothing to stem the flow of high inflation and unemployment that seemed to grow worse week by week. People grew desperate for change, and a man named Adolf Hitler gained control of a Munich political discussion group and renamed it the National Socialist Workers' Party, of which Nazi is the first word in German.

By the time of the Great Depression, the Nazi movement was growing into a national power. Hitler promised a great nation and the opportunity for Germany to increase its borders. He called for social reform, including the need to rid the country of inferior races which, he claimed, made the country impure. The global business crash known as the Great Depression turned the people to Nazism. Similar to fascism, the government had control of communications, military and social life. Nazism, like fascism, allowed ownership of private property and some businesses as long as they served the Nazi movement.

Education and excitement helped empower the movement. Children were taught the Nazi doctrines...

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