Unit #9: Depression & Dictators: Rise of the Dictators
  Learning Target: I can ANALYZE the causes of the Great Depression and its influence on the rise of totalitarian dictators. 

I know I know it when: I can DESCRIBE how Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, and Hitler took, consolidated, and maintained power.

I am learning this because: It has been said that "Freedom is never more that one generation away from extinction.
Therefore we must learn how tyrants and dictators can rise to power and deny people their freedoms if they are left unchecked.  

Class Notes:

Directions: Please follow the directions in the box below to complete the assignment.  Be sure to complete the assignment and carefully check your work before submitting your assignment for a grade. 

Part 1: Rise of the Dictators

1.  During the 1920s and 1930s, many totalitarian governments rose across Europe. 

     In this assignment, you will be researching one of these famous dictators.  Your research will allow you to learn more about their backgrounds, beliefs, and actions.  You will then present what you have   
     learned to your classmates. 

      Take a moment to download the Rise of the Dictators Student Assignment.  Be sure to click File > Save As Google Slides before you begin

2.  Now, read the information and directions in your Rise of the Dictators Student Assignment.  Complete your research and presentation with a partner. 


Rise of the Dictators



A totalitarian ruler leads a government that maintains complete control over every part of public and private life of the citizens in that country. The economic problems that resulted from World War I and the Depression led people to question whether democratic government could improve their lives. Totalitarian governments appeared to provide a sense of security and offered a strong direction for the future.  


Both Communism and Fascism used aspects of totalitarianism as part of their governments. In general, both used dictators, only allowed one political party, and denied many individual rights. Police terror was used for control and to get rid of any opposition. Controlling media sources (newspapers, television, radio etc.) with propaganda and limiting what was reported helped influence what people thought.  


While both systems used the same tools of totalitarianism, fascism and communism had very different political ideologies.   Fascism believed in an extreme form of nationalism and pride in the country, while Communism focused on a Marxist economy and beliefs spreading worldwide. Communism did not allow private property and eliminated social classes. Fascism believed that each class had a role to play in society and supported private property. During the 1920s and 1930s, many totalitarian governments rose across Europe.   


In this assignment, you will be researching one of these famous dictators.  Your research will allow you to learn more about their backgrounds, beliefs, and actions.  You will then present what you have learned to your classmates.  Be sure to also submit your work using the Google Form at the end of the assignment. 


Research & Product Directions:  


1. Each student will be working collaboratively to research and present ONE of the dictators that rose to     power during the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s.  Take a few moment to choose ONE other student to work     with on this project.  BE SURE TO CHOOSE WISELY.  You will each have to contribute to this project.      You will also ALL be presenting your project.     


2.  As a group, you will conduct your own research on ONE of the dictators below.  You will be assigned       a dictator by your teachers.  You can use your textbook or find digital resources on your Chromebook.  DO NOT COPY AND PASTE!  Your presentations must be in your own words and your own work.  Each of your groups will be assigned a different dictator.             


Michinomiya Hirohito – Japan      

Vladimir Lenin – Soviet Union      

Benito Mussolini – Italy      

Joseph Stalin – Soviet Union      

António de Oliveira Salazar – Portugal      

Engelbert Dollfuss – Austria      

Adolf Hitler – German      

Boris III – Bulgaria      

Francisco Franco – Spain      

Hideki Tojo - Japan    


3.  Have one member of your group create a Google slides and share it with their partner.  Both members of the

     group should contribute to the research and the presentation.  Each member of your group needs to

     collaborate on the presentation.  You will each be presenting this information to other students.          



4.  Research your dictator.  You will want to note each of your sources of information so that it can be placed

     on the work’s cited slide.  Create a Google Slides presentation that includes the following information:        


1.  A title slide with your full names the name of the dictator you researched, a picture of that dictator,           

     the name of the country they ruled over and the years they were in power.          


2.  Define the terms "Totalitarianism," "Dictator," “Communism,” and “Fascism”. Place the terms and           

     definitions on a slide.        


3.  At lease five images of the dictator you researched.  Be sure to include the citation information for           

     each image on the last slide.  Images can be placed anywhere in your presentation.  They can be            

     different images of the dictator or images of events during the dictator’s rule.          


4.  What country did they rule?  Include a map showing where that country is located.         


5.  Most dictatorships are led by dynamic rulers.  What were some of their personal characteristics that made

     them strongmen in their country?  Tell us about the dictators personality and style.        


6.  What was your dictator’s life like before they rose to power?  Where were they born?  Where did they

     live?  Who were his parents?  Where did they go to school?  What jobs did they have?         


7.  Explain in detail (step by step) how your dictator took power over their nation.           


8.  Explain how your dictator used the “Tools of Totalitarianism” such as dynamic personality, secret           

     police, propaganda, indoctrination, fear, purges, enemies of the state, historical revision, etc. to           

     maintain their power.  Be sure to use specific example if available.        


9.  Find at least two examples of propaganda used by your dictator.  Explain each of these.        


10.  Write a paragraph explaining the important events that took place during the rule of your dictator.  In other

       words, what occurred during their rule (good and bad).  Explain each event using detailed information from

       your research.         


11.  Write a paragraph explaining how your dictator eventually lost their power. Explain using detailed

       information from your research.        


12.  Create a “works cited” page at the end of your presentation.  You should list each of the websites you used

       to find your information and images.  You should use no less than five resources.                


    For example: www.mydictator.com  You can also use and cite your text book.




Part 2: Submit your work for a grade

 1.   Once you have completed your Rise of the Dictators Student Assignment, use the Google Form below to submit your work for a grade.  Be sure to check
       your answers using the Rise of the Dictators Student Assignment

 2.    Carefully check your answer and submit your work for a grade.  You must have answered the questions to do well on this submission. 

      Submit Assignment

3.    Good Job!

  World History with Mr. Gigliotti | Valley Forge High School | Parma Hts., OH | gigliottip@parmacityschools.org