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Romania: political authoritarianism and Fascism in the inter-war period

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  1. Introduction
  2. The Dilemma of Britain
    1. A real lack of interest in Europe
    2. An ambiguous response or 'Cordial bail'
  3. The need to protect Britain's global interests
    1. Europe against Commonwealth
    2. Europe against the rest of the world
  4. The need to channel this plan was said to be too ambitious
    1. Insert the plan in the League
    2. Too rapid?

At the end of the First World War, Romania's hopes from the Allies concentrated. The promises made by King Ferdinand left little doubt about the democratization of the country through universal male suffrage, agrarian reform, and a new Constitution between the three powers. Romania plays a vital role in the "cordon sanitaire" supposed to contain the Soviet Union, especially as it enjoys considerable territorial gains through various treaties following the war. However, this democratic impulse tends to overlook the realities of the country, namely a mass of highly diverse populations, with very little education, which was not used to participating in political life, together with considerable social inequalities through the whole society.

The political authoritarianism and fascism in Romania between the two world wars thus exerted an undeniable attraction for the leaders of this country. The temptations of political authoritarianism are many, even within the so-called democratic parties, while fascist movements developed simultaneously in intellectual circles, by winning over the youth of the 1920s. The model of Romanian fascism borrowed many Italian features, such as intransigent nationalism, and the cult of the leader, but differed due to a virulent anti-Semitism and Christian crusade.

The economic crisis of 1929 and its aftermath in the 1930s marked a real turning point for the Romanian fascism. It was thus able to rally the disappointed and helpless masses. However, it did not count on the ascent of King Carol II to the throne, whose aims were realized by the authoritarian coup of 1938, whereby he established a royal dictatorship. How may we explain a radical change in the nature of political power in just twenty years? Why did extreme right movements in this country succeed?

If the 1920s were dominated by a parliamentary monarchy, access to authoritarian governments and development of fascist movements were not missing either. But it is the period 1930-1938, where the economic, financial, political and social elements increase, which will provide fertile ground for the rise of fascism. This is also cleverly used by King Carol II, who will take advantage of their weaknesses to build from 1938 to 1940 an "authoritarian right-wing fascism."

The 1920s represent a period of democratic theory for Romania, universal male suffrage was introduced in the 1923 Constitution and land reform was carried out in 1921. However, the diversity that crosses the country, geographically, ethnically and socially, can be an excuse for authoritarianism to the many successive governments during this decade. In this climate of more or less generalized discontent, fascist movements took the opportunity to develop their first organizations.

At the end of World War I, the first concern of the Romanian government was to enforce the Allies in the Treaty of 1916 which allowed entry of Romania into the war alongside the Allies in exchange for the promise of some territorial kingdom annexations . Thus in 1919, there was the Treaty of St. Germain which allowed Romania to annex Bukovina. On the other hand, by the Treaty of Trianon of June 4, 1920, Hungary had to give to Romania Transylvania and Banat of Timi?oara.

Tags: Treaty of St. Germain, anti-Semitism, fascism

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