How did fascism rise in Europe?

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

How did fascism rise in Europe?

Read up on Benito Mussolini; he was the first fascist leader to become the leader of a country, more than a decade ahead of Hitler.

Basically, many elitist countries in Europe were at a crossroads; they could either become more democratic and egalitarian (which was bad for powers that be, since they depended on retaining their privileges), or face a communist revolution (or, in a milder version, creeping socialist takeover), or make a deal with fascists. Victor Emmanuel, king of Italy, chose the latter route in 1922 and appointed Mussolini Prime Minister. A decade later, German leaders faced the same choice…


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