Dictatorship and Democracy: Key Concepts

Leaving Cert > Dictatorship and Democracy in Europe

Anti-Semitism
Hatred and persecution of Jewish people. Many European nationalists believed that the Jews were not part of their nation. The Nazis saw the Jews as an inferior race.

Blitzkrieg
German for "lightning war". Blitzkrieg was the name of the tactic used by Hitler to invade Poland. Planes attack the enemy's road and rail networks, tanks advance in to enemy territory to cut off reinforcements and infantry arrives to defeat the weakened enemy infantry units.

Collaboration
Co-operating with the enemy. This can either be done by "puppet" governments or by individuals and small groups. The Vichy France government led by P├ętain collaborated with the Nazis.

Collectivisation
The policy of Stalin's government to force peasant farmers to give up their farms and form large collective farms. The work, machinery and profits were shared.

Communism
Communists believed that the working class should revolt against the middle class and abolish private property. The government would control agriculture and industry for the benefit of the people.

Democracy
A system of government where the people exercise power through voting in elections.

The Depression
A depression occurs when an economy is doing badly. Factories and businesses close and there is widespread unemployment. The Great Depression which began in 1929 was the most severe depression of the 20th century.

Dictatorship
Rule by one person or party who control all power, using propaganda and a secret police. Dictators often kill or imprison those who oppose them.

Fascism
Fascism was the belief in nationalism, dictatorship, racism and the use of violence against opponents. It was opposed to democracy and communism.

Herrenvolk
The Nazi idea of the Germans as a master race, superior to all other races.

Holocaust
The word used to describe the slaughter of Jews by Nazis in extermination camps during the Second World War.

Inflation
An increase in the price of products, usually a large increase.

Lebensraum
The Nazi policy of conquering land in Eastern Europe to make Germany self-sufficient.

Personality Cult
The worship of a leader. Propaganda is used to create an image of a wise and all-knowing leader who the people can trust.

Propaganda
Spreading information to convince people of your point of view in order to gain or maintain power.

Protectionism
Using tariffs (taxes) to protect home industry and employment from foreign competition.

Reichskirche
German for "Empire's Church". Hitler's plan to unite all of the German Protestant churches into one German national church.

Resistance
A group, usually in secret, who resist enemy troops after they have invaded a country by targeting them for surprise attacks.

Totalitarianism
Totalitarian governments seek to control all aspects of life through the use of propaganda, terror and a secret police.