Throughout the course of our History class, we will investigate the rise and rule of authoritarian regimes and single party states. We will focus specifically on the rise and rule of three single party states, that of Stalin's USSR (1928-1953), Hitler's Nazi Germany (1933-1945), and Mao's China (1949-1976). In doing so, the goal is to view these case studies within a typology of the key features that single party states seem to share.

Our goal is to be able to do the following in our examination of the three regimes mentioned above:

  • define the nature of a single-party state
  • understand the reasons for the rise of the single-party state, and their historical context
  • understand the importance of the leader's abilities, ideology, and political platform in acquiring and maintaining power
  • determine the various strategies that have been used by singly-party leaders to acquire and hold on to power
  • identify the forms of government adopted by single-party states and the differences in their ideologies
  • understand the type and extent of opposition to single-party regimes and how this opposition is controlled or eliminated
  • give an overview of the domestic policies that are characteristic of totalitarian regimes
  • comment on the role of women in single-party states
  • comment on attitudes toward minority groups in single-party states
  • analyze the role of media, education, marketing and communication in single-party states.