Compare and contrast the importance of the use of force on the emergence of two authoritarian states, each from a different region.

The use of force has historically been a significant factor in the establishment of authoritarian states. However, its importance can vary significantly based on regional contexts, other concurrent factors, and the specific individuals involved. To explore this topic, this essay will focus on the emergence of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China under Mao Zedong. The Role of Force in the Emergence of Nazi Germany 

In Germany, the use of force played a vital role in the consolidation of Adolf Hitler's authoritarian rule, although his initial rise to power was through ostensibly legal means. Hitler was appointed Chancellor in January 1933 by President Hindenburg. However, Hitler's transformation of the Weimar Republic into an authoritarian state was heavily dependent on the application of force. The Reichstag Fire in February 1933, blamed on a communist, was used as a pretext by Hitler to enact an emergency decree, effectively suspending civil liberties and allowing the Nazis to arrest political opponents, notably communists and social democrats. This resulted in a Nazi majority in the upcoming Reichstag elections and allowed Hitler to pass the Enabling Act, giving him dictatorial powers. The Night of the Long Knives in 1934, where Hitler ordered the purge of SA leaders and other political rivals, demonstrated Hitler’s willingness to use brutal force to maintain control. Hitler further solidified his authority through the systematic suppression of non-Nazi organisations, the intimidation of opposition by the Gestapo, and the indoctrination of the German public through propaganda. Historian Ian Kershaw posits in "Hitler: A Biography" that Hitler’s use of both legal mechanisms and brute force was key to his establishment of an authoritarian state. This synthesis of methods enabled Hitler to dismantle the democratic structures of the Weimar Republic effectively and replace them with a totalitarian regime. 

The establishment of the People’s Republic of China under Mao Zedong was directly resultant from a protracted armed struggle, the Chinese Civil War, between the Communists and Nationalists (Kuomintang). Force was an inherent part of the Communist ascension to power. The Communists, initially the underdogs, used guerrilla warfare tactics effectively against the Nationalists during the early stages of the war. This evolved into more conventional warfare as the Communists grew in strength. Mao's strategy, underpinned by his belief in "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun," as expressed in his selected works, was crucial to the Communist victory. Following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Mao continued to use force to consolidate his power and shape society according to his vision. Brutal campaigns such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution resulted in mass purges, forced labour, widespread social upheaval, and millions of deaths. According to historian Roderick MacFarquhar in "The Origins of the Cultural Revolution," Mao’s rule was characterised by the constant use of force to maintain control and reshape society. Unlike Hitler, Mao’s ascension to power was directly due to a violent struggle, and force continued to be a cornerstone of his rule. 

Whilst the use of force played a crucial role in the emergence of both Nazi Germany and Mao's China, the context and manner of its use were distinct. Hitler initially rose to power through legal means and subsequently utilised force to consolidate his power and suppress opposition. On the other hand, Mao's ascent was borne out of a violent struggle, and the use of force was an integral part of both his rise to power and subsequent governance. These cases demonstrate that while force is a common tool in the establishment of authoritarian states, its importance and use are shaped by the unique political, historical, and personal contexts of each situation.