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File:White House, Storm Front.jpg


Fascists, commies and other assorted scary people live far, far away from your country. I mean, there's no way that they could take it over.

...And even if they did, people would fight them off before they could get a foothold. Nobody would help them out.

...Well, even if they did, there's no way those kind of people could come from your country, right?

Right?

Day of the Jackboot is when Those Wacky Nazis, Dirty Communists or people who look and act suspiciously like either of them take over the protagonist's country or hometown. Communism is a less common target for this now, thanks to The Great Politics Mess-Up. See also Invaded States of America and Oppressive States of America

Examples of Day of the Jackboot include:


Anime

  • Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade is an example. Though a sort of weird one because the pseudo-Nazis are ruling Japan.
    • It was actually more of a criticism of how the LD Party in Japan was considered to have become more and more oppressive during the '50s and '60s. In 1955 the PM was a war criminal, for example.
  • There are heavy overtones of this in Death Note once Kira is running the show.

Comic Books

  • V for Vendetta was a textbook example, and a pretty good depiction of how scary Thatcherism was to some people.
    • Worth noting in the comic the fascists took over only after the Conservatives (Thatcher) were voted out and the liberals left NATO implied to spur war in the first place.
      • According to Word of God, Moore only contrived that to get the nukes out so England would not be a Soviet target, as it was the only way he could think of for England to survive such a war.
    • The Norsefire party seems to be a large, bloated version of the National Front.
  • The Days of Future Past storyline in X-Men.
  • The comic book version of Cobra is currently undergoing such a storyline, with the Joes on the run, and Cobra having control of Congress and the US Military.
  • The Two Thousand AD strip Savage has the Volgans (a facist alternative history version of Russia) invading the United Kingdom.

Film

  • Gabriel Over the White House is a very weird, unsettlingly positive take on a fascist takeover of the USA. It features the U.S. president declaring himself dictator, having gangsters executed immediately after a military trial, and threatening war against any country that defaults on its debts to the U.S.
    • Fun Fact: The movie was bankrolled by William Randolph Hearst, with some script doctoring by FDR. "I want to send you this line to tell you how pleased I am with the changes you made in Gabriel Over the White House,” Roosevelt wrote a month into office. “I think it is an intensely interesting picture and should do much to help.”
  • The 1995 adaptation of Richard III had the Shakespearean Big Bad setting up a quasi-fascist monarchy in 1930's Britain.
  • To some degree, Star Wars. In the Original Trilogy the Nazi-analogues are already in place; the New Trilogy is pretty much the story of how they got to be there.
  • Red Dawn is a 1984 war film by John Milius about a Soviet invasion of the United States. The ABC mini-series Amerika (1987) eschews the same gung-ho approach to show a United States worn down after ten years of communist rule.
  • Although denied by its creators, entire rainforests have been destroyed in arguments over whether Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a metaphor for Communism or McCarthyism.
  • Escape From L.A. had the United States ruled by a Christian fundamentalist president, with people being sent to L.A. just for being Muslim (among other so-called "offenses").
    • He also has himself declared President-for-Life and moves the capital to Lynchburg, Virginia, of all places. Interestingly, the state of the US military must be abysmal in this world, as a ragtag South American army is a genuine threat to the country.
    • We can probably blame Snake for the state of the world, after he screwed up the President's speech in the previous movie.
  • The 1966 film It Happened Here depicts a collaborationist regime in a Nazi-occupied Britain, and the process by which an ordinary person can fall under its sway.
  • Seven Days in May is one of the more realistic depictions of this trope, in which a conservative general plots a coup against the President of the United States after he signs a controversial treaty to abolish nuclear weapons. The film goes into detail showing how a real-life coup could plausibly happen, and addresses the often-neglected area of public support -- the President is down to 29% in the polls, whereas the general is highly popular.
  • The German movie Die Welle (a remake of an American Made for TV Movie, which in turn was Based on a True Story) has this happen in a high school.
  • Terry Gilliam's Brazil.
  • In the 1977 film Sleeping Dogs, New Zealand slides into fascistic martial law after oil embargoes and industrial disputes flare into full-blown civil war. This was the first film entirely produced and set in New Zealand.
  • Power Play (1978) is a British-Canadian film inspired by the non-fiction strategy book Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook by Edward N. Luttwak. A group of military officers angry at the corruption and repression of an unnamed European government plan to take over the country.

Literature

  • Harry Potter. The most obvious example is the Death Eaters in Book 7, although in The Film of the Book of Book 5, Cornelius Fudge's ministry had some elements of a cult-of-personality.
  • The Trauma 2020 novels by Peter Beere (A future so terrible, you won't want to live long enough to see it!) were set in a fascist dystopian Great Britain.
  • The Alternate History novel Resurrection Day, by Brendan DuBois, is set in a United States that has become a military dictatorship after the Cuban Missile Crisis turned hot.
  • The Cold War novel The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth details how a hardline communist faction within the Labour Party could take over Britain. And on the other side of the political spectrum, A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin has British conservatives and the CIA plotting to overthrow a socialist Prime Minister.
  • George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is probably the most famous example. In the author's own words, the book "is NOT intended as an attack on Socialism or on the British Labour Party (of which I am a supporter) but as a show-up of the perversions to which a centralised economy is liable and which have already been partly realised in Communism and Fascism... I believe also that totalitarian ideas have taken root in the minds of intellectuals everywhere, and I have tried to draw these ideas out to their logical consequences. The scene of the book is laid in Britain in order to emphasise that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else and that totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere."
  • K is for Killing by Daniel Easterman is about a United States in 1940 ruled by a coalition of Charles Lindbergh's America First Committee and the Ku Klux Klan led by D.C. Stephenson. Has concentration camps and the Federal Bureau of Internal Security headed by J. Edgar Hoover.
  • Robert A. Heinlein wrote Sixth Column (aka The Day After Tomorrow) in 1949, in which the PanAsians take over a United States which had retreated into isolationism. In Heinlein's Future History ‘verse, the USA goes through a period as a fascist Christian theocracy, begun by televangelist Nehemiah Scudder.
  • The 1970s young-adult novel Sleep, Two, Three, Four! depicts a fascist-ruled United States in 1983. The President (obviously based on Richard Nixon) rules with an iron fist, minorities are confined to walled ghettoes, people with disabilities are shipped off to "health camps," and the government secretly hires squads of thugs to terrorize suburban neighborhoods through home-invasion robberies.
  • One of the original examples is likely Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here (see below) which is about Fascism taking root in the United States.
    • Philip Roth's The Plot Against America is kind of a Spiritual Successor and uses the idea of Lindbergh becoming President and instituting Nazi-lite policies.
  • SS-GB by Len Deighton is a story if Hitler had invaded England and won. The name means SS-Great Britain. The book Fatherland seems to take a lot of its story from SS-GB. Both are excellent stories but if you read SS-GB first (it was written first) you tend to think Fatherland is more of the same. If you read Fatherland first you might think Seinfeld Is Unfunny.
  • Tracer by Stuart Jackson, set in a 1999 Britain controlled by a neo-fascist government as a result of the AIDS crisis. The protagonist is a policeman whose job is to track down AIDS carriers -- he gets caught up in a power struggle involving the old political parties who are trying to wrest power back from the new Hard Right.
  • The sci-fi trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton about psi-boosted private investigator Greg Mandel is set against a Britain recovering from a communist dictatorship.
  • Jo Walton's Small Change trilogy (Farthing, Ha'penny, and Half a Crown). They are set in an alternate England in which Rudolph Hess successfully brokered peace, and the main character is Inspector Peter Carmichael, who works for the Fascist dictatorship government. A number of the characters are inspired by people like Unity Mitford- upper class high society people who favored appeasement during the 1930s and afterward.
  • The Children's Story by James Clavell. A young teacher comes to class to tell the students about their bright future with their new government. She's is chillingly charming, especially in the film adaptation (which may or may not be on YouTube) and quite successfully converts her class. Watch it and tell me you wouldn't fall for it.
  • The Resistance Trilogy by Clive Egleton depicts La Résistance to a Soviet-occupied Britain.
  • Jack London wrote The Iron Heel, which details the long resistance against a then-futuristic American fascist state.
  • In Harry Turtledove's In The Presence Of Mine Enemies, Nazi Germany conquered most of Europe (including England) during World War II, and the United States in the 1970s.

Live Action TV

  • The article's picture is from the Star Trek: Enterprise episode where the crew ends up in an alternate past where, due to Lenin being assassinated by a time traveler prior to the Russian Revolution, Germany, with little opposition to the East, is winning the war and has already captured much of the Eastern Seaboard. While they are hinted at being pushed back by the Allies, a group of aliens are offering the Germans advanced weapons.
    • A case of You Fail History Forever, because anti-communism was the driving force behind the rise of fascist governments, and if the bolshevik revolution had failed, Germany and Russia wouldn't have ended their infamous... cooperation.
  • Kenneth Johnson wanted to make a mini-series based on Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here." The project was originally called "Storm Warnings." It became V when the network suggested Americans would be more likely to find the specter of Soviet Russia taking over scary than a homegrown fascist movement. Johnson felt this would destroy the entire point of the source material, and instead chose to make the oppressors aliens.
  • Babylon 5 had President Clark's administration, complete with the Gestapo-style (with black armbands) Night Watch.
  • Rutger Hauer TV Movie Fatherland (based on a novel by Robert Harris), set in a 1964 where the Nazis won.
  • This happens in the Doctor Who episode "Turn Left". In an alternate universe where the Doctor died prematurely, it allowed for a spaceship with a nuclear-powered drive to wipe out London. The whole of Southern England had to be evacuated, and the UK was plunged into depression. They were awaiting aid from the US- but then one fifth of their population was killed in the Adipose Plot. Even more people died, and cars started expelling toxic gas thanks to the Sontarans, and things were only stopped at the sacrifice of Torchwood. Eventually England fell under martial law, and began sending immigrants to "labour camps".
  • One episode of Lois and Clark. They seemed surprisingly ready, with all the swastika banners and uniforms in place.
    • They'd had years of preperation while establishing their "all-American" identities.
  • The first episode of Sliders has the timelost group get stuck in a world where the Soviet Union won the Cold War and took over America, and "The People's Court" is simply an extension of the People's Police and the People's Prison.
  • There was a miniseries in The Eighties called Amerika, about a Soviet takeover of, well, guess where. It involved an ambiguous ending that made it appear that the Americans were preparing a rebellion, without actually saying who wins in the end.
  • An after-school special called The Wave (and its Novelization) has this happen successfully in a High School as part of a social experiment conducted by a history teacher. It was remade in 2008 by the Germans as Die Welle.
  • An episode of Misfits took place in an alternate timeline where Germany won World War II and Britain was made into a Nazi province. All things considered, the differences between the timelines are not that great but still disturbing. The community center is now a detention center for delinquents and undesirables, and people with powers are being rounded up so that Seth the Power Dealer can transfer their abilities into high-ranking Nazi officers. Shaun, the apathetic and slightly corrupt social worker from the real timeline is now an apathetic and very corrupt Nazi official. Curtis and Alisha, being black, are reduced to second-class citizens- Alisha's drink-driving would have earned her a prison sentence if Shaun hadn't chosen her as his "personal assistant." As a final insult, Simon has been conscripted into the local Nazi regiment, and is bullied into executing defenceless prisoners.
  • Community gives us this...at a community college. It comes after the Star-Burns wake, with Chang in the role of the Dear Leader and middle-schoolers as Blackshirts.

Magazines

Music

  Divided and conquered. Gripped by fear. Wishful thinking that it can't happen here

Video Games

  • The opening movie for the Playstation version of Final Fantasy II basically opens with this.
  • Freedom Fighters opens the game with this sort of thing before moving on to La Résistance. Elements of this trope can be seen throughout the game, including the military-controlled broadcasts that are seen between levels.
  • Vandal Hearts utilizes both sides, everyone is done-up in red and seem like James Bond style communists, but the Man Behind the Man and The Starscream is a short dark haired guy named Dolf...
  • Red Alert 2 and 3 depict the Soviet Union taking over Europe and the USA in dramatic fashion. In RA2 alone, they destroy the Pentagon, bombard the Statue of Liberty into rubble, mind-control the US president, turn the Eiffel Tower into a giant tesla coil, shut down Wall Street (complete with infantry march), and start expanding into space.

Web Original

  • A complicated example appears in Reds!. Given how divided the United States had become between the left and right, the Great Depression proves to be more than the republic could handle. When the Workers' Communist Party wins a landslide election victory, the panicked establishment sees no way out but a military junta. With the constitution suspended, the Army mobilized to put down opposition, and KKK death squads murdering anyone who gets in the way, it was only a matter of time before the left took up arms as well. From the perspective of the average modern reader, neither outcome is desirable.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • During World War II, Winnipeg and the surrounding areas was the site of a (mock) invasion by Nazi Germany and subsequent change in life, including book-burnings outside the library and renaming the town to "Himmlerstadt". It was staged in an effort to bring the effects of a Nazi invasion right into people's minds - to this end it worked, as war bond sales skyrocketed and exceeded the goals set beforehand.
  • In 1969, a high school history teacher named Ron Jones pulled this off in a high school, starting a student movement called the Third Wave in order to show his class, which was learning about World War II, just how easily ordinary people can be led astray by fascism. It served as the inspiration for the movie and book The Wave.
  • It happened in Germany and Italy in the 1930s. There were also relatively small fascist movements in America and the United Kingdom; neither were successful. France was able to internally resist fascism, but the point was rendered moot when Germany forced them to surrender and the Vichy regime took over (ironically the Nazis would have preferred the previous government stay in power, as it would have made the French accept their occupation more readily).
    • It's interesting to note that both Hitler and Mussolini were appointed to power. They didn't take over after a revolution like the Bolsheviks did in Russia. Also, contrary to a still widely-held but erroneous belief, Hitler was not democratically elected.
  • Many east and central European countries installed or were taken over by right-wing dictatorial regimes in the 1920s and 1930s (e.g. Poland in 1926, Romania in 1938, Bulgaria in 1923, Yugoslavia in 1929 etc.). These weren't exactly fascist, but often did end up allying with the Nazis in World War II (Poland is the obvious exception).
  • It can happen here, in your country, too...
  • The October Revolution by the Bolshevik party against the Provisional Russian government may well be the modern Trope Codifier.
  • Latin America:
    • Brazil: March 31st (actually, April 1st), 1964.
    • Chile: September 11th, 1973 (and you thought you had it bad on 9/11...).
    • Uruguay: June 27th, 1973. (Mandatory parenthesis comment...)
    • Argentina: March 24th, 1976. (There was one in the 60s too...)
    • And so on. So glad the Cold War is over (though plenty of examples show us the Cold War is not the only cause...).
  • Also Cold War-related, the Greek military junta of 1967-1974.
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