ch.35

ch.35 - Chapter 35 The West in the Twentieth Century...

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Chapter 35 The West in the Twentieth Century Chapter Summary . 20th century world history divides into two contrasting periods. The thirty years after World War I were among the most troubled in Western history. Some societies ended democratic political forms and accepted cultural values. In the 2nd period, after 1945, even with decolonization and the cold war, Europe and the United States found new sources of dynamism. The leading Western nations were able to deal with major economic and political matters. They continued their leadership in popular consumer culture and scientific research. Although its world power had lessened, the West remained a vital civilization. The Disarray in the West, 1914-1945 . World War I shattered European optimism and caused serious damage to economic, diplomatic, and political systems. The Roaring '20s. A brief period of stability emerged in the mid-1920s. Diplomatic tensions eased as Germany moderated policies in return for reparations relief. A number of nations agreed to the naïve Kellogg- Briand Pact of 1928 outlawing war. Internal politics had been polarized at the war's close because of economic dislocation and the influence of the Russian Revolution. Veterans joined rightist groups promising the recovery of national honor; the left split, with a minority becoming communist. The liberal middle sector weakened. By the mid-1920s the situation calmed as extremist groups declined. Economic prosperity buoyed hopes and mass consumption standards rose. The automobile and many other new products greatly changed daily life. A burst of cultural creativity appeared in films, painting, and literature. Even though women lost their wartime place in the labor force, they achieved important gains as voting rights were won in several nations. Prosperity and falling birth rates also gave women more freedom. The Impact of the Depression. The beginning of the Great Depression in 1929 revealed the unsound base of political stability and economic prosperity. Western governments were unable to counter economic distress, causing people to seek solutions from radical parties of the right and left. A few nations managed a constructive response. Scandinavian nations under moderate socialist regimes increased spending and provided social insurance. The New Deal in the United States enacted social insurance programs, increased government spending to stimulate the economy, and generally expanded government intervention into American society. Some parliamentary states were unable to cope with the crisis. In France radical movements grew. A elected Popular Front of liberals, socialists, and communists came to power in 1936, but was blocked in issues of social reform and foreign policy by strong conservative opposition. The Front lost office in 1938. The Challenge of Fascism.
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course ? ? taught by Professor ? during the Spring '07 term at Gustavus.

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ch.35 - Chapter 35 The West in the Twentieth Century...

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