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Unformatted text preview: Between
1919-1939 Blah The League of Nations, 1920
The Economic Crisis in the Weimar Republic
• The aftermath of the war and the
Paris Peace Talks had devastating
effects on Europe.
• Two intertwined issues:
• economic recovery
• preventing Germany from rearming.
preventing • The new Weimar Republic needed to
persuade its citizens that parliamentary
democracy was the correct path, and
thus refused to collect more taxes to
pay off the war debt owed to the
• In 1921, in response to the Germans’
failure to develop a plan to pay
reparations, the French army occupied
the Ruhr, an industrial region in
western Between the Wars 1919-1939
• With little assistance from Western Europe, Germany turned to
Russia for assistance. Russia also was eager to establish foreign
• In 1923, after Germany refused to deliver coal, France and
Belgium sent in more troops to gain some direct benefits from the
• Citizens of the Ruhr resisted French occupation by refusing to
go to work.
• The Weimar government generated trillions of worthless marks
to help pay of their debt, which sent the German economy into
• The League of Nations and the US came to German assistance
with the Dawes Plan (1924) and the Young Plan (1929) both of
which eased payments to the allies.
which Disarmament and Peace in the 1920s
• The Washington Conference (1921): US,
Britain, Japan, France, Italy agreed to reduce
the number of battleships produced for ten
• Treaty of Locarno (1926) provided Germany
with a seat the League of Nations.
• In the east, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and
Romania formed the “Little Entente” in 1920Romania
1921, a collective security agreement against
further German aggression. France also allied
itself with the Little Entente and Poland.
• All of the major European powers, the US and
Japan signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928), a
formal rejection of international violence.
• In spite of these attempts at formal peace, no
concrete resolutions were put in place, and the
League had no means of enforcing the treaties.
League Women Suffrage
• Women suffrage resulted from decades of
activism, but also governments granted the
vote as a reward for their service during the
war, and to keep them from siding with
• In the first postwar European elections
women gained parliamentary seats.
• The French denied women the vote
because French men were convinced they
would bring kings and priests back into
• Governments also increased welfare
programs to assist families with children,
especially in countries such as France, who
lost many men in the war.
lost Women Suffrage
• Finland 1906
• Norway 1913
• Denmark 1915
• Iceland 1915
• Netherlands 1917
• Russia 1917
• Britain 1918
• Czechoslovakia 1918
• Germany 1919
Germany • Austria 1920
• US 1920
• Poland 1921
• Hungary 1925
• Italy 1945
• France 1945
• Switzerland 1971
Switzerland Taylorism and Fordism
• Meanwhile, in the US, Henry Ford
revolutionized production with the invention
of the assembly line, and in 1929 a car was
produced every ten seconds. The low cost of
production made the automobile more
affordable. By the late 1920s, the US had 17
million cars on the road.
• Frederick Taylor developed the science of
management to increase worker productivity
in factories. His ideas were adopted during
WW1. Increased productivity would increase
prosperity and workers and management both
would develop common interests, according
• Taylorism was also used by Lenin in
organizing the relationship between workers
and the Bolshevik party in the new USSR.
and Mass Culture
Mass • In the 1920s, radio, film, and
newspapers expanded their influence.
These media were also used as
propaganda tools for the rise of
authoritarian regimes: Hitler, Mussolini,
and Stalin each used media to control the
masses into political obedience.
• Filmmaking was revolutionized in the
1920s. In Berlin, filmmakers such as
Fritz Lang developed elaborate sets and
new uses of light and shadow to depict
his futuristic vision in Metropolis (1926).
Other German films such as The Cabinet
of Dr. Caligari (1919) depicted a sane
asylum as a metaphor for state power.
Charlie Chaplin represented the “Little
Tramp” as a defeated hero, an
anonymous man in the modern world.
• Guglielmo Marconi developed
wireless technology around the turn
of the century.
• In the early 1920s radio broadcasts
were heard in large concert halls, but
soon became affordable for mass
consumption as well.
• It transformed the home, brought
the public sphere into the living
• Specialized programming was
designed for men, women, and
• By the 1930s, politicians were
using radio for campaign promotion.
using Bertolt Brecht on Radio
• In 1926, the German playwright and Marxist, Bertolt
Brecht criticized radio as a one-way form of information
dissemination which isolates individuals rather than
bringing them together.
• In the following passage, Brecht’s critique of broadcast
technology anticipates the interactivity of the internet:
• “Radio is one sided when it should be two. It is purely
an apparatus for distribution, for mere sharing out. So
here is a positive suggestion: change this apparatus over
from distribution to communication. The radio would be
the finest possible communication apparatus in public
life, a vast network of pipes. That is to say, it would be if
it knew how to receive as well as transmit, how to let the
listener speak as well as hear, how to bring him into a
relationship instead of isolating him. On this principle
the radio should step out of the supply business and
organize its listeners as suppliers.” (Brecht, “The Radio
as an Apparatus of Communication,” 1926)
as The Jazz Age and the
• In the 1920s in Harlem, New
York, the African American
community gave birth to a new
literary and art movement designed
to celebrate African American
culture in the aftermath of slavery,
and the migration northward of
former southern slaves.
• Performers such as the jazz
trumpeter Louis Armstrong and the
dancer Josephine Baker became
• White Americans and Europeans
celebrated the new movement, but
looked upon it as a sign of
“primitivism,” thus consigning
African American culture to an
inferior Langston Hughes (American, 1902-1967)
“The younger Negro artists who create
now intend to express our individual
dark-skinned selves without fear or
shame. If white people are pleased we
are glad. If they are not, it doesn't
matter. We know we are beautiful. And
ugly, too. The tom-tom cries, and the
tom-tom laughs. If colored people are
pleased we are glad. If they are not,
their displeasure doesn't matter either.
We build our temples for tomorrow,
strong as we know how, and we stand
on top of the mountain free within
ourselves.” (The Nation, 1926)
ourselves.” Social Dystopias
Social • Post-WW1 writers began to explore
the relation of the individual to
society in ways that shattered the
19th-century optimism in social
• Franz Kafka (Czech, 1883-1924),
Marcel Proust (French, 1871-1922),
James Joyce (Irish, 1882-1941), and
Virgina Woolf (English, 1882-1941),
each addressed the torment of the
individual against the inhuman
society in which their characters
• Influenced by Freud and his
discovery of the unconscious drives
of human beings, these writers
delved into the darker sides of the
modern psyche. Franz Kafka
Franz Marcel Proust James Joyce Virginia Woolf The Great
• In the 1920s, US corporations and individuals invested
recklessly or borrowed money to
• The Federal Reserve Bank
decided to tighten the availability
of credit, lenders demanded
debtors to pay up, which led to
run on US banks.
• Within a few weeks in 1929, the
value of the US stock market
dropped from $87 billion to $30
• The economic crisis led to tens
of millions of unemployed
• The crisis was global because
the US had funded much of the
economic growth in the West FDR and the Rise of the Welfare State
• In the US, government undertook
experiments to address the economic
• Early in the Depression, President
Herbert Hoover opposed federal
assistance to help the unemployed,
even using the military to stop protests
by unemployed WW1 veterans.
• Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated
Hoover in the 1932 election and
generated legislation called the “New
Deal” which centralized federal
assistance to support the poor. It also
offered relief for business, supported
prices for farmers, and created the
WPA, the Works Progress
Administration which employed
thousands of workers on government
projects. FDR and the Rise of the Welfare State
• The Social Security Act of 1935 set up
a fund in which employers and
employees contributed. It offered
retirement benefits, unemployment
insurance, payments to dependent
mothers, children, and those with
• The New Deal was the hallmark of a
trend in the West toward the “welfare
state”, a society whose government
provides a fundamental level of
economic well-being for individuals and
• Big business and the wealthy criticized
the New Deal as leading towards
• Throughout the 1930s FDR gained
wide support for his programs during the
Depression. The Social Effects of the Economic Crisis
• Despite the economic slump, modernization continued. Running
water, sewage, and electricity were installed in homes in the
industrialized west for the first time.
• Most Europeans and Americans had jobs during the 1930s, though
the threat of unemployment was always present.
• Nearly 20% of the population went without proper food, clothing
and shelter during the decade.
• Poor women often found low paying domestic work.
• Unemployed men often stayed home all day increasing tensions
between men and women. Men increasingly engaged in domestic
work which they considered to be the proper role of women.
• Most Europeans blamed the parliamentary systems that governed
much of Europe during the 1920s and 1930s for the economic
• This climate of economic depression thus served as the prime
condition for the rise of fascist and Nazi politics in the interwar
years. They promised to restore prosperity and male dignity where
European parliaments had failed.
European The Global Effects of the Economic Crisis
• The economic crisis also accelerated the transformations taking
place in the European empires.
• the Postwar period generated investment and economic
development in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
• However, the economic crisis of the 1930s limited the imports of
raw resources to Europe.
• Prices on rice and coffee fell putting farmers out of work.
• Yet in some places such as India, textile production increased.
• Many African and Asian veterans from the war received little
help from Britain and France.
• The League of Nations charter intentionally left out any
references to racial equality which was demanded at the Paris
peace Talks in 1919.
• Increased industrialization and dissatisfaction with the West led
many colonized peoples to seek their independence from Europe.
many Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)
• Upper-class Indians, workers and
returning soldiers united with
Gandhi to seek Indian
independence from Britain.
• Gandhi came from privilege, was
educated in the West, and
embraced Hindu self-denial.
• He advocated civil-disobedience
and promoted boycotts against
• His goal was for Indians to put
an end to their dependence and
subservience to the British.
• He was jailed by the British who
also tried to divide the
independence movement by
encouraging Muslims to resist
Hindus. The Middle East
The The Middle East
• Ataturk led the Turks to form the
independent state of Turkey in
• He moved the national capital
from Constantinople to Ankara,
and changed the name of
Constantinople to Istanbul.
• He also implemented Western
style dress and other reforms
designed to ally Turkish culture
and society towards the West.
• In 1935, Persia forced the
negotiation of oil contracts with
Europe and also changed its name
• In 1936, Egypt was granted selfIn
rule as the British ended its
military Mustafa Kemal
(1881-1938) French Empire
• French trade with their colonies
increased in the 1930s while their
trade with the rest of Europe
• The African and Asian
populations of the French Empire
increased during the 1930s giving
hope that the French could resist
the Germans if war should again
• Western-educated leaders in the
colonies resisted French control
and the subjection of local
• In 1930 the French crushed a
peasant uprising by Ho Chi Minh,
leader of the Indochinese
Communist Ho Chi Minh
(1890-1969) The Rise of Totalitarian Dictatorships
The • In the wake of the economic crisis of 1929, and
the general discontent following WW1, Italy’s
Benito Mussolini, the Soviet Union’s Joseph
Stalin, and Germany’s Adolph Hitler gained
mass support for their new radical politics.
• Many people were lured to Mussolini and
Hitler because of their message of utopian hope
to people suffering from the effects of the war,
economic hardship, and ideological defeat.
• Both fascism and National Socialism
advocated the use of violence, unity, and
obedience as substitutes for freedom and civil
• Totalitarian governments are those that are
highly centralized, attempt to control society,
enforce social conformity through a single
political party and widespread use of police
• Totalitarianism emerged out of the war, broke
with liberal politics and eventually turned
against their own populations.
against From Parliamentary Democracy to Authoritarianism
By the early 1920s most of Europe had parliamentary-style democracies.
Yet, by the 1930s many European states had fallen to one form of
• RUSSIA (Lenin), 1917
• HUNGARY (Horthy), 1919
• ITALY (Mussolini), 1922
• GREECE, 1922
• BULGARIA, 1923
• SPAIN, 1923
• TURKEY (Ataturk), 1923
• ALBANIA (Zogu), 1925
• POLAND (Pilsudski), 1926
• PORTUGAL (Salazar, 1932), 1926
PORTUGAL • LITHUANIA, 1926
• YUGOSLAVIA (King
• RUMANIA (King Carol), 1930
• GERMANY (Hitler), 1933
• AUSTRIA(Dolfuss), 1933
• ESTONIA, 1934
• LATVIA, 1934
• GREECE, 1936
• SPAIN (Franco, 1939), 1936
SPAIN Fascism, a definition
“…a form of revolutionary ultra-nationalism
for national rebirth that is based on a
primarily vitalist philosophy, is structured on
extreme elitism, mass mobilization…,
positively values violence as end as well as
means and tends to normatize war and/or the
(Stanley G. Payne, History of Fascism,
1914-45) • Mussolini promised a utopian society in postwar Italy. Fueled by the Allies’
refusal to grant Italy land at the Paris
Peace Talks, Mussolini gained support
for his personal army, the Black Shirts.
• Like Hitler later, Mussolini blamed
postwar economic decline on the allies
and on the ineffectiveness of the
• In 1922, the March on Rome defeated
King Victor Emmanuel III, and the
fascists came to power.
• Fascism grew on a the conditions of
poverty, social unrest, and wounded
national pride from the war.
• It emphasized youth, violence,
technology, and war as a form of
idealism. Fascism in Italy
Fascism Benito Mussolini (Italian, 18831945) • An admirer of Mussolini was Adolf
Hitler. In the 1920s he had been
building a paramilitary group of storm
troopers and a political party called the
National Socialist German Workers’
Party (NSDAP or NAZI party).
• He blamed Germany’s problems on
the Weimar parliament, on the terms of
the Paris Peace Talks, on the German
Communist Party, and on Jews.
• In the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923
Hitler and his Nazis attempted a coup,
but failed. Hitler was arrested and
spent time in prison in which he wrote
Mein Kampf (1925).
• After the economic crisis of 1929,
Hitler gained more support from
Germans, especially from German
workers and conservatives.
• By 1932, Hitler’s party doubled their
representation in parliament and they
invited Hitler to become chancellor.
invited National Socialism in the
Weimar Republic Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) Members of the Beer Hall Putsch, 1923 The Third Reich, 1933-1944
• In February 1933, the Reichstag
Building in Berlin was gutted by fire.
Hitler blamed the communists and used
the fire as an excuse to implement a state
of emergency under Article 48 of the
Weimar Constitution: suspending civil
rights, imposing censorship on the press,
and prohibiting meetings of the political
• At the end of March 1933, the
intimidated Reichstag delegates passed
the Enabling Act, which suspended the
Weimar Constitution for 4 years and
allowed the Nazi laws to take effect
bypassing parliamentary approval.
• Middle-class Germans approved the
Enabling Act as a way to promote the
Volksgemeinschaft, or “people’s
community.” The Schutzstaffel (SS) and the Gestapo
• Heinrich Himmler was the leader
of the elite Schutzstaffel that
protected Hitler, and also of the
government’s political police
• Hermann Goering was in charge
of the Gestapo, the internal
security police force, which also
professed complete support for and
obedience to Nazi ideology.
• Joseph Goebbels was the Nazi
propagandist, who sold the Nazi
anti-Semitic policies to the
German public. He also effectively
used a form of propaganda known
as argumentum ad nauseum
whereby a lie is repeated so often
that it becomes so familiar it is
finally accepted as the truth.
finally Heinrich Himmler Joseph Goebbels Hermann Goering Schutzstaffel (SS)
Schutzstaffel (SS) Spanish Civil War
Spanish • In 1931 Spanish republicans overthrew the king of Spain in what appeared to be
a reversal of the trend throughout the 1920s toward authoritarian politics.
• Catholic clergy and large landowners still dominated the Spanish countryside.
• The new republican government failed to implement land reform and failed to get
• Wealthy right-wing groups including landowners and clergy we able to organize
• In 1936 the Popular Front was formed in order to keep the republican
government Spanish Civil War
• The right recovered and regrouped under
General Francisco Franco who had right-wing
support from a number of groups including
the fascist Falange Party.
• The conflict between Franco’s forces and the
republican government led to the Spanish
Civil war (1936-1939).
• The war became a rehearsal for WW2 when
both Hitler and Mussolini sent in personnel
and equipment to support Franco.
• In 1937, Germany used the Basque town of
Guernica (in Spain, boarder of France) as a
testing ground for new bombs and guns.
Innocent Basque civilians were slaughtered.
• The Spanish painter Pablo Picasso
memorialized the horror of the event in his
Guernica Francisco Franco (1892-1975) Guernica
Guernica Spanish Civil War
• The republic appealed for support but
received very little except from the
• Many civilians from France, Britain
and the US joined the republican
forces, including George Orwell,
Ernest Hemingway, and Orson Wells.
• These fighters claimed that “Spain
was the place to stop fascism.”
• Republicans split into Trotskyites
(enemy of Stalin), anarchists,
• Both sides committed atrocities
• Eventually, the Nazi and fascist
support for the Falange Party led to
their success and the republican
government fell in 1939.
• The Franco dictatorship lasted until
his death in 1975.
his Soviet Russia
• Production in the early 1920s remained at only 13% of pre-war
• In the spring of 1921, workers in
Petrograd and sailors at a nearby
navy base at Kronstadt revolted
over short rations and the
privileges enjoyed by Bolshevik
supervisors. They called for a
return to “soviets without
communists.” The government
had many of the protestors shot.
• In response, Lenin created the
NEP, the New Economic Policy
which returned some of the
Russian economy to the free
market, encouraging people to
produce and sell goods.
• Lenin died in 1924, and Joseph
Stalin became the party leader.
Stalin Joseph Stalin
(1878-1953) Vladimir Lenin
(1870-1924) Soviet Russia
• In January 1924, Joseph Stalin
replaced Lenin as the General
Secretary of the Communist Party of
• Lenin’s name was held as sacred
• Stalin was then able to appropriate
non-Russian territories into the
• On his deathbed, Lenin had warned
that Stalin would need to be removed
from power out of fear of abuses of
• Stalin brought his own people
(Georgian) into his government.
• By 1929, Stalin was on his way to
creating a dictatorship in Russia.
creating Soviet Economic Expansion
• While much of the world was
suffering the effects of the
economic collapse of 1929, the
USSR was enjoying a rapid
• In just a few short years the
USSR went from a largely
agrarian and feudal society to
the second largest industrial
economy on the planet.
• In the 1930s, Stalin ended the
NEP and created the first of a
series of five-year plans at
rapid industrial expansion,
primarily in coal, iron ore, and
steel. Soviet Economic Expansion
• During the 1930s, the Stalin created a huge centralized
bureaucracy to manage the rapid industrialization and to
promote soviet ideology in the countryside.
• Most Russians were not communists and knew very little
• Stalin was determined to create a Soviet utopia as a model
for communist expansion worldwide.
• Workers were expected to sacrifice themselves for the good
of the Soviet state.
• Stalin curtailed what little freedoms workers and peasants
had, and they were forced to accept Soviet ideology or face
prison or worse.
• Stalin demanded increased grain production to finance
industrialization through increased collectivization of farms.
Peasants resisted and Stalin announced the “liquidation of the
kulaks” or independent farmers.
kulaks” Soviet Purges
• Peasants were then required by Soviet officials to turn in any
kulaks in their midst.
• Between 1930 and 1934 grain production declined from 83
to 67 million tons due to the murder of farmers and the
inexperience of peasants to work under collectivized
• Stalin blamed the decrease on the “bourgeois” enemies of
communism, and implemented the purges: state violence
against citizens who are arrested, imprisoned in labor camps,
and executed. (Compare to the French Terror after 1791)
• Thousands disappeared from all levels of Russian society.
• Between 1936 and 1938 Stalin set up a series of “show
trials” against Bolshevik leaders accused of conspiracy
against the communist government.
• Stalin created a vast network of prison camps called Gulags
across the Russian state, especially in Siberia.
• The end of WW1 and the Paris Peace Talks, on the one hand, put a stop to
the fighting in the trenches, but on the other hand, created the conditions for
the rise of radical right-wing politics in the 1920s.
• Both Italian fascism and German National Socialism used the experience
of the war in the trenches and, the betrayal by the allied powers after the
war, as a means of galvanizing popular support for their violent, racist, and
totalitarian governments that will increase their influence and power in the
1920s and 1930s.
• In the US, the end of the war meant prosperity. But the economic
recovery that the US promoted in Europe, was dealt a heavy blow by the
economic collapse of 1929 which created high unemployment around the
• With the rise of authoritarian governments in the 1930s, largely due to the
economic crisis and the increasing animosity towards parliamentary
democracy, only Spain seemed a bright spot as the republican government
took power in 1931 but finally fell to the Falange Party in 1939.
• The League of Nations
The • The New Deal
• Article 48
• The Falange Party
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