Chapter 15 Megan Hatfield

SECTION 1- SETTING THE STAGE The horrors of World War I shattered the Enlightenment belief that progress would continue and reason would prevail. In the postwar period, people began questioning traditional beliefs. Some found answers in new scientific developments, which challenged the way people looked at the world.
A New Revolution in Science- The ideas of Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud had an enormous impact on the 20th century.German-born physicist Albert Einstein offered startling new ideas on space, time, energy, and matter. Scientists had found that light travels at exactly the same speed no matter what direction it moves in relation to earth. In 1905, Einstein theorized that while the speed of light is constant, other things that seem constant.
The ideas of Austrian physician Sigmund Freud were as revolutionary as Einstein’s. Freud treated patients with psychological problems. From his experiences, he constructed a theory about the human mind. He believed that much of human behavior is irrational, or beyond reason. Freud’s theories had developed widespread influence.
Literature in the 1920s- The brutality of World War I caused philosophers and writers to question accepted ideas about reason and progress. Disillusioned by the war, many people also feared the future and expressed doubts about traditional religious beliefs.In 1922, T. S. Eliot, an American poet living in England, wrote that Western society had lost its spiritual values. He described the postwar world as a barren “wasteland,” drained of hope and faith.
Many novels showed the influence of Freud’s theories on the unconscious. The Irish-born author James Joyce gained widespread attention with his stream-of consciousness novel Ulysses (1922). In their search for meaning in an uncertain world, some thinkers turned to the philosophy known as existentialism. A major leader of this movement was the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre.
Revolution in the Arts- Although many of the new directions in painting and music began in the prewar period, they evolved after the war. Artists Rebel Against Tradition Artists rebelled against earlier realistic styles of painting. They wanted to depict the inner world of emotion and imagination rather than show realistic representations of objects. Expressionist painters like Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky used bold colors and distorted or exaggerated forms. Surrealism, an art movement that sought to link the world of dreams with real life, was inspired by Freud’s ideas. s In both classical and popular music, composers moved away from traditional styles. In his ballet masterpiece, The Rite of Spring, the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky used irregular rhythms and dissonances, or harsh combinations of sound.
Society Challenges Convention -World War I had disrupted traditional social patterns. New ideas and ways of life led to a new kind of individual freedom during the 1920s. Young people especially were willing to break with the past and experiment with modern values. Women’s Roles Change The independent spirit of the times showed clearly in the changes women were making in their lives. The war had allowed women to take on new roles. Women abandoned restrictive clothing and hairstyles. They wore shorter, looser garments and had their hair “bobbed,” or cut short. They also wore makeup, drove cars, and drank and smoked in public.
Technological Advances Improve Life -During World War I, scientists developed new drugs and medical treatments that helped millions of people in the postwar years. The war’s technological advances were put to use to improve transportation and communication after the war. y The automobile benefited from a host of wartime innovations and improvements—electric starters, air-filled tires, and more powerful engines. Cars were now sleek and brightly polished, complete with headlights and chrome-plated bumpers.
International air travel became an objective after the war. In 1919, two British pilots made the first successful flight across the Atlantic, from Newfoundland to Ireland. In 1927, an American pilot named Charles Lindbergh captured world attention with a 33-hour solo flight from New York to Paris. Most of the world’s major passenger airlines were established during the 1920s. Guglielmo Marconi conducted his first successful experiments with radio in 1895. However, the real push for radio development came during World War I.
The king of Hollywood’s silent screen was the English-born Charlie Chaplin, a comic genius best known for his portrayal of the lonely little tramp bewildered by life. In the late 1920s, the addition of sound transformed movies. The advances in transportation and communication that followed the war had brought the world in closer touch. Global prosperity came to depend on the economic well-being of all major nations, especially the United States.
SECTION 2- By the late 1920s, European nations were rebuilding Wartorn economies. They were aided by loans from the more prosperous United States. Only the United States and Japan came out of the war in better financial shape than before.
Postwar Europe-In both human suffering and economic terms, the cost of World War I was immense. The Great War left every major European country nearly bankrupt.War’s end saw the sudden rise of new democracies. From 1914 to 1918, Europe’s last absolute rulers had been overthrown. The first of the new governments was formed in Russia in 1917. Many citizens of the new democracies had little experience with representative government. For generations, kings and emperors had ruled Germany and the new nations formed from Austria-Hungary. Frequent changes in government made it hard for democratic countries to develop strong leadership and move toward long-term goals. The weaknesses of a coalition government became a major problem in times of crisis.
The Weimar Republic- The Weimar Republic had serious weaknesses from the start. First, Germany lacked a strong democratic tradition. Furthermore, postwar Germany had several major political parties and many minor ones. y Germany also faced enormous economic problems that had begun during the war. Unlike Britain and France, Germany had not greatly increased its wartime taxes. To pay the expenses of the war, the Germans had simply printed money. After Germany’s defeat, this paper money steadily lost its value.
Germany recovered from the 1923 inflation thanks largely to the work of an international committee. The committee was headed by Charles Dawes, an American banker. The Dawes Plan provided for a $200 million loan from American banks to stabilize German currency and strengthen its economy. In 1928, the hopes raised by the “spirit of Locarno” led to the Kellogg-Briand peace pact. Frank Kellogg, the U.S. Secretary of State, arranged this agreement with France’s Briand. Almost every country in the world, including the Soviet Union, signed. They pledged “to renounce war as an instrument of national policy.”
Financial Collapse In the late 1920s, American economic prosperity largely sustained the world economy. If the U.S. economy weakened, the whole world’s economic system might collapse. In 1929, it did. By 1929, American factories were turning out nearly half of the world’s industrial goods. The rising productivity led to enormous profits. However, this new wealth was not evenly distributed. The richest 5 percent of the population received 33 percent of all personal income in 1929. Yet 60 percent of all American families earned less than $2,000 a year.
In September 1929, some investors began to think that stock prices were unnaturally high. They started selling their stocks, believing the prices would soon go down. By Thursday, October 24, the gradual lowering of stock prices had become an all-out slide downward. A panic resulted. Everyone wanted to sell stocks, and no one wanted to buy.
The Great Depression- People could not pay the money they owed on margin purchases. Stocks they had bought at high prices were now worthless. Within months of the crash, unemployment rates began to rise as industrial production, prices, and wages declined.The collapse of the American economy sent shock waves around the world. Worried American bankers demanded repayment of their overseas loans, and American investors withdrew their money from Europe.
Because of war debts and dependence on American loans and investments, Germany and Austria were particularly hard hit. In 1931, Austria’s largest bank failed.
The Depression hit Britain severely. To meet the emergency, British voters elected a multiparty coalition known as the National Government. It passed high protective tariffs, increased taxes, and regulated the currency. Unlike Britain, France had a more selfsufficient economy. In 1930, it was still heavily agricultural and less dependent on foreign trade. Nevertheless, by 1935, one million French workers were unemployed. The Socialist governments in the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway also met the challenge of economic crisis successfully.
Roosevelt immediately began a program of government reform that he called the New Deal. Large public works projects helped to provide jobs for the unemployed. New government agencies gave financial help to businesses and farms. The New Deal did eventually reform the American economic system. Roosevelt’s leadership preserved the country’s faith in its democratic political system.
SECTION 3- E Many democracies, including the United States, Britain, and France, remained strong despite the economic crisis caused by the Great Depression. However, millions of people lost faith in democratic government.
Fascism’s Rise in Italy- Unlike communism, fascism had no clearly defined theory or program. Nevertheless, most Fascists shared several ideas. They preached an extreme form of nationalism, or loyalty to one’s country. In some ways, fascism was similar to communism. Both systems were ruled by dictators who allowed only their own political party. Fascism’s rise in Italy was fueled by bitter disappointment over the failure to win large territorial gains at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. A newspaper editor and politician named Benito Mussolini boldly promised to rescue Italy by reviving its economy and rebuilding its armed forces. He vowed to give Italy strong leadership.
Government censors forced radio stations and publications to broadcast or publish only Fascist doctrines. Mussolini outlawed strikes. He sought to control the economy by allying the Fascists with the industrialists and large landowners.
SECTION 3- Many democracies, including the United States, Britain, and France, remained strong despite the economic crisis caused by the Great Depression. However, millions of people lost faith in democratic government. Their message attracted many people w ho felt frustrated and angered by the peace treaties that followed World War I and by the Great Depression.
Fascism’s Rise in Italy- Most Fascists shared several ideas. They preached an extreme form of nationalism, or loyalty to one’s country. Fascists believed that nations must struggle—peaceful states were doomed to be conquered. They pledged loyalty to an authoritarian leader who guided and brought order to the state.In some ways, fascism was similar to communism. Both systems were ruled by dictators who allowed only their own political party (one-party rule). Both denied individual rights. In both, the state was supreme. Neither practiced any kind of democracy.
Fascism’s rise in Italy was fueled by bitter disappointment over the failure to win large territorial gains at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Rising inflation and unemployment also contributed to widespread social unrest. A newspaper editor and politician named Benito Mussolini boldly promised to rescue Italy by reviving its economy and rebuilding its armed forces. He vowed to give Italy strong leadership. In October 1922, about 30,000 Fascists marched on Rome. They demanded that King Victor Emmanuel III put Mussolini in charge of the government. The king decided that Mussolini was the best hope for his dynasty to survive.
Government censors forced radio stations and publications to broadcast or publish only Fascist doctrines. Mussolini outlawed strikes. He sought to control the economy by allying the Fascists with the industrialists and large landowners.
Hitler Rises to Power in Germany- When Mussolini became dictator of Italy in the mid-1920s, Adolf Hitler w as a little-known political leader whose early life had been marked by disappointment. At the end of the war, Hitler settled in Munich. In 1919, he joined a tiny right-wing political group. This group shared his belief that Germany had to overturn the Treaty of Versailles and combat communism. The group later named itself the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, called Nazi for short.
After leaving prison in 1924, Hitler revived the Nazi Party. Most Germans ignored him and his angry message until the Great Depression ended the nation’s brief postwar recovery. When American loans stopped, the German economy collapsed.
Hitler Becomes Chancellor- The Nazis had become the largest political party by 1932. Conservative leaders mistakenly believed they could control Hitler and use him for their purposes. In January 1933, they advised President Paul The Nazis had become the largest political party by 1932. Conservative leaders mis- takenly believed they could control Hitler and use him for their purposes. In January 1933, they advised President Paul von Hindenburg to name Hitler chancellor.on Hindenburg to name Hitler chancellor.
Once in office, Hitler called for new elections, hoping to win a parliamentary majority. Six days before the election, a fire destroyed the Reichstag building, w here the parliament met. Hitler used his new power to turn Germany into a totalitarian state. He banned all other political parties and had opponents arrested. The Nazis quickly took command of the economy. New laws banned strikes, dissolved independent labor unions, and gave the government authority over business and labor.
Hitler turned the press, radio, literature, painting, and film into propaganda tools. Books that did not conform to Nazi beliefs were burned in huge bonfires. Churches were forbidden to criticize the Nazis or the government.Hatred of Jews, or anti Semitism, was a key part of Nazi ideology. Although Jews were less than one percent of the population, the Nazis used them as scapegoats for all Germany’s troubles since the war. This led to a wave of anti Semitism across Germany.
Other Countries Fall to Dictators- In Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania, kings turned to strong-man rule. They suspended constitutions and silenced foes. In 1935, only one democracy, Czechoslovakia, remained in eastern Europe. By the mid-1930s, the powerful nations of the world w ere split into two antagonistic camps—democratic and totalitarian. And to gain their ends, the Fascist dictatorships had indicated a willingness to use military aggression.
SECTION 4- By the mid-1930s, Germany and Italy seemed bent on military conquest. The major democracies—Britain, France, and the United States—were distracted by economic problems at home and longed to remain at peace.
Japan Seeks an Empire- During the 1920s, the Japanese government became more democratic. In 1922, Japan signed an international treaty agreeing to respect China’s borders. In 1928, it signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact renouncing war. As long as Japan remained prosperous, the civilian government kept power. But when the Great Depression struck in 1929, many Japanese blamed the government. Military leaders gained support and soon won control of the country. Keeping Emperor Hirohito as head of state won popular support for the army leaders who ruled in his name.
Japanese businesses had invested heavily in China’s northeast province, Manchuria. It was an area rich in iron and coal. In 1931, the Japanese army seized Manchuria, despite objections from the Japanese parliament. F our years later, a border incident touched off a full-scale war between Japan and China.
European Aggressors on the March-Ethiopia was one of Africa’s three independent nations. The Ethiopians had successfully resisted an Italian attempt at conquest during the 1890s. The Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie, urgently appealed to the League for help. Although the League condemned the attack, its members did nothing. Hitler had long pledged to undo the Versailles Treaty. Among its provisions, the treaty limited the size of Germany’s army. Hitler and Mussolini sent troops, tanks, and airplanes to help Franco’s forces, wh ich were called the Nationalists. The armed forces of the Republicans, as sup- porters of Spain’s elected government were known, received little help from abroad.
Democratic Nations Try to Preserve Peace Many Americans supported isolationism , the belief that political ties to other countries should be avoided. Isolationists argued that entry into World War I had been a costly error. Hitler next turned to Czechoslovakia. About three million German-speaking people lived in the western border regions of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland. France and Britain were preparing for war when Mussolini proposed a meeting of Germany, France, Britain, and Italy in Munich, Germany.Britain and France asked the Soviet Union to join them in stopping Hitler’s aggression. As Stalin talked with Britain and France, he also bargained with Hitler. The two dictators reached an agreement.

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