Literature in the 1920s
Literature in the 1920's was written about the anxieties about the future of postwar life.
Writers Reflect Society's Concerns Novels began to be written in a way to reflect people's feelings after the horrible war. Books focused on Freud's theory on the unconsciousness of the mind and James Joyce even broke normal sentence structure and vocabulary in an attempt to show how the mind works and thinks. (1920s)
Thinker React to Uncertainties Soon, some thinkers and philosophers began to question the meaning of life and existentialists were born, or people who believed there is no universal meaning to life, but life's meaning was individual based on personal beliefs and choices. (1920s-1930s)
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES IMPROVE LIFE
Scientists development of new drugs and medical treatments to help postwar life inspired more technological advances to improve transportation and communication.
The Automobile Alters Society In prewar times, automobiles were strictly owned by the rich but after the price drop in postwar years, autos became attainable by middle class families. As more people began travelling for pleasure, auto businesses in Britain and the U.S. increased.
Airplanes Transform Travel After the war, international air travel became a big feat. Though the first commercial airlines were only affordable by the rich, people from all over were mesmerized by air flight and enjoyed the exploits of pilots flying solo around the world. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
The great depression
Stocks became worthless, unemployment rose, and industrial production, prices, and wages declined. By 1932, factory production was cut in half, businesses and banks closed, and around 9 million people lost money in their saving accounts and farmers lost their land when they couldn't pay their mortgage. A year later, one-fourth of all Americans were unemployed.
A Global Depression The Wall Street crash radiated shock throughout the world, and American investors withdrew their money from Europe and the U.S. Congress raised tariffs on imported goods, which started a chain reaction of other countries raising higher tariffs. World trades dropped by 65% and contributed to economic downturn while unemployment rates grew.
Effects Throughout the World Due to war debts and dependence on American loans and investments, many countries were hurt. In '31, Austria's largest bank failed and farmers and urban workers in Asia suffered.
Hitler rises to power in germany
In the mid-1920s while Mussolini became dictator, Adolf Hitler was a little-known politician who had entered the German army for WWI and was twice awarded a medal for bravery.
The Rise of the Nazis After the war, Hitler settled in Munich and in 1919, he joined a political group that discussed overturning the Versailles treaty and combating communism, called Nazi. The Nazis created a German form or fascism, adopted the swastika as its symbol, and set up a private militia. Shorty thereafter, Hitler's success within the party got him elected leader and he planned to seize Munich in 1923, which once failed, got him arrested. He served 9 months in prison, which is where he wrote his book Mein Kampf - My Struggle. After he left prison in '24, he revived the Nazi Party. He was ignored by most Germans, until post-WWI when American loans stopped, economy collapsed, and a civil war broke out. Frightened and confused, Germans turned to Hitler.
HITLER BECOMES CHANCELLOR
In 1932, the Nazis are the largest political party in Germany and a year later, Hitler is named chancellor. Hitler used his power to turn Germany into a totalitarian state, banning all other parties and getting opponents arrested. His enemies were murdered by the SS - Schutzstaffel, or protection staff. The economy was taken control of by the Nazis, new laws banned strikes, independent labor unions were dissolved, Germans were put to work building factories, highways, weapons, and serving in the military. Unemployment dropped from 6 to 1.5 million in 1936
The Fuhrer Is Supreme Hitler not only wanted to control Germany politically and economically, he wanted to control all aspects of life. He used propaganda and extreme censorship to way public opinion. Schoolchildren had to join youth groups that taught Nazi beliefs.
Hitler Makes War on the Jews Antisemitism was a key aspect of Nazi ideology. Jews, despite only one percent of the population, was blamed for all of Germany's troubles since the war. The hatred of Jews swept all of Germany and most of their rights became deprived. November 9, 1938, a rampage against the Jews was struck and Nazi mobs attacked the homes, streets, and Jewish-owned buildings, destroying everything. This night was called Kristallnacht, Night of the Broken Glass.
European Aggressors on the march
European Fascists were encouraged by the League's failure to stop Japan, inspiring Italian leader Mussolini to dream of building a colonial empire similar to those in Britain and France.
Mussolini Attacks Ethiopia Though Ethiopia was able to resist the attacks of the Italians in the 1890s, their spears and swords stood no chance to the Italian airplanes, tanks, guns, and poison gas. Haile Selassie, Ethiopian emperor, appealed to the League, but while the League resented the attack, the members did not provide help. Italians were continuously granted permission to travel through the British-controlled Suez Canal to transport troops and supplies to Ethiopia. By allowing this, Britain and France hoped to keep peace in Europe.
Hitler Defies Versailles Treaty Hitler had pledged to undo the treaty, which had restrictions on the size of Germany's army. In 1935, the Fuhrer announced that Germany would not be following these rules, but the League only issued mild condemnation. This League of Nations failure only sparked Hitler to take greater risks such as expansion. Germany's growing strength, encouraged Mussolini to ally with Hitler, and a month later, the two dictators also formed an alliance with Japan. These three countries became known as the Axis Powers.
Civil War Erupts in Spain Hitler and Mussolini again tested the democracies again in the Spanish Civil War by sending troops, tanks, and airplanes to aid General Francisco Franco in a revolt. Through the three year war, the Republican side fought against Franco's troops, or the Nationalists as he called them. In 1939, the Republican side collapsed and and Franco became the Fascist leader of Spain.