Chapter 15 Years of Crisis, 1919–1939

SECTION 1...(Postwar Uncertainty): A New Revolution in Science- Albert Einstein offered startling new ideas on space, time, energy, and matter.In 1905, Einstein theorized that while the speed of light is constant, other things that seem constant, such as space and time, are not. Theory of relativity was Einstein's idea Since relative motion is the key.

Literature in the 1920s-many people feared the future and expressed doubts about traditional religious beliefs. The Czech-born author Franz Kafka wrote eerie novels such as The Trial (1925) and The Castle (1926).s. The Irish-born author James Joyce gained widespread attention with his stream-of consciousness novel Ulysses (1922). This book focuses on a single day in the lives of three people in Dublin, Ireland. Joyce broke with normal sentence structure and vocabulary in a bold attempt to mirror the workings of the human mind. Existentialists believed that there is no universal meaning to life. Each person creates his or her own meaning in life through choices made and actions taken.

Revolution in the Arts-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.Cubism transformed natural shapes into geometric forms. Objects were broken down into different parts with sharp angles and edges.Surrealism, an art movement that sought to link the world of dreams with real life, was inspired by Freud’s ideas.Jazz emerged in the United States. It was developed by musicians, mainly African Americans, in New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago. It swept the United States and Europe.

Society Challenges Convention-The war had allowed women to take on new roles. Their work in the war effort was decisive in helping them win the right to vote.They then started to wear makeup, drove cars, and drank and smoked in public Margaret Sanger and Emma Goldman risked arrest by speaking in favor of birth control.

Technological Advances Improve Life-Cars were now sleek and brightly polished, complete with headlights and chrome-plated bumpers. In prewar Britain, autos were owned exclusively by the rich. British factories produced 34,000 autos in 1913. After the war, prices dropped, and the middle class could afford cars. By 1937, the British were producing 511,000 autos a year.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.In 1920, the world’s first commercial radio station KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania began broadcasting.Motion pictures were also a major industry in the 1920s. Many countries, from Cuba to Japan, produced movies. In Europe, film was a serious art form. However, in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, where 90 percent of all films were made, movies were entertainment.

Section 2..A Worldwide Depression-Postwar Europe-The Great War left every major European country nearly bankrupt. In addition, Europe’s domination in world affairs declined after the war.The Provisional Government, as it was called, hoped to establish constitutional and democratic rule. However, within months it had fallen to a Communist dictatorship. Even so, for the first time, most European nations had democratic governments.When no single party won a majority, a coalition government, or temporary alliance of several parties, was needed to form a parliamentary majority. Because the parties disagreed on so many policies, coalitions seldom lasted very long.

The Weimar Republic-Weimar Republic, it was named after the city where the national assembly met. The Weimar Republic had serious weaknesses from the start. First, Germany lacked a strong democratic tradition. Inflation Causes Crisis in Germany- To pay the expenses of the war, the Germans had simply printed money. Severe inflation set in. Germans needed more and more money to buy even the most basic goods. Attempts at Economic Stability- 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. The plan also set a more realistic schedule for Germany’s reparations payments. Put into effect in 1924, the Dawes Plan helped slow inflation. As the German economy began to recover, it attracted more loans and investments from the United States. By 1929, German factories were producing as much as they had before the war.


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