1919 - Weimar Republic is established in Germany.
1921 - Albert Einstein receives the Nobel Prize.
1927 - American pilot Charles Lindbergh crosses Atlantic.
1928 - Kellogg-Briand peace pact is signed by almost every country in the world.
1929 - U.S. stock market crashes; Great Depression begins.
1931 - Hirohito's Japan seizes Manchuria.
1933 - Hitler is named German chancellor.
1935 - Ethiopia is invaded by Italian forces.
1936 - Spanish Civil War begins.
1939 - Germany and Soviet Union sign nonaggression pact.
Section 1 - Postwar Uncertainty
A. A NEW REVOLUTION IN SCIENCE
Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud were a big part of the scientific revolution brought about by Copernicus and Galileo in earlier centuries.
1. Impact of Einstein's Theory of Relativity
A German scientist named Albert Einstein developed new ideas on time, space, energy, and matter. Scientists discovered that the speed of light travels the same speed no matter what direction, but Einstein discovered that space and time are not constant. He called this the theory of relativity.
2. Influence of Freudian Psychology
Austrian physician Sigmund Freud study the human brain. He was a psychologist and discovered over many years, that much of our behaviors are without reason. He called this the unconscious where most of our irrational behavior was directed towards pleasure-seeking drives.
B. LITERATURE IN THE 1920's
After the brutality of World War 1, writers started to question many ideas and traditional beliefs. In the 1920's, writers T.S. Eliot and William Butler Yeats wrote about the destruction of the war.
1. Writers Reflect Society's Concerns
Czech-born author Franz Kafka wrote The Trial (1925) and The Castle (1926), both which feature people caught in situations that they don't understand and can't escape. Also, James Joyce gained popularity after she wrote Ulysses (1922) which focused on the lives of three people in Dublin, Ireland. Her book didn't use normal sentence structure because she tried to mirror the workings of the human mind.
2. Thinkers React to Uncertainties
Jean Paul Sartre lead a movement in which thinkers turned to philosophy known as existentialism. Existentialists believed that there is no universal meaning to life. Each person creates his or her own meaning in life by the choices they make. They were influenced by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In the 1880's, he wrote how Western ideas had limited people's creativity. His thinkings influenced politics in Italy and Germany in the 1920's and 1930's.
C. REVOLUTION IN THE ARTS
Painting and music began to evolve after World War 1.
1. Artists Rebel Against Tradition
Artists started to show the world of emotion and imagination rather than realistic representations of objects. Inspired by traditional African art, Georges Braque of France and Pablo Picasso of Spain founded Cubism in 1907. This transformed shapes into geometric forms. Often several views were depicted at the same time. Freud inspired another art movement called Surrealism. This sought to link the world of dreams with real life. The term surreal means "beyond or above reality." Many of their paintings have an eerie, dreamlike quality and depict objects in unrealistic ways.
2. Composers Try New Styles
Composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg moved away from traditional styles of music. Jazz emerged in the United States. It was developed by musicians, mainly African Americans, in New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago.
1. The Automobile Alters Society
Some advancements to the automobile were to the electric starters, air-filled tires, and more powerful engines. They had headlights and chrome-plated bumpers. British factories produced 34,000 cars in 1913 and by 1937, the British were producing 511,000 cars a year. This caused more people to travel for pleasure, new businesses opened to serve the mobile tourists, and people to move to suburbs to work in the cities.
2. Airplanes Transform Travel
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, Charles Lindbergh flew 33 hours from New York to Paris. At first only the rich were able to afford air travel.
3. Radio and Movies Dominate Popular Entertainment
Guglielmo Marconi conducted his first successful experiments with the radio in 1895. In 1920, the world's first commercial radio station--KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania--began broadcasting. Motion pictures were also a major industry in the 1920's. In Europe, film was a serious art form, but in Los Angeles, movies were entertainment. Charlie Chaplin was the first biggest star. The addition of sound eventually transformed movies.
1. A Global Depression
Worried bankers demanded repayment of their overseas loans, and American investors withdrew their money from Europe. U.S. Congress placed high tariffs on imported goods so that American dollars would stay in the United States and pay for American goods. This backfired however, conditions worsened for the U.S. The country raised tariffs and other nations also imposed their own higher tariffs. World Trade dropped by 65% as unemployment rates soared.
2. Effects Throughout the World
Austria's largest bank failed while in Asia, both farmers and urban workers suffered as the value of exports fell by half between 1929 and 1931. Prices collapsed as European and U.S. demand for Latin American products decreased.