Chapter 15 Years of Crisis By:kaylee morrow

Section 1. A New Revolution in Science- The ideas of Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud had enormous impact on the 20th century. Impact of Einstein's Theory of Relativity Albert Einstein offered amazing 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. Space and time can change when measured relative to an object moving near the speed of light about 186,000 miles per second. Since relative motion is the key to Einstein's idea, it is called the theory of relativity. Uncertainty and relativity replaces Isaac Newton's belief of a world operating according to absolute laws of motion and gravity.


Influence of Freudian Psychology- ideas of Austrian physician Sigmund Freud were as revolutionary as Einstein’s. Freud treated patients with psychological problems. He constructed a theory over the human mind. He believed that much of human behavior is irrational. His ideas weakened faith in reason so by the 1920's Freud's theories has developed widespread influence.

Sigmund Freud

Literature in the 1920's- Disillusioned by the war, many people also feared the future and expressed doubts about traditional religious beliefs. some writers and thinkers expressed this through creating disturbing visions of the present and the future. In 1922 T. S. Eliot an american poet living in england wrote that western society had lost spiritual values. Writers Reflect Society's Concerns The horror of war made a deep impression on many writers. The Czech-born author Franz Kafka wrote eerie novels. His books feature people caught in threatening situations they can neither understand nor escape. Many novels showed the influence of Freud’s theories on the unconscious. Irish-born author James Joyce gained widespread attention he took a bold attempt. Thinkers React to Uncertainties In 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 of France. Existentialists believed that there is no universal meaning to life. The existentialists were influenced by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

Revolution in the Arts- Artists Rebel Against Tradition Many artist wanted to express their inner feelings and emotions. Surrealism is an art movement that sought to link the world of dreams with real life, inspired by Freud's ideas. Surrealists tried to call on the unconscious part of their minds. Composers Try New Styles In both classical and popular music composers stayed away from traditional styles. A new popular musical style called jazz emerged in the U.S.

Society Challenges Convention- New ideas and ways of life led to new kind of individual freedom during the 1920's. Women's Roles Change The war allowed women to take on new roles. Their work in the War was decisive with helping them get the right to vote. Women began to wear loose clothes and bobbed hair also wore makeup. Margaret Sanger and Emma Goldman risked arrest by speaking in favor of birth control.

Technological Advances Improve Life In WW1 scientist developed new drugs and medical treatments. Also to improve transportation and communication after the war. The Automobile Alters Society the automobile benefited from a host of wartime innovations and improvements.- electrical starters, air-filled tires, and more powerful engines. Cars were now sleek and polished.

Increased auto use led to family lifestyle changes. More people traveled for pleasure. Airplanes Transform Travel Air travel became a objective after the war. Charles Lindbergh captured the worlds attention with a 33 hour solo flight. Radio and Movies Dominate Popular Entertainment Guglielmo Marconi conducted the first successful experiments with the radio in 1895. in 1920 the first radio broadcast began. Soon most families owned a radio.

Section 2. Postwar Europe In both human suffering and economic terms the cost of WW1 was immense. Every European country was bankrupt. Unstable New Democracies War's end saw the sudden rise of new democracies. The first of new governments was formed in Russia 1917. For generations, kings and emperors had ruled Germany and the new nations formed from Austria-Hungary. Even in France and Italy. 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. Frequent changes in government made it hard for democratic countries to develop leadership. Voters in several countries were then willing to sacrifice democratic government for strong, authoritarian leadership.

The Weimar Republic Germany’s new democratic government was set up in 1919. Known as the Weimar Republic, it was named after the city where the national assembly met. Germany lacked strong democratic traditions. Germany had several major political parties. And millions of germans blamed weimar government. Inflation Causes Crisis in Germany Germany faced enormous economic problems. Money lost its value after the war. Severe inflation set in. Germans needed more money to by basic goods for example the bread was less than a mark in 1918 and then it was more than 160 marks in 1922 and some 200 billion marks by late 1923. By this time they questioned their new democratic system. Attempts at Economic Stability Germany recovered from the 1923 inflation thanks largely to the work of international committee. It was headed by Charles Dawes, an American banker. It provided a $200 million loan from american banks. Efforts at a Lasting Peace German minister and France minister tried to improve relations between their countries. The two ministers met in Locarno, Switzerland, with officials from Belgium, Italy, and Britain. They signed a treaty promising that France and Germany would never go to war again.

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. And it did in 1929. A Flawed U.S. Economy several weaknesses in the U.S. economy caused serious problems. These included uneven distribution of wealth, overproduction by business and agriculture, and the fact that many Americans were buying less. 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 Stock Market Crashes In 1929, New York City’s Wall Street was the financial capital of the world. Banks and investment companies lined its sidewalks. At Wall Street’s New York Stock Exchange, optimism about the booming U.S. economy showed in soaring prices for stocks.

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 stock market crash did not cause the great depression alone. But it quickened the collapse of the economy. A Global Depression The collapse of the American economy sent shock waves around the world. America placed high tariffs on imported goods. Effects Throughout the World Germany and Austria were particularly hard hit. In 1931, Austria’s largest bank failed. In Asia, both farmers and urban workers suffered as the value of exports fell by half between 1929 and 1931. The crash was felt heavily in Latin America as well. As European and U.S. demand for such Latin American products as sugar, beef, and copper dropped, prices collapsed.

The world Confronts the Crisis The Depression confronted democracies with a serious challenge to their economic and political systems. Each country met it in their own way. Britain Takes Steps to Improve Its Economy The Depression hit Britain severely. To meet the emergency British voters elected a National Government. It passed high protective tariffs, increased taxes, and regulated the currency. It also lowered interest rates to encourage industrial growth. These measures brought about a slow but steady recovery. By 1937, unemployment had been cut in half. France Responds to Economic Crisis Unlike Britain, France had a more self sufficient economy. In 1930, it was still heavily agricultural and less dependent on foreign trade. Nevertheless, by 1935, one million French workers were unemployed. The economic crisis contributed to political instability. Five coalition governments formed and fell. Many political leaders were frightened by the growth of antidemocratic forces both in France and in other parts of Europe. In 1936 moderates, Socialists, and Communists formed a coalition. The Popular Front, as it was called, passed a series of reforms to help the workers. Socialist Governments Find Solutions The Socialist governments in the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway also met the challenge of economic crisis successfully. Recovery in the United States In 1932, in the first presidential election after the Depression had begun, U.S. voters elected Franklin D. Roosevelt. His confident manner appealed to millions of Americans who felt bewildered by the Depression. On March 4, 1933, the new president sought to restore Americans’ faith in their nation. 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. Large amounts of public money were spent on welfare and relief programs. Roosevelt and his advisers believed that government spending would create jobs and start a recovery. Regulations were imposed to reform the stock market and the banking system. The New Deal did eventually reform the American economic system

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Section 3. Fascism Rises in Europe - Fascism’s Rise in Italy Fascism was a new, militant political movement that emphasized loyalty to the state and obedience to its leader. 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. 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 each nation, Fascists wore uniforms of a certain color, used special salutes, and held mass rallies. Mussolini Takes Control 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. Mussolini had founded the Fascist Party in 1919. As economic conditions worsened, his popularity rapidly increased. Finally, Mussolini publicly criticized Italy’s government. Groups of Fascists wearing black shirts attacked Communists and Socialists on the streets. Because Mussolini played on the fear of a workers’ revolt, he began to win support from the middle classes, the aristocracy, and industrial leaders. Il Duce’s Leadership Mussolini was now Il Duce or the leader. He abolished democracy and outlawed all political parties except the Fascists. Secret police jailed his opponents. Government censors forced radio stations and publications to broadcast or publish only Fascist doctrines. Mussolini outlawed strikes. However, Mussolini never had the total control achieved by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union or Adolf Hitler in Germany.

Hitler Rises to Power in Germany When Mussolini became dictator of Italy in the mid-1920s, Adolf Hitler was a little-known political leader whose early life had been marked by disappointment. The Rise of the Nazis 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 Nazi for short.

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 von Hindenburg to name Hitler chancellor.


The Führer Is Supreme Hitler wanted more than just economic and political power he wanted control over every aspect of German life. To shape public opinion and to win praise for his leadership, 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. Hitler Makes War on the Jews 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. Beginning in 1933, the Nazis passed laws depriving Jews of most of their rights. Violence against Jews mounted.

Section 4. Aggressors Invade Nations- 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. Japan’s parliamentary system had several weaknesses, however. Its constitution put strict limits on the powers of the prime minister and the cabinet. Militarists Take Control of Japan 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. Unlike the Fascists in Europe, the militarists did not try to establish a new system of government. They wanted to restore traditional control of the government to the military. Instead of a forceful leader.

Japan Invades Manchuria 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.


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