years of crisis, 1919-1939 marcus bertram

Setting the stage-The horrors of World War I shattered the Enlightenment belief that progress would continue and reason would prevail.people began to question traditional belief. Many enjoyed the convenience of technological improvements in transportation and communications. women demanded more rights and young people adopted new ideas.

A new revolution in science-the ideas of albert einstein and sigmund freud had an enormous impact on the 20th century. These thinkers were part of a scientific revolution as important as that brought about centuries earlier by Copernicus and Galileo.

Impact of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity-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, 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. Einstein’s ideas had implications.

Influence of Freudian Psychology- 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. He called the irrational part of the mind the unconscious. In the unconscious, a number of drives existed, especially pleasure-seeking drives, of which the conscious mind was unaware. Freud’s ideas weakened faith in reason.

Literature in the 1920s-The brutality of World War I caused philosophers and writers to question accepted ideas about reason and progress. 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.

Writers Reflect Society’s Concerns-The horror of war made a deep impressionon many writers. The Czech-born author Franz Kafa wrote eerie novels such as The Trial (1925) and The Castle (1926). His books feature people caught in threatening situations they can neither understand nor escape. The books struck a chord among readers in the uneasy postwar years.

Thinkers React to Uncertainties- In their search for meaning in an uncertain world, some thinkers turned to the philosophy known as existentialism. Existentialists believed that there is no universal meaning to life. Each person creates his or her own meening in life through choices made and actions taken.The existentialists were influenced by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche

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. Surrealism, an art movement that sought to link the world of dreams with real life, was inspired by Freud. The term surreal means “beyond or above reality.” Surrealists tried to call on the unconscious part of their minds.

Composers Try New Styles-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 disonances, or harsh combinations of sound. A new popular musical style called jazz emerged in the united states. It was developed by musicians, mainly African Americans, in new orleans, memphis, and chicago.

Society Challenges Convention-World War I had disrupted traditional social patterns. young people 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. After the war, women’s suffrage became law in many countries, including the United States, Britain, Germany, Sweden, and Austria. a growing number of women spoke out for greater freedom in their lives. Margeret Sanger and Emma Goldman risked arrest by speaking in favor of birth control. As women sought new careers, the numbers of women in medicine, education, journalism, and other professions increased.

technological advances improve science- During World War I, scientists developed new drugs and medical treatments that helped millions of people in the postwar years.

The Automobile Alters Society- the automobile benefited from a host of wartime innoventions and improvements—electric starters, air-filled tires, and more powerful engines.

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, 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.

Radio and Movies Dominate Popular Entertainment- Guglielmo Marconi conducted his first successful experiments with radio in 1895. However, the real push for radio development came during World War I.

A Worldwide Depression

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.

Unstable New Democracies-War’s end saw the sudden rise of new democracies. From 1914 to 1918, Europe’s last absolute rulers had been overthrown. 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

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. The Weimar Republic had serious weaknesses from the start.

Inflation Causes Crisis in Germany- 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.

Attempts at Economic Stability- 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. Put into effect in 1924, the Dawes Plan helped slow inflation.

Financial Collapse- In the late 1920s, American economic prosperity largely sustained the world economy. 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.

A Flawed U.S. Economy- Despite prosperity, 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

The Stock Market Crashes- 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. Prices plunged to a new low on Tuesday, October 29. A record 16 million stocks were sold. Then the market collapsed.

The Great Depresion- The stock market crash alone did not cause the Great Depression, but it quickened the collapse of the economy and made the Depression more difficult. By 1932, factory production had been cut in half. Thousands of businesses failed, and banks closed. Around 9 million people lost the money in their savings accounts when banks had no money to pay them. Many farmers lost their lands when they could not make mortgage payments. By 1933, one-fourth of all American workers had no jobs.

A Global Depression-The collapse of the American economy sent shock waves around the world. Many countries that depended on exporting goods to the United States also suffered. Moreover, when the United States raised tariffs, it set off a chain reaction. Other nations imposed their own higher tarifs. World trade dropped by 65 percent. contributed further to the economic downturn. Unemployment rates sored.

Effects Throughout the World- 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, price collapsed.

The World Confronts the Crisis- The Depression confronted democracies with a serious challenge to their economic and political systems. Each country met the crisis in its own way.

Britain Takes Steps to Improve Its Economy-The Depression hit Britain severely. To meet the emergency, British voters elected a multiparty coalition known as the National Government.

France Responds to Economic Crisis-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. economy. In 1930, it was still heavily agricultural and less dependent on foreign trade. Nevertheless, by 1935, one million French workers were unemployed.

Socialist Governments Find Solutions-The Socialist governments in the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway also met the challenge of economic crisis successfully. They built their recovery programs on an existing tradition of cooperative community action. In Sweden, the government sponsored massive public works projects that kept people employed and producing.

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. 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. The New Deal did eventually reform the American economic system. Roosevelt’s leadership preserved the country’s faith in its democratic political system. It also established him as a leader of democracy in a world threatened by ruthless dictators.

Fascism Rises in Europe

Fascism Rises 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. Fascists 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.

Musolini 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. To growing numbers of Italians, their democratic government seemed helpless to deal with the country’s problems. They wanted a leader who would take action. 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. 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.

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. 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- Adolf Hitler was a little-known political leader, When World War I broke out, Hitler found a new beginning. He volunteered for the German army and was twice awarded the Iron Cross, a medal for bravery

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. The group later named itself the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, called Nazi for short. The party adopted the swastika, or hooked cross, as its symbol. The Nazis also set up a private cross, as its symbol. The Nazis also set up a private Within a short time, Hitler’s success as an organizer. and speaker led him to be chosen der Führer Inspired by Mussolini’s march on Rome, Hitler and the Nazis plotted to seize power in Munich in 1923. The attempt failed, and Hitler was arrested. While in jail, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggle). This book set forth his beliefs. Hitler also declared that Germany was overcrowded and needed more lebensraum, or living space. He promised to get that space by conquering eastern Europe and Russia. After leaving prison in 1924, Hitler revived the Nazi Party.

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. 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. Schoolchildren had to join the Hitler Youth or the League of German Girls. 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.

Other Countries Fall to Dictators- While Fascists took power in Italy and Germany, the nations formed in eastern Europe after World War I also were falling to dictators. By the mid-1930s, the powerful nations of the world were split into. —democratic and totalitarian.

Aggressors Invade Nations

Japan Seeks an Empire-During the 1920s, the Japanese government became more democratic. In 1922, it signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact renouncing war.

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.

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 Manchuia, despite objections from the Japanese parliament.

Japan Invades China- Four years later, a border incident touched off a full-scale war between Japan and China. Japanese forces swept into northern China. Despite having a million soldiers, China’s army led by Jiang Jishi was no match for the better equipped and trained Japanese.

European Aggressors on the March-The League’s failure to stop the Japanese encouraged European Fascists to plan aggression of their own.

Mussolini Attacks Ethiopia- Ethiopia was one of Africa’s three independent nations. The Ethiopians had successfully resisted an Italian attempt at conquest during the 1890s. To avenge that defeat, Mussolini ordered a massive invasion of Ethiopia in October 1935. The spears and swords of the Ethiopians were no match for Italian airplanes, tanks, guns, and poison gas.

Hitler Defies Versailles Treaty- The League’s failure to stop Germany from rearming convinced Hitler to take even greater risks. The treaty had forbidden German troops to enter a 30-mile-wide zone on either side of the Rine River. Known as the Rhineland, the zone formed a buffer between Germany and France. It was also an important industrial area. On March 7, 1936, German troops moved into the Rineland.

Civil War Erupts in Spain-Hitler and Mussolini again tested the will of the democracies of Europe in the Spanish Civil War. Spain had been a monarchy until 1931, when a republic was declared. In July 1936, army leaders, favoring a Fascist-style government, joined General Francisco Franco in a revolt. Thus began a civil war that dragged on for three years. Hitler and Musolini sent troops, tanks, and airplanes to help Franco’s forces, which were called the Nationalists. the democratic remained neutral. Only the Soviet Union sent equipment and advisers. An international brigade of volunters fought on the Republican side. Early in 1939, Republican resistance collapsed. Franco became Spain’s Fascist dictator.

Democratic Nations Try to Preserve Peace- Instead of taking a stand against Fascist aggression in the 1930s, Britain and France repeatedly made concesions, hoping to keep peace. Both nations were dealing with serious economic problems as a result of the Great Depression.

United States Follows an Isolationist Policy- Many Americans supported isolationism, the belief that political ties to other countries should be avoided. Isolationits argued that entry into World War I had been a costly error. Beginning in 1935, Congress passed three Neutrality Acts. These laws banned loans and the sale of arms to nations at war.

The German Reich Expands- On November 5, 1937, Hitler announced to his advisers his plans to absorb Austria and Cechoslovakia into the Third Reich. The Treaty of Versailles prohibited Anschlus, or a union between Austria and Germany. However, many Austrians supported unity with Germany. In March 1938, Hitler sent his army into Austria and annexed it. France and Britain ignored their pledge to protect Austrian independence. Hitler next turned to Czechoslovakia. About three million German-speaking people lived in the western border regions of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland. In September 1938, Hitler demanded that the Sudetenland be given to Germany. The Czechs refused and asked France for help

Britain and France Again Choose Appeasement- France and Britain were preparing for war when Mussolini proposed a meeting. The Munich Conference was held on September 29, 1938. The Czechs were not invited. British prime minister Nevile Chamberlain believed that he could preserve peace by giving in to Hitler’s demand. Britain and France agreed that Hitler could take the Sudetenland. When Chamberlain returned to London, he told cheering crowds, “I believe it is peace for our time.” Winston Churchill, then a member of the British Parliament, strongly disagreed. Less than six months after the Munich meeting, Hitler took Cechoslovakia. Soon after, Mussolini seized Albania. Then Hitler demanded that Poland return the former German port of Danzig. The Poles refused and turned to Britain and France for aid. But appeasement had convinced Hitler that neither nation would risk war

Nazis and Soviets Sign Nonaggression Pact- 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. Once bitter enemies, Fascist Germany and Communist Russia now publicly pledged never to attack one another. On August 23, 1939, their leaders signed a nonaggression pact.


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