Chapter Fifteen Years Of Crisis, 1919-1939 Taylor Pitman

Section One: Postwar Uncertainty

A New Revolution in Science

Impact of Einstein's Theory of Relativity: Scientist Albert Einstein had many new ideas about space, time, matter, and energy. Although, scientists had already come to the conclusion that light moves at the same speed no matter its direction in relation to earth. In 1905, Einstein drew the conclusion that though the speed of light is constant, time and space are not. Space and time change when measured in relative to something moving at the speed of light. Light moves at about 186,000 miles per second. Due to his theory being about relative motion, it is called the Theory of Relativity.

Influence of Freudian Psychology

Sigmund Freud had ideas as impacting on the world as Einstein's. He treated people with psychological problems. He constructed ideas about the mind and human behavior. He said that much of human behavior is irrational. This part of the mind he called unconscious. He said that pieces of the mind like pleasure-seeking drives, the conscious mind was not aware of. These ideas put down faith, although they spread in the 1920's.

Literature in the 1920's

WWI was so brutal that it made many question ideas about reason and progress. Many made known their fear of the future and started to doubt their faith in The Lord. Some even made odd visions about the future. In 1922, T.S. Elliot, a poet, wrote of how western society has lost their spiritual values. He described postwar world as a "wasteland" that lost its spiritual values and hope. In 1921 William Butler Yeats described some of these feelings in his poem "The Second Coming."

Writers Reflect Societies Concerns

War horror made an impression on writers in this time period. Franz Kafka wrote novels like The Trial (1925) and The Castle (1926). These involved people caught in situations they cannot control or escape.

Thinkers React to Uncertainties

In the search for meaning, many people turned to existentialism. Jean Paul Sartre of France was a major leader of the philosophy. Existentialists believed that people create their own meaning of life through their actions and choices. They were influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche. In the 1800's he wrote the Western ideas of reason, democracy, and progress had made people less creative and fizzled their actions. He pushed the return of the values of pride, assertiveness, and strength. These ideas got much attention in the 20th century and made an impact on politics in Italy and Germany in the 1920's and 1930's.

Revolution in the Arts

Changes began in painting and music before the war, but it began to drastically change after the war.

Artists Rebel Against Tradition

Artists rebelled against the earlier forms of painting. Rather than realistic depictions of war, they wanted to paint things that were more imaginative. Expressionist painters used bold colors and exaggerated forms. While inspired by African art, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso founded Cubism in 1907. This transformed everyday shapes into geometric forms. Several views were often shown at the same time. The art movement surrealism was inspired by the ideas of Freud. Surrealists tried to call to the "unconscious" parts of their mind. Therefore, their paintings often had a very unrealistic look to them.

Composers Try New Styles

Classical and popular music composers began to move away from traditional musical styles. In The Rite of Spring, Igor Stravinsky used irregular rhythms, creating harsh sounding music. Arnold Schoenberg rejected traditional musical scales. Jazz emerged in the United States. It was developed mainly by African Americans in New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago. It swept the United States and Europe. The new beat seemed to capture the freedom of the age.

Society Challenges Convention

New ways and ideas lead to a new type of individual freedom in the 1920's. Young people were especially open to the ideas of change.

Women's Roles Change

Women began to show their independent spirits. Their efforts in the war played a major role in getting them to win the right to vote. After the war, women's suffrage became law in many countries. Women began to cut their hair and wear less constrictive clothing. Though many women went to the more untraditional way of life, many stayed traditional and had families. Margaret Sanger and Emma Goldman brought the idea of birth control to the table, and women began getting more man-dominant professional jobs.

Technological Advances Improve Life

During WWI, scientists developed new drugs and medical treatments that helped millions. The technological improvements that begun helped improve transportation and communication post-war.

The Automobile Alters Society

Plenty of automobile changes happened after the War. Cars became fancier, which was a huge change since before the war only the rich could own them. British factories put out 34,000 automobiles in 1913. After the war, prices dropped and the middle class began to be able to afford them. By 1937, the British were producing 511,000 automobiles in a single year! This lead to lifestyle changes. More people traveled for pleasure. In the U.S. and Europe, businesses started to serve mobile tourists. The auto also changed where people lived and worked.

Airplanes Transform Travel

International travel became a goal after the war. In 191, two British pilots made the first successful flight all the war across the Pacific Ocean! In 1927, Charles Lindbergh successfully made a 33-hour solo flight from New York to Paris. In the 1920's most of the world's major airlines were established. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. This was in 1932.

Radio and Movies Dominate Popular Entertainment

Guglielmo Marconi made the first radio in 1895. This invention spread like wildfire throughout the United States. However, it really became big in World War I. In 1920, KDKA--in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania (the world's first commercial radio station) began. Soon many families owned radios! Movies also became a huge industry in the 1920's. Countries from Cuba to Japan made movies. In Europe film was an art form. However, in the Hollywood district in Los Angeles, where 90 percent of films were made, movies were entertainment. Charlie Chaplin was a major face in Hollywood silent films. He was best know as the portrayer of the lonely little tramp bewildered by life. In the late 1920's, sound began in movies. The advances in technology and cultural modernization "brought the world closer in touch." Global prosperity really relied on the economic well-being of the U.S. and other major nations.

Section 2: A Worldwide Depression: Postwar Europe

The cost of WWI was immense in both human suffrage and in the economy. The Great War left every major European country almost bankrupt. Europe's domination in world affairs declined after WWI.

Unstable New Democracies

War's end saw the beginning of democracies. Absolute rulers had become a story of the past. The first new governments were formed in Russia in 1917. The Provisional Government hoped to establish constitutional and democratic rule. However, it had become a Communist dictatorship. For the first time, the majority of European nations had democratic governments. Many democratic leaders had little experience with representative government. Even in France and Italy, where parliaments existed before WWI, the large amount of political parties made having an effective government difficult. Some countries had 12 or 13 political groups. When neither party won a majority, a coalition government was needed to form majority. Because of so much disagreement, coalitions rarely lasted a long time. Frequent changes in government made it difficult for countries to move toward long-term goals. The weaknesses of a coalition government became a major problem in times of crisis. By then, many voters were willing to sacrifice democratic government for strong authoritarian leadership.

The Weimar Republic

Germany's new democratic government began in 1919, the Weimar Republic. This Republic had serious weaknesses, consisting of their lack of strong democratic tradition, having too many major political parties, and millions of Germans blamed the Weimar government for their defeat and postwar humiliation because of the Treaty of Versailles instead of their wartime leaders.

Inflation Causes Crisis in Germany

Germany also went through economic problems in the war. Germany had not greatly increased in wartime taxes. To pay the war expenses, the Germans printed money. After their defeat, the paper money lost its value. Burdened with heavy reparation payments to the Allies and with other economic problems, Germany printed even more. As a result, the value of the mark fell sharply, leaving them to need more and more money to buy even the most basic of things. In Berlin one loaf of bread costed less than one mark, and on 1922, more than 160 marks. People took wheelbarrows of money to buy food. As a result, Germans questioned the value of the new democratic government.

Attempts at Economic Stability

Germany recovered from the 1923 inflation because of the work of an international committee. Charles Dawes, an American Banker. The Dawes Plan provided for a $220 million loan from American banks. The plan also made a more realistic schedule for Germany's reparations payments. It was put in effect in 1924. The Dawes Plan helped slow inflation. As the German economy began to recover, it attracted more loans and investments from the U.S. By 1929, German factories were producing as much as they did before the war.

Efforts at a Lasting Peace

As prosperity returned, the German foreign minister Gustav Stresemann and France's foreign minister, Aristide Briand tried to improve relations between the countries. In 1925, the two met at Locarno, Switzerland, with officials from Belgium, Italy, and Britain. They promised that France and Germany would never make war with each other. Germany also agreed to respect the France and Belgium borders. It was admitted to the League of Nations. In 1928, the hopes raised by the "spirit of Locarno" led to the Kellogg-Briand peace pact. Frank Kellogg, the U.S. Secretary of State arranged this agreement with France's Briand. The Soviet Union and many other countries in the world signed. They pledged "to renounce war as an instrument of national policy." The treaty had no means to enforce its provisions. The League of Nations had no armed forces. The refusal of the U.S. to join also weakened it. But the peace agreement was still to a good start.

Financial Collapse

In the late 1920's, the prosperity of the American economy sustained the world economy. If the U.S. economy dwindled, the world economic system may as well; in 1929 it failed.

A Flawed U.S. Economy

Despite the prosperity in the U.S., there were several problems in their economy that caused serious problems. Such as uneven distribution of wealth, overproduction by business and agriculture, and many Americans were buying less. By 1929, American factories were turning out almost half of the world's industrial goods. The productivity led to enormous profits. However, the richest 5 percent of the population received 33 percent of all personal income in 1929. yet 60 percent of American families earned less than $2,000 a year. Unable to sell their goods because the people were too poor to buy them, store owners cut back grocery orders. Factories then cut back production and laid off workers. A downward spiral in the economy began. many farmers could not sell their crops at a profit, many farmers could not pay off the bank loans that kept them in business. their unpaid debts led some to closing. The danger signs of overproduction in factories and farms did not warn the people against gambling on the stock market.

The Stock Market Crashes

In 1929, NYC's Wall Street was the financial capital in the world. Banks and investment companies lined the sidewalks. At Wall Street's New York Stock Exchange, optimism about the good state of the U.S. economy soared the price of stocks. To get into this, many middle-income people began buying stocks on margin. They paid a small amount as a down payment and then borrowed the rest from a stockbroker. The system worked if prices still rose. But if they fell, investors had to pay off their loans. In September 1929, some investors began to think the stock prices were way too high. They began selling their stocks, believing the prices would fall. In October, the stock prices started to rollercoaster down. Panic broke out as everyone wanted to sell them and no one wanted to buy. On October 29, prices were at a whole new low and 16 million stocks were sold. The market fell through.

The Great Depression

People could not pay for what they needed. Stocks they paid much money for were now worthless. Within a few months of the crash, unemployment rates skyrocketed as in industrial production, prices, and wages declined. The Great Depression followed. The stock market was not all that caused this depression, however it quickened the collapse of the economy. By 1932, factory production was cut in half. Around 9 million people lost all the money in their savings accounts because banks had no money to pay them. Others lost their jobs. Many farmers could not make mortgage payments and therefore lost their land. By 1933, one-fourth of the population was out of a job.

The Global Depression

The failure of the American economy affected the whole world. Worried American bankers withdrew the money they had in Europe. The market for European goods dropped. U.S. Congress placed high tariffs on imported goods so that Americans would keep their money within the country. This caused things to worsen for the United States. Many countries that exported to the U.S. also suffered. When the U.S. raised tariffs, other nations did the same. World trade dropped by 65 percent, unemployment rates raised, and the economy got worse.

Effects Throughout the World

Because of the war debts and dependence on American loans and investments, Germany and Austria were one of the worstly affected. Austria's largest bank failed. Asian farmers and urban workers failed. The value of exports dropped by half between 1929 and 1931. This affected Latin America as well. As European and U.S. demand for Latin American products rose, the prices dropped.

The World Confronts the Crisis

The Depression caused problems for each democracy. Each one faced the crisis in their own way.

Britain Takes Steps to Improve Its Economy

The Depression affected Britain severely. British voters elected a multiparty coalition known as the National Government. It passed high protective tariffs, increased taxes, and regulated the currency. It lowered interest rates. These measures brought about a slow recovery. By 1937, unemployment had been cut in half, and production was above 1929 levels. Britain preserved democracy.

France Responds to Economic Crisis

France had a more self-sufficiant economy. In 1930, it was still heavily agriculture-based and not very dependent on foreign trade. By 1935, one million French workers were unemployed. The economic crisis helped increase political instability. In 1933, five coalition governments came to life and fell. Many political leaders were scared that antidemocratic forces in Europe were increasing. The Popular Front passed reforms to help workers. The price increases offset wage gains. Unemployment stayed high but France stayed true to preserving democratic government.

Socialist Governments Find Solutions

In Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden. Norway all met the challenge of economic crisis well. They built recovery programs on the tradition of cooperative community action. In Sweden, the government sponsored massive public works projects. These kept people employed and production up. The Scandinavian countries raised pensions for the elderly, increased unemployment insurance, subsides for housing and other positives for welfare. Democracy remained intact as citizens were taxed to make these benefits happen.

Recovery in the United States

In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected in the first presidential election after the beginning of the depression. On March 4, 1933, this president sought to restore Americans' faith in their country. He immediately began the New Deal. Public work projects helped to provide jobs for the unemployed. New government agencies gave financial help to businesses and farms. Much of the public's money was spent on welfare and other relief programs. Roosevelt and his advisers believed that government spending would create jobs. Regulations to reform the stock market and the banking system were made. The New Deal eventually reformed the American economic system. Roosevelt's leadership helped Americans to regain their faith in the U.S. It also establishes him as a leader of democracy where other countries are ruled by ruthless dictators.

Fascism's Rise in Italy

Fascism was a militant political movement. It emphasized obedience to your state and leader. Unlike Communism, this had no set theory or program. Most Fascists preached extreme nationalism. They believed that peaceful states were doomed to be overtaken. They pledged loyalty to an authoritarian leader. Each nation's fascists each had their own uniforms and special salutes, and held mass rallies. Fascism and communism both were ruled by dictators who allowed only one-party rule. Both did not allow personal rights, and they saw the state as supreme. Neither practiced democracy, although Fascists did not seek a classless society. They instead believed each class had their own place and ways of dealing in that place. The majority of Fascist parties were made of aristocrats and industrialists, war veterans, and the lower middle class. Fascists were nationalists, and Communists were internationalists.

Mussolini Takes Control

Fascism's rise in Italy was pushed by the failure to win territory in the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Rising inflation and unemployment also sent unrest throughout the state. To Italians, their democratic government seemed to help their country's problems at all. They wanted a new leader to help. A newspaper editor and politician named Benito Mussolini promised to revive Italy's economy and rebuild its' armed forces. he vowed to be a strong leader. Mussolini founded the Fascist party in 1919. As the economy worsened, his popularity decreased. Groups of Fascists match in black shirts and attack Communists and Socialists on the streets. Because he played on the fears of the workers' revolt, he started to get support from the middle classes, aristocracy, and industrial leaders. In 1922, about 20,000 Fascists marched on Rome demanding King Victor Emmanuel III put Mussolini in charge of the government. The king decided that Mussolini was the best decision in order for his dynasty to succeed. After violence and threatened uprising, Mussolini took power legally.

II Duce's Leadership

Mussolini was now the new leader or II Duce. He abolished democracy and outlawed every political party except for the Fascists. Secret police jailed his opponents and government censors forced the press to broadcast or publish only Fascist doctrines. Mussolini did not allow strikes and sought to control the economy by allying the Fascists, industrialists, and large landowners. However, he never had the total control that Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler had.

Hitler Rises to Power in Germany

When Mussolini became dictator, Adolf Hitler was a little-known political leader who had a sad childhood. When WWI broke out, Hitler had a new beginning, he volunteered for the German army and was twice awarded the Iron Cross. This symbolized bravery.

The Rise of the Nazis

At the end of the war, Hitler put roots down in Munich. In 1919, he joined a right-wing political group. This group shared his belief that germany had to uproot the Treaty of Versailles and fight against communism. This was later called the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Nazi for short. The policies created Nazism. It set up a private militia and adopted the swastika as their symbol and wore brown shirts. Hitler became the leader of the Naxi party. Inspired by Mussolini's March on Rome, Hitler and the Nazis planned to take over Munich. The attempt failed and Hitler was jailed. He served only nine months. He wrote Mein Kampf in jail. It set forth his beliefs and Germany goals. He asserted that Germans he called "Aryans" were a master race. He said the Versailles Treaty was an outrage and other races were inferior. He said Germany was overcrowded. He promised more space by conquering eastern Europe and Russia. After leaving prison in 1924, he started the Naxi party again. Most ignored him until The Great Depression ended. When American loans stopped, the German economy went down. Civil unrest broke out. Germans were scared and turned to Hitler.

Hitler Becomes Chancellor

By 1932 the Nazis were the largest political party. Conservative leaders thought they could use Hitler for their benefit. In January 1933, they advised President Paul von Hindenburg to name Hitler chancellor. He did. Once in office, Hitler called for new elections, hoping to win parliamentary majority. Six days before the election, a fire destroyed the Reichstag building. The Nazis blamed the Communists. The Nazis and their allies won a slim majority by fear. Hitler turned Germany into a totalitarian state. He would not allow other political ideas to be brought there. An elite unite called SS was created. It was only loyal to Hitler. In 1934, the SS arrested and murdered hundreds of Hitler's enemies. This action was applied by the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police. Shocked most Germans into obedience. The Nazis took control of the economy, new laws didn't allow strikes, dissolved independent labor unions, and gave the government authority over business and labor. Hitler put many Germans to work. They did many things and the unemployment number lowered from 6 to 1.5 million in 1936.

The Fuhrer Is Supreme

Hitler wanted control over every aspect of German life. Hitler turned to the press, radio, literature, painting, and film propaganda as tools to win praise for what he did. Books that didn't conform to Nazi ideas were burned in huge bonfires. Churches were not allowed to criticize them. School children had to join the Hitler Youth (boys) or the League of German Girls (girls). He believed struggle made them stronger and twisted Friedrich Nietzsche to support his ideas of force.

Hitler Makes War on the Jews

Hatred of the Jews (anti-Semitism) was the key part of Naziism. Though they were less than one percent of the German population, the Nazis still blamed them for all of the German troubles since war. This lead to a wave of anti-Semitism across Germany. Beginning in 1933, they passed laws depriving Jews of the majority of their rights. Violence against them sprouted. On Nov. 9, 1938, mobs attacked the Jews and destroyed many of their buildings. This rampage, Kristallnacht signaled the real start of eliminating the Jews from German life.

Other Countries Fall to Dictators

While Fascists kept taking power, the nations formed in eastern Europe after WWI were falling to dictators. In Hungary 1919, after a brief Communist regime, military and wealthy landowners joined in attempt to make Admiral Miklos Horthy the first European dictator after the war. In Poland, Marshal Jozef Pilsudski took power in 1926. In Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania, kings began turning to strong-man rule. They did not allow constitutions. In 1935, only the Czechoslovakia democracy remained in eastern Europe. Only in European nations with strong democratic traditions- Britain, France, and Scandinavian countries held democracy. With no democratic experience and severe economic problems, European countries saw dictators as the answer By mid-1930s, the powerful nations of the world were split into two antagonistic camps- democratic and totalitarian. To gain their ends, the Fascist dictators were willing to use their military. Although these dictatorships restricted civil rights, none used control as brutally as the Russian Communists or Nazis.

Section 4: Aggressors Invade Nations (Japan Seeks an Empire)

During the 1920s, the Japanese government became more democratic. In 1922, Japan signed a treaty agreeing to respect China's borders. In 1928, they signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact renouncing war. Japan's parliamentary system had several weaknesses though. Its constitution put strict limits on the powers of the prime minister and the cabinet. Civilian leaders had little control over the armed forces. Military leaders only reported to the emperor.

Militarists Take Control of Japan

As long as Japan was prosperous, the civilian government kept power. Many Japanese blamed the government for The Great Depression. Military leaders gained support and won control of the country. Unlike the Fascists, the militarists did not want to start a new form of government. They wanted to restore traditional control of the government to the military. Instead of a forceful leader, they made the emperor the symbol of state power. Keeping Emperor Hirohito as head of state gained popular support for the army leaders who ruled in his name. The Japanese militarists were strong nationalists. They wanted to begin foreign expansion to solve economic problems. They planned a Pacific empire. The empire would provide Japan with raw materials and markets for their goods. It would also give them room for their rising population.

Japan Invades Manchuria

Japanese businesses had invested in Manchuria in China's northeast province. In 1931, the Japanese army seized it despite the Japanese parliament. The army then set up a puppet government. Japanese engineers and technicians began arriving to build mines and factories. This attack on Manchuria was the first direct challenge to the League of Nations. In the 1930s, the League's members included all major democracies other than the U.S. The League also included Germany, Japan, and Italy. When Japan seized Manchuria, many League members did not agree. Japan ignored any protests in 1933.

Japan Invades China

Four years later, war started between Japan and China over a border incident. China's army (led by Jiang Jieshi) wasn't a match for the Japanese. Beijing and other northern cities including Nanjing fell to the Japanese in 1937. Japanese troops killed many captured soldiers and civilians in Nanjing. Forced to retreat westward, Jieshi set up a new capital at Chongqing. Meanwhile, the Chinese guerrillas led by Mao Zedong, continued to fight the Japanese in the conquered area.

European Aggressors on the March

The Leagues failure encouraged European Fascists to plan an aggression. Mussolini dreamed of building a colonial empire in Africa.

Mussolini Attacks Ethiopia

Ethiopia was one out of Africa's three nations. The Ethiopians had successfully resisted an Italian conquest during the 1890s. To avenge the defeat, Mussolini ordered an invasion in October 1935 of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian weapons were no match to those that the Italians used. Haile Selassie appealed for help from the League. Although the League were not supportive, they did not act against it. Britain continued to allow Italian troops and supplies pass through the British-controlled Suez Canal. By giving in to Mussolini, Britain and France attempted being peace makers in Europe.

Hitler Defies Versailles Treaty

Hitler pledged to undo the Versailles Treaty. The treaty limited the size of Germany's army. In 1935, the Fuhrer announced Germany would obey. The League issued a mild condemnation. The League's failure convince Hitler to take greater risks. The Treaty had forbidden German troops to enter a 30-mile radius on either side of the Rhine River. Rhineland, or the zone serving as a buffer between Germany and France. It was an important industrial area. On March 7, 1936, German troops moved there. Stunned, the French avoided war. The British ordered appeasement. Hitler later admitted he would've backed down from the French and British. The German reoccupation of Rhineland marched them toward war. First Hitler's power and prestige in Germany. The power balance changed Germany's favor. France and Belgium were open to attack from German troops. Finally, Hitler was encouraged to speed up expansion from the weak response of France and Britain. Hitler's growing strength convince Mussolini to seek alliance with Germany. In 1936, the two dictators reached the Rome-Berlin Axis agreement. A month later, Germany made an agreement with Japan. Germany, Italy, and Japan came to be called the Axis Powers.

Civil War Erupts in Spain

Hitler and Mussolini tested the democracies of Europe in the Spanish Civil War. Spain was a monarchy until 1931, when republic was declared. The government held office and was run by Liberals and Socialists. In 1936, army leaders that favoured a Fascist-style government joined General Francisco Franco in revolt. So a Civil War begun. Hitler and Mussolini sent troops, tanks, and airplanes to help the Nationalists a.k.a. Franco's forces. The Republican (Spain's elected government) did not get much help internationally. The Western democracies remained neutral. Only the Soviet Union sent support. An international brigade of volunteers fought for the Republicans. In early 1939, Republican resistance collapsed. Franco was then Spain's Fascist dictator.

Democratic Nations Try to Preserve Peace

Instead of standing against Fascist aggression in the 1930s, Britain and France made concessions, hoping to keep peace. Both nations were dealing with serious economic problems resulting from the Great Depression. The horrors of WWI created a desire to avoid war.

United States Follows an Isolationist Policy

Many americans were supporters of isolationism. They believed that political ties to other countries were to be avoided. In 1935, Congress passed three Neutrality Acts. These laws didn't allow loans and sale of arms to nations currently in wars.

The German Reich Expands

In 1937, Hitler announced to his advisers the plans he had to absorb Austria and Czechoslovakia into the German Empire (Third Reich). The Treaty of Versailles prohibited Anschluss, a union between Austria and Germany. Many Austrians wanted unity with Germany. In March 1938, Hitler sent his army to annex Austria. France and Britain did not protect Austrian independence. Hitler next turned to Czechoslovakia. About three million German-speaking people lived in Sudetenland. This fortified the Czech's main defense against Germany. The Anschluss spread Nazi feelings among the Sudeten Germans. In 1938, Hitler demanded that Sudetenland is given to Germany. They refused and asked France to help.

Britain and France Again Choose Appeasement

France and Britain were preparing to go to war when Mussolini proposed that Germany, France, Britain and Italy meet in Munich, Germany. The Munich Conference was on September 29, 1938. The Czechs were not invited. Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister believed he could preserve peace by giving in to Hitler's demand. Britain and France agreed to let Hitler take Sudetenland. Hitler pledged to protect their borders because of this. When Chamberlain returned to London, he explained that he believed they were at peace. Winston Churchhill strongly disagreed (as a member of the British Parliament. He opposed the appeasement policy and told of what he thought the consequences would be. Less than six months later, Hitler took Czechoslovakia. Mussolini then seized Albania. Then Hitler demanded that Poland return to the former German port of Danzig.

Nazis and Soviets Sign Nonaggression Pact

Britain and France asked the Soviet Union help them stop Hitler's aggression. Stalin talked with Britain and France, and also bargained with Hitler. The two dictators agreed/ Once enemies, Fascist Germany and Communist Russia now had a public pledge to never attack one another. On August 23, 1939, their leaders signed a nonaggression pact. The Axis Powers moved unchecked at the end of the decade, war seem inevitable


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