1919-- Weimar Republic is established in Germany.
1921-- Albert Winstein receives the Nobel Prize.
1928-- Kellog- Briand peace pact is signed by almost every country in the world.
Postwar Uncertainty--the horrors of world war 1 shattered the enlightenment belief that progress would continue and reason would prevail. In the postwar period, people began questioning traditional beliefs. some found answers in new scientific developments, which challenged the way people looked at the world.
1. A NEW REVOLUTION IN SCIENCE
A. Impact of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity-- Albert Einstein offered ideas about space, time, energy, and matter. Scientist had found that light travels at exactly the same speed no matter what direction it moves in relation to the 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. Since relative motion is the key to Einstein’s idea, it is called the theory of relativity.
B.) Influence of Freudian Psychology-The ideas of Austrian physician Sigmund Freud were as revolutionary as Einstein. Freud worked with patients with psychological issues. He came up with a theory about the human mind. He thought human behavior could be irrational. The irrational part of the mind was unconscious. His theories caused influence to be widespread.
2. Literature in the 1920s
A. Writers Reflect Society’s Concerns- Writers War left a deep impression on writers. Franz Kafka wrote novels that were eerie. His work included The Trial (1925) and The Castle (1926). People were caught in situations that were threatening that they could not understand nor escape. Novels showed influence of the theories of Freud and the unconscious.
B. Thinkers React to Uncertainties-In their search for meaning in an uncertain world, some and most thinkers of this time turned to the philosophy known as existentialism. One of the major leaders of this movement was the philosopher named Jean Paul Sartre of France. Existentialists believed that there was no universal meaning of life and they thought that a person should create his or her own meaning in life through choices made and actions taken.
3. Revolution in the Arts
A. Artists Rebel Against Tradition-- Artists rebelled against earlier realistic styles of painting because they wanted to depict the inner world of emotion and imagination rather than showing realistic representations of objects. Expressionist painters like Paul Klee and Wassil Kandinsky used bold colors and distorted or exaggerated forms.
B. Composers Try New Styles-- In both classical and popular music, composers moved away from the traditional styles. In his ballet masterpiece, "the Rite of Spring", the russain composer Igor Stravinsky used irregular rhythms and dissonances, or harsh combinations of sound. The austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg rejected traditional harmonies and musical scales. Something new came out... a popular musical style called 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. the loose beat of jazz seemed to capture the new freedom of the age.
SETTING THE STAGE-- By the late 1920s, European nations were rebuilding wartorn economies. They were aided by the loans from the more prosperous United States. Only two countries came out of the war in better financial shape and that was United States and Japan. IN the US, Americans seemed so confident that the country would continue on the road to even greater economic prosperity. American economy had serous weaknesses that were very soon to bring about the most severe economic downturn the word had yet known.
1. Postwar Europe--In both human suffering and economic terms, the cost of World War I was immense. The Great war let every major European country nearly bankrupt. IN addition, Europe's domination in world affairs declined after the war.
A. Unstable New Democracies--War’s end saw the sudden rise of new democracies. From 1914 to 1918, the last absolute ruler of Europe had been overthrown. The first new government after that was formed in Russia in 1917. This new government was called the Provisional government, it was created in hope to establish constitutional and democratic rule. However, within months it had fallen to a communist dictatorship. For the first time, most European nations had democratic governments.
2. 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.
A. Inflation Causes Crisis in Germany--Germany also faced enormous economic problems that had started to make the war begin. Unlike Britain and France, Germany had not greatly increased its wartime.
B.Attempts at Economic Stability--Germany recovered from the 1923 inflation thanks largely to the work of the international committee. 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.
C.Efforts at a Lasting Peace-- As prosperity returned, Germany’s foreign prosperity returned, Germany. foreign minister, Aristide Briand tried to improve relations between their countries.
1. Fascism’s Rise in Italy-- was a new, militant political movement that emphasized loyalty to the state and obedience to its leader. Unlike communism, fascism had no clearly defined threoy or program. Nevertheless, most Fascists shared several ideas with each other.
A. Mussolini Takes Control-- The rise of fascism in Italy was fueled by bitter disapointment over the failure to win large territorial gains at the 1919 Paris peace conference.
B. Il Duce’s Leadership-- Mussolini was now ll duce, or the new leader. He demolished democracy and outlawed all political parties except the Fasicsts.
2. Hitler Rises to Power in Germany-- When Mussolini became dictator of Italy in the mid 1920's Adolf Hitler was just a little- known political leader whose early life had been marked by so much disappointment.
A. The Rise of the Nazis-- At the end of the war, Hitler settled in Munich. He joined a small group in 1919, this group shared his belief tat Germany had to overturn the Treaty of Versailles and combat communism.
2. Hitler Becomes Chancellor-- The Nazis had become the largest political party by 1932. The conservation leaders thought that they could control Hitler but they couldn't.
A. The Führer Is Supreme-- Hitler wanted more thaon just economic power tho, he wanted control over ever aspect of German life.
B. Hitler makes War on the Jews-- Hitler had bad hatred for Jews . Although Jews were less than one percent of the population, the Nazis used them as scapegoats for all Germany's troubles since the war.
1. Japan Seeks an Empire-- The Japanese government became more democratic during the 1920's. Also, in 1922, Japan signed an international traty agreeing to respect China's borders.
A. Militarists Take Control of Japan-- As long as Japan remained prosperous, the civilian government kept power. But when the Great Depression struck in 1929, most of japan blamed the government.Keeping Emperor Hirohito as head of state won popular support for the army leaders who ruled in his name. Like Hitler and Mussolini, Japan's militarists were extreme nationalists. They wanted to solve the country's economic problems through foreign expansion.
B. Japan Invades Manchria-- Four Years later, a border incident touched off a full-scale war between Japan and China. Japanese forces swept into northern China.
2. European Aggressors on the March-- The League's failure to stop the Japanese encouraged European Fascists to plan aggression of their own.
1. Mussolini Attacks Ethiopia-- Ethiopia was one of Africa's three independent nations. The ethiopians had successfully resisted an Italian attempt at conquest during the 1890's.
2. Hitler Defies Versailles Treaty-- Hitler had long pledged to undo the Versailles treaty. Among its provisions, the treaty limited the size of Germany would not obey these restrictions. The League issued only a mild condemnation.