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Interwar Period Ms. Buckman’s World History Class Postwar Democracies & European Recovery Part I Post-World War I The catastrophe of World War I shattered the sense of optimism that had grown in the West since the Enlightenment. Despair gripped survivors on both sides as they added up the staggering costs of war. Especially among the democracies, economic and political crises only added to the growing pessimism of the 1920s and 1930s. Postwar Issues Democratic Hopes Three western democracies in 1919 - France, Great Britain, and the United Sates Boosted hope for democracies in new Eastern European countries at the end of WWI Postwar Europe, though, faced many problems Postwar Issues Economic Problems Most pressing issues - finding jobs for returning veterans and rebuilding war ravished lands Many nations owed huge debts after borrowing money to pay for the war Economic problems led to social unrest and made radical ideas more popular (think Russian Revolution - enter Communism) Postwar Issues Fears of Communism As No Leaders Can Be Found Russian Revolution unleashed fears that communism might spread Socialism and other nationalistic political movements took place Europe lacked strong leaders when they were most needed The war killed many of those who might have helped solve critical problems Obstacles to Peace Pursuit of Peace Many pursued disarmament (the reduction of armed forces and weapons) United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and other nations agreed to reduce the size of their navies (could not decide on how to limit the size of their armies) League of Nations encouraged cooperation and tried to get members to make a commitment to stop aggression Obstacles to Peace How Can Peace Be Enforced? Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 - agreement to denounce or outlaw war But there is no way to enforce this ban on war 1931 - Japan invades Manchuria and the League of Nations can’t do anything about it Ambitious dictators note the League’s weakness and returned their military forces and pursued aggressive foreign policies Recovery & Depression European Economies Slowly Recover Economies returned to peacetime manufacturing and trade Veterans gradually found jobs U.S. emerged as world’s leading economic power American loans and investments backed the recovery in Europe As long as the American economy was healthy, the global economy remained relatively prosperous Recovery & Depression U.S. Great Depression of 1930s The problems of overproduction and inflation created an imbalance that could only lead to financial disaster Stock Market Crash of 1929 led to the Great Depression Banks failed, businesses closed, and millions were out of work Around the world many lost faith in the ability of democratic governments to solve problems Misery & hopelessness led to extremists promising radical solutions France & Britain Britain’s Foreign Policy After WWI Postwar foreign policy created tension with its ally, France British leaders wanted to relax the Treaty of Versailles’ harsh treatment of Germany Fear of Germany becoming so weak that the Soviet Union could eventually take it over, allowing France to gain too much control in Europe France & Britain France Lacks Leadership & Cannot Forget German Aggression After a series of coalition governments, France remains a democratic country even though it lacks strong leadership Chief concern was securing the borders against Germany (remembers German invasions of 1870 & 1914) Built massive fortifications along the border (The Maginot Line, a defensive “wall”) Still seeking security, France strengthens its military and sought alliances with other countries, including the America Strengthens Before WWII The New Deal Americans elect a new president in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt or “FDR”, projected a new sense of energy and optimism Introduced the Neal Deal - massive package of economic and social reform programs Helped get America back on its feet after the Great Depression Political Shifts & Conflict Nearing Part II • • Economic Problems Are the Root of It All… Postwar Europe was economically and socially crippled Economic depression prevailed in Europe for much of the inter-war period • • debtor nations found it impossible to pay their debts without borrowing even more money Germany especially was destroyed economically by World War I and its aftermath: the reparations to Britain and France forced on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles were impossibly high. League of Nations Fails Despite Good Intentions • • • The League of Nations represented a chance for Europe to maintain a balance of international peace, But it never grew strong enough to make a significant impact on politics The goals of deterrence of war and disarmament were left unaccomplished. Extreme Politics • • • Many countries thought that extreme ideas could solve Europe's postwar problems Extreme viewpoints won out in the form of totalitarian states in Europe during the inter-war years, meaning a government is ruled by a one-party dictatorship that regulates every aspect of citizens’ lives Communism took hold in the Soviet Union, while fascism controlled Germany, Italy and Spain. • • • • Extreme Politics Continued… The extremist nature of these new governments turned European politics into an arena for sharp conflict For example, conflict erupted in Spain during the late 1930s in the form of the Spanish Civil War, after which Francisco Franco became dictator In Germany, Adolf Hitler's fascist Nazi Party came to power during the 1930s and prepared once again to make war on Europe. With Britain and France tied up in their own affairs, the path to World War II lay clear. Central Europe – Center for Dictators • • • Postwar Italy was a place of economic and political struggle Fascism became one of the most popular ideas in Italy during the Interwar Period (strong economic and social control of a country and all of its people by a single dictator) Constant struggle between the rise of communism and the rise of fascism in Italy – red shirts vs. black shirts – openly fighting in the streets Benito Mussolini – Italy's Dictator • Benito Mussolini's • Under this doctrine he ruled ascent to power is also a perfect example of the means by which dictators during the interwar years commonly rose to power (1922) • "All in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Italy with a tight fist during the war years, instituting economic and social reforms, some successful, others unsuccessful. • He was sympathetic to Adolf Hitler's desire to regain glory for Germany and Europe, and proved Hitler's most important ally. • • Hitler’s Rise to Power Hitler fought for Germany in WWI and was very disturbed by the German loss (blamed Jews and socialists) 1921- Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NAZI Party) in Germany. • • 1923 - Hitler and Nazis jailed after a failed attempt at a government take-over in Munich. The Beer Hall Putsch. 1925 – Publishes Mein Kampf (My Struggle) which outlined his future policies, centered on the theory of Aryan superiority and Jewish inferiority. Hitler’s Rise to Power • • 1930 – Nazi party now the 2nd largest political party in Germany. 1933 - Hitler named Chancellor in Germany. Nazi party responsible for using terror against their political opponents in Germany • • • 1933 - The Enabling Act makes Hitler the dictator of Germany. 1933 - All other political parties are outlawed. This makes Germany a totalitarian state. (one party government) 1934 - Hitler declares himself Führer in Germany Why did Germany Allow Hitler’s Rise to Power? • • He was a master orator, practicing his public speaking skills in front of the mirror for hours at a time. A skilled manipulator, he played the masses, the government, and the media perfectly, creating a political party that reached into every aspect of German life. Why did Germany Allow Hitler’s Rise to Power? • • • The German people were in a situation that made totalitarianism possible. Germans were deeply ashamed of their loss in World War One, and the German state was devastated by the war and the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler offered not freedom, but rather security. He promised to take action to improve the economy, and return German national pride, and the masses, in most cases, were happy to grant him the ultimate power he needed to do so.