Transcript Document

The Great War Legacy
Tracy Rosselle, M.A.T.
Newsome High School, Lithia, FL
The Interwar Years:
1919 – 1930s
Outcomes of the war: a regional look
The fallout in
 France
 Italy
 Germany
 Russia
the United States
the Middle East
Greatly affected
economically and
Debts were high
An entire generation
reduced by heavy casualties
Vast empire now becoming
a liability, especially as
nationalist movements for
independence gain
momentum in Africa and
The Allied power that
had born the biggest
brunt of the war
War widows and
amputees in every city
Among the Allied leaders that had been
promised large tracts of land from Austrian
Dissatisfied with the amount of land it
actually received in return for abandoning the
Triple Alliance and joining the Allies
This continued to be a political issue after the
war, and Italy pressed for more territory
along the Adriatic coast
Utterly wrecked – politically, economically and
Millions of men dead from the fighting
Its landmass reduced, its overseas colonies lost
With the war-guilt clause, on the hook for massive
reparations payments
The Kaiser abdicated and fled the country, leaving
Germany where a weak democratic government
(with a president and chancellor) was assembled in
Weimar in 1919
Also in shambles as revolution turned into civil war
Not a party to Versailles, having signed a treaty with
Germany in 1917
Bolsheviks (Reds) and supporters of the Czar
(Whites) fought for control of Russia for two years …
a struggle that left a million more Russians dead
Bolsheviks won, establishing Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics … and shot the Czar and his
family to ensure an end to the Romanov Dynasty
The United States
Emerged from The Great War as a true world
power … but still reluctant to play that role
Having entered the war late and fought on
European soil, relatively unscathed by the
conflict – in contrast to Britain and France
Isolationist impulse returns as U.S. retreats
from European affairs
Fought on Allied side
during the war
Like Italy, dissatisfied
with the results of
Versailles because it
didn’t help them expand
their empire as much
as they’d have liked
Postwar economy led
to hard times
Riots erupted in Beijing to protest provisions
of Versailles that gave concessions in China
to Japan
Had entered the war late, hoping for support
as a large nation aspiring to democracy
May Fourth Movement arose as nationalist
fervor peaked: Chinese reformers began
criticizing Confucian traditions and looking to
Western ideas for inspiration
Made a significant contribution to the war effort on
the side of Britain and Allies
Promised self-government after the war … only to
see little change after fighting ended
Nationalism surged under the leadership of Gandhi
and his policy of nonviolent resistance and protest
Eventually gained independence in 1947 following
World War II
The Middle East
The Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1918 with only
Turkey remaining as it declared itself a republic
Turkey, under Mustafa Kemal – who eventually took
the title of Ataturk (“father of the Turks”) – began to
modernize, secularize and westernize
Other Arab lands placed under mandates of French
and British control, disappointing those Arabs who’d
fought against the Ottomans, expecting freedom in
return for their military assistance
Further tension over British control of Palestine
The Middle East (cont.)
In Balfour Declaration of 1917, Britain
agreed in principle to creation of a Jewish
homeland in Palestine
To avoid antagonizing Arabs throughout the
Middle East, however, Britain put the Zionist
question on the back burner (Israel would be
created in 1948 following World War II)
Adding insult to injury
The Great War killed 10
million soldiers and
perhaps half that many
civilians, wounding
upwards of 30 million
more. But an even
bigger worldwide killer
emerged in 1918: the
Spanish flu epidemic.
The Great Influenza
Origins in U.S. army camps
The world’s deadliest ever
epidemic of influenza hit
worldwide in the final year of
The Great War.
Estimates of the dead vary
from 20-100 million
Epidemiologists now believe
it began in U.S. army camps
and spread to Europe and
then Asia after infected
troops arrived there.
In the postwar years …
The new nations of Eastern Europe, with
weak democratic traditions, experienced
difficulties politically (ethnic tensions were
high) and economically. Through the 1920s
and 1930s, only Czechoslovakia remained
democratic and avoided authoritarianism.
WWI completed the transformation that saw
European aristocracy decline and the power
of lower and middle classes ascend.
Women’s suffrage
The drive to get women the right to vote was
long in coming, but their role in the war
economy gained women respect in the
workplace and public life.
In most Western nations during or after WWI,
women were given the right to vote.
France and Italy were alone in resisting the
trend, not granting women’s suffrage until the
Europe in decline
The great powers of Europe were severely
drained by WWI, now struggling to maintain
their overseas empires and rebuild following
the war.
France, Britain, Belgium, Portugal and the
Netherlands found it increasingly difficult to
maintain their colonies.
Angst, anyone?
Intellectuals led the way in
questioning the belief in
progress and the certainty of
Truth with a capital T.
Writers of the “Lost
Generation” and
existentialists (Nietzche)
struggled to find meaning of
Dali and surrealism (“The
Persistence of Memory”)
The Great Depression
A global phenomenon, not just a U.S. matter
American stock market drew capital throughout the
“Roaring” 1920s, but after the Crash of ’29 the
reaction was felt worldwide
Europeans depended on American loans to recover
from WWI
Wave of U.S. bank failures crashed through other
financial capitals in London, Berlin and Tokyo
The Great Depression (cont.)
Unemployment rose to
double digits globally,
topping 25% in the U.S.
Personal bankruptcies ran
The United States
exacerbated the problem by
passing the highest tariff in
its history, further blocking
international trade.
Depression debacle
Main causes:
Overdependence on American loans and buying
Increase in protectionism (use of import tariffs)
Industrial and farming surpluses, leading to deflation of
Poor banking management
Major outcomes:
Hardships opened door to political instability and rise of
extremism in many nations
Communists criticized failure of capitalism, while fascists
used authoritarian means to protect private enterprise
Depression’s end
Despite FDR’s “New Deal” – an
unprecedented federal effort to help the
economy – the Great Depression didn’t
end until the massive deficit spending
associated with WWII.
Dictatorial rule
Ruthless dictators emerged in the postwar
climate of economic strife, using variations
on a totalitarian theme:
Benito Mussolini in Italy
 Adolf Hitler in Germany
 Francisco Franco in Spain
 Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union
Mussolini: the first fascist
Mussolini (“Il Duce,” the
leader) led a march on
Rome in 1922 demanding to
be put in charge of the
King Victor Emmanuel III,
fearing widespread violence
and an uprising, saw
Mussolini as his dynasty’s
best hope for survival.
More Mussolini
Mussolini quickly abolished democracy and outlawed
all political parties except Fascists.
He and the fascist movement generally feared the
spread of the Marxist revolution in Russia.
Fascism fundamentals:
Opposition to communism.
Glorification of the traditional state (“ultra-nationalism”)
Militarism and the glorification of war
A friend of big business and the destruction of labor unions
Rejection of liberal democracy as ineffective
Hitler hysteria
Germany rebuilt after WWI
as a parliamentary
democracy, but fear of
communism, war debts and
hyperinflation left it
susceptible to political
Hitler emerged as the
charismatic leader of the
National Socialist German
Workers’ Party (the Nazi
Hitler hysteria (cont.)
Hitler used anti-Semitic racism to argue that
Jews were leading a worldwide conspiracy
toward communism.
He was appointed chancellor after using
ultra-national, anti-communist propaganda.
He banned other parties and had opponents
arrested, eventually becoming dictator, or
Franco and the Spanish Civil War
In July 1936, Spanish army leaders – led by General Francisco
Franco – rose up against the Socialist government of Spain
(which had been a monarchy until 1931, when it changed to a
Franco favored a Fascist-style government.
Nationalists (Franco’s forces) vs. Republicans (Spain’s elected
Only the Soviet Union sent nominal aid to Spain’s liberal
government during the ensuing civil war, but Hitler and
Mussolini armed Franco with troops, tanks and aircraft.
Nationalists won and Franco became Spain’s Fascist dictator,
ruling until his death in 1975.
Stalin and the Soviets
Seven years after the Russian
Revolution, Lenin died of a
stroke … and Joseph Stalin
emerged in 1927 from the
Bolshevik Party’s ensuing
power struggle as the leader of
Soviet communism.
His style of leadership
(“Stalinism”) was absolutely
ruthless, as he had his rivals
murdered opponents and
millions of dissenters were
“purged” through execution or
imprisonment in gulags.
The strictures of Stalinism
Centralized control of the economy
Five-Year Plans  state-run industrialization
World leadership of the international communist
Forced collectivization of all farming
Collectivization led to Great Famine, which killed 4-6 million people
in southern Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan
Promotion of atheism and control of organized religion
Stalin, Franco, Mussolini and Hitler exemplified
political dictatorships in the 20th century. The
modern totalitarian regime featured:
A single leader with almost unquestioned authority
Government by one party only
Secret police to terrorize and control the populace
Aggressive, brutal elimination of rivals to power and leaders
of dissent
Meanwhile in the East …
In the 1930s, military leaders in Japan
replaced civilian politicians in the highest
posts of government.
With limited natural resources it had already
turned imperial by gaining Taiwan and Korea
… but now Japan had plans for Northeast
Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, ignoring
protests from the League of Nations.
Next up: another world war
Japan kept Manchuria, walking out of the
League of Nations.
Mussolini noted the fecklessness of the
League’s response to Japan’s aggression
and decided to invade Ethiopia in 1935.
The war of conquest in the East would soon
merge with hostilities in Europe – instigated
primarily by Hitler – to form one big nasty
fight: World War II.