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AP Review #8: Interwar Period (Ch. 26) & World War II (Ch.

Interwar Period (1918-1939)
At the end of WWI, many problems remained unsolved, leading to extended conflicts among the European
nations. The Great Depression disintegrated any optimism for a peaceful future, and left a door open for the rise
of totalitarian states, as nations were drastically weakened from the Great War. Efforts by the West to avoid
another war were thwarted by the aggressive aims of Nazi Germany.
Great Depression
Economic Problems: 10 million dead from WWI (loss of laborers/consumers); Europe= debtor nation
and U.S. replaces Europe as worlds creditor; GR reparation upset international economy (default on
payments, worsens relationship w/ France; invades Ruhr Valley to gain capital through mining); big
business/creditors seem to be in control of govt economy (not the govt or consumers).
American Investment: attempt to fix GR reparations so loaned GR govt money; Dawes Plan (1924)
readjusted GR payments based on GR annual GDP (more realistic); U.S. investors pull money out of GR
to stock market b/c they made quicker profits; 1929 Stock Market Crash= inter-natl economy halted.
Worsening Conditions: trade barriers/high protective tariffs hurt flow of goods; Treaty of Versailles
created an economic crisis; lack of inter-natl cooperation; overproduction of goods did not match low
demand of products (thus businesses go bankrupt; worst in agricultural production.
Impacts: high-unemployment; increased govt control over economy; abled rise of totalitarianism.
Great Britain
Political Parties: Conservatives vs. Liberals vs. Labour Party (1923= 1st Labour PM MacDonald)
National Government: coalition of ALL GB political parties- successfully cooperated for good of the
nation- 1) balanced budget; 2) eliminated gold standard; 3) industrialized increased; 4) unemployment
lowered; 5) avoided political extremes (not the case in FR- and totalitarian states)
Desire for Independence: India (Indian National Congress; gained ability to control trade within India)
& Ireland (formed IRA, led to civil war- lost success due to WWI- calls for independence emerge post-
Popular Front: Right-wing (conservatives) vs. left-wing (liberals, socialists, communists); right-wing
radicalized to take down the left; violent attack in 1934; leftist groups band-together, termed Popular
Front; not successful; by 1940 confidence in FR republic was shattered; national morale low
Rise of Totalitarianism Characteristics of Totalitarianism
Democracy was threatened due to the problems that arose in the *Complete control (political,
1920s. Stark social divisions impeded upon national cohesion. economic, military, social, cultural)
Italy Mussolini changed his political philosophy after WWI *Highly nationalistic (flags, salutes,
(socialist to fascist) rallies, uniforms)
o Fascism= glorification of the leader, stresses importance *Strict control over laws
of the nation, not the individual, anti-communist,
supported middle/working-class. *Censorship to opposing ideas
o Black Shirts rose as fascist party. 1922 March on Rome *Propaganda
led to fascists winning seats in Parliament.
o King Immanuel II asked Mussolini to be Prime Minister; *One leader (charismatic)
when King dies, Mussolini combines 2 positions into 1 & *Total conformity
declares a one-party state (fascist)
o Ruthless, but slowly rolls out total power w/in IT govt *Enforced through terror/fear
(Lateran Accord, role of women in fascist IT)
Germany Weimar Republic was est. after WWI and was not successful (weak, too much political opposition,
didnt have support of GR people- associate it w/ WWI loss); weakness opened the door for the rise of Hitler.
o Hitler org. start of Nazi party in 1921 in Munich; grew in strength quickly.
o Hitler jailed in 1923 after failed Beer Hall uprising; in jail wrote Mein Kampf (condemned Weimar
Republic, terms of ToV, stressed GR nationalism, anti-Semitism, anti-communism, and advocated for
lebensraum living space- call to expand borders); hero of the Nazi part y (appealed to GR youth)
o After loss in 1932 election, Hitler demands to be appointed Chancellor; used Reichstag fire to evoke
Article 48 (temporary dictatorship);enacted his 3 step plan: 1) got power legally 2) outlawed all
political parties 3) eliminated rivals w/in Nazi party; declared Furher in 1933.
o Immediately started remilitarization and his plans to create the Third Reich; Nazism (GR
totalitarianism) based on Aryan racial superiority; rallies used to bolster national support; women
as tool to birth next generation of Hitler Youth; anti-Semitism became govt policy, by end of 1930s
Jews in the Third Reich were sent to concentration camps.
Soviet Union Victory of the Red Army in the Civil War brought Communism to the Soviet Union and
Bolshevik consolidation of power under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin.
o Lenin: New Economic Policy (NEP) allows small-scale capitalism (not overly successful); died 1924.
o Lenins death triggers power-struggle w/in communist party (Trotsky vs. Stalin); Stalin forces
Trotsky out (later killed by KGB in Mexico); Stalin eliminates ALL opposition as part of Great Purge.
o Stalin concentrates on drastic industrialization through 5 Year Plans (largely successful, led to
400% increase by 1940); propaganda used to inspire workers (whose condition worsened);
peasants forced on to collective farms and ALL property became owned by the state; peasants who
resisted sent to labor camps and millions died, known as dekulakization (starvation as well).
Inter-War Culture
Radio & Movies: BBC; jazz music explosion; roaring 20s (challenging taboo behavior- esp. women);
film and cinema (used by govt to motivate and unite the nation i.e. propaganda power!); provided
entertainment, idolized Hollywood stars, driving force to showcase what was new/popular/trendy
Mass Leisure: Sports (Olympics, World Cup, organized, increased nationalism); planes encouraged
recreational tourism; community centers (IT: Dopolavoro and GR: strength through joy movement)
coordinated leisure time of the working class (propaganda transmitted nationalistic values)
Art: German Expressionism (focus on shattered lives, expression of anger from WWI; gave a visual
representation of the horrors of war); Abstract (emphasis on unconscious); Dada (anti-art; a world
gone gaga; purposefulness of war); Surrealism (Bizarre/irrational to express the buried truths
unreachable by logic; grew out of Freudian dream analysis popularity; depicted fantasies, dreams,
nightmares; irrational; forced viewers to question what is rational)

World War II (1939-45)

Hitler broke free from the constraints of the Treaty of Versailles by remilitarizing; met with little to no opposition
from the Western powers as they largely turned to appeasement.
Road to War
Hitlers Goals: lebensraum, remilitarization, unity of the GR people (volk), creation of Third Reich. These
goals are a cause of WWII in that it created an aggressive GR foreign policy that the West would be forced
to respond to.
League of Nations Fails: no military to limit the aggression by the Axis Powers (IT invades Ethiopia; JP
invades China/Manchuria/Korea; GR invades Rhineland, Czech, Austria (Anschluss- unification with GR).
Appeasement: GB/FR are NOT ready for another war; GB= isolationism; FR= wanted strict enforcement
of ToV but have little support; GB/FR give in to Hitlers demands in hopes hell be satisfied and the
problem would go away (they have NO idea how grand his idea of Third Reich is).
Munich Conference: Hitlers aggression directly violated ToV, meet to find common ground (Stalin not
invited); decided that Hitler could have Czechoslovakia (Sudetenland); Chamberlain says this is Peace in
Our Time (Churchill calls it failure of appeasement); greatly impacts Hitler b/c hes convinced the Allied
Powers will do nothing to stop him.
Blitzkrieg: lightening war German war strategy. Massive land power (armed soldiers, tanks, machine
guns) backed by air power (Luftwaffe). Used to take out enemy nations very quickly (i.e. Poland in just
six weeks). Very successful early on in war, meaning GR didnt have to fully mobilize (avoided total war).
Defeat Hitler First: U.S. strategy employed after entry in 1941. Hitler was more of a threat than Japan.
Led by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Island Hopping: U.S. strategy in the Pacific islands. Led by Gen. MacArthur. Take one island, move to
next, repeat. Ex. Battle of Midway, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Battles Begins when GR invades Poland; FR declares war on GR (Allied= US/GB/FR/RUS Axis= GR/JP/IT)
Phony War: winter 39-spring 40 GR met w/ little opposition (allied not prepared for war) so Hitler
conquers much territory (Poland, parts of Scandinavia, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg); when BELG
declares neutrality, GR takes down FR in 2 monthswhat they couldnt do in 4 years fighting WWI).
Battle of Britain: August 1940- GR Luftwaffe raids London, hope to take down GB Royal Air Force;
Churchill shows profound leadership by rallying people to never surrender; Hitler forced to abandon
plans to invade by amphibious landing). Impact: shows will of Allies to stop Hitler he can be defeated.
Operation Barbarossa: June 1941. GR invasion of Russia. Hitlers plans delayed (help IT in Greece)
RUS army not prepared (mass devastation); GR doesnt win- harsh winter/not enough troops to Moscow.
Pearl Harbor: Dec. 7, 1941. U.S./JP relations soured (JP feels threated/US embargo on oil/peace talks).
Surprise attack on U.S. military base in Hawaii. JP pilots were suicide bombers. 3000+ casualties. Brought
U.S. in to WWII; FDR a date that will live in infamy.
Stalingrad: 1942-Feb. 43. GR invades RUS (again) to gain access to Soviet oil fields. Hitler overruled GR
generals/did not allow for a GR retreat. Massive losses on both sides (RUS lost more in this battle than
U.S. lost in whole war). Allowed for RUS to advance westward to Berlin; turning point for eastern front.
Normandy (D-Day): June 6, 1944. Allied powers invade FR to eliminate Nazi occupation. FR liberated by
September. Turning point in the western front; sets up last GR offensive, Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 44).
Berlin captured in May 1945 (RUS forces got there first); known as VE Day- Victory in Europe.
Hiroshima & Nagasaki: August 6th/9th 1945. Manhattan Project presented to Truman (post-FDR death);
Truman weighs 2 options in ending war with JP- 1) invasion of JP 2) use atomic bombs; Chose atomic
bombs to prevent potential loss of hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers (JP soldiers were ferocious).
Brought about JP unconditional surrender on August 15, 1945 (VJ Day- Victory in Japan).
Total War
Propaganda: used by every WWII power; evoke nationalistic feelings; mostly used to drive up support
for the war (military recruitment, victory gardens, conservation of resources, like oil- carpool, buy war
bonds, scrap metal drives, etc.).In GR used to help accomplish Hitlers Final Solution (i.e. Kristallnacht).
Shortage of Workers: millions of soldiers fighting, so women used as laborers in non-traditional fields.
Rationing: used to limit the consumer products (especially food) to conserve for the military.
Peace Settlement & Aftermath Death toll (military + civilian = 60+ million); economic devastation as
cities were in ruins; Europes infrastructure severely damaged; U.S. and SU emerge as worlds superpowers;
European nations forced to concentrate on domestic reforms and align their foreign policy with the US/SU.
Yalta- Feb. 1945: defeat of Hitler is imminent; FDR makes land concessions to Stalin (needs his cont
support in Pacific); FDR pushed for United Nations; agree to 4 zones of GR occupation; SU gets reparations
Potsdam- July 1945: US/SU cold w/ e/o; cant agree on free elections in Eastern Europe; leave conference
as disillusioned to possible peace for the future for the 2 superpowers.
Tensions: b/t the U.S. and SU (mainly dealing w/ distrust and opposing political ideology) led to the
division of world powers into 2 camps, creating in Europe what Churchill termed the iron curtain.