Chapter 36: An Age of Anxiety Questions and Answers
Who: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lenin, the Bolsheviks, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong
When: the Contemporary Era, 1914-present
Where: Europe—especially Germany, Italy, France, and Britain
Asia—especially India, China, and Japan
Vocabulary: relativity, capitalism, communism, “dictatorship of the proletariat”, collectivization, fascism, Blackshirts, Aryans, Nuremberg Laws, Kristallnacht, Indian National
Congress (INC), passive resistance, Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Guomintang, Long March, Manchuria
Objective I: Students can describe how this time period is both a result of WWI, and sets the stage for WWII.
Pg 1003-1010 – How did the Great War and new ideas in physics and psychology affect art, architecture, literature, and the way people thought and viewed the world?
The Great War and all its atrocities cast into doubt the idea of “perpetual progress” or a bright new tomorrow, and people were kind of dark in the way they thought.
Remember, the people were excited about WWI and believed in their country. When they saw what it was really like, they felt very cynical and doubtful. The “lost generation” expressed their despair and disillusionment with war, European society, religion, progress, democracy, basically everything that had been promised to them as great, they doubted.
Alfred Einstein’s theory of relativity cast doubt on absolutes and the trustworthiness of truth or reality or science. Freud declared human behavior to be a result of the subconscious, which is certainly not reasonable or very trustworthy. Distinctions between right and wrong, or true and untrue, became very blurred. (This is still reflected in today’s society.)
This idea of relativity was reflected in art by the use of distorted forms. For example, Picasso paints real things in an obviously fake way (see pic pg 1009). European artists also involved Asian, Pacific, and African art forms; something they had never done before. Basically, they didn’t focus on realism, but represented reality in their own way. Artists claimed to have their own reality, and the lines between “good” and “bad” art basically disappeared. Architecture became boxy, simplistic, and focused on how functional it was, not beautiful or embellished.
Pg 1010-1016 – How was the Great Depression an effect of WWI and a cause of WWII?
During the 1920s, most countries seemed to be prospering, but there were underlying problems that eventually reared their ugly heads during the 1930s. Europe had started to borrow money from the US in WWI, but the US started removing that money, which placed great strains on European economies. Agriculture was overproducing, which caused prices to fall. Also in the 20s, some Americans started borrowing money to invest in the stock market (which is generally acknowledged as a stupid thing to do). In 1929, there were rumors of economic problems which caused people to pull out of the stock market, which actually caused the economic problems (ironic, isn’t it?) The decrease in business activity meant that people lost their jobs, which means they can’t buy as many goods, which means a decrease in business activity, etc. Since Germany had been borrowing money from the US, when the US economy declined, so did Germany’s. They had 35% unemployment. All countries’ foreign trade fell. In Latin America, which mostly produced raw goods for overseas consumption, prices fell. This led to the rise of dictator-presidents, who took control and started industrialization. Africa was different because they were still under colonial rule and had to do whatever the Europeans said. However, many areas of Africa were not tied to the global economy yet, so they were not as affected. Also China, which had a mostly agrarian and domestic economy, was not affected as much.
“The Great Depression destroyed the international and commercial network of the capitalist economies” (Bentley 1013). The countries started not cooperating and tried to keep their economy contained within their own country. But actions such as tariffs just backfired and worsened economic conditions. The Great Depression caused immense hardship and personal suffering. Shanty-towns sprang up, suicide increased, and people were poor and struggling for food. Some people tried to limit women’s employment, because obviously men need jobs more, right? Right?
Capitalism was called into question. Some people called for greater government involvement in the economy. Franklin D Roosevelt started his New Deal, which is where he created many government programs to create jobs, designed laws to help the banks, gave farm subsidies, gave workers the right to unions, guaranteed minimum wages, and provide
Social Security. This was a big shift from the laissez-faire capitalism of the late 1800-early 1900s.
Pg 1016-1019 – Describe the early stages of Communist Russia.
In 1917, Lenin and the Bolsheviks had taken power, in what they called the “dictatorship of the proletariat”. But there were numerous problems they had to contend with.
The Bolsheviks tried to crush anyone who opposed them in the Red Terror campaign, where they killed 200,000 people. In July 1918, they killed the Tsar and his family (this is where the Anastasia story comes from). Civil war broke out. Britain, France, Japan, and the US supported the anti-Communists. The Reds (Communists) won, and about 10
million people had died. They started nationalizing the economy, which means the government basically takes over a whole bunch of stuff like banks, industry, other businesses, landed estates, and church property. They did not take property from poor peasants, but they did take some of their crops to feed people in the cities. These actions caused industrial and agricultural production to drop greatly. The workers were on strike, cities were depopulated, factories destroyed, and tons of soldiers were out of work. Lenin started the New Economic Policy, which lessened governmental control over the economy and industry. They returned small-scale industries to private ownership. The peasants could sell their own crops, and schools were created to train technicians and engineers. But then Lenin died.
Joseph Stalin, a man from Georgia who was a Russian nationalist, and who was General Secretary of the Communist Party, rose to power. He replaced Lenin’s NEP with the
First Five Year Plan. The goal was to transform the Soviet Union (the name for Communist Russia) from an agricultural to an industrial society. The party attempted to centralize all labor and resources. They collectivized agriculture, which means they took land and created collective farms, where the farmers worked together and shared the profits. The idea was to provide food for the industrial workers. But the peasants of course did not like this, so they rebelled by slaughtering livestock or burning crops. Millions of farmers moved to the city to find work, which decreased agricultural production even more. At least 3 million peasants starved as a result. The Soviet leadership called it a great success. They industrialized things like the steel industry, but no consumer goods like refrigerators or automobiles were being produced yet, which the people didn’t like. But compared to the economic problems of the US and Europe, people accepted Stalin’s ideas.
Some leaders questioned Stalin’s plans (if you can believe that!) and he learned of their treacherous ways. (That was sarcasm.) He started the Great Purge, which is where he put on trial the Bolshevik and Communist leaders. He removed 2/3 rd s of the officials, and either executed them (3 million) or sent them to labor camps (8 million). Yeah. That’s a lot of people.
The rest of the world either feared, hated, or admired what was going on in the Soviet Union. Communism had arisen as an alternative to capitalism.
Pg 1020 – What is fascism?
Fascism arose as a response to the liberal, democratic, capitalistic West and the socialist and communist East. Fascism’s goal is to create a new national society, so it emphasizes total devotion to the state, adoring a strong leader, ultranationalism, ethnocentrism, and militarism. It believes that the state (whether it is Italy, Germany, or a particular ethnic group) is more important than the individual. Sometimes fascism took nationalism to the next level, declaring their people better than any other people
(chauvinism) and encouraging fear of foreign people (xenophobia). Their belief in militarism caused them to build large and expensive militaries, encourage people to serve in the military, and bringing the military into everyday life. While Italy and Germany were the most fascist and actually became fascist states, there were fascist parties in Japan, China,
South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and some Arab lands.
Pg 1021-1026 Compare/contrast Italian Fascism with German National Socialism (yes they use the word “socialism”, but they aren’t really socialists, they’re fascists)
Italian Fascism Both German National Socialism (the Nazi Party)
-People were not happy with apathetic political leadership/ineffective government and economic problems
-People were afraid of socialism
-People were disappointed because Italy didn’t get much after the Great War
-Benito Mussolini, who had been the editor of a socialist newspaper, ironically, rose up and created the world’s 1st fascist movement
-He emphasized strong Italian nationalism, repression of the socialists, and a strong leader
-By 1921, he managed to get 34 fascists elected, through the use of the Blackshirts, who were armed groups of fascists who “helped” people choose the fascists
-The socialists were striking and causing chaos
-By 1921, Italy was basically in civil war
Use these notes and the book por favor
-Hitler was an Austrian whose mother pampered him
-He was arrogant and had a bad temper. He dropped out of high school.
-He fought well in WWI, but when the war was over, he felt purposeless
-He became the leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (the Nazi Party) in 1921
-They tried to overthrow the Weimar Republic (Germany’s gov post-WWI) but he got thrown into jail
-He was convinced they had to gain power legally
-The Nazi ideology appealed to those who were alienated from society, scared of communism, and the many Germans who blamed the German gov for Germany’s problems: the Treaty of Versailles which humiliated Germany, inflation, the Great Depression, fighting between political parties
-Hitler promised to end all these problems and make Germany great again
-The Nazi party became the largest party in Parliament, and the president offered Hitler to be the chancellor
-He made Germany a one-party dictatorship
-Eliminated all opposition, got rid of almost all civil rights, made it a crime to create a new party, made all other parties illegal, made Germany a highly centralized state where Hitler basically controlled everything, destroyed unions and strikes, purged the bureaucracy, controlled the police, and either jailed or murdered all enemies of the regime (whether they really were enemies or not)
-The fascists marched on Rome (Mussolini was just chillin in Milan), and the king, King Victor Emmanuel
III asked Mussolini to become prime minister and create a new government. Can you believe that?
-Mussolini started the fascist regime in 1922.
-The fascists created a one-party dictatorship, and got rid of all the other parties, free speech, press, and association. They imprisoned or exiled 1000s of
-Crushed labor unions and strikes
-Were not very anti-Semitic, but in 1938, they issued anti-Semitic laws that called Jews unpatriotic, prevented them from having government jobs, and excluded them from marrying “Aryans”. This new anti-Semitism was probably because Mussolini had a new friend named
-Then, once they gained almost complete power, they started enacting their racist laws. They wanted to create a worldwide “Aryan” race (this name is a total misnomer: the Aryans were a nomadic people group that came from central Asia and migrated into India c. 1500 BC; their beliefs formed the basis for
Hinduism and the caste system—not blue-eyed, blond-haired people at all, but whatever Hitler)
-They first tried to increase the birthrates of “Aryan” children by encouraging marriage through tax benefits and propaganda, and they outlawed abortion and restricted birth control. If you had more than
8 children, you got a Gold Cross! Yayyyyy!!!!! Give me some babies!!! Just kidding. Of course many
Germans saw right through this and called it the “rabbit decoration”. Plus, it didn’t work. The Germans didn’t have more children just because Adolf Hitler told them to. (Although they did do many other things just because Adolf Hitler told them to, which is rather interesting, don’t you agree?)
-Then in 1933, they started sterilizing people with mental illness or handicaps, then they started murdering them
-In 1935, they enacted the Nuremberg Laws-(did Ms Rufolo teach you this?) took away Jew’s German citizenship, prohibited marriage between Jews and other Germans, and took away Jew’s jobs and businesses
-Kristallnacht, Nov 9, 1938: they destroyed 1000s of Jewish stores and synagogues, and murdered >100
-In 1939 Italy and Nazi Germany signed the Pact of
-Many Jews fled, but those who couldn’t were in deep danger
Pg 1026-1034 Compare/contrast the post-Great War nationalist movements of India, China, and Japan.
-The Great War caused nationalism to arise in Asia. The self-determination that was discussed at the Paris Peace Conference sounded like a great idea to them.
-They were led by intellectuals and political leaders, many of whom had been educated in European ideologies such as equality, freedom, more rights, nationalism and socialism
-But, they adapted these ideologies to fit their native traditions
-India and China in this case were following Japan, who had already adapted European ideology to suit its own situation
-They all experienced struggle and disorder, until the new order emerged
-India rules!!! Or so they came to believe. Indian nationalism arose, and railroads united the country
-Because the British were unable to control such a vast country, that’s, oh yeah, NOT THEIRS, they had created an Indian elite to rule it. Sucks when that elite turns on you…
-And, the British had educated that elite, so they were familiar with the British (Enlightenment) ideals of democracy, freedom, and equality
-The greatest body against the British was the Indian National Congress (founded in 1885). Then the Muslim League was formed in 1906. They both fought against the British, but there was animosity between the Hindus and Muslims.
-During WWI, the Indians supported the British, but after experiencing the hardships of war, they weren’t too happy. Plus Wilson was enticing them with his 14
Points and all this other independence talk
-The British responded by clamping down even harder
-In comes…Gandhi! He grew up in India, studied law in London, and in 1893 went to South Africa to help Indians resist the segregation there. He used passive resistance, non-violence, and simple living. He renounced his possessions, dressed as a peasant, was a vegetarian, and gave up sex. He also had a daily saltwater enema. In case any of you wanted to know that. He also studied the Bhagavad Gita, the Indian scriptures.
-He returned to India in 1915 and made the INC appeal to the masses. They called him Mahatma, or “great soul”. He tried to eliminate the caste system and help the lowest caste, called the Untouchables.
-He organized the boycott of British goods, schools, offices, and courts. Even though he told them not to, the Indians sometimes used violence, and the British responded very quickly and extremely to any violence. But they couldn’t hold those Indians down! No! So they compromised. They created the Government of
India Act, which gave India its own government, but they would still be part of the British Empire
-It didn’t work, though, because India’s 600 different states wouldn’t cooperate, the Muslims and Hindus were suspicious of each other, and the Muslims called for their own land to be called Pakistan
-If you recall, the Qing Dynasty was having many problems, tried to reform, but failed (remember the Opium War, Treaty of Nanjing, the Taiping Rebellion, the
Self-Strengthening Movement, the Hundred Days Reform, the spheres of influence, Empress Cixi, and the Boxer Rebellion? If not, you need to—see Ch 33 Charts)
-The Qing Dynasty fell in 1911. A president arose, and the dynasty was dead. But the gov was not stable, and regional warlords rose up across China. But they did nothing to help the people. No irrigation, no economic investments, and increase in opium trade
-The unequal treaties remained and allowed foreigners to intervene in China
-Nationalist feelings grew after the Great War, and youths and intellectuals expected the Paris Peace Conference to end the unequal treaties and give China full sovereignty. But they actually approved greater Japanese involvement in China!
-This led to the May 4 th movement: led by urban students and intellectuals, the Chinese protested foreign involvement
-Some Chinese turned to Communism, and in 1921 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started. Mao Zedong was an early member, who also encouraged women’s equality (divorce, no foot binding, no arranged marriages)
-On the other hand, some Chinese became more nationalist. Their leader, Sun Yatsen, believed in no privileges for foreigners, reunifying China, a more developed economy, and a democratic republican government with universal suffrage. His party was the Nationalist People’s Party, or Guomindang (sometimes called KMT because it is sometimes translated as Kuomintang). Both the KMT and the CCP received support from the Soviet Union.
-Chiang Kai-shek rose to power after Sun Yatsen died. He tried to unify China under his rule and turned against the communists, and then set up his government in
Nanjing. The Communists retreated to regroup in what is called the Long March (6125 miles, walking across China). Because of this, interestingly, many Chinese were inspired to join the Communist party. Mao Zedong became the leader and started teaching that Communist revolution would occur with the peasants in China
-Japan ended the Great War with increased power. They signed agreements to not invade China.
-Japan briefly had prosperity, but they had high inflation, unrest, and eventually the Great Depression. Since Japan was so involved with the global economy, it hit them hard as well. (Less industrial production, layoffs, less trade, etc.)
-Two sides emerged: one liberal: more suffrage, labor unions, welfare
Another very right-wing: end party rule, xenophobia, Japanese nationalism, getting rid of “western” influences, and they assassinated leaders including the prime minister, militarist, self-sufficient Japan
-Japan had a sphere of influence over Manchuria, which the Chinese were trying to take back, and China was having political instability, which made it easy to attack.
In 1931, the Japanese blew up part of a Japanese railroad in China, and blamed it on the Chinese, to use it as an excuse to fight China. They controlled Manchuria by 1932. The League of Nations did nothing, and Japan withdrew from it. The League of Nations would respond in similar ways to future acts of aggression by
Japan, Italy, and Nazi Germany, setting the stage for WWII.