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Content Overview

Unit 7: c. 1900-Present

Interwar Period

The Great Depression

Start of Great Depression

Due to WW1, the global economy was very fragile. US gave Germany loans to pay reparations to the Allies, and the Allies in turn had to pay back their wartime loans to the US, creating a circular credit structure. In Oct 1929, a stock market crash caused by over-speculation (investing too much) led to a huge economic decline, causing banks, industries, and entire economies to collapse

Spread of Great Depression

Because global economy was so interconnected, the Great Depression spread from US throughout the world, severely affecting the industrial economies of Europe & Japan → Export-oriented economies of Latin America, Asia, and Africa declined

Government Action in the Great Depression

Many governments took drastic action, using the principles of economist John Maynard Keynes, who believed the gov should play an active role in the economy & lower interest rates to spur investment. In the US, President Franklin D Roosevelt launched the New Deal to solve the crisis

Situation in Russia

Bolshevik Revolution

Germany defeated Russia in WW1 in 1917

In March 1917, Russia had a revolution (February Revolution) that overthrew the tsar's government to establish an 8-month provisional government

In Nov 1917, Russia had a communist revolution, allowing the Bolshevik communists to take power, led by Lenin

Later Developments in Russia

Russian Civil War (1917-22)

Civil war between Lenin's communists (Red Army) and anti-communists (White Army) → Lenin's communist army won

Lenin's War Communism

Economic policy implemented by Lenin in 1917 during Russian Civil War to make everyone produce goods (either armaments or crops) for the war effort

In 1924, Lenin died → Joseph Stalin took over

Stalin's Five Year Economic Plans

Heavy industry & collectivization of agriculture (multiple peasants live on the same plot & produce goods together) 

Stalin's "Great Purge"

Stalin was known as "man of steel" & was very ruthless. He executed 3 million dissidents from 1935-39

Rise of Totalitarian Regimes

(Far Left)

(Far Right)

Government owns the economy & makes the working class (proletariat) work together in a perpetual struggle for power against the capitalists (bourgeoisie)

A military state where all social classes are distinct but still work together to support the economy (rather than a power struggle between classes)

Both ideologies are similar in that the leader is like a dictator who suppresses civil liberties, and both believe in a strong ethnocentric & nationalist state

Italian Fascism

Benito Mussolini led the Italian Fascist party & seized power as Italian dictator in 1922. Signed Pact of Steel with Nazi Germany in 1939. Signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany & Japan in 1940, joining the Axis powers

Nazi German Fascism

Adolf Hitler established Nazi party in Germany & became dictator in 1933. He opposed the Treaty of Versailles & blamed it on Jews → Nuremberg Laws (1935) suppressed Jews. Used eugenics to determine "racially pure" people

Japanese Fascism

Japan had a fascist gov & became an imperial power in East Asia. Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 (known as the Mukden Incident), and the League of Nations told Japan to stop → Japan withdrew from League of Nations

Tripartite Pact (1940)

In Sep 1940, the Fascist Powers of Nazi Germany, Japan, and Italy signed the Tripartite Pact, forming the Axis Alliance (which persisted in WW2)

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