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~Intewar period

● Peace prevailed in Europe during the 1920s but was fragile and incomplete
● Political cioletnce and civil war rocked Germany, Soviet Russia, and Eastern Europe until 1922, and even afterward, it was exhaustion, rather than true amity, athat preserved peace ont he continent


~League of Nations

● Resettled refugees and carried out famine relief, but with few powers of enforcement, it soon proved a woefully inadequate peacekeeper


~Great Depression

● SPread outward form teh US starting in 1930s


~Social welfare systems

● Many democracies found some relief by putting into palce unemploymetn relief and various other elemetns in the social welfare system



● USSR/Soviet Union
● Germany
● Italy


~February Revolution

● Liberal provisional Government attempted to repair the dismal economy and build democracy
● The tsarist regime collapsed due to repeated WWI disasters, the poltiical incompetence of Nicholas II and dire food shortages
● Did not satisfy the desire of the vast majority of Russians for economic stability, land reform, and an end to the war at any cost



● The most radical of Russia''s communists
● Led by Vladimir Lenin and his second-in-command Leon Trotsky


~October Revolution

● Communist regime took power in Russia in the fall of 1917
● Struggled for survival between 1917 and 1921, pulling out of WWI


~Russian Civil War

● Communists defeated their anti-communist enemies (the Whites)
● Resulted in teh death of millions from disease, starvation, and persecution, and the emigration of hundreds of thousands more


~Vladimir Lenin

● After asserting control, created a one-party dictatorshipa nd a secret police and tried to modernize the country along Marxist lines
● Comrpomised with New Economic Policy (NEP)


~New Economic Policy (NEP)

● A more gradual approach to socialist developmetn that allowed for limited private trade
● Lasted until 1928, although Lenin died in 1924


~Joseph Stalin

● Gained control of hte Soviet govenrment in 1928 after a struggle against Trotsky
● Became one of the most oppressive dictators of all time
● He returned to the revolutionary policy of overnight modernization with his Five-Year Plans and collectivization of agricultrue


~Five-Year plans

● Complete centralization of the economy to bring about rapid industrialization
● Combined the social and economic trauma of a state-sponsored industrial revolution with ruthless police brtality


~Collectivization of agriculture

● THe forced transfer of peasants form villages to state-run farms, both to control them more tightly and to contiscate their grain more efficiently, in order to pay for the Five-Year Plans


~Great Famine (1932-1933)

● Millions os peasants who opposed collectivization were imprisoned or executed
● Four to six million died in teh Great Famine caused by Stalin's grain confiscations in southern Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan



● A series of mass arrests and show trials that Stalin used the secret police to carry out
● Executed approx. a million people and exiling millions more to labor camps called gulags


~Cult of personality (Stalin)

● Stalin used propaganda to indoctrinate his subjects and glorified himself by means of an extravagent cult of personality
● HIs state-directed form of modernization brought the coutnry far more torement than benefit


~Benito Mussolini

● Leader of the Fascist Party
● King turned to him after the constitutional monarchy was undermined by economic downturn and political chaos
● The upper and middle classes, fearing social breakdown and communist revolution, sought a strong leader to restore stability



● Mussolini's invention
● Right-wing radicalism
● Anti-communist but also anti-capitalist and anti-democratic and characterized by militaristic nationalism (and sometimes ethnic bigotry)


~Modernization of Italy

● Mussolini modernized Italy with new highways, literacy campaigns, and the industrial development of Italy's more backward regions
● The Depression udnercut his modernizing efforts at home


~Cult of personality (Mussolini)

● He imposed censorship and used propaganda to create a lavish cult of personality
● Suppressed trade unions and political parties
● His international reputation was damaged during the 1930s


~Weimar Republic

● Germany was governed by the democratic Weimar Republic from 1919 to 1933
● Faced hyperinflation and political unrest from the left (commuist uprising) and the right (assassinations and coup attempts by Nazi Party) in early 1920s
●Managed to restore order betwen 1924 and 1929



● Which caused several years of nightmarish poverty


~Great Depression (Germany)

● In 1930, it ended the temporary calm under Weimar Republic, causing mass unemploymetn
● Boosted hte popularity of Germany's most extremist movements: the Communists and the Nazi party, led by Adolf Hitler, orginally from Austria, but a fierce pan-German patriot


~Adolf Hiter

● Despised communism and democracy in favor of militaristic nationalism
● Embraced racial hatred of many groups, but especially a virulent form of anti-Semitism
● Expressed in his infamous memoir from the mid-1920s
● Rekindling their resentment of the Treaty of Versailles and anti-Semitic theories


~Paul von Hindenburg

● In January 1933, the Germany's president who had little love for the Nazis but feared hte communists even more appointed Hitler chancellor of Germany
● Both Nazies and communists are gaining in popularity


~Enabling Act

● Suspended the Weimar constitution and gave Hitler the power to rule by decree
● Outlawed all political parties, banned trade unions, and turned the press and mass media into instruments of Nazi propaganda relying on a cult of personality


~Night of the long knives

● Hitler violently purged remainging rivals within the Nazi Party in this after he assumed the presidency when hindenburg suddnly died


~Concentration camps

● To control dissidents and opponents, the Nazis built concentration camps like Dachau and created a secret police, the Gestapo


~State capitalism

● Similar to Mussolini's
● Ended German unemployment with a giant program of public works and highway building, coupled with mass military conscription and renewed arms production--both of which required the renunciation of the Treaty of Versailles
● Hitler's highly belligerent foreign policy was a key reason for hte steady erosion of European and global peace during the 1930s