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Flashcards in Session 3 Deck (28):

Geneva disarmament talks

- 1932-1934, failed - with Hitler's chancellorship, the chances for general disarmament evaporated
- Article 8 of the League of Nations



- word appeared in Europe in 1860
- attack on Jews was based no longer on grounds of creed but on those of race
- Manifestations include pogroms in 19th century Eastern-Europe
- Systematic murder of ~6 million Jews by Nazi Germany (1939-45)


Spanish Civil War

- 18 July 1936 - Apr 1939
- Attempted right-wing military coup
- Franco's Nationalists failed to take Madrid
- Nazi Germany & Fascist Italy intervened on the side of the Nationalists
- Soviet Union sent aid to the Republicans
- 3/4 of a million people died


Abyssinian War

- 3 Oct 1935, brutal conquest of Abyssinia by Italian troops
- Ended 5 May 1936



- policy designed to remove the sources of conflict in international affairs through negotiation


Popular Front

- Comintern policy announced in 1935
- Encouraging communist parties to form coalitions with other socialist and non-socialist parties in order to provide a common front against fascism


Why was World War I so important?

a. Quasi-suicide of Europe & transformation global balance of power
b. Leninism vs. Liberal Wilsonianism: clash of internationalisms
c. Global War (Africa, dominions and Japan)
i. First of its kind
d. Total mobilization and involvement of civilians: precedent for World War II
i. Learning lesson for WWII, anticipation
ii. Victims of conflict
e. Violence, “Racialization” of the enemy, radicalization of politics
f. “War Scars”: democracy, minorities, demographics
i. Failing democracies
ii. Minorities – cannot draw clear lines when it comes to minorities and nationalities
g. Europe was “a laboratory atop a vast graveyard.” – Thomas Masaryk


Which were the main elements of the postwar settlement?

a. New international organization: League of Natinos
b. Germany
i. History shaped by the German question
c. Reorganization map of Europe: self-determination and spoils of war
i. Which could and could not self-determine themselves
d. Colonies and mandates
e. Woodrow Wilson:
i. The peace had to be a peace without victory
ii. “They imply, first of all, that it must be a peace without victory. It is not pleasant to say this. …”
f. League of nations
i. The US doesn’t join it
1. Born without possibly three of the main powers
ii. Different conceptions of its role
iii. Hierarchy of power & rights (council & assembly)
1. Britain, France, Italy, Japan
iv. Complex machinery



i. Punitive peace:
1. Territorial losses (to France, Belgium, Denmark, Poland)
a. Brings forth the question of minorities
b. Versailles Treaty – 1919
2. Loss of colonies (to Britain, France, and Japan)
3. Military limitations
4. Internationalization of Saar; de-militarization of Rhineland
a. Administered and governed by the league of nations
5. Reparations (to be decided)
a. Accepted responsibility, pay reparations to other countries
b. $10,000,000,000
i. J. M. Keynes – The Economic Consequences of the Peace, 1920


New Europe

a. Collapse of four empires & geopolitical fragmentation
i. Germany, Ottoman, Austria-Hungary, Russian
b. Poland
c. Czechoslovakia
d. Yugoslavia
e. Turkey
f. Territorial rewards/punishments to Greece, Romania, and


Colonies and Mandates

a. No universal self- determination
b. Spoils of German and Ottoman empires
c. Different kind of mandates (A, B, and C) according to “stages of development” and civilization
d. Alienation and radicalization of new national elites
i. Language of self-determination
ii. Economic development, political institutions, race


Main Problems in the 1920s

a. French security & re-integration/containment of Germany
b. ‘Chain of paper’: War debt  Reparations
c. Nationalisms and minorities
d. Democracy and Soviet challenge
e. US involvement



a. Lack of an international/Anglo-American security guarantee
b. War debt and reparations
i. Paying down debt to the US
c. Unilateral search for security: alliances with Central Eastern European States + punishment of Germany



a. US Involvement and financial contribution (loans and investments) + Dawes Plan (1924) & Young Plan (1929)
i. US  $2.5 billions in loans to Germany
ii. Had the financial ability to contribute to the stability in Europe
b. Disarmament & Pacifism (Conferences of Washington, 1922 and London 1930)
c. Economic growth (US model of high productivity & high consumption)
d. Partial security architecture & Franco-German détente: Locarno
e. Minority rights + assimilation + population ‘transfer’ + ethnic cleansing & mass killing


Washington Treaty, 1922

a. Tonnage limits: strength ratio of approximately 5:5:3:1.75:1.75 between Britain, the USA, Japan, Italy, and France
b. Capital ships (battleships and battlecruisers): limited to 35,000 tons and guns of no longer than 16-inch caliber
c. Aircraft carriers: limited to 27,000 tons and could carry no more than 10 heavy guns, of a maximum caliber of 8 inches
d. US, GB, and Japan could not build new bases in the Pacific
e. Affirmation of territorial integrity of China and open door


High rate of productivity – transformed the American society

a. Efficiency, producing more in less time with less investment, lower prices
i. Able to reward both lower prices and higher salaries
ii. Able to consume rather than just survive



a. Germany, France, and Belgium agree not to attack each other. Italy and Britain as guarantors
b. Recognition of Germany’s Western borders and demilitarization of Rhineland
c. Arbitration treaties
d. Germany joins League of Nations
e. Two sort of borders: Eastern and Western


Why did the system prove too frail and ultimately collapse?

a. Structural Weakness of the Post World War I Settlement
i. Crucial variable: US commitment (indispensable, partial, non-institutionalized, dependent on domestic factors)
ii. Crucial variable: German behavior
iii. Economic growth (US support + social “peace”)
1. How they will preserve social peace at home
iv. Protection of minorities
1. Changing of borders, new minority groups
b. “Unemployment in the sense of distress is widely disappearing… We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land…” – Herbert Hoover
i. His forecast did not happen


Which were the main causes of the economic collapse of 1929?

a. Excessive production and still limited consumption
b. US economy not sufficiently diversified: concentration in a few sectors
c. Speculation and financial bubble
d. Weak regulatory system: lack of control on banks
e. Lack of rules (re international trade)


What was the reaction of the United States? (exploded first in the US)

a. Underestimation of crisis
b. Scant attention to its international/global implications
c. Unwillingness to forgo the debt
d. Protectionism (domestic pressures)
e. Financial orthodoxy: de facto deflationary policies
f. Introduced a highly protectionist tariff
i. Made the US market inaccessible
ii. High interest rates


Which were the elements and limits of the internationalist designs of the interwar period?

i. Negotiations on disarmament (London Treaty)
ii. Efforts to revive global trade
iii. Work various commissions of the League of Nations (transnational dimension)
1. Transnational elites were formed



i. London Naval Treaty: Discrimination & Rise of Japan (conference of Geneva on disarmament, 1932-34)
ii. Trade: strict connection between trade, tariffs, currency stability and debts/reparations. Limits of London conference of 1933
iii. Limits influence and tools of new transnational elites


The Failure of the International System: Trade

i. Debts/reparations: US and French rigidity
ii. Protectionism
iii. End of Gold Standard: closed monetary spheres
iv. Lack of Hegemon: Lender of Last resort
1. Need in times of crisis
2. During this time, US was the only who could do this, but now could no longer perform this role


Which were the main “revisionist” powers that aimed at undermining the status quo in the 1930s?

Japan, Italy, Germany


How do we explain the aggressive rise of Japan?

a. Long term ambitions in Asia
b. Discriminated
c. Weakness of China as a threat and a possibility
d. Internal divisions and role of the military
e. Japan proposed an amendment to the Convenant of the League of Nations
i. “… making no distinction, either in law of in fact, on account of their race or nationality”
ii. Australia and US objected, no included


The Failure of the International System: Manchuria

a. Japan: occupation of Manchuria and creation of puppet state of Manchukuo
b. Inaction League of Nations
c. Ultimate passivity of the US
i. Did not respond to clear challenge
d. Precedent: other revisionist powers – Italy & Germany – took notice


What were Italy’s plans/goals?

a. Kingmaker in continental Europe
b. Challenge British hegemony in the Mediterranean
c. Empire: Ethiopia, 1935
d. Inconsistencies
i. In policies


Why was Germany the most dangerous “revisionist” power?

a. Ability to destabilize system and destroy the status quo
b. Radicalism and biological racism of Hitler’s regime
c. Possibility/ability to exploit issue of minorities/nationalities
d. Weakness opponents and fears of Communism/USSR
e. Examples of German Revisionism
i. Decision to abandon the League of Nations (1933)
ii. Rearmament and universal conscription (1935)
iii. 1936 – marched in the region of the Rhineland