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Flashcards in The Interwar Years Deck (49)
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How did the German people react to the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles?

Germans were incensed at the Treaty of Versailles. They resented the clause that fastened the First World War's guilt solely on Germany and felt it unduly harsh given that by the War's end there was not a single Allied soldier in German territory.

Other sources of irritation included German territory that had been given to Poland and the large reparations payments.


What form of government replaced the German monarchy after World War I?

In 1919, Germany became a republic. The new government was a semi-presidential system in which power was divided between a popularly elected president, the cabinet headed by a chancellor and responsible to the parliament, and a two-chambered parliament.

This republic is known as the Weimar Republic from the town in which the new government first sat.


What was the Stab-in-the-Back myth?

The Stab-in-the-Back myth was popularized by German conservatives in the 1920s and 1930s and contended that it was not battlefield defeat that led to Germany losing World War I. Instead, it was the actions of German liberals on the Home Front.

German politicians such as Hitler also tied the Stab-in-the Back myth to the activities of purportedly disloyal German Jews during the war.


In 1923, the leader of Germany's National Socialist Party, _____ _____, attempted to seize power in Munich in an event known as the Beer Hall Putsch.

Adolf Hitler

The National Socialist Party, better known as the Nazi Party, had the support of popular German hero Erich Ludendorff.

The Putsch (German for a sudden attempt to overthrow the government) failed and Hitler was arrested and charged with high treason. During the trial, German newspapers reported Hitler's testimony, enabling him to reach a wide audience with his ideas. Given a short sentence in comfortable quarters at Landsberg Prison, Hitler used his time to compose his book Mein Kampf.


In 1921, the Allies presented their first reparations demand to Germany, totaling some 132 billion gold marks. How did Germany respond?

The reparations demand required payment in gold or non-German currency and was far more than the entirety of Germany's gold and non-currency holdings.

To meet the demand, Germany began printing vast sums of money with which to purchase foreign currency. Hyperinflation set in and the German mark (the form of German currency before the euro) fell from 8.4 marks to the dollar in 1921 to 4.2 trillion marks to the dollar in 1924.


How did the French and Belgian governments react to Germany's inability to make its reparations payment in 1922?

When Germany proved unable to make its 1922 reparations payment, French and Belgian forces occupied Germany's Ruhr Valley, where much of Germany's heavy industry took place.


Proposed in 1924, the Dawes Plan was an attempt to resolve what international crisis?

The Dawes Plan was an attempt to solve the continuing German reparation crisis. In exchange for Franco-Belgian forces leaving the Ruhr Valley, Germany agreed to resume reparations payments in staggered amounts increasing over time.


Which 1925 diplomatic arrangement guaranteed the borders of the Western European states?

In 1925, the leaders of many European countries met at Locarno in Switzerland to discuss lingering territorial disagreements from the Treaty of Versailles. 

While the Locarno treaties guaranteed Western European borders, they effectively ignored Eastern European borders that were viewed by the countries of Germany and Eastern Europe as being subject to potential revision.

As a further consequence of Locarno, international relations with Germany were normalized and she was invited to join the League of Nations.


What was the Young Plan?

Although the Dawes Plan had mitigated the effects of reparations on Germany, the total amount Germany owed was still enormous at 269 billion gold marks, the equivalent of 100,000 tons of pure gold (roughly 50% of all gold mined in all of history).

By the late 1920s, it was apparent that Germany would not be able to indefinitely meet the annual reparation payments. In 1929, the Allies and Germany agreed in the Young Plan to reduce the amount of reparations to a more reasonable amount.


What is fascism?

Fascism escapes easy definition, but it generally refers to a nationalist authoritarian regime opposed to both Marxism and capitalism. Instead of either, fascism advocates an economic policy of corporatism, where employers and employees form syndicates that are joined together and guided by the government to advance national economic policies and production.


What Italian proved to be fascism's most effective proponent?

Benito Mussolini rose to power in the early 1920s by promoting fascist solutions for Italy's problems. Mussolini appealed to Italian nationalism, promised to restructure the Italian army, and to revitalize the Italian economy by promoting syndicates between workers and capitalists guided by the Italian government.

Mussolini proved popular on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1920s and early 1930s; several of his ideas were adopted by members of the Roosevelt Administration.


In 1922, Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party seized power by marching on what Italian city?

In October 1922, Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party marched on Rome led by Mussolini's band of enforcers, the Blackshirts.

As the march approached Rome, Prime Minister Luigi Facta had resigned and King Vittorio Emanuele III named Mussolini as the head of government.


Which two sides fought the Russian Civil War, which lasted from 1917 to 1922?

The Russian Civil War was fought between the Russian Communists, known as the Reds, and a conglomeration of forces with little in common except being anti-Bolshevik, known as the White Movement. In 1922, the White forces were defeated, and the Soviet Union was firmly established.


In 1921, Lenin announced that the Soviet Union would follow a New Economic Policy. What did Lenin mean?

Soviet agriculture had yet to return to pre-World War standards and starvation was rampant. Lenin's New Economic Policy allowed for some small-level capitalism but still mandated government control over all high-level economic production.

The New Economic Policy was largely successful, and agricultural production returned to its 1913 level within a few years.


Who succeeded Lenin as head of the Soviet Union in 1924?

Following Lenin's death in 1924, there was a brief jockeying for power before Joseph Stalin emerged as the de facto head of the Soviet Union. Over the next few years, many of Stalin's potential rivals were executed or exiled.


How did Stalin's economic policies differ from Lenin's?

Stalin favored rapid industrialization and scrapped Lenin's New Economic Policy for "5-Year Plans" that established a command and control economy with well-defined goals for the Soviet industry.

The policy was successful and by the late 1930s Russia trailed only the United States and Germany in industrial capacity. It was also disastrous in that millions died of the famines brought about by the Plans.


Which 1922 treaty restricted the size of naval forces countries could build?

The Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 placed limits on the size of naval forces that the European countries, the United States, and Japan could construct.

As an arms control agreement, the Treaty was moderately successful, although it failed to anticipate the development of the aircraft carrier, which countries could build without violating the Treaty.


The signatories of the _____-____ Pact of 1928 pledged not to use military force as an aggressive means.


The signatories of the Pact, including the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and dozens of other nations, pledged not to use war to resolve disputes with other nations and pledged collective action to intervene against aggressor nations.


German President Paul von Hindenburg named Hitler to what office in 1933?

In 1933, Hindenburg named Hitler Chancellor.

In two elections in 1932, the Nazi Party had done well, gaining above 30% in each election. When Hindenburg named Hitler as Chancellor in 1933, Hitler immediately dissolved the Reichstag for the third time in less than 18 months and called for yet another round of elections to be held on March 5, 1933.

Through an alliance with a smaller political party, the Nazi Party gained a majority of seats in the Reichstag.


The burning of the _____  building in February of 1933 gave Hitler an excuse to convince President Paul von Hindenburg to remove all civil liberties from German communists.


The burning of the Reichstag building was likely done under orders from the Nazis. By July 1933, Hitler had convinced Hindenburg to allow him to pass laws without consulting the Reichstag. Hitler dissolved all political parties by July; the Nazis were fully in control of the entire country.



Totalitarianism is a form of government in which the government controls all aspects of society.

Totalitarian governments are usually headed by a leader who relies on charisma and brute force to control the activity of the citizenry.


As one of his first acts, Hitler withdrew Germany from what international organization?

In 1933, Hitler withdrew Germany from the League of Nations. 


In 1935, Germany violated the Treaty of Versailles by taking what action?

In 1935, Germany began to rearm, developing tanks, planes, and submarines.


What were the Nuremberg Laws?

Announced during the Nazi Party's rally in the German city of Nuremberg, the Nuremberg Laws removed the citizenship of all German Jews and prohibited all marriages and sexual intercourse between Jews and Germans.


In 1935, Italy attacked what fellow member of the League of Nations?

In 1935, Italy attacked Ethiopia. Both countries were members of the League of Nations. Yet other than protest, the other members of the League did nothing, a failure of the League's principle of collective security.

Ethiopia's fellow League members hoped that by appeasing Mussolini's desire for conquest, they would appease him.


Germany re-occupied the _____ in 1936, a clear violation of the Treaty of Versailles.


Hitler's reoccupation of the Rhineland, and the Western Powers' lack of action, indicated that the Treaty of Versailles was a dead letter. Hitler became convinced that the Western Powers would do nothing to stop his efforts.


What term best describes the United States' foreign policy toward Europe in the 1930s?

During the 1930s, American foreign policy was profoundly isolationist.

Isolationism is a foreign policy under which one isolates one's country from economic and diplomatic relations with other countries. Isolationists typically devote their entire efforts to their own internal advancement.


In 1936, a civil war broke out in _____.


The League of Nations did nothing besides imposing a lackluster blockade that was routinely ignored.


Although strictly against the terms of the Versailles Treaty, in 1938 Hitler's Germany annexed _____, an event known as the Anschluss.


Once more, the League of Nations, the European powers, and the United States did little except to conduct some mild diplomatic protests.


Hitler's desire for a portion of Czechoslovakia known as the Sudetenland led to what international conference in 1938?

The Munich Conference

At the Munich Conference, Britain and France awarded the Sudetenland to Germany, upon Hitler's promise not to make any further territorial demands. Giving in to Hitler's demands was known as appeasement, a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to an aggressor.