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Western Civilization II HIS-102


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Title: Western Civilization II HIS-102

Western Civilization II HIS-102
  • Unit 11 The Interwar Years

The Russian Civil War (1917-1922)
  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk polarized Russian society
  • Both nationalists and conservatives were upset at
    the terms
  • Two sides Red Army and the White Army
  • The Reds were the Bolsheviks who had seized
    control with the October Revolution
  • The Whites
  • Contained republicans, conservatives,
    middle-class, army generals
  • United by the desire to remove the Reds
    (Bolsheviks) from power
  • Controlled significant parts of the empire for
    most of the war

The Russian Civil War (1917-1922)
  • There were also nationalist movements that were
    threats to the Reds
  • Included movements in Ukraine, Georgia, and north
  • The Allies were also upset with the Treaty
  • Pulled Russia from the war effort
  • Caused worries of a Russo-German alliance
  • Were fearful that the Soviets would not take
    responsibility for the massive foreign loans
    Russia owed them
  • The Allies did intervene on the periphery of
  • This solidified Bolshevik mistrust of capitalist
    world powers

The Russian Civil War (1917-1922)
  • Eventually the Reds gained greater support from
    the majority of the population
  • As the war progressed the Reds became better
  • Trotsky became the new commissar of war
  • Organized 5 million man army by 1920
  • Economically, the Reds had to shift their focus
    because of the war
  • Adopted war communism
  • Government control of industry
  • Government requisitioned grain from the peasantry
  • Outlawed private trade in consumer goods
  • Militarized production facilities and abolished

The Russian Civil War (1917-1922)
  • War communism could not counter the effects of
  • Russian industry was devastated and major cities
  • Industrial output in 1920 fell to only 20 of
    prewar levels
  • Large-scale famine (1921) that caused 5 million
  • Large-scale strikes because of the
    ineffectiveness of the Bolshevik regime
  • The war finally ended with a Red victory in 1922
  • Consequences
  • One million combat casualties
  • Several million dead from hunger and disease
  • Total of 100,000 to 300,000 executed (on both
  • Created permanent hatreds

  • Whites standing over the bodies of Reds

NEP Period
  • In March 1921, the Bolsheviks issues a new
    economic program
  • It was known as the New Economic Policy (NEP)
  • Reversion to state capitalism
  • State owned all major industry and banks
  • Individuals could own private property
  • Farming land for the benefit of the peasants
  • Grain requisitioning was replaced with fixed
    taxes on the peasantry
  • Lenin described it as one step backward in order
    to take two steps forward

NEP Period
  • Marxist theoretician Nikolai Bukharin argued that
    the best way to industrialize the country would
    be to tax private peasants
  • Peasants should enrich themselves
  • Their taxes would support urban industrialization
    and working classes
  • The golden age of the Russian peasantry
  • Divided up noble lands to level wealth
  • Reintroduced traditional social structure
    (peasant communes)
  • Produced enough grain to feed the country
  • By 1924, harvests returned to pre-war levels

NEP Period
  • Overall the NEP was a failure
  • Created an economic imbalance
  • Agricultural sector grew much faster than heavy
  • This led to higher prices for manufactured goods
  • Peasants then produced more agricultural goods
  • Causing their price to fall
  • Then peasants started hording goods to drive the
    market back up
  • Peasants refused to participate in markets to
    benefit urban areas
  • Kept excess grain for themselves
  • Cities experienced grain shortages

  • Joseph Stalin
  • General Secretary of the Communist Party
  • (1922-1953)

Revolution From Above
  • Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (1878-1953)
  • Born in Georgia
  • Joined the Bolsheviks in 1903
  • Exiled to Siberia seven times for revolutionary
  • During the Civil War, he became one of the
    leading figures of the Reds
  • In 1924, Lenin died
  • Many assumed that Trotsky would take over
    leadership of the party
  • However, there were other Bolsheviks would wanted
    control, including Stalin

Revolution From Above
  • Stalins strategy was simple isolate all
  • Used the left to isolate the right, used the
    right to isolation the left
  • By 1929, Trotsky and Bukharin were removed from
    positions of power
  • Once in control he
  • Abandoned NEP
  • Believed that industrialization could not go
    quick enough based on the taxation of the
  • Increased tempo of industrialization
  • Believed the Soviet Union was falling behind the

Revolution From Above
  • Stalin forced the total collectivization of
  • Local party and police officials forced peasants
    to join collective farms
  • Peasant put up serious resistance
  • There were 1,600 large-scale rebellions between
    1929 and 1933
  • Peasants slaughtered livestock rather than turn
    it over to farms
  • He targeted the Kulaks
  • These were well-to-do peasants
  • Became the term to represent any peasant who was
    against collectivization

Revolution From Above
  • Peasants farms were redistributed
  • Many were moved to places that were inhospitable
    or had poor farm land
  • Led to decreased agricultural production
  • There was little incentive to produce food
  • The famine (19321933)
  • The human cost was 35 million lives
  • The Bolsheviks retained grain reserves in other
    parts of the country
  • Did not use the reserves to feed the population
  • Instead, they were sold overseas for currency and
    stockpiled in the event of war

  • 1930 Soviet propaganda poster designed to get
    people to join the kolkhoz (collective farm)

Revolution From Above
  • Stalin promoted a rapid campaign of forced
  • These were known as the Five Year Plans
  • First Five-Year Plan (19281932)
  • Most stunning period of economic growth
  • Industrial output increased 50 percent in five
  • Built new industries in new cities
  • Urban population more than doubled (26 to 56
    million) between 1924 and 1939
  • The human cost
  • Large-scale projects carried out with prison

Revolution From Above
  • The labor camp system was known as the Gulag
  • People were arrested and sent to camps
  • By 1940, 3.6 million people were incarcerated by
    the regime
  • This labor was used for large scale projects
    including the White Sea canal
  • There were structural problems to Stalins plans
  • The command economy production levels planned
    from Moscow in advance
  • Heavy industry favored over light industry
  • Emphasis on quantity over quality

  • Five-Year Plan in Four YearsWe will complete!

The Great Terror
  • The Great Terror (1937-1938)
  • Also known as the Great Purge
  • Series of political repression and persecution
  • The elimination of Stalins enemies, real or
  • Mass repression of internal enemies from the top
    to the very bottom
  • Purged the old Bolsheviks
  • One million dead
  • 1.5 million sent to the Gulag
  • With this purge, Stalin had complete control

  • Victims of the Great Purge from the Butovsky

Italy after World War I
  • Aftermath of World War I
  • A democracy in distress
  • 700,000 dead
  • 15 billion debt
  • Problems
  • Split between the industrial north and agrarian
  • Conflict over land, wages, and local power
  • Government corruption and indecision
  • Inflation, unemployment, and strikes
  • Demands for radical reform

Italy after World War I
  • In 1920, socialists and anarchists attempted to
    take control of the factories
  • Red Leagues formed in the countryside to break up
    large estates
  • In the November 1920 elections, Italians
    abandoned the center and shifted to the extremes
  • On the right was the Catholic Peoples Party
  • On the left was the Socialist Party
  • Both did not want revolution but instead pushed
    for greater reforms
  • The rise of socialism led to the rise of more
    right-wing vigilante groups

  • Benito Mussolini
  • (1883-1945)

  • Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (18831945)
  • Was born to a socialist father and teacher mother
  • Fled to Switzerland in 1902 to avoid military
  • Returned to Italy in 1904
  • Editor of Avantia (1904-1914)
  • Leading socialist daily
  • Lost editorship when he urged Italy to side with
    the Allies during World War I
  • As a supporter for the war, he was kicked out of
    the socialist party
  • The party wanted Italy to remain neutral

  • We fought briefly in the war before he was
  • When he returned to Milan he had turned to the
    right wing
  • Moved towards revolutionary nationalism
  • Founded Il Poplo dItalia
  • Pushed his ideas for support of the war and the
    guarantees promised by the Allies
  • He also began organizing the right-wing groups
  • Attracted young, idealist, fanatical nationalists
    who were upset with the terms of the Treaty of
  • Became known as fasci (groups in Italian)

Fascism In Italy
  • In 1919, Mussolini formed the Fasci Italiani di
  • Italian Combat Squad consisting of 200 members
  • Claimed to oppose discrimination based on social
    class and was strongly opposed to all forms of
    class war
  • Wanted to raise Italy back up to the greatness of
    the old Roman Empire
  • This helped the party gain support mainly of the
  • The national government continued to weaken
  • In September 1922, he began negotiations with the
    king to allow the Fascist party into the

Fascism In Italy
  • On October 28, 1922, 50,000 fascist militia
    marched on Rome on October 28, 1922
  • They became known as the black shirts
  • Occupied the city
  • Victor Emmanuel III responded by inviting
    Mussolini to form a cabinet
  • The Fascist Party took over the Italian
    government without firing a single shot
  • Failure of the Italian government was more in its
    weakness than the power of the Fascist Party
  • Also partly due to the failure of Peace of

  • Black Shirts marching on Rome

Italy Under Mussolini
  • The Fascist Party set up a one-party dictatorship
  • Three doctrines
  • Statism - Nothing above, outside, or against the
  • Nationalism - The highest form of society
  • Militarism - The ennoblement of man in war
  • First step was to change the government
  • Got rid the electoral laws
  • Abolished cabinet system
  • Mussolini assumed role of prime minister and
    party leader (Il Duce)
  • Introduced repression and censorship

Italy Under Mussolini
  • Ending class conflict
  • A managed economy
  • A corporate state
  • Granted independence to papal residence in the
    Vatican City
  • Also promised restitution for expropriations
    occurred during unification
  • Roman Catholicism established as the state
  • Maintaining the status quo and making the trains
    run on time

  • Weimar Germany
  • (1918-1933)

Weimar Germany (1918-1933)
  • November Revolution (November 9, 1918)
  • Occurred two days before the end of World War I
  • Bloodless overthrow of the imperial government
  • The kaiser abdicated
  • Social Democratic Party (SPD) announced a new
    German republic
  • Socialists wanted democratic reforms within
    existing imperial bureaucracy
  • Radicals and communists wanted more wide sweeping
  • Communists and independent socialists staged
    armed uprisings in Berlin
  • Social Democrats tried to crush the uprisings

Weimar Germany (1918-1933)
  • Elections not held until January 1919
  • Violence continued until 1920
  • Rise of militant counter-revolutionaries
  • The Freikorps
  • Former army officers fighting Bolsheviks, Poles,
    and communists
  • Fiercely right-wing anti-Marxist, anti-Semitic,
    and anti-liberal
  • Called themselves Spartacists

Weimar Germany (1918-1933)
  • Weimar coalition
  • Socialists, Catholic centrists, and liberal
  • Parliamentary liberalism
  • Pluralistic framework
  • Universal suffrage for men and women
  • Bill of rights that guaranteed civil liberties
  • The failure of Weimar
  • Social, political, and economic crisis
  • The humiliation of World War I
  • Germany stabbed in the back by socialists and
  • What was needed was authoritarian leadership

Germany Prior to World War II
  • Treaty of Versailles (1919)
  • Article 231 War Guilt Clause
  • Placed full blame on Germany for the start of the
  • Ordered reparations of over 132 billion marks to
    the Allied countries
  • Many Germans saw this as an embarrassment since
    it left the country economically broke and
  • In April 1921, the Allies first began demanding
    payment of war reparations from Germany
  • This led to rapid devaluation of the German mark
  • In 1921, the exchange rate was 75 marks to 1
  • In November 1923, it 4 billion marks to 1 U.S.
  • Many lost their life savings due to the
    devaluation of the mark

  • Million Mark notes being used as note paper
  • (October 1923)

Germany in the Great Depression
  • During the 1930s, the Germany was hit harder than
    the U.S. by the Depression
  • Germany had a 33 unemployment rate while the
    U.S. only had a 25 one
  • By 1935, Germany literally ran out of money
  • Why was it so bad?
  • Before the Crash of 1929, American businesses had
    invested in the rebuilding of Europe
  • After the Crash, Americans pulled out of Germany
  • Because of the shortage of jobs and food, many
    Germans were willing to turn to radical groups

  • Adolph Hitler and the Rise of Germany

Hitler and the Rise of the Nazi Party
  • In September 1919, Hitler was working as a police
    spy for the German Army
  • One of his duties was to infiltrate the German
    Workers Party (DAP)
  • He liked the ideas of the party and joined it
  • It promoted the idea of nationalistic
    non-Jewish socialism
  • This became the foundation of the Nazi party
  • In October 1920, Hitler creates the Sturm
    Abteilung (SA), which became his own private army
  • Their job was to protect Hitler and disrupt
    meetings of political opponents
  • The SA became known as storm troopers

Hitler and the Rise of the Nazi Party
  • In July 1921, Hitler was elected to be Führer of
    the party
  • He renamed it to the National Socialist German
    Workers Party (NSDAP), or the Nazi party
  • By 1923, Germanys economy was in rough shape
  • In September 1923, Germany resumed making
    reparation payments to France
  • By November, people would be required to carry
    billions of marks to buy groceries, of which many
    could not afford
  • The Nazi party felt this was the perfect
    opportunity to seize power
  • By November 1923, the Nazi party had over 55,000

Hitler and the Rise of the Nazi Party
  • Their plan called for the kidnapping of Bavarian
    leaders at a Munich beer hall
  • They would then force them at gunpoint to make
    Hitler their leader
  • They had a famous WWI general on their side who
    would then help them win over the army
  • Munich Beer Hall Putsch (November 8, 1923)
  • Hitler and his SA troops stormed in to the beer
  • He managed to convince the leaders to support him
  • However, they were unable to secure the support
    of the army
  • Hitler was arrested for conspiracy to commit

  • Leaders of the Beer Hall Putsch

Hitler and the Rise of the Nazi Party
  • Hitler was put on trial in February 1924
  • The judges at the time were Nazi sympathizers
  • Hitler used the trial to spread Nazi propaganda
  • During the trial he stated
  • I alone bear the responsibility. But I am not a
    criminal because of that. If today I stand here
    as a revolutionary, it is as a revolutionary
    against the revolution. There is no such thing as
    high treason against the traitors of 1918.
  • He was still found guilty and sentenced to five
    years in prison with possibility of parole
  • He was given a large and comfortable cell at
    Landsberg prison

Hitler and the Rise of the Nazi Party
  • During his time in prison, Hitler dictated Mein
  • It contained a number of his political ideas
  • In included his belief in lebensraum, living
    room, for Germans
  • It also included the concept of a superior race
    (the Aryans) and inferior races (Jews and
  • He was released from prison on December 20, 1924
  • By this time, he realized his mistake was not
    having the support of the military
  • Instead, he was going to get support of the
    people and the army by using the democratic
    process to his advantage

Hitler and the Rise of the Nazi Party
  • While Hitler was in prison, the popularity of the
    Nazi party had declined
  • It had even been banned in Bavaria after the
  • When he was released from prison, he spent the
    next few years reorganizing the Nazi party
  • Designed it to give a more legitimate appearance
  • He used his oratory skills to win over
    politicians and masses
  • He reworked his image to appeal to the middle and
    upper classes
  • Hitler was able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle
    in Bavaria
  • However, the Nazi party did not have any real
    power until 1929

  • Paul Von Hindenburg
  • (1847-1934)
  • German President (1925-1934)

Rebirth of the Nazi Party
  • The Great Depression hit Germany hard
  • German industry came to a grinding halt without
    the foreign money and that led to job layoffs
  • At its peak, unemployment reached 33 in Germany
  • Inflation skyrocketed and people lost their life
  • With the dramatic downturn of the economy, the
    Nazi party began to rise in popularity
  • Prior to 1929, the Nazi party had a membership of
    100,000 (less than 0.2 of Germanys 60 million
  • The government was very ineffective in 1930
  • The German chancellor asked President Paul Von
    Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag and call for
    new elections

Rebirth of the Nazi Party
  • Hitler used these new elections to his partys
  • He campaigned throughout the country and strongly
    appealed to the disgruntled masses
  • He promised jobs, a strong economy, and to bring
    back pride to Germany
  • The Nazi party won 18.3 of the votes
  • This gave them 107 seats in the Reichstag and
    position as the second largest party in Germany
  • But they were not given a position in
    Hindenburgs cabinet
  • From 1930 to 1932, party members did what they
    could to prevent a successful coalition
  • The longer the government was in turmoil, the
    stronger the Nazi party would become

  • 1932 Nazi campaign poster
  • The workers have awakened - Choose the National

Fall of the Weimar Republic
  • In February 1932, Hitler gained German
  • This would now allow him to run for president
  • That spring, he ran against President Hindenburg
  • He came in second with 36 of the votes
  • Hindenburg was 85 at the time
  • In April 1932, Chancellor Heinrich Bruening
    banned the SA and SS from Germany
  • Many were fearful that the Nazis would use the
    two groups to seize power
  • Invoked Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution
    which game the president power to invoke
    emergency measures
  • Many Germans were frustrated with Bruening
  • They sought a more conservative government

Fall of the Weimar Republic
  • In May 1932, General Kurt von Schleicher met with
  • He made a deal with Hitler
  • Hitler would support a new nationalistic and
    conservative government under Schleicher
  • In return, the ban on the SS and SA would be
  • Included in this was the disposal of Bruening as
    Chancellor and the call for new elections for the
  • On May 29, Hindenburg asked for Bruenings
  • Many were upset with Bruening for using Article
    48 too many times, including the President
  • He appointed Franz von Papen as the new
  • Papen had been hand-picked by Schleicher

Fall of the Weimar Republic
  • The Reichstag was dissolved and new elections
    were to take place in July
  • The ban on the SS and SA was lifted on June 15,
  • What followed was an immense amount of violence
    committed throughout Germany by the Nazis
  • Blood must flow, blood must flow! Blood must
    flow as cudgel thick as hail! Let's smash it up,
    let's smash it up! That goddamned Jewish
  • Bloody Sunday (July 17, 1932)
  • Nazis killed 19 and wounded close to 300 in a
    pro-Communist area near Hamburg
  • Papen invoked Article 48 in response and martial
    law was declared in Berlin

Fall of the Weimar Republic
  • At the July 31, 1932 elections, the Nazi party
    won 37 of the vote
  • This gave them 270 seats in the Reichstag
  • The Nazi party was now the largest party in
  • Hitler demanded the chancellorship from
    Hindenburg but was refused
  • The government continued to fail passing any
    meaningful legislation
  • Another election was called for November
  • The Nazis were not able to put together another
    strong campaign and lost seats in the Reichstag

Fall of the Weimar Republic
  • Papen resigned on November 17, 1932
  • Hitler once again demanded the chancellorship,
    and was again denied
  • On December 2, 1932, Schleicher was appointed
  • However, he was not trusted by the people and had
    difficulty putting together a coalition
  • Papen approached Hitler about kicking Schleicher
    out of power
  • Papen and Hitler would both then be in control
  • When Papen approached Hindenburg about this
    alliance, he assured him that he would be able to
    control Hitler

Fall of the Weimar Republic
  • On January 23, 1933, Schleicher asked Hindenburg
    for emergency control of the government
  • He had been unable to secure a coalition
  • Hindenburg refused and asked for Schleichers
  • On January 30, Hitler was named Chancellor
  • Papen was named Vice Chancellor as a condition of
    the appointment
  • One of the first things Hitler did as Chancellor
    was to Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag and
    call for new elections
  • Hindenburg reluctantly agreed and elections were
    set for March 5, 1933

  • Hitler as Chancellor

Hitler as Chancellor
  • On February 27, 1933, a communist named Marinus
    van der Lubbe set fire to the Reichstag
  • There is some debate as to whether Lubbe acted
    alone or if the Nazis also participated in the
  • Hitler used the event for his own political plans
  • He promoted the fire as a Communist plot and used
    this to his advantage
  • Reichstag Fire Decree (February 28, 1933)
  • Hitler invoked Article 48 of the constitution to
    protect public safety
  • The decree also terminated many civil rights

Hitler as Chancellor
  • Hitler also used this event to bolster the Nazi
    party by spreading anti-communist propaganda
  • When the elections were held on March 5, 1933 the
    Nazi party won 43.9 of the votes
  • Enabling Act (March 23, 1933)
  • Hitler pushed for its passage at the meeting of
    the new Reichstag
  • It placed legislative powers in the hands of the
    cabinet for four years
  • It ended democracy in Germany

Hitler as Chancellor
  • In March 1933, the first concentration camp was
    set up in Dachau
  • It was originally designed to house opponents to
    the Nazi government
  • On April 1, 1933, Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi
    Propaganda Minister, organized a one-day boycott
    of all Jewish businesses
  • This was the first of many anti-Jewish actions by
    the Nazi government
  • Also in April 1933, the Gestapo is born
  • It was created by Hermann Göring
  • The name comes from Geheime Staats Polizei
    (Secret State Police)

Hitler as Chancellor
  • On May 10, 1933, Hitler organized a massive book
    burning in Berlin
  • Hundreds of thousands of books containing
    un-German ideas were burned by 20,000
  • As Hitler was consolidating his power, he
    realized that the SA had lost its usefulness and
    was actually becoming a detriment to his own
  • The leaders of the SA were becoming too left wing
    and many feared that they would bring about a
    Marxist type of revolution

Hitler as Chancellor
  • Night of the Long Knives (June 30-July 2, 1934)
  • A massive purge of the SA ranks in which 85
    people were killed
  • On August 2, 1934, Hindenburg died
  • Hitlers cabinet passed a law making him Führer
    und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor)
  • Hitler was made supreme commander of the military
    and military personnel swore an oath to him and
    not Germany
  • Almost 85 of the population were shown to
    approve of these measures in mid-August

  • Germany Lives! propaganda poster (c. 1930s)

The Third Reich
  • In March 1935, Hitler violated the Treaty of
    Versailles by rebuilding the army
  • He reintroduced the draft
  • He rebuilt the navy and the air force
  • He violated the Treaty again in March 1936
  • Germany reoccupied the demilitarized zone of the
  • England and France did nothing in response
  • On October 25, 1936, Hitler entered into a treaty
    (Axis) with fascist Italian dictator Benito

The Third Reich
  • Anschluss
  • As part of Hitlers idea of a Greater Germany,
    Austria was annexed
  • The Austrian Nazi party held a coup just days
    prior to an election to prevent the annexation to
  • This allowed German forces to enter Austria with
    no fighting taking place
  • England and France did nothing
  • Hitlers next step was the annexation of the
    Sudetenland, part of western Czechoslovakia
  • There were over three million Germans living in
    the region at this time

  • Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia

Sudeten Crisis
  • Many Germans in Czechoslovakia were antagonistic
    against the Czech government in Prague
  • They believed the government was discriminating
    against them
  • Hitler played off of this by rallying German
    nationalism inside the Sudetenland
  • The Germany political parties merged together,
    under Hitlers advice, to form the Sudeten-German
  • Their rallying cry was for their separation from
    Czechoslovakia and annexation by Germany
  • The Czechoslovakian government turned to violence
    as a means to suppress these separatists

Sudeten Crisis
  • Hitler called for German annexation of the
  • Peace was first attempted in August 1938
  • British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
    attempted to reconcile the conflict between the
    Sudeten-German Party and the Czech government
  • However, the Sudeten-German Party refused to
  • In September 1938, Chamberlain met with Hitler to
    find an amicable agreement

Sudeten Crisis
  • Munich Agreement (September 30, 1938)
  • Britain, France, Italy and Germany agreed to
    divide up Czechoslovakia
  • The territories were given to Germany, Poland,
    and Hungary
  • Hitler was not to make any further claims for
    European territory
  • First case of official appeasement to Hitler
  • The Czechoslovakian government was not allowed to
    participate in talks
  • However they did acquiesce and agreed to abide by
    the terms of the agreement
  • On March 15, 1939, Hitlers troops marched into
    Prague and took the rest of Czechoslovakia

  • Chamberlain and Hitler at the Munich Conference

Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
  • Stalin was angry with the Munich Agreement
  • The Soviets had not invited to the negotiations
  • He had also wanted Britain and France to join in
    an anti-fascist popular front
  • Stalin feared the western countries would
    continue their policy of appeasement with Hitler
  • He believed they would either encourage or ignore
    a German attack against the USSR

Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
  • Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (August 23, 1939)
  • Non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and
  • It included a secret break down of countries in
    eastern Europe into spheres of influence, some
    for the Soviets, the rest for Germany
  • By 1940, those countries mentioned were either
    occupied or ceded part of their territories to
    either Germany or the Soviet Union

  • Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • (1882-1945)
  • U.S. President (1933-1945)

Neutrality Acts
  • Starting in 1935, the still very isolationist
    Congress began passing a series of Neutrality
  • They were designed to prevent U.S. involvement
    with any belligerent countries
  • Neutrality Act of 1935
  • It banned shipment of war materials to
    belligerent countries
  • In 1936, Italy leaves the League of Nations
  • It formalizes an alliance with Germany
  • Soon after, FDR asks Congress for greater
    discretion in applying the Neutrality Act but was

Neutrality Acts
  • Neutrality Act of 1936
  • Expanded upon the Act of 1935 by prohibiting
    credits or loans to belligerent countries
  • Neutrality Acts of 1937
  • These were enacted in response to the Spanish
    Civil War
  • The original Neutrality Acts only included
    conflicts between nations and not within them
    this act amended this
  • Americans (both individuals and businesses) were
    restricted from assisting belligerents and were
    even prohibited to travel on ships owned by

Neutrality Acts
  • Many criticized the Neutrality Acts
  • Some believed that these acts actually helped
  • It showed that the U.S. was not going to get
    involved in Europe
  • This encouraged Anglo-French appeasement policies
  • Others argued that the Acts also gave the
    advantage to Germany
  • Germany had no need to buy arms while France and
    England had great need
  • The expansionist policies of Japan and Hitler
    gave FDR the ability to protect the interests of
    the U.S.
  • In 1937, he worked on a program to build long
    range submarines to possibly blockade Japan
  • In 1938, he got congress to pass a bill creating
    a large enough navy to fight in both the Atlantic
    and Pacific oceans

  • Germany After World War I

Danzig Problem
  • Polish Corridor
  • Created a corridor to give Poland access to the
    Baltic Sea that divided up Germany into two parts
  • Danzig (Gdansk) was a free city even though a
    majority of its citizens were German
  • Because of this, there were increasing tensions
    between Germany and Poland
  • Beginning in March 1939, Hitler attempted
    negotiations to return the Danzig to Germany
  • Poland had no plans to give up the city
  • Hitler even offered land to Poland from other
    sections of eastern Europe for the city

Danzig Problem
  • Both France and Britain signed mutual assistance
    treaties with Poland in August 1939
  • This was after the signing of the
    Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
  • On September 1, 1939, Hitler declared that it had
    exhausted diplomatic options with Poland and
    invaded Poland
  • England and France stated that they would stand
    by their treaties with Poland
  • They issued an ultimatum to Germany withdraw or
    we will declare war
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