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Time Between the Wars. 1919-1939. An Age of Uncertainty. Science: two remarkable thinkers made a huge impact on the 20 th Century Part of a scientific revolution as important as the first one Albert Einstein: German born physicist Theory of Relativity- space & time are not constant

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an age of uncertainty
An Age of Uncertainty
  • Science: two remarkable thinkers made a huge impact on the 20th Century
  • Part of a scientific revolution as important as the first one
    • Albert Einstein:
      • German born physicist
      • Theory of Relativity- space & time are not constant
    • Sigmund Freud
      • Austrian Physician
      • Irrational part of the human mind is the unconscious
      • The Interpretation of Dreams: 1900 book
      • Weakened people’s faith in reason
an age of uncertainty cont d
An Age of Uncertainty cont’d
  • Literature: people questioned ideas about reason, progress & religion
  • People feared the FUTURE
    • T.S. Elliot: American poet who wrote about a loss of spiritual values (1922)
    • William Butler Yeats: Irish poet who in 1924 wrote about dark times ahead
an age of uncertainty cont d1
An Age of Uncertainty cont’d
  • Thinkers
    • Existentialism: philosophy that there is no universal meaning to life
    • Friedrich Nietzsche
      • 1880’s German philosopher who influenced existentialism
      • His ideas had great impact on politics in Italy & Germany in 1920’s & 1930’s
an age of uncertainty cont d2
An Age of Uncertainty cont’d
  • Writers
    • Horrors of war influenced Franz Kafka (Czech) 1924
    • Freud influenced James Joyce (Irish) 1922
  • Arts
    • Painters
      • Moved away from Realism & towards Expressionism
      • Cubism: 1907 Pablo Picasso (Spanish) used genometic forms to display natural shapes
      • Surrealism: try to link dreams to the real world
        • Salvador Dali (Spanish) 1931
an age of uncertainty cont d3
An Age of Uncertainty cont’d
  • Artichects
    • Functionalism: design reflects building’s function or use
      • Frank Lloyd Wright (American)
  • Composers
    • Jazz: new musical style from the United States
    • Developed by African-American in New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago
    • Led to dances like the Charleston
an age of uncertainty cont d4
An Age of Uncertainty cont’d
  • Technology:
    • Pace of invention increased
    • Automobile
      • Middle Class could afford them
      • Changed family lifestyles: travel for pleasure, new businesses developed, people moved to the suburbs & commuted to work
an age of uncertainty cont d5
An Age of Uncertainty cont’d
  • Airplanes
    • 1918: 1st airmail flights
    • Charles Lindbergh:US pilot who flew from New York to Paris in 1927 (33 hours solo)
    • Most major passenger airlines began during the 1920’s
    • Amelia Earhart: American woman who was the first to fly solo over the Pacific


    • Researchfor development increased
    • 1920 world’s first commercial station started broadcasting from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • Many European nations kept broadcasting under government control
    • Radio was very popular & most families owned a radio
  • Movies
    • 1920’s motion pictures became a major industry
    • 90% of films made in Hollywood
    • Dramas starred Mary Pickford & Rudolph Valentino
    • Comedy: Keystone Kops (slapstick)
    • Charlie Chaplin
      • Comic genius
      • Known for portrayal of a lonely little tramp bewildered by life
      • Late 1920’s: added sound to movies
      • Mid1930’s: millions of Americans went to the movies weekly
europe after the war
Europe After the War
  • European Countries
    • Bankrupt because of fighting
    • Dominance in world affairs ended
  • US & Japan
    • Better financial shape & expanded trade
  • New Democracies Unstable
    • All pre- WWI dynasties have fallen
    • Newly created democracies have no experience in ruling
europe after the war cont d
Europe After the War cont’d
  • Germany/ Weimer Republic (established 1919)
    • People blame new government for WWI loss & Treaty of Versailles
    • High Inflation
      • During WWI Germany didn’t raise taxes to pay for war (just printed more money)
      • To pay reparations to Allies for WWI (printed more money)
      • Money is WORTHLESS & people blame new government
europe after the war cont d1
Europe After the War cont’d
  • Economic Stability
    • U.S. banks gave Germany $200 million loan to stabilize economy
    • Reset reparation payoff to be more reasonable (owe $33 million instead of $55 billion)
  • Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact
    • “Renounces war as an instrument of national policy”
      • All countries sign
      • No way to enforce (no army to back it up)
      • U.S. signs, but not part of League of Nations- which weakens it.
the great depression
The Great Depression
  • United States- 1929
    • Production is up & profit is up
    • Wealth NOT distributed equally
    • Stock prices were unnaturally high & people decided to sell stock, believing rates would go down. No one wanted to buy stocks, prices dropped quickly.
    • Billions of dollars in “paper wealth” vanished
    • Stocks bought at high price are worthless
    • Unemployment up, drops in industrial production, prices & wages
the great depression cont d
The Great Depression cont’d
  • Collapse of American Economy Affects the World
    • America
      • Bankers demand repayment of overseas loans
      • Investors withdraw from Europe
      • Congress votes for high tariffs on imported goods
        • Other countries economies drop because U.S. is no longer buying their goods
        • World Trade drops 65%
    • Germany & Austria
      • Hit hard because of dependence on U.S. loans & investments
the great depression cont d1
The Great Depression cont’d
  • Japan
    • Farmers suffer because of 1931 crop failure
    • Value of exports drop by half
    • 3 million city workers lost jobs & returned to villages for work
  • Latin America
    • Tied to global economy because of cash crops & raw materials
    • Can’t pay debts to other countries