The Big Picture • The Treaty of Versailles ending World War I created an uneasy peace. Amid postwar instability, Great Britain and France avoided conflict, and the United States sought to isolate itself from Europe’s troubles. Meanwhile, however, Germany, Italy, and Japan fell under the sway of leaders promising order and glory. By the end of the 1930s, their aggression would plunge the world once more into war.
American History Chapter 23-1 The Rise of Dictators
Post WWI Europe • Millions had died. • Vast destruction. • Economy in ruins. • Germany suffered most. • Humiliated. • Gave up land. • Political turmoil. • Severe inflation – high prices, low value of money.
Italy’s New Leadership • Benito Mussolini: Started the National Fascist Party. • Fascism: Gov’t. that stresses the glory of the state, nationalism. • Individual rights do not matter. • Dictatorship: Rule by one or a group whose power is unchallenged or totalitarian.
Political Change in Germany • Post WWI Germany was ruled by a the WeimarRepublic – a weak democratic gov’t. • Adolf Hitler rose to power within the Nazi Party. • Led a failed revolt & went to prison. • In prison he wrote Mein Kampf– meaning my struggle/war. • The book outlined Hitler’s political beliefs. • Referred to a superior German race, the Aryans. • After prison he & the Nazi Party rose to power. • Using political skill & violence Hitler became the totalitarian dictator of Germany by 1933.
Other Powerful Dictators • Francisco Franco: Ruled Spain. • Joseph Stalin: Like the Fascists, Stalin used violence to crush opponents in the Communist Soviet Union. • In Japan, military leaders took violent control of the government. Franco Stalin
Military Aggression • 1931 – Japan’s military took control of Manchuria. • 1935 – Mussolini invaded Ethiopia. • Hitler rebuilt the German military. • 1936 – Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland. • 1938 – Anschluss – Hitler forced Austria to join with Germany. • Hitler felt empowered by the fact that the League of Nations did nothing to enforce the Treaty of Versailles. • England’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain believed Hitler could be appeased. He was incorrect.