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The Interwar Period. Socialism in one country? ---------- Balance sheet. Midterm exam, Tuesday, Feb. 17 th. Part I. Indentify and give the significance of five (5) of the following: 4% each, 20% Locarno pacts Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

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the interwar period

The Interwar Period

Socialism in one country?

----------

Balance sheet

midterm exam tuesday feb 17 th
Midterm exam, Tuesday, Feb. 17th

Part I. Indentify and give the significance of five (5) of the following: 4% each, 20%

  • Locarno pacts
  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

Part II. Briefly comment on the validity of four (4) of the following statements, 10% each, 40%

  • The Russian Revolution was the inevitable result of changes in class structure in Tsarist Russia.

Part III. Essay, 1 question out of 2, 40%

studying for the midterm
Studying for the midterm
  • Go over class notes and presentation outlines
  • Think of questions which might be asked
  • Go back through readings, trying to answer them
the interwar period in context
The Interwar Period in Context
  • An unsettled & uncertain period
  • Tremendous energy unleashed
    • Modernism in art and architecture
    • Citizens’ rights extended, regimes democratized
    • New political forms emerge:
      • Fascism, Nazism, Soviet Communism
  • An age of anxiety?
democratization
Democratization
  • Universal manhood or universal suffrage in most countries
  • New political democracies established
  • Extension of public housing, public health,
    • Some welfare state measures
  • Mass media (radio & film) connect people, provide a new intimacy
    • Make people listeners or viewers – potential observers
older democracies
Older democracies

Britain & France stabilize in 1920s despite threats of revolution

UK

  • Irish question:
    • ‘ resolved’?
    • or put out of mind?
  • Integration of the working class
    • Labour comes to power in minority governments (1924-26, 1929-1931)
    • General strike fails

France: growing stalemate between right & left

the 1929 crash
The 1929 crash
  • October 1929: NY Stock market crashes
  • Immediate knock-on effects
    • ‘Scramble for liquidity’
    • Bankruptcies, bank failures
      • Creditanstalt (1931) > runs on other banks, firms, pressures on gov’ts dependent on credit
    • Rising unemployment
    • Falling demand reinforces downward spiral
    • US responds by raising tariffs, calling loans
  • Impact spreads rapidly to Europe:
    • Germany’s ability to pay reparations depends on US loans….
    • Contraction of world trade
1930s
1930s
  • Most governments respond by
    • Balancing budgets
    • Instituting import quotas, protective tariffs
    • Little sense of how to manage business cycle or halt the decline
  • Reluctance of most governments to inject stimulus:
  • Exceptions:
    • United States
    • Sweden
    • Nazi Germany
democracies v dictatorship
Democracies v. dictatorship
  • Support grows for extremist parties, right or left
    • Communists, Fascists, Nazis
  • France: polarized democracy survives,
    • with an increasingly strong anti-democratic right
  • But problems on southern tier, successor states:
    • Portugal
    • Spain: collapse of 2nd Republic
    • Austria: civil war in 1934…
    • Hungary
    • Poland….
  • Liberal democracy in question
    • Not clear to everyone that liberal democracy is desirable
    • Alternate models available:
      • Admiration, flirtation with fascism in intellectual circles
      • For others, Communism is the solution
back to the ussr
Back to the USSR
  • Problem:
    • what do you do next when you have made an unlikely revolution?
  • Lenin’s solution: the New Economic Policy (NEP)
  • Stalin & Stalinism
marx s theory of revolution
Marx’s theory of revolution
  • Revolution as the product of class struggle
  • State is the instrument of the ruling class
  • Revolution will occur at the highest phases of capitalism:
    • Proletariat seizes control of the state
    • Establishes socialism: state ownership of the means of production
    • Creates the conditions for communism & the withering away of the state
lenin s modification
Lenin’s modification

Revolution

  • can take place in a backward country in which the “objective conditions” are not right
  • can be brought about by a small conspiratorial organization – a vanguard party
  • can serve as a catalyst for revolution elsewhere
putting theory into practice
Putting theory into practice
  • Bolsheviks seize power in Oct. 1917
  • Multiple problems:
    • Establishing control
    • What to do about the war?
    • How to proceed with the revolution?
solutions
‘Solutions’
  • Sue for peace
  • Fight civil war
  • Suspend Constituent Assembly, elected in 1918
  • Implement ‘war communism,’ seizing food, material needed for war effort
  • Consolidate power in 1920
the revolutionary project
The revolutionary project

Problem:

  • What do you do when revolution elsewhere fails to materialize as expected?

Options:

  • Continue to promote world revolution?
  • Build socialism in one country?
  • Consolidate your position?
lenin s interim solution
Lenin’s interim solution:

New Economic Policy (NEP)

  • Advocated by Bukharin
  • “one step backward, two steps forward”
    • temporary reversion to capitalism to get the economy going again (1921-28)
    • Private ownership permitted
  • Ultimate direction determined by Lenin’s impairment (1922), death (1924) and Stalin’s succession to power
stalin s succession
Stalin’s succession
  • Stalin
    • A lesser figure in Bolshevik hierarchy
    • However, as general secretary of the Communist Party, well placed
    • Uses control of the administrative apparatus to advance supporters
  • 1925: Moves against left (Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev) in defense of NEP
  • 1927-28: Moves against Bukharin & moderates, promoting ‘Socialism in one country’
stalin s policies
Stalin’s policies
  • Use of party & state apparatus, terror,
    • to industrialize USSR
    • plan the economy – via five year plans
    • lay the conditions for socialism and communism
  • Justification
    • bourgeoisie in Russia had failed to industrialize the country and establish the conditions for socialism
    • therefore the party & state must do it instead
  • Process required “forced saving” from peasantry
    • attacks on kulaks
leninism v stalinism
Leninism v. Stalinism
  • Democratic centralism (Lenin) presumes that party has a voice
    • Discussion permitted until decision made
    • Then everyone adheres
  • Under Stalin, party persists, but increasingly under attack
    • Purges, show trials, used to eliminate potential rivals, including Bukharin, other members of Lenin’s politboro
    • Stalinism: more centralism rather than democratic centralism
consequences
Consequences
  • Agriculture collectivized, opponents liquidated
  • Russia industrialized, but at tremendous human cost
  • Decline in individual consumption
  • USSR substantially isolated from other countries
    • Until mid-1930s, beacon for some
    • Afterward, “The god that failed”
soviet communism nazism compared
Soviet Communism & Nazism compared:

Totalitarian or nearly totalitarian

  • Each, by extension of party & state, reduces private space
  • Elevation of leaders
  • Use of propaganda
    • Marginalization & demonization of selected groups:
      • Jews, Slavs, Gypsies
      • Kulaks, capitalists
  • Recourse to terror, anomic violence
    • Moscow trials, purges
    • Kristallnacht
    • SA & SS activities
balance sheet
Balance sheet
  • Liberal democracy survives in
    • Britain
    • France (until 1940)
    • Low Countries
    • Scandinavia (including Finland)
    • Czechoslovakia (until 1938)
  • Under siege in Spain (Civil War 1936-1939)
  • By mid 1930s, a world not very safe for democracy
midterm exam tuesday feb 17 th25
Midterm exam, Tuesday, Feb. 17th

Part I. Indentify and give the significance of five (5) of the following: 4% each, 20%

  • Locarno pacts
  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

Part II. Briefly comment on the validity of four (4) of the following statements, 10% each, 40%

  • The Russian Revolution was the inevitable result of changes in class structure in Tsarist Russia.

Part III. Essay, 1 question out of 2, 40%