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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

Time between the wars

  • Radio

    • 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