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The West Between the Wars 1919 - 1939. Ms. Susan M. Pojer & Mrs. Browne  Horace Greeley HS Chappaqua, NY. Europe in 1919. Main Themes. The Versailles Treaty (1919) Article 231 “The War Guilt Clause” Germany forced to pay reparations De-militarized zone in the Rhineland

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The west between the wars 1919 1939

The West

Between the Wars

1919 - 1939

Ms. Susan M. Pojer & Mrs. Browne Horace Greeley HS Chappaqua, NY

Main themes
Main Themes

  • The Versailles Treaty (1919)

    • Article 231 “The War Guilt Clause”

    • Germany forced to pay reparations

    • De-militarized zone in the Rhineland

    • New nations created from old empires

    • Wilson’s 14 Points  created the League of Nations

Main themes1
Main themes

  • What were the fears in Western Europe?

    • Fear of communism spreading

    • Fear that colonies would revolt for independence

    • Fear that Germany would NOT pay reparations

    • Fear that nations couldn’t rebuild fast enough to provide jobs for all

    • Fear that a new war would break out

    • Fear that they would be unable to return to “normalcy”

The west between the wars 1919 1939



The west between the wars 1919 1939

Washington naval conference


The ratio of battleships allowed by nation:

U. S. Britain Japan France Italy 5 5 3 1.67 1.67

Prevented a new arms race between the US, Britain & Japan!

The west between the wars 1919 1939

Locarno pact 1925

Austin Chamberlain (Britain)



  • Guaranteed the common boundaries of Belgium, France, and Germany as specified in the Treaty of Versailles of 1919.

  • Germany signed treaties with Poland and Czechoslovakia, agreeing to change the eastern borders of Germany by arbitration only.

The west between the wars 1919 1939

Kellogg-briand pact 1928

  • 15 nations committed to outlawing aggression and war for settling disputes.

  • Problem no way of enforcement.

Main goal after wwi
Main goal after WWI

  • Security!

    • Against Whom?

    • Why?

    • and How?

Finding security after wwi
Finding security after wwi

Against Whom?

France wanted to keep Germany weak and Russiancommunism at a distance

Finding security after wwi1
Finding security after wwi


  • Germany fear of invasion (1870, 1914)

  • Russia fear of Bolshevism & communist revolution

Finding security after wwi2
Finding security after wwi


1. Creation of the Little Entente

~ an alliance with Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia & Romania to replace the former alliance with Russia

Finding securityafter wwi
Finding securityAfter WWI


2. Build the Maginot Line

Finding security after wwi3
finding security after wwi

Where to build the Maginot Line?


Finding security the maginot line
Finding security: the maginot Line

  • WW2: The Maginot Line 1 - YouTube

The west between the wars 1919 1939

The maginot line: why it failed in 1940

The line was constructed along the German border

The invasion occurred from the north through Belgium (again )

Finding security after wwi4
Finding security after WWI


3. Political Decisions of the French Government

Disagreement amongst conservatives & liberals over how to best achieve these goals…… focus abroad ? focus domestically?

 27+ different cabinets were elected between 1919-1933!

The west between the wars 1919 1939

Raymond poincare & the conservative right

  • He sent French troops into the Ruhr in 1923.

  • Pushed for large-scale infrastructure reconstruction programs [counting on German reparations to pay for them].

  • After 1926-29:

    • New taxes

    • Spend less

The west between the wars 1919 1939

Edouard herriot & the french socialists

  • 1924-1926.

  • Progressive social reform.

  • Spoke for the lower classes, small businessmen, and farmers.

Results for france
Results for france?

  • In your opinion, was security achieved?

  • What do you think happens in the 1930’s?

Main theme after wwi
Main theme after wwi

  • “World War I changed British politics”

The profound change in british politics
The Profound Change in British politics

  • In Britain…

    • 1918 all men over 21 can now vote

    • 1918 all women over 30 can now vote

    • 1920’s economically depressed

      • Coal mining, ship building & steel most affected

      • Unemployment over 10%

      • Increase in government programs

      • The 2 main political parties differ on how to solve the economic problems

Changes in british politics the conservatives
Changes in British Politics: The Conservatives

  • The Conservative Platform

    • Abandon free trade & use protective tariffs

    • Lower prices by cutting wages

    • Triggered the General Strike of 1926

      • Coal miners went on strike then others

The west between the wars 1919 1939

1926 general strike

Trades Disputes Act (1927):

  • All general or sympathy strikes were illegal.

  • It forbade unions from raising money for political purposes.

The west between the wars 1919 1939

Ramsay macdonald 1924, 1929-1935

1st Prime Minister from the Labour Party

Changes in british politics the labour party
Changes in British Politics: The labour Party

  • Labour Platform

    • Wanted extensive social reform

    • Recognized the USSR in hopes if increasing trade

      • Trade agreement reached in August 1924

Changes in british politics the empire
Changes in British Politics: the empire

  • India

    • Britain begins to discuss “eventual” self rule

    • Rise of Mohandas Gandhi & Indian National Congress (founded in 1885)

Gandhi and his followers begin a campaign of passive non-resistance based on the Hindu concept of ahimsa

* Salt March 1930

* Independence in 1947

* Gandhi assassinated on January 30th, 1948

Changes in british politics the empire1
Changes in British Politics: The Empire

  • Ireland

    • 1914 Home Rule bill passed then delayed due to World War I

    • Easter Monday April 1916

      • Uprising begins in Dublin

      • Defeat and execution of nationalist leaders by the British triggers support of Sinn Fein

      • Sinn Fein , radical extremist group with its military wing known as the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Changes in british politics the empire2
Changes in British Politics: The Empire

  • Ireland (cont’d)

  • January 21, 1919 Irish independence declared

    • guerilla war erupts between IRA and British army

Changes in british politics the empire3
Changes in British Politics: the Empire

  • Ireland (cont’d)

  • December 1921 the Irish Free State is created

  • The 6 northern provinces of Ulster remain part of Britain

  • Conflict continues until Good Friday Peace Accords in 1998!

The change in british politics
The Change in British Politics

  • Has Britain’s role in world affairs been altered in the 1920’s- are they still the most powerful empire?

  • How will these changes affect Britain in the 1930’s?

Wwi defeat of the german reich
wwi & defeat of the German reich

  • Kaiser William (Wilhelm) II abdicated on November 9, 1918

  • Germany is declared a republic AND then signs the armistice accepting German defeat in WWI

  • The Weimar Republic is created

Post wwi germany
Post WWI Germany

  • Was the Weimar Republic doomed to fail?

  • How should the demands of society be handled post-war?

  • Was the rise of Hitler inevitable?

The west between the wars 1919 1939

Friedrich ebert: 1st president of the weimar republic

The weimar republic
The Weimar Republic

  • Written and put into effect in August 1919

  • One of its first official acts is to accept the Versailles Treaty

    • No presence at the peace conference

    • German people unaware of losses during war

    • “stabbed in the back theory” (belief that the military had been sold out by the politicians)

The west between the wars 1919 1939

From the German point of View

 Lost—but not forgotten country.

  • Into the heart You are to dig yourself these words as into stone: Which we have lost may not be truly lost!

The weimar republic1
The Weimar Republic

  • Constitutional flaws

    • Proportional representation for all elections

    • Presidential appointment & removal of the chancellor

    • Article 48: rule by decree in an emergency

The weimar republic2
The weimar republic

  • Lack of Broad Popular Support

    • Officer corps were resentful

    • Nationalistic Germans were strong supporters of the “stabbed in the back” theory

    • Psychological, social & economic effects of WWI devastated Germany

    • Violence, inflation, strikes, assassination attempts marred the first 5 years of the republic

The weimar republic3
The Weimar republic

  • The Inflation Crisis

    • May 1921 Germany given a reparations bill for 132 billion gold marks

    • By this time the German mark was quickly losing its value

    • The French feared they would receive no payments  invaded the Ruhr

    • The Germans respond with economic passive resistance

The west between the wars 1919 1939

The germanmark

The west between the wars 1919 1939

The German mark & hyperinflation

The weimar republic the inflation crisis
The weimar republic: The Inflation Crisis

  • Results:

    • Middle class savings, pensions and insurance policies were wiped out

    • Farmers and food shop owners did well

    • In general, middle & lower classes were hit the hardest

    • Upheaval increases desire for ORDER & SECURITY

Rise of the nazi party
Rise of the Nazi party

  • National Socialist German Worker’s Party

  • Twenty-five Points

    • Repudiation of the Versailles Treaty

    • Unification with Austria

    • Exclusion of Jews from citizenship

    • Agrarian reform

    • Confiscation of war profits

    • State administration of giant cartels

The west between the wars 1919 1939

The beer hall putsch : 1923

The rise of the nazis
The rise of the nazis

  • Results of the Munich Beer Hall Putsch

    • Hitler becomes a national figure

    • uses opportunity in trial to speak

      • Condemns the Republic, the economic situation, Jews, the Treaty of Versailles…..

      • The newspapers print the text of his speech which then spreads across Germany

The west between the wars 1919 1939

The beer hall putschidealized

The west between the wars 1919 1939

Mein kampf [my struggle]

The weimar republic4
The Weimar Republic

  • The Republic …meanwhile… is still focused on the economy & attempts to revive Germany as a whole

  • Gustav Stressman (Chancellor & Foreign Minister)

    • Introduces a new German currency

    • Encourages the suppression of the Nazi’s and other extreme groups across the political spectrum

    • Works to have the Dawes Plan put into effect (1924)

    • Reaches Locarno Pact Agreements (1925)

    • Entrance into the League of Nations

      Germany can seen as RESPECTABLE again

The west between the wars 1919 1939

The dawes plan (1924)

The Dawes Plan reduced German reparations, coordinated payments with their ability to pay, and gave Germany loans to rebuild.

It was successful until 1929, when the US stock market crashed and the Great Depression began.

The west between the wars 1919 1939

Weimar germany:

Political representation


The weimar republic5
The Weimar republic

  • Was the Weimar Republic doomed to failure?

  • Should they have responded to the people differently? Could they have?

  • Was Hitler’s rise inevitable?

The west between the wars 1919 1939

Soviet Union


The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)

Soviet leadership
Soviet Leadership

  • V.I. Lenin

  • 1921-1924

  • War Communism

  • NEP

  • Cheka

  • Comintern

  • Josef Stalin

  • 1924?- 1953

  • 5 Year Plans

  • Collectivization

  • Great Purges

  • “Socialism in One Country”

Soviet communism
Soviet Communism

  • What are the basic principles of communism?

    • Based on Marx’s ideas

    • Revolution is necessary

    • All members of society were seen as equal women are equal to men

    • Command economy (top down)

    • Religion is suppressed

    • Limit free expression (in all forms)

    • On the political left side of the spectrum

Italian fascism
Italian Fascism

  • What are the basic ideas of fascism?

    • The state is supreme

    • Ultra-nationalist

    • Gender and class roles are rigid women are not equal!

    • Use religion as a tool of the state

    • Limit free expression (in all forms)

    • Elections are a sham

    • Seen on the political right of the spectrum

The west between the wars 1919 1939




The west between the wars 1919 1939

The great depression 1929-1941

London in 1930

Paris in 1930

Rise of hitler
Rise of hitler

The rise of Hitler & the Nazi Party can be attributed to:

1. The Versailles Treaty

2. The inflation crisis of the 1920’s

3. The trial of Hitler

4. The Great Depression

Rise of hitler1
Rise of hitler

  • The Nazi’s called for the “subordination of all economic enterprise to the welfare of the nation”

    • This implied protection for small businesses

    • This appealed to anyone experiencing economic difficulty

    • The popularity of the Nazi Party increases

  • The Nazi party began to call for lebensraum or “living space”

    • Germany must expand eastward (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Russia…)

Rise of hitler2
rise of hitler

Reichstag Elections

  • 1928: Nazis won 12 seats

  • 1930: Nazis won 107 seats

  • 1933: Nazis won 288 seats

    The Nazis continue to hold mass rallies gaining support from business, military, and publicity in newspapers throughout Germany

Rise of hitler3
Rise of hitler

  • In 1932

    • Hitler runs for President and gets over 30% of the vote!

    • Hitler wants to be appointed Chancellor but it does not happen

    • Other leaders in the government want to use Hitler for his popularity but don’t want to give him power if they can avoid it.

Rise of hitler4
Rise of hitler

  • In 1933

    • There is widespread fear of a civil war in Germany

    • Hitler is appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933

      • He promises security against the communists & socialists

      • He promises effective government

      • He promises a strong, restored Germany

Rise of hitler5
Rise of hitler

  • In February 1933, a communist sets fire to the Reichstag building

  • Hitler uses this to invoke Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution which grants emergency powers!

    • Hitler has all suspected communists arrested

    • This decree is never revoked while Hitler is in power 

Rise of hitler6
Rise of hitler

  • March 1933

    • Hitler and the Nazis pass the Enabling Actwhich lets Hitler rule by decree.

      • There were no legal limits on Hitler any longer

      • The Nazi Party seizes banks and newspapers

      • All other political parties are outlawed

      • All areas of opposition are gradually eliminated

Rise of hitler7
Rise of hitler

  • Consolidation of Power

    • Hitler has members of the SA (storm troopers) killed that he suspects might challenge him

    • More than 100 officers and their families were murdered

  • August 2, 1934 President Hindenburg dies

    • Hitler combines the position of Chancellor and President and becomes the sole ruler of Germany!

Hitler in power
Hitler in power

  • Hitler as Fuhrer

    • Use of the SS(schutzstaffel) or “protective force” to watch the people

    • Uses public works to employ people

      • Rearmament was key

      • Unemployment drops , support for Hitler increases

Hitler in power1
Hitler in power

  • Like Mussolini, Hitler

    • Used educationand the Hitler Youth organizations to teach about Nazi fascism

    • Focused on the role of women

      • Women were to raise Nazi families

      • those who did received more privileges from the party

      • Jobs for women were limited to those that fit the Nazi ideal

Hitler in power2
Hitler in power

  • Anti-Semitism

    • 1935: Nuremberg Laws

      • Jews were denied German citizenship

      • Definition of a Jew was created

      • Required the yellow star to be worn

      • Jews were forbidden to marry Germans

      • Jews were not allowed to teach

Hitler in power3
Hitler in power

  • Kristallnacht

  • “Night of the Broken Glass”

  • November 9, 1938

  • Jewish synagogues and Jewish owned businesses were destroyed

  • many Jews were rounded up and sent to ghettos or other “holding” locations

Hitler the nazis
Hitler & the nazis

  • How was Hitler able to gain power in Germany?

  • How did Hitler use propaganda, anti-Semitism, and economic policy to build the Nazi State?

  • How were Hitler and Mussolini similar? Different?

The west between the wars 1919 1939


in the

1920s & 1930s

Themes in art of the 1920 s 1930 s
Themes in Art of the 1920’s & 1930’s

  • Uncertainty/insecurity.

  • Disillusionment.

  • The subconscious.

  • Violence & savagery

The west between the wars 1919 1939

  • Ridiculed contemporary culture & traditional art forms.

  • Focused on the collapse during (and after) WW I of social and moral values.

The west between the wars 1919 1939

George grosz

Grey day




  • The subject matter is broken down, analyzed, and reassembled in abstract form.

  • The artist should treat nature in terms of the cylinder, the sphere, and the cone.

The west between the wars 1919 1939

Picasso’s studio with a plaster head 1925


The west between the wars 1919 1939

Georges braque’s still life lejuer 1929



  • Late 1920s-1940s.

  • Grew out of the genre of DaDa.

  • Influenced by Freud’s theories on psychoanalysis and the subconscious.

  • Confusing & startling images like those in dreams.

The west between the wars 1919 1939

Salvador Dali

Apparition of a face and fruit dish on a beach




  • What are some of the main events of the 1920’s?

  • How do the 1920’s affect decisions made in the 1930’s?