World After World War I A Look at the World Post 1918
What was the world like politically after WWI? • Colonies’ participated in the war, which increased demands for independence • Mass amounts of colonial nationalism and resistance to imperial rule begins • End of the Russian Imperial, Ottoman, German, and Austro-Hungarian empires • Eastern Europe looks much different now • Enormous cost of the war in lives, property, and social disruption • Hurts the political power of European nations
The Mandate System • During World War I, Great Britain and France agreed to divide large portions of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East between themselves. • After the war, the “mandate system” gave Great Britain and France control over the lands that became Iraq, Transjordan, and Palestine (British control) and Syria and Lebanon (French control). • The division of the Ottoman Empire through the mandate system planted the seeds for future conflicts in the Middle East.
Financial Collapse • The economy of the United States enjoyed a boom in the 1920s. But this growth hid problems. • As the worry of war decreased, people began buying many products. • For example, demand for home appliances increased, and many Americans bought such products on credit. • In addition, overseas orders for American products increased as war-ravaged countries purchased goods from the United States because their own factory systems were destroyed.
Great Depression • Factories in the United States went into full production to meet this increased postwar demand, both domestic and foreign. • As war-torn countries rebuilt their factories, they began cutting their orders to American factories, which in turn contributed to American factories’ laying off workers or shutting down when their inventories stopped selling.
Roots of the Great Depression • Efficient machinery led to overproduction • Uneven distribution of wealth added to the country’s problems. (5% of households earned 30% of the county’s income) • Low consumption added to economic problems • As sales decreased, workers were laid off, resulting in a chain reaction
Roots of the Great Depression • Installment plan, paying a little at a time, left little money to purchase other goods • Hawley-Smoot Tariff intensified the Depression by raising the tax on imports • Americans purchased less from abroad, in return foreign corporations did not buy American exports. • Federal reserve lowered interest rates instead of raising them, encouraging banks to make risky loans and business thinking economy was growing
The Roaring 20’s • The new concept of “credit” • People were buying: • Automobiles • Appliances • Clothes • Fun times reigned • Dancing • Flappers • Drinking
Why was this bad? • Credit system • People didn’t really have the money they were spending • WWI • The U.S. was a major credit loaner to other nations in need • Many of these nations could not pay us back
The Stock Market • People bought stocks on margins • If a stock is $100 you can pay $10 now and the rest later when the stock rose • Stocks fall • Now the person has less than $100 and no money to pay back
And then…. • With people panicking about their money investors tried to sell their stocks • This leads to a huge decline in stocks • Stocks were worthless now • People who bought on “margins” now could not pay • Investors were average people that were now broke
Depression • Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, stock prices fell drastically (stocks lost $10-$15 billion in value) • This stock market crash did not cause the depression, but it weakened the nation’s banks • Because the government did not insure bank deposits, customers lost their money. • $30 billion was lost, (roughly equal to the total wages earned by Americans in 1929), as stock prices had dropped by over 1/3.
Causes of the Great Depression • Over speculation in the stock market • Over borrowing • Over production in factories and farms • Uneven distribution of wealth • Failure by the Federal Reserve to monitor banks • High protective tariffs
Causes of the Depression • Overproduction and low demand leads to employee layoffs • Low wages reduce consumer buying power • High tariffs restrict foreign demand for American goods (Hawley-Smoot Tariff) • Unemployment reduces buying power further
The Impact of The Great Depression • Unemployment increased • Homelessness increased • Workers became more militant • Farmers lost their farms • Workers migrated in search of jobs
How was the world affected economically? • Hits the rest of the world too (global depression) • Unemployment reaches new heights (1932) • Ex – US – 24% • Great Britain – 22.5% • Germany – 30% • Italy – 20.5%
What was Happening in France after WWI • France won but… • Land destroyed in north • Large number of dead young men • Economy weakened severely • Problems for France • High Prices - inflation • US debt – debt plus high interest • Maginot Line – huge military expense • Leads to social unrest in country**
What is happening in Britain after the War? • Britain’s problems • High Debt just like with France • Outdated industrial technology • High tariffs worldwide hurt British trade • Britain’s Labor issues • After War many people unemployed • 24% in 1921 • British slowly losing control of its Empire • Its colonies are fighting for independence and there is not much Britain can do
India Rebellion • Britain relied on its empire to get support for WWI • promised to give more self government rights to colonies • India - led by Mahatma Gandhi • Both British and Indians are split on issue • passive resistance (boycott goods/refuse taxes) • British try to repress it – leads moderates to join nationalist • True independence wont happen until 1947
British empire losses continued… • Middle East – Arabs feel betrayed by West • Gave independence to Iraq and Jordan (kept military presence) • Had an issue with Palestine though – promised to both the Arabs and the Jews • “Zionism” = desire for a Jewish homeland (in Israel) • Balfour Declaration (1917) • Statement made by the British saying that they desired to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine (modern day Israel) • Realized that both (Palestinians and Jewish People) cannot live side by side though… big problem in the future
British Empire after WWI • British give independence to four other colonies in 1931 • “British Commonwealth of Nations” • South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia • What do all these areas have in common?
What is going on in China? • Remember the Boxer Rebellion… • New nationalist movement started • Kuomintang – leader is Sun Yixian • Industrialize, modernize and unify country • 1912 – Qing Dynasty overthrown • China becomes a republic (early years unstable though) • 1925 Sun Yixian dies and Chiang Kai-shek takes over nationalist party (more of a dictator) • Military campaign to unite country (successful) • Another group arises out of the nationalist party • Chinese Communist Party (founded in 1921) *Shanghai* • Splits nationalist party into two (Kai-shek tries to suppress communist though)
Sun Yixian Chiang Kai-shek
Communist come to power in China • Inspired by Russian revolution and ideas of Marx and Lenin • Wanted to free country from foreign dependence and backwardness • Kai-shek wanted to eliminate communist • 1927 – Communist executions in Shanghai • Kai-shek continues trying to eliminate communist • Long March – 100,000 communist marched 6,000 miles for over a year • Constantly chased by Kai-shek and nationalist troops • A new leader arises from this march – Moa Zedong
Mao Zedong’s rise to power • Mao is born in south east china • Believes that Chinese peasants are the key to starting communist revolution • Opposed idea that proletariats had to start it • Starts gathering peasant support in eastern China • Listens to peasant demands and helps reform their lives • Fights Nationalist troops and starts civil war • Civil War is stopped by oncoming of WWII and threat of Japan
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was created in 1922. Ukraine Russia Transcaucasian Region Belarus
Russia • The people of Russia were divided. • The peasants were hungry and desired more rights and better treatment • Over time the country had been through confrontations that placed a burden on the poor and they wanted change.
Russian Revolution • Czar Nicholas II’s reforms were too little too late • No industrial power = no national power • Loss to the Japanese was humiliating announcement of weakness • WWI participation sucked Russia dry and made civil war inevitable • Weak resistance to well organized and mobilized Bolshevik radicals • Total abdication and assassination end the Romanov Dynasty
1918: Lenin Begins to Change Russian Society • Treaty with Germany cedes land in exchange for peace. • All industry nationalized. • Independent labor unions banned. • Grain requisitions: armed officials seize grain from farmers to feed the poor. • Housing space seized and distributed. "Comrade Lenin Cleanses the Earth of Filth" Communist poster, 1920
Leninism: The Telescoping of History • Karl Marx, considered the father of communism, wrote that history proceeds through distinct stages: feudalism, capitalism, imperialism, etc. Only after going through these stages, Marx thought, could society advance to communism. • Lenin argued that under the right circumstances, such as those of Russia in 1917, the intermediate steps could be skipped. • Marx wrote about the dictatorship of the proletariat, a period inwhich the working class would govern society while the ultimate classless society of communism was developed. • To Lenin, the dictatorship of the proletariat meant that a small group of dedicated individuals would lead society forcefully so that the groundwork could be laid for the future ideal society.
Worldwide Appeal of Communism • Russia was the first country to attempt to put the theory of socialism into practice. • Many workers and intellectuals around the world thought that at last there was a chance to overcome the inequality and exploitation of market capitalism and build a society in which everyone was respected and cared for. • Communist parties emerged in the U.S. and Europe, and also in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where many countries suffered from poverty and the remnants of colonialism. Maoist demonstration, Nepal
Leon Trotsky • Trotsky was a key figure in the Russian Revolution, second only to Lenin. • From 1918 to 1925, he was People's Commissar for Army and Navy Affairs and commander of the Red Army. • When Lenin died in 1924, Trotsky was widely expected to assume leadership of the country. Instead, that role went to Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Central Committee. • As leader of the Left Opposition, Trotsky opposed Stalin. He was purged from the Communist Party in 1927 and exiled in 1928. • From exile, he continued to oppose Stalin and Stalinism. • Trotsky was assassinated by Stalinists in 1940 at his home in Mexico City.
Lenin, Trotsky and soldiers of the Red Army, 1921 "Have you signed up as a volunteer?"Civil war recruitment poster Coat of Arms of the Soviet Union
War Communism and the New Economic Policy • From 1918 through 1921, the Bolsheviks implemented radical economic changes. Under "War Communism," all industry was nationalized, private enterprise was made illegal, and economic planning was centralized. • The results were disastrous for the Russian economy and led to a major famine in 1921. • In 1921, Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy (NEP). The state retained control of banking and major industries, but small business ventures were allowed, farmers were allowed to sell surplus production, and trade restrictions were loosened. • "We are not civilized enough for socialism," Lenin said. • In 1929, Stalin abolished the NEP.
Famine of 1921-1922 Causes: • Disruption of agricultural production by WWI, the revolution and the civil war. • War Communism economic policy. • Drought of 1921. • Under War Communism, the Bolsheviks requisitioned grain from the peasants to support the war effort. Many peasants rebelled and either cut back on grain production or sold it on the black market. • Results: • Approximately five million deaths.
Permanent Revolution vs. Communism in One Country • Lenin believed that the Russian Revolution was merely the first step in a worldwide workers’ revolution. • Trotsky believed that the Russian Revolution could only succeed in the context of permanent worldwide revolution. • Stalin believed that the opportunity for worldwide revolution had passed, and that the USSR should concentrate on building communism in one country.
Stalin Creates a Totalitarian State • Instituted one-man rule. • Eliminated/murdered political opposition. • Used secret police and informers to spread terror and insure obedience. • Ordered massive deportations and executions. • Extended state control over every aspect of Soviet society.