The world of the 1920s challenges to european dominance
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THE WORLD OF THE 1920s: CHALLENGES TO EUROPEAN DOMINANCE. CHAPTER 34a. OVERVIEW. Interwar period of the 1920s Saw revolutionary and authoritarian regimes False sense of security for democracies, west Resistance to European imperialism Golden Age for European, Western Elites Western Europe

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The world of the 1920s challenges to european dominance




  • Interwar period of the 1920s

    • Saw revolutionary and authoritarian regimes

    • False sense of security for democracies, west

    • Resistance to European imperialism

    • Golden Age for European, Western Elites

  • Western Europe

    • Recovery from World War I was incomplete

    • War followed by economic disruptions, new borders

    • Age of artistic creativity, materialism, scientific progress

    • Age of Pessimism, worries for some sectors of society

  • The United States and Japan

    • Increased their industrial strength

    • Internal problems threatened governments

  • Other Parts of the World

    • New revolutionary governments appeared in China, Mexico

    • Russian Revolution in 1917 and Civil War spread around globe

  • Balance Sheet

    • Parliamentary democracy spread even as new challenges arose against it

    • USA’s economic vitality as well as Japan's challenged Western Europe

The roaring 20s

  • Period of apparent peace in early 1920s

    • Reduced internal political tensions in Europe

  • Industrialization and Consumerism

    • Boomed on back of growing consumer demand

    • Development of assembly line factories

    • Wages increased purchasing power

    • Power of middle class, middle class values rose

    • Facilitated rise of consumerism

    • Age of technological marvels: radio, airplane, auto

  • Cultural creativity during the 1920s

    • Resulted in new artistic styles

      • These often conveyed some of the tensions of modern life

      • Literature dealt with realism, often pessimism

    • Important new scientific discoveries appeared

  • Gender Issues

    • Women across Europe, United States gained right to vote

    • Suffrage brought other social liberties.

Fascism in italy

  • Authoritarianism

    • Rule centralized and often arbitrary, frequently dominated by military

  • Fascism as Ideology

    • Stemmed from disenchantment with liberal democracy

    • Rich, middle class worried by social conflict

    • State threatened by labor unrest, government stagnation

    • Nationalist resentments stemming from World War I

    • Goal was to seize power forcefully

  • Italian Fascists arose in 1920s

  • March on Rome 1922

    • Fascists under leadership of Benito Mussolini

    • Advocated nationalist corporate state

    • Wanted to end both socialism and capitalism

    • King gave in and named Mussolini prime minister

    • Mussolini began to reform Italian state, rearm

The new nations of eastern europe

  • Eastern European nations

    • Arose out of Versailles Treaty at end of World War I

    • Created out of Germany, Austria, Russia – often by force

    • Each state was a kaleidoscope of different ethnic groups

    • Different legal systems, rail gauges

  • State Building

    • Tried to emulate Western Europe without wealth, stability

    • All were hostile to Communist regime in the Soviet Union

    • Bitter rivalries broke out over territorial disputes

    • Little industry, mostly agrarian

    • Few cities, small middle classes or intellectuals

  • Authoritarian Temptation

    • Parliamentary democracy damaged by competing parties

    • Often major parties could not form a majority, rule by coalition

    • Unable to solve social problems such as land reform, ethnic strife

    • Most reverted to authoritarian or monarchical regimes

    • Only Czechoslovakia remained a democracy throughout period

The british commonwealth

  • Dominions

    • White-dominated colonies granted self-government

    • Foreign policy, defense policy, trade policies shared

  • South Africa was first dominion in 1910

  • Ireland

    • Had revolted in 1916 during World War I

    • British, Irish soldiers increasingly attack civilians

    • Irish Republican Army resented compromise, switched to largely terrorist role

  • Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

    • Granted dominion status after the war for roles in war

    • Canada

      • Rapid economic growth, large-scale immigration, increasingly friendly with USA

  • Treaty of Westminster, 1931

    • Britain and its dominions formed a permanent, political alliance

    • Britain granted self-governing dominions equality of legislation

    • Other dominions included Irish Free State, Newfoundland

Rise of the united states

  • World War I

    • Put the United State into a position of leadership

    • Became largest industrialized nation, largest center of banking

    • Left war with 2nd largest navy in world, largest army

  • Treaty of Versailles Rejected

    • US refused to join League of Nation, retreats into Isolation

    • Only in Latin America did USA remained actively interventionist

  • The Red Scare

    • 1919 – 1920s: US Government saw communists under every rock

    • Ignored law and used CID (future FBI) to arrest communists

The roaring 1920s
The Roaring 1920s

  • U.S. leadership in world economic and cultural affairs accelerated

  • New consumerism developed

  • American middle class became able to afford household luxuries

  • Mass production reduced prices of most items: people began buying on credit

  • U.S. corporations were innovators in technology and production techniques

  • Mass Production of appliances and automobiles

  • Credit, Credit Cards, Catalogs

  • Greatest mark came in popular culture

  • Movies and Hollywood became world-wide symbols

  • Rise of competitive, team sports and radio

  • The Age of Jazz and American musicals by Gershwin were models for the world

Japan and its empire

  • Disappointments at Paris

    • Japan had wanted Germany’s Asian colonies

    • During war decided to pick on China

    • Allies had blocked Japan in its Chinese adventures

  • Japan turned increasingly hostile

    • Favored authoritarian government

    • Began to plan for war, conquest in the interwar period

  • An Economic Revolution led to many changes

    • Japanese standards of living began to improve

    • By 1925, the state initiated compulsory primary-school education

    • Japan relied heavily on import of raw materials, trade

  • Problems for Japan Lead to Dictatorship

    • Population growth restricted advances in standards of living

    • Social problems increased in crowded cities

    • Military leaders took on a greater role in the 1920s

      • They resented what they saw as the selfishness and pandering of the political parties

      • Disliked democracy, liberalism as much as socialism, communism

      • Hated reduction in military spending

    • 1928: Tanaka Memorial – Japanese military draw up plans for Pacific War


  • New revolutions

    • Challenged Western dominance

    • Offered alternatives to the Western model

  • Revolutions through 1939

    • Iran 1905

    • Young Turks 1908

    • Mexico 1910

    • China 1912

    • Russia 1917 (two)

    • Wafd Revolution, Egypt 1919

    • Turkey 1920s

    • India 1920s

    • China 1928 – 1949

Mexico s upheavels

  • The Porfirato as a Cause

    • Response to authoritarian modernization of Porfirio Diaz

    • Economic prosperity for Mexico but at the cost of turning much of Mexico's economy over to foreigners

    • Díaz government ruthlessly suppressed opposition: peasants, Indians, workers did not share prosperity

    • Opposition began, in 1910 Francisco Madero decided to run against Daiz

    • Díaz arrested his opponents, rigged election

  • Mexico Rises in Revolt – the Revolution Begins

    • In the north, Pancho Villa organized resistance

    • In Morelos, Zapata rallied Indians, peasants behind the banner of land reform

    • The rebels drove Díaz from power and replaced him with Madero

  • The Course of the Revolution

    • Madero's moderate program of reform proved inadequate

    • Too much concern for elite interests, foreign concerns, Mexico City at expense of other parts of Mexico

    • In 1913 a military coup removed Madero, who was assassinated.

    • General Victoriano Huerta attempted to restore the dictatorship, but Villa and Zapata again rebelled

    • Huerta fell from power in 1914

    • Remaining revolutionaries continued to fight among themselves over the nature of the new government

    • Obregón was elected president in 1920 and attempted to resuscitate Mexico's economy

    • Under Cárdenas (1934-1940) promised land reform took place as did beginning of public education

  • The Mexican Constitution of 1917

    • Promised land and educational reform, limited foreign ownership of Mexican industry and resources

    • Guaranteed rights of workers

    • Limited the Church's ownership of land

Post revolutionary mexico

  • Rediscovering Their Indian Heritage

    • Primary emphasis in post-revolutionary culture was Indian heritage

    • Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco decorated public buildings with murals

    • Mexican Muralism heavily influenced by Cubism, European art movements

    • Glorified the Indian past of Mexico

    • Popular literature and music celebrated the heroes of the revolution

  • Some revolutionary changes met with opposition

    • The Church opposed increasing secularism within Mexican society

    • Cristero movement of 1920s combined conservative peasants, politicians, Church

    • Goal was to halt secularization

    • Education became they most volatile issue and led to revolts, guerrilla movements

  • The US and Mexico

    • During Revolution, US supported stability and protection of American property

    • US bombarded Veracruz for failure of Mexico to salute US Flag

    • After Pancho Villa attacked banks in US, US sent army into Northern Mexico

    • More important to U.S. interests was President Cárdenas's nationalization of oil companies in 1934

    • Despite tensions, agreements were worked out between the two nations

  • The PRI

    • Politically, the revolution resulted in a monopoly of power

    • Eventually the Party of the Institutionalized Revolution (PRI) was formed

    • Although technically a democracy, PRI dominated Mexican politics from the 1920s to the presen

    • In the 1990s, many came to question the integrity and usefulness of the PRI.


Against the Myth

1 st russian revolution

  • Causes

    • World War I

      • Produced military disasters, social disruptions, economic hardships

      • Riots began in March 1917 in St. Petersburg protesting poor conditions

      • All groups demanded a new political regime

    • The Rise of Soviets February 1917

      • Councils of workers or soviets took over the city

      • Troops mutinied and also formed soldier and sailor soviets

      • Unable to suppress the disorder, the tsar abdicated.

  • The Liberal Revolution

    • The first stage of the Russian Revolution was led by “liberals”

    • Alexander Kerensky wanted to establish parliamentary government

      • Government was a socialist, moderate coaltion

      • Lack of a substantial middle class hindered democracy

      • Unwillingness to enact land reform

    • End World War I caused the liberal regime to lose support

      • Allies convinced Russians to remain in the war

      • War very unpopular with soldiers, sailors and peasants

    • Rise of “White” Opposition: Monarchists, conservatives worked against revolution

    • Socialists, communists organized paramilitary groups to counter white opposition

2 nd russian revolution

  • Bolshevik or Communist Revolution: November 1917

    • A 2nd revolution unseated the liberal government

    • Brought Bolsheviks to power under Lenin’s leadership

    • Lenin centralized his power in the soviets

  • Marxism or Leninism?

    • Marxism

      • Society went through stages; could not skip a stage

      • Capitalism and industrialization had to proceed socialism

      • Rural economies and large peasant classes were not right for revolution

      • Felt Russia was not likely to have a socialist revolution

    • Lenin adapted Marxism to fit Russian situation

      • Small worker, large peasants were radical to a degree

      • Needed a small cadre of revolutionaries to formant revolution, lead masses

  • The Communists, The Civil War, and International Politics

    • The Bolsheviks withdrew Russia from World War I

      • Surrendered most of Western Russia, Baltic, Finland to the Germans

      • The Allies regarded the Bolshevik government as dangerous,

      • Excluded them from the Versailles peace conference

      • Carved new nations from formerly Russian lands

    • The Civil War Follows

      • Many Allies (UK, France, US, Japan, Poland) invaded Russia to overthrown Soviets

      • Internally Whites (Conservatives), Greens (nationalists) fought Soviets for control

      • Soviets won due to Red Army, Cheka (Secret Police), Red Terror, War Communism

The soviet state

  • Red Institutions

    • The Bolshevik Party

      • The formal name for the Communist Party

      • Led by V. I. Lenin, organized into cells, bureaus

      • Only members of party trusted

    • From Red Guard to Red Army

      • Organized under Leon Trotsky

      • Created to further spread of revolution

      • Later protected revolution from “white” opponents

    • Cheka

      • Soviet secret police

      • Used terror, executions to reduce internal opposition

    • War Communism

      • Soviets forcibly requisition food, supplies to support Red Army

      • Demanded all people support revolution under threat of death

  • The Soviet State

    • First elections held returned a parliament

      • The Social Revolutionary party not the Bolsheviks held a majority

      • Lenin shut down the parliament and replaced it with a Congress of Soviets

    • Established a Bolshevik monopoly on political action

      • The Communist party controlled Soviet politics until 1989

      • The Communist party dominated all political, intellectual, social organs

      • Membership in party was criterion for advancement

Stabilization of the regime

  • The Russian Civil War

    • Officially lasted from 1918 to 1923

    • Russia’s neighbors invaded at one time or another

    • Enemies largely defeated by weather, bad morale

    • Soviets were better organization of Reds, used terror

  • New Economic Policy (NEP)

    • War Communism unpopular, cost production and support for Soviets

    • 1921 Lenin abandoned war communism and moved to NEP

    • NEP restored some capitalism for small farmer, small businesses

    • Reduced resistance to Communist rule and increased food supplies

    • the New Economic Policy reduced resistance to Communist rule.

  • The New Constitution

    • In 1923, a new constitution established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

    • Ethnic republics had local self-rule but this was largely a sham

    • National state dominated by ethnic Russians; national state strongly centralized

    • Communist Party of USSR (CPSU) dominated by ethnic Russians

    • CPSU dominates republics and USSR

    • Universal suffrage elected the Supreme Soviet

    • But only Communist party members were allowed to stand for office

    • The parliament simply ratified decisions reached in the party's executive committees

Soviet experimentation

  • New Institutions

    • CPSU encouraged associations to create a “Soviet” society

    • Many Soviet citizens gained a voice in new organizations

    • The rapid spread of literacy fostered creativity

    • Artist, Literary Societies flourished

    • Gave government tools for reshaping culture

  • A Power Struggle

    • Lenin died in 1924: power struggle ensued for control

      • Lenin preferred Trotsky

        • But as a “Jew” most Russians distrusted him

        • Many Russians distrusted influence of Red Army and a Red Napoleon

      • Joseph Stalin emerged as Lenin's successor

        • Stalin dominated Ministry of Nationalities, local communist parties

        • Became General Secretary of the Communist Party

        • Used divide and conquer tactics to discredit opposition

    • Socialism in One Country

      • Stalin devoted to national development as way for USSR to survive

      • International Communism was secondary to Soviet or Russian needs

      • In some ways Stalin was a Slavophile who rejected Westernization (Marxism)

    • Industrialization

      • Russia needed heavy industry to resist western encroachment

      • Problem: Russia was largely a peasant country

      • Stalin forcibly industrialized by destroying peasantry

      • Collectivized agriculture to free up labor, capital for industry

Toward revolution in china

  • 1911 Revolution

    • Revolutionaries were Western educated elite

    • Revolutionaries were anti-Qing, modernizers, who idealized Japan

    • First revolts were by military units which spread

    • The abdication of the Qing emperor in 1912 began long struggle

    • Each group had a different idea of what was the ideal government

  • Warlords

    • Initially, regional warlords dominated Chinese politics.

    • Alliances of warlords called cliques

    • Yuan Shikai wished to establish a new imperial dynasty

    • Power of the warlords partially offset by merchants, bankers in Westernized cities

  • University Students and Secret Societies

    • Chinese universities provided the theoretical foundation for political reconstruction

    • Secret societies plotted to restore the empire under a Chinese ruler

  • The Foreign Situation

    • The situation was complicated by foreign intervention in China

    • Japan and European nations had divided China into imperial zones of influence

    • From the 1890s to 1945, the most dangerous of the foreign interlopers was Japan

    • Japan physically tried to annex parts of China during World War I

Mao and the peasant problem

  • China and Marxism

    • Marxism said

      • A communist revolution had to occur after industrialization

      • Marxism felt peasants were too anti-revolutionary to be useful

    • China had no industry, too few modern cities, and too many peasants

    • Russia had made revolution with weak industry led by elite party

  • Enter Mao Zedong

    • Came from a peasant background

    • But soon joined the revolutionary and nationalist movement in China

    • Heavily influenced by the Marxist thinkers in Beijing

    • Began to see the peasants as the key to a successful revolution

  • The Nationalist Campaign

    • Chiang Kai-shek began to expand the territory controlled by the Nationalists

    • He seized Shanghai in 1927; by 1928 captured Beijing

    • Chiang Kai-shek was simply the most influential warlord

    • Chiang ruthlessly eliminated his political rivals

    • Chiang initiated brutal crackdown on Communists in 1928 with ok of USSR

  • Long March

    • Mao to lead 90,000 of his followers in a retreat known as the Long March

    • Moved entire base of revolution to Yennan Province

    • Created a state within a state