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World History AP Review

World History AP Review

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World History AP Review

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  1. World History AP Review 1914 – Present

  2. Morley-Minto reforms (1909) The reforms were a combination of changes that took place in British India between Secretary of State of India John Morley (left) and Lord Minto (right). It allowed for more Hindus within the Raj government and greater voting privileges for separate candidates for Muslims. The Hindus felt the reforms did not go far enough while resenting the latitude extended towards the Muslim population. While nation-wide attitude towards independence had not been expressed and would not be for another couple of decades, this was part of the British understanding that changes were required in India.

  3. Mexican Civil War (1910-1917) The civil war began by an attempt to overthrow the PorfirioDíaz dictatorship by rebels such as Francisco Madero, Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata and Pascual Orozco. After Diaz was deposed, Madero took the presidency but his policies were no more pleasing to the rebels and he was kicked out by General Victoriano Huerta. Huerta found himself battling Villa, Venustiano Carranza and Álvaro Obregón. Carranza later declared himself president and was responsible for the liberal constitution written in 1917. However, Carranza failed to enforce much of the document and it led to the election of Obregón. The writing of the constitution after 1917 effectively ended the civil war as much as the assassination of both Villa and Zapata. The end of the war came as Germany tried to rope Mexico into war with the U.S. Mexico declined the offer. The Mexican civil war was an agrarian uprising of the like seen elsewhere at roughly the same time (Boxer uprising of 1900; Russian revolution in 1905; Iranian revolution of 1905).

  4. Victoriano Huerta Huerta gained prominence as general under the rule of PorfirioDíaz. He overthrew liberal/revolutionary Francisco Madero and created a military dictatorship. His rule was characterized by imprisoning or killing anyone who disagreed or attempted to oppose him. His rule was so horrible, his actions created one thing the rebels during the Mexican Civil War wanted – American support from President Woodrow Wilson. After his defeat, he fled to Spain and then to the U.S., where he was arrested for attempting to start a rebellion. He died while in custody in El Paso, Texas.

  5. Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata DoroteoArango first got involved in actions against the government before PorfirioDíaz. Changing his name to that of a former gang leader (Francisco Villa), he joined others to fight against the Diaz regime. In the subsequent string of leaders, he fell in and out of favor. He spent the 1910s crossing the border and causing enemies on both sides of the border. In 1919, he was offered a deal to lay down his arms in exchange for land. He was later assassinated by unknown forces in 1923. Emiliano Zapata was one of the main rebel leaders against Díaz. He even continued fighting after Díaz was defeated and pushed the most on agrarian reform and land redistribution. One of his main rallying cries was “Land and Freedom.” He was assassinated by government forces in 1919.

  6. World War I(1914-1919) There were several long term causes that led to the First World War.  One was nationalism, used to build empires but were also key in destroying them as ethnic minorities pushed for their own governance.  Second, imperialism saw European powers competing for land, resources and ultimately, wealth.  Third, many European countries, to create a power balance, entered into alliances – namely, the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy and the Triple Entente of Britain, Russia and France.  Fourth, the strong military build-up pitted countries with large armies and the nationalistic fervor to want to use them.  However, the spark that kindled the war was the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo by a Serbian nationalist.  Russia supported its Slavic brothers, Germany moved in to assist Austria, France mobilized to help Russia and Britain, in protection of Belgium who Germany invaded, declared war on the aggressor.  The main technological advancements of the war lay with weapons including machine guns, trench warfare, poison gas, armored cars, aerial combat, submarine warfare and heavy artillery. Gassed and blind soldiers follow one another for treatment in France.

  7. David Lloyd George The fiery Welshman was in the British Parliament for over fifty years. His rhetoric against the Germans in the early years of the war gained him support and when the Asquith government lost confidence, Lloyd George was selected as the head of a coalition government. He worked with only a few people, made decisions quickly and distrusted the competence of the British military leadership, particularly General Douglas Haig. At the treaty in Versailles, he was forced by his earlier rhetoric to make Germany suffer, though he felt that the Allies might be going too far. He was one of the major players (along with Woodrow Wilson and Georges Clemenceau) responsible for the crafting of the Versailles Treaty. “Diplomats were invented simply to waste time.”

  8. Georges Clemenceau The French called him the “Father of Victory.” By the time World War I erupted, he was in his mid-70s. During the war, he pursued an aggressive pursuit of the Germans in French territory. At the treaty of Versailles negotiations, he fought with Woodrow Wilson and David Lloyd George on the treatment of the Germans and the existence of a League of Nations. He personally conflicted with Wilson (his reaction to Wilson’s 14 Points was “The Good Lord was content with ten.”) After serving as premier during the war, he lost re-election after the war and retired. "America is the only nation in history which, miraculously, has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization."

  9. Nicholas II Nicholas II became czar of Russia after the death of his father, Alexander III. He was the last emperor of Russia and in unpopularity was due to the continued poverty of the large mass of his people, his disastrous military conflicts with Japan in 1905 and in World War I and his unwillingness to give up significant power. The revolution in his country in 1917 led to Russia bowing out of WW I, with the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. That treaty helped to convince U.S. President Wilson to join the Allies in the same year. Upon the rise of the Bolsheviks, he and his family were first arrested and then later, in 1918, were executed. The fall of the Russian Empire was part of a general trend after World War I that saw the end of several empires, including the Ottoman and the Austria-Hungarian Empires. A photo of Nicholas shortly before his execution

  10. Arab nationalism (1915) This refers to the independence movement within the Middle East and Arab-dominated countries like Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan after WW II.  It was an extension of the Arab nationalism which convinced many Arab leaders, namely Hussein ibn Ali, to side with the British during WW I. Between the wars, European powers, notably the British and French, controlled portions of the Middle East as a result of the mandate system after WW I.  In the years between the war, the British caused problems in Palestine through the Balfour Declaration – the British recognition for the need of a Jewish homeland. The move, in essence, created an Arab-Israeli conflict with Arab nationalists forming the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to fight the creation of Israel. Arab soldiers in the revolt during World War I against the colonial rule of the Ottoman Empire.

  11. Hussein ibn Ali (c.1854-1931) Leading up to World War I, Hussein ibn Ali was the Grand Sherif of Mecca. At the onset of the war, the British approached ibn Ali about rising up against the Turks in exchange for an independent Arab state, free from outside control. Proclaiming himself kind of all Arabia, he launched a successful albeit unorganized uprising against the Turks with British support. The uprising was a product of Arab nationalism. At the end of the war, the British, who had also promised the Jews their own land and the French its empire desires in the Mesopotamia region, left ibn Ali with the feeling the British had gone back on its word. An uprising ended his reign in Arabia and he died in exile in modern-day Jordan.

  12. Twenty-one Demands (1915) During WW I, Japan, at war with the Central Powers, took German territory in China.  China asked that Japan leave and instead, Japan delivered an ultimatum of twenty-one points in 1915 which would have, in effect, given it complete economic and military control over China.  China resisted, with the help of the British but Japan left the world with the impression that it was their aim to create a single Asian empire with itself as the head. Chinese officials are forced to sign the Japanese ultimatum

  13. He was a student of Karl Marx and was responsible for the seeds of communist revolution in Russia.  After the Russian Revolution, he took control of the Bolshevik Party and supported the spread of communism.  Once in control after the Bolshevik (October) Revolution, he withdrew Russia from WW I and set forth changing the country politically and economically.  After his ascension, civil war broke out and Lenin initiated his policy of war communism; large scale nationalization of businesses, industry and food production.  Once the war was over, war communism transformed into the New Economic Policy (NEP).  The new policy limited private business and entrepreneurship in response to the world wide depression; Lenin maintained the nationalization of banking, communications, resources and large scale industry.  However, he did allow for small businesses and farmers could keep surpluses which drove them but they were also struggling with outdated equipment. Vladimir I. Lenin Vladimir Lenin in the 1920s “Freedom is a capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in ancient Greek republics: Freedom for slave owners.”

  14. Russian Revolution (1917) In February 1917, Czar Nicholas II abdicated the Russian throne after decades of unrest made worse by Russia's involvement in World War I.  The provisional government tried to enact reforms to extend political and social liberties but did not address more basic needs of food and land redistribution.  The Petrograd soviet (a local council that was bent on a revolution) gained increasing influence throughout the country. A street demonstration in Petrograd

  15. October Revolution (1917) The second stage of the Russian Revolution was also known as the Bolshevik Revolution and led by Vladimir I. Lenin and his Bolshevik Party.  Lenin, a disciple of Karl Marx, sought for the proletariat (workers) to rise up against the bourgeoisie (business and industry owners).  In October 1917, the Bolsheviks gained control over the Petrograd soviet (district) and overthrew the provisional government in a bloodless coup.  With the Bolsheviks in control, Russia exited the First World War and redistributed land to the peasants.  The country was renamed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and became the world's first communist country. Soviet supporters took to the streets in support of the Communists

  16. Balfour Declaration (1917) The announcement of the Balfour Declaration was the product of several forces. One, British Zionists, namely Chaim Weizmann, heavily lobbied the British for greater consideration of a Jewish homeland, especially as stories of continued Russian persecution leaked out. Second, the Zionists were strongly persuasive to suggest that such a move would bring about world wide Jewish support, which in turn would lead to world wide monetary support for the British cause. Desperate for money and more allies in the Middle East, the British grew more willing to accept a proposal for a Jewish homeland. The declaration ran counter to what Arabs perceived what British promised them in the beginning of the war. Foreign Minister Alfred Balfour sent a note outlining the plan which gives the document its name.

  17. Paris Peace Conference (Versailles) of 1919 The Allies met in Paris in 1919.  Some, like Woodrow Wilson of the U.S., wanted to treat Germany as only a portion of the issue and proposed his Fourteen Points.  Within them, he sought to reverse the issues that caused the war in the first place.  Others like British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and France's Georges Clemenceau wanted to punish the Germans.  The resultant Treaty of Versailles did several things:  the creation of the League of Nations (the only part of Wilson's 14 Points that was accepted), the break up of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire.  With regards to Germany, the defeated country had to take responsibility for the war, loss of their colonies as well as their land nearest France which was then turned into a demilitarize zone, Germany's military was abolished and it was forced to pay billions in reparations.  The subsequent economic depression in Germany led to the rise of radicalism and ultimately, dictatorship. Allied delegates gather in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles to watch the Germans’ official surrender

  18. Age of Anxiety (1919-1930s) In the years after World War I, there was seen in the sciences and culture a general sense of uncertainty and suspicion about the values and ideas that were previously considered concrete and infallible.  Literature grew darker in tone, art grew more abstract and science, through psychology, questioned morality and sought new explanations of behavior. Edvard Munch’s Anxiety

  19. It is a political philosophy that arose, first out of Italy and then Germany; both countries were in the throes of economic depression and sought to combat growing communism.  The thought is associated with extreme nationalism and the complete takeover of society by the state.  In 1919, Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist Party while in Germany, Adolf Hitler climbed the ranks of the National Socialists German Workers' Party.  Mussolini concentrated on the submission of the individual to the state within a totalitarian government while Hitler added a dose of anti-Semitism and militarism.  The abdication of the Italian crown and the tacit approval of the Catholic Church brought the Fascists to power in Italy and the Nazis were able to win control of the German parliament with Hitler as its leader in the early 1930s. Fascism (1919) “Everything and Everyone for Victory” Fascist propaganda poster

  20. May Fourth Movement (1919) After World War I, the Big Four (United Kingdom, United States, France and Italy) gave Japan concessions in China. Chinese activists were outraged as they supported the Allies during the war. On 4 May 1919, students, liberals and intellectuals protested not just for an end to Japanese entrance into China but also pushed for a liberal democracy in the western model. Such ideas had trouble working in a country as large with as many poor people as China. Many of the activists involved in the May Fourth Movement, by the 1920s, began to gravitate towards communism. Young Chinese protestors as part of the May Fourth Movement.

  21. Tragic Week (1919) In the late 1800s and early 1900s in Latin America, a growing industrial and working class began putting heavy pressure on the ruling elite and middle class to share political power and to have a greater political voice. Workers in the continent were organized by foreign labor from the activists-laden European industrial sector. While activists gained some success in some South American countries, others like Argentina, took a different path. During the Tragic Week, at the beginning of January 1919, government forces cracked down on workers with beatings and killings. The government claimed they were striking back against a “foreign” element that was attempting to disrupt Argentinian society and economy. Issues that grew out of the Tragic Week in Argentina

  22. Kuomintang (1919-1949) The Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) was the outgrowth of the movement by Sun Yat-sen at the turn of the century. As a highly organized and authoritative party, it would be Chiang Kai-shek who would lead the KMT into prominence and control of China. During the 1930s, the KMT had a large amount of support but the Communists in China were beginning to grow in support. The KMT took a policy of aggression against the Communists, forcing the group to move base of operations (the Long March) where Mao Zedong emerged as a leader. During the war, Kai-shek’s KMT began to lose large amounts of support and after the war, the Communists were able to drive the KMT off the Chinese mainland altogether to the island of Taiwan. Today, the Taiwanese government represent the descendants of the KMT but in a practical sense, they are still sphere of influence for the Chinese Communist government.

  23. Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms (1919)Rowlatt Act During World War I, the British promised greater Indian control of their country for their support during the war. After the war, the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms gave Indians near complete provincial authority while Indian legislators gained in power and authority on a federal level. However, later that year, the Rowlatt Act limited certain civil rights in India, such as freedom of the press. This initiated a new wave of protests from which, Mohandas Gandhi emerged as a spiritual leader, pushing his idea of satyagraha (truth force) through mass demonstrations and non-violence to weaken British control of the subcontinent. Lord Chelmsford, one of the architects of the reforms

  24. Álvaro Obregón After the defeat of Victoriano Huerta during the Mexican civil war, the rebels were not sure who should try to run the country and in the absence of such leadership, a competent general named Álvaro Obregón stepped in and, using new military tactics picked up from the war raging in Europe, went after and defeated Pancho Villa’s forces. He pushed to enforce much of the constitution initiated by Venustiano Carranza and also brought order to much of Mexico in the wake of the civil war. Under the new government, he was elected president in 1828 but was shot and killed prior to his taking office.

  25. Benito Mussolini He created the Fascist Party in Italy in 1919.  He was a World War I veteran who sought to strengthen Italy in the face of a depression and the rise of communism.  He pushed for a return to the glory of the Roman Empire but in doing so, he limited liberties and functioned as a demagogue.  In 1936, he officially allied himself with Hitler with the Rome-Berlin Axis and in 1940, joined Germany in their attempt to take Europe.  Italian incompetence on the battlefield eventually led to Mussolini being ousted though he still enjoyed German support.  In 1945, he was captured by the Italian resistance and executed. “Il Duce” "Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity, quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace."

  26. Wafd Party (1920s-1953) The Wafd Party began in 1919 by Zaghlul Pasha to not only push for independence from Britain but to push for social and economic reforms. When Wafd won a large majority in parliament elections, King Fuad I dismissed the parliament and did not call for new elections until much later. The Wafd Party won the next elections as well with Nahas Pasha as prime minister. Throughout the next couple of decades, the party remained in power off and on, depending upon the actions of the king. During WW II, it received support from Britain because the party was anti-Axis. However, in the 1950s, it lost support to do British support and corruption. It was disbanded but re-emerged in 1978 as the New Wafd Party. In the last couple of decades, the Wafd Party has battled the Muslim Brotherhood for the hearts and minds of Egyptians with wavering results. One of the founders of and driving forces behind the Wafd Party – Prime Minister SaadZaghloul

  27. League of Nations (1920) The brainchild of American President Woodrow Wilson and the key component to his Fourteen Points to end World War I, it was the first international peacekeeping organization.  Borne out of the treaty at Versailles, it pressured member states to settle their disputes diplomatically.  While it did enjoy some early successes after the war, namely in Scandinavia, it failed to check the ambitions of Benito Mussolini in Italy and Hideki Tojo in Japan.  It finally dissolved through incompetence in World War II. One of its major shortcomings was the refusal by the U.S. to join – the product of the U.S. Congress refusing to ratify the Versailles treaty because it took its powers to declare war. The first general assembly of the League of Nations

  28. Mandate System (1920) Upon the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations thought it would be a good idea to divvy up the territory under the supervision of the Allied powers to make sure the transition to independence and self-determination (remember, this was Wilson's idea) went well.  Well, it didn't.  France took control of Syria and Lebanon and Britain oversaw Palestine and Iraq.  The rising Arab nationalism and the fight between Jews and Palestinian Arabs for their own place created a hellish nightmare for the British and the French.

  29. Kemal Atatürk After World War I, when the Ottoman Empire was being picked at by anyone capable, Mustafa Kemal or Atatürk drove out various forces, particularly Greece. By 1923, Turkey was an independent republic and Atatürk led radical reforms with a new Latin alphabet and women’s suffrage. He secularized the country and brought reforms to the education system, eliminating religious teachings. In general, he brought about sweeping reforms culturally and economically. A mixture of private industry with government control brought more economic prosperity to more people. While he was considered a bit of a dictator (he ruthlessly put down Kurdish revolts) he is considered the father of Turkey. "A nation which makes the final sacrifice for life and freedom does not get beaten."

  30. Josef Stalin Josef Stalin was the Soviet leader that followed Vladimir Lenin and was known as the "man of steel" who became a dictator.  He created a five-year plan in 1929 for the purpose of modernizing and industrializing the country through collectives and government controlled industries.  The plan was a disaster as famine ensued and millions of peasants starved to death.  In a move that would be mirrored by Mao Zedong in China, the growing opposition led to Stalin enforcing what he called the Great Purge – the jailing or executing of opponents.  He led the Soviet Union through World War II and the defeat of Germany.  He would also lead his country through the nascent stages of the Cold War. Stalin during a speech in the early 1930s – “Yeah, I’m talking to you.” "Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed."

  31. Five Year Plans (1928-1953) When Josef Stalin rose to power, he set out, almost immediately, to improve industrial and agricultural output.  He did this through direct government control of industries and mandated communes in the fields.  Industry focused on the heavy goods and ignored consumer goods, creating shortages.  China would later copy these methods with the leadership of Mao Zedong.  While the plans had devastating effects on much of the Soviet population, Stalin's policies created a leading industrialized country. A call for support of a five year plan in Russia

  32. Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928) Initiated by U.S. Secretary of State Frank Kellogg and French foreign minister Aristide Briand, the Kellogg-Briand Act was an international agreement not to use war as a tool of national policy. While most countries signed the agreement, it was generally ignored.

  33. Muslim Brotherhood (1928- ) In 1928, Hasan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood as a way to move Egyptian society towards a more religious one. The group would work through political means. They push against secularization , westernization and modernization. However, it was officially banned in 1954 after an assassination attempt on Gamal Abdel Nasser. Afterwards, it went underground for a couple of decades before it began putting up candidates under different parties. By the late 1980s, at the time of the Intifada in Palestine, the Muslim Brotherhood experienced an upsurge in interest and participation and remain a dominant if not shadowy organization. Some have suggested they were behind the protests against Hosni Mubarak in 2011 but other experts disagree, calling it a spontaneous expression.

  34. A WW I veteran and disgruntled artist, Adolf Hitler found belonging within politics and the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NAZI).  Rising through the ranks in the early 1920s, he attempted a coup d'état in Munich but was jailed.  In jail, he wrote Mein Kampf, outlining his intentions were he to lead the country.  Throughout the 1920s and early 1930s, his message of protectionism, the glorification of the German state and his anti-Semitic claims related to the economy won him appeal and the party votes.  In 1933, he was appointed chancellor and later, took over the government, created a totalitarian state.  Government spending in the areas of the military and public works brought in jobs and money.  He dismissed the treaty of Versailles and began annexing neighboring countries.  His Nuremberg laws codified anti-Semitic policies.  His aggressive land grabs eventually brought about World War II.  In search of living space, he invaded most of Europe and in the name of racial purity, killed anyone deviant of the ideal German.  The Holocaust, aimed namely at Jews, led to the death of some 12m Europeans.  His final defeat in 1945 convinced him to commit suicide. Adolf Hitler “What luck for rulers that men do not think.”

  35. Chinese Civil War(1930s-1949) Upon the fall of the Qing Dynasty, China became a republic, ruled by the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) and Sun Yat-sen on the basis of the Three Principles (nationalism, democracy and livelihood).  Retreating from Kuomintang (Nationalists) forces in 1934, the Chinese Communists relocated base camps in what is known as the Long March, a 6,000 mile journey that also led to the spread of their ideas.  During the march, Mao Zedong emerged as the leader.  The civil war was put on hold during World War II to deal with the Japanese invasion of China and after their defeat, the civil war continued with the Communists enjoying the upper hand.  Driving the nationalists to Taiwan, Zedong declared the founding of the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949. Chinese Communist forces on attack

  36. Great Depression (1930s) A typical sign and sentiment during the Depression It was caused by a combination of a stock market crash in the U.S. and European economies attempting to recover from World War I.  During the war, American banks loaned millions to the Europeans but that, in conjunction with industrial and agricultural surplus resulted in falling prices.  In October 1929, the American stock market crashed and banks on both sides of the Atlantic failed.  Many people lost everything that had.  The severe economic downturn led to political instability and radical philosophies. 

  37. Getúlio Vargas As the coffee-based economy of Brazil collapsed and the country was in economic ruin, Getúlio Vargas ran for president in Brazil in 1930 and when he lost, in true Latin American tradition, he staged a coup and overthrew the government that very same year. He set up a dictatorship and abolished the constitution but as he did so, he also forced through social security, labor, education and voting reforms and gave women the right to vote. His 1937 Estado Novo was designed to follow the Mussolini model. He spent the pre-war years allowed both the Axis and Allies to court him before siding with the Allies. He was the victim of a coup in 1945, right after World War II but he was able to win the presidency in 1951. However, he could not maintain the support that earned him the presidency and endured calls for him to leave office. He did and then, committed suicide in 1954. "I am leaving life to enter history."

  38. Mukden Incident (1931) In September 1931, the Japanese, during the nascent stages of their Manchurian occupation, blew up portions of the South Manchurian Railway near the town of Mukden (Shenyang), China.  The Japanese used the incident to fabricate a story that the damage was an example of Chinese sabotage.  Subsequently, the Japanese formally annexed Manchuria and completely controlled it by 1932.  While the League of Nations condemned the move, the Japanese simply ignored the body and eventually, withdrew from the organization.  Once Japan withdrew, it began a much more aggressive policy of conquest over territories in East and Southeast Asia. Japanese inspectors survey the damaged rails

  39. Japanese invasion of China (1931) In the 1930s, Japan invaded China hoping to gain control over the country's natural resources.  The bulk of Japanese control was in the north (Manchuria) and the east (where the bulk of the country's population is located).  While there was a great international uproar, the League of Nations were not prepared to challenge Japan militarily on this issue.  China did not receive a reprieve from the Japanese onslaught until U.S. entry into the war which forced Japan to re-allocate its military forces. Japanese forces entering northern China

  40. New Deal (1933) In response to the Great Depression, newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a series of government programs (classified as either relief, recovery or reform) to lift the U.S. towards economic prosperity.  The agencies were meant to reform industries and their practices, provide jobs and set up social security programs.  These programs represented a major shift in the philosophy about the role of the government in the lives of its citizens. In general, the series of programs did not lift the country out of its economic doldrums. It took World War II to rescue the country.

  41. Mao Zedong The head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the wake of the Long March, Mao led a civil war against the Kuomintang and Chiang Kai-shek, creating a communist China in 1949.  China became the largest communist country and Mao created a five-year plan to increase industrial and agricultural output.  This Great Leap Forward did not work as there was little incentive to do well and production actually decreased.  Mao later introduced the Cultural Revolution to restore loyalty; the Red Guards, mostly young people, enforced loyalty to the state, leading many Chinese into jails, torture chambers or the grave.  Mao remained in power until his death in 1976.  Mao Zedong greeting crowds in Beijing

  42. Chiang Kai-shek He is considered the second most important Chinese leader of the 20th-century, behind Mao Zedong. He was a part of Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary group that abolished the monarchy and upon Sun’s death, took control of the Kuomintang and the fight against the Chinese communists. Western education and enamored with the West, he was reluctant to take their advice on how to hold on to his power. His fight against the communists and later, the Japanese during World War II, led to an abandonment of the Chinese peasants. U.S. officials pushed him to do land reforms, to assist the Chinese farmers but Chiang refused to listen. After World War II, Zedong and the communists defeated Chiang and he was forced to flee to Taiwan, along with his followers. "We write our own destiny; we become what we do."

  43. Spanish Civil War (1935-1939) By 1936, a fight over the type of government in Spain boiled over. The Fascists were led by Generalissimo Francisco Franco and supported by the Falange Fascist Party, landowners and Catholic leaders. The Republicans were the pro-parliamentary forces in support of the elected government. The Nazis and Italians supported Franco and used their support as a training ground for tactics and weapons, as well as leaders. Neither the United Kingdom nor France were interested in beginning a larger conflict by helping the Republicans and the U.S. felt if it did not join in, it would limit the size and scope of the conflict. A poster railing against the Fascists and supporting the Republican government

  44. The Holocaust(1937-1945) The Nazi government murdered over 6 million Jews and another 5 million Gypsies, homosexuals, Slavs and anyone else who were considered not pure of blood.  At no other point in history has there been such a systematic killing of a group of people.  Beginning with the SS Einsatzgruppen, roving bands of German soldiers who killed any Jews they came upon as they followed the German army, the German government eventually settled on what was called "The Final Solution" as devised during the Wannsee Conference.  As a part of this plan, concentration camps were constructed with the sole purpose of killing Jews on a large scale.  The worst of these death camps were in Poland with such places as Auschwitz, Belzec and Triblinka.  Upon the German surrender, Allied advocates led the Nuremberg Trials on the charge of "crimes against humanity." Survivors of the Lager-Nordhausen Death Camp in Germany upon liberation

  45. “Rape of Nanking” (1937) Once Japan was in control of China, bombings and a plethora of individual cases of atrocities (not a part of a government-led or mandated policy) led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Chinese.  In the city of Nanking, a combination of a war frenzy and a racial superiority complex led Japanese soldiers to the murder and rape hundreds of thousands of civilians. Chinese victims of Japanese soldiers in Nanking

  46. World War II (Origins) There were a couple of causes to the breakout of the Second World War.  First was territorial ambition seen in Japan's invasion of Manchuria, Italy's attacks on Ethiopia and Albania and Germany's entry into the Rhineland and Sudetenland.  Second, was international weakness in response such as the League of Nation refusing to take definitive action against Italy and Japan for its aggression and the former World War I allies of England and France not taking a firmer stand sooner against Germany.  Once the war began, Europe divided up into alliances, much like it did in World War I with Germany, Italy and Japan making up the Axis Powers and Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, China and the U.S. making up the Allied Powers. A Frenchman cries as the Nazis march into Paris

  47. Nazi-Soviet Pact (1939) The pact refers to a non-aggression agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939, shortly before Germany's invasion of Poland.  In the agreement, the two countries divided up northeastern Europe between themselves.  The German invasion of Poland began World War II and shortly thereafter, the Russians moved into the Baltic states and Finland.  The deal was shattered with the German invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. The pact is also referred to as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.  

  48. Blitzkrieg (1939-1941) Blitzkrieg was a German military tactic first unleashed on Poland during the Nazi invasion of the country on 1 September 1939.  The tip of the blitzkrieg spear were quick and mobile armored units called Panzers (tanks).  These Panzers were able to overwhelm Polish forces within weeks and the rest of Europe collapsed over the span of a month.  The approach and its devastating ramifications gave little hope that the British and French would be willing or able to stop the Germans. Indeed, the first year of British and French participation in the war is known as the Phony War because of allied inaction. Germany storms into Poland in 1939

  49. Pearl Harbor (1941) In response to American embargos upon natural resources the Japanese needed, the military government decided on attacking the American naval base in Hawai'i and did so on 7 December 1941.  The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the day as one that will "live in infamy.” The U.S. shortly joined the Allies in their war effort.

  50. Atomic Bomb (1945) In the final blows against the Japanese, the Americans first warned and then unleashed two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and three days later, Nagasaki in the first days of August 1945. The bombs had a horrific effect on the Japanese population and led to the death of tens of thousands of people.  Shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and on 2 September, Japan surrendered to American forces.  Atomic bomb detonated over Nagasaki