Comparative history articles


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Comparative history articles

  1. 1. Comparative History Articles<br />By: Rigocardenas<br />
  2. 2. THE GREAT DEPRESSION<br />The pattern of plunging production, prices, and employment was similar almost everywhere. It provided somber proof that by the early twentieth century a complex, intermeshed world economy had come into existence. Most national economies hit bottom in 1933, but the slump lasted, despite some spotty improvement and a few national exceptions, until the outbreak of World War II in 1939.<br />There was also amore ominous response. In Germany, Italy, and Japan, authoritarian governments took control amid the turmoil of the Depression. These repressive and militaristic regimes ended unemployment, but they also destroyed democracy and eventually brought the world itself to the brink of destruction.<br />
  3. 3. The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s.<br />was the longest, most widespread, and deepest depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how far the world's economy can decline.<br />The depression originated in the U.S., starting with the fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929 and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 from there, it quickly spread to almost every country in the world.<br />
  4. 4. The Great Depression had devastating effects in virtually every country, rich and poor. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25%, and in some countries rose as high as 33%. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by approximately 60%<br />There were multiple causes for the first downturn in 1929. These include the structural weaknesses and specific events that turned it into a major depression and the manner in which the downturn spread from country to country. In relation to the 1929 downturn, historians emphasize structural factors like massive bank failures and the stock market crash.<br />Many economists have argued that the sharp decline in international trade after 1930 helped to worsen the depression especially for countries significantly dependent on foreign trade. Most historians and economists partly blame the American Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act for worsening the depression by seriously reducing international trade and causing retaliatory tariffs in other countries. While foreign trade was a small part of overall economic activity in the U.S. and was concentrated in a few businesses like farming, it was a much larger factor in many other countries.<br />
  5. 5. During the Crash of 1929 preceding the Great Depression, margin requirements were only 10% Brokerage firms, in other words, would lend $9 for every $1 an investor had deposited. When the market fell, brokers called in these loans, which could not be paid back. Banks began to fail as debtors defaulted on debt and depositors attempted to withdraw their deposits en masse, triggering multiple bank runs. Government guarantees and Federal Reserve banking regulations to prevent such panics were ineffective or not used. Bank failures led to the loss of billions of dollars in assets. Outstanding debts became heavier, because prices and incomes fell by 20–50% but the debts remained at the same dollar amount.<br />After the panic of 1929, and during the first 10 months of 1930, 744 US banks failed. By April 1933, around $7 billion in deposits had been frozen in failed banks or those left unlicensed after the March Bank Holiday.<br />
  6. 6. In previous depressions, farmers were usually safe from the severe effects of a depression because they could at least feed themselves. Unfortunately, during the Great Depression, the Great Plains were hit hard with both a drought and horrendous dust storms. Years and years of overgrazing combined with the effects of a drought caused the grass to disappear. With just topsoil exposed, high winds picked up the loose dirt and whirled it for miles. The dust storms destroyed everything in their paths, leaving farmers without their crops.<br />During the Great Depression, millions of people were out of work across the United States. Unable to find another job locally, many unemployed people hit the road, traveling from place to place, hoping to find some work. A few of these people had cars, but most hitchhiked .A large portion of the people who road the rails were teenagers, but there were also older men, women, and entire families who traveled in this manner. They would board freight trains and crisscross the country, hoping to find a job in one of the towns along the way<br />
  7. 7. War World 2<br />World War II, or the Second World War (often abbreviated as WWII was a global military conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, which involved most of the world's nations including all of the great powers eventually forming two opposing military alliances.<br />The war is generally accepted to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and Slovakia, and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and most of the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth. Germany set out to establish a large empire in Europe. From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or subdued much of continental Europe amid Nazi-Soviet agreements, the nominally neutral Soviet Union fully or partially occupied and annexed territories of its six European neighbors.<br />
  8. 8. In late August 1939, Hitler and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin signed the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact, which incited a frenzy of worry in London and Paris. Hitler had long planned an invasion of Poland, a nation to which Great Britain and France had guaranteed military support if it was attacked by Germany. The pact with Stalin meant that Hitler would not face a war on two fronts once he invaded Poland, and would have Soviet assistance in conquering and dividing the nation itself. On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland from the west; two days later, France and Britain declared war on Germany, beginning World War II. <br />n September 17, Soviet troops invaded Poland from the east. Under attack from both sides, Poland fell quickly, and by early 1940 Germany and the Soviet Union had divided control over the nation, according to a secret protocol appended to the Nonaggression Pact. Stalin's forces then moved to occupy the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and defeated a resistant Finland in the Russo-Finish War. During the six months following the invasion of Poland, the lack of action on the part of Germany and the Allies in the west led to talk in the news media of a "phony war." At sea, however, the British and German navies faced off in heated battle, and lethal German U-boat submarines struck at merchant shipping bound for Britain, sinking more than 100 vessels in the first four months of World War II. <br />
  9. 9. France fell to the German onslaught in June 1940, Roosevelt resolved to save England at all costs. Isolationists in Congress had passed Neutrality Acts in the mid-1930s that restricted American trade with belligerents. Now Roosevelt convinced Congress to permit the sale of arms to England on a "cash-and-carry" basis. He arranged to transfer fifty destroyers to Great Britain in exchange for long-term leases on several British bases in the Americas. And after overcoming strong isolationist resistance, Congress passed Roosevelt's Lend-Lease bill in 1941, which gave billions of dollars of military aid to Britain and the Soviet Union, which Hitler invaded in June 1941.<br />American destroyers began escorting British convoys most of the way across the Atlantic, and navy ships approached Ireland to track German submarines for the British. It was only a matter oftime before a showdown in the Atlantic would bring the United States into war with Germany.<br />
  10. 10. MUSSOLINI, BENITO (1883-1945) Leader of the Fascist movement in Italy. Mussolini broke with the Socialist Party during World War I and became an aggressive nationalist. In the troubled postwar period, his Fascist Party preached forcible restoration of order and opposition to leftists. Once named premier in 1923, Mussolini transformed the government into a dictatorship. During the 1930s, heinvaded Ethiopia and Albania and formed an alliance with Hitler, which eventually took Italy into World War II.<br />World War II in the West (1940-41) On April 9, 1940, Germany simultaneously invaded Norway and occupied Denmark, and the war began in earnest. On May 10, German forces swept through Belgium and the Netherlands in what became known as "blitzkrieg," or lightning war. Three days later, Hitler's troops crossed the Meuse River and struck French forces at Sedan, located at the northern end of the Maginot Line, an elaborate chain of fortifications constructed after World War I and considered an impenetrable defensive barrier. In fact, the Germans broke through the line with their tanks and planes and continued to the rear, rendering it useless. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was evacuated by sea from Dunkirk in late May, while in the south French forces mounted a doomed resistance. With France on the verge of collapse, Benito Mussolini of Italy put his Pact of Steel with Hitler into action, and Italy declared war against France and Britain on June 10<br />
  11. 11. In June 14, German forces entered Paris; a new government formed by Marshal Philippe Petain (France's hero of World War I) requested an armistice two nights later. France was subsequently divided into two zones, one under German military occupation and the other under Petain's government, installed at Vichy. Hitler now turned his attention to Britain, which had the defensive advantage of being separated from the Continent by the English Channel. To pave the way for an amphibious invasion (dubbed Operation Sea Lion), German planes bombed Britain extensively throughout the summer of 1940, including night raids on London and other industrial centers that caused heavy civilian casualties and damage. The Royal Air Force (RAF) eventually defeated the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) in the Battle of Britain, and Hitler postponed his plans to invade. With Britain's defensive resources pushed to the limit, Prime Minister Winston Churchill began receiving crucial aid from the U.S. under the Lend-Lease Act, passed by Congress in early 1941. <br />Both the Western mythof the superman and the bogey of the Yellow Peril had their analogue in this emphasis the Japanese themselves placed on their unique supra rationalspiritual qualities. In Western eyes, however, this same spectacle of fanatical mass behavior also reinforced the image of the little men, of the Japanese as a homogeneous, undifferentiated mass. There is no small irony in this, for what we see here is the coalescence of Japanese indoctrination with the grossest anti-Japanese stereotypes of the Westerners. In the crudest of Anglo-American colloquialisms, it was argued that "a Japan is a Jap" (the famous quotation of General John DeWitt, who directed the incarceration of the Japanese Americans).<br />