France: The Interwar Years (1919-1938)
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France: The Interwar Years (1919-1938)






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France: The Interwar Years (1919-1938) France: The Interwar Years (1919-1938) Presentation Transcript

  • FranceThe Interwar Years (1919-1939)
  • World War I Statistics• French population in 1919 • 38.7 million people• Military Mobilized - 8,410,000• Total Casualties - 6,460,800 • Military Casualties - 6,160,800 • Civilian Casualties - 300,000 • 17% of population (2nd most behind Russia)• Total Deaths - 1,657,800 • 4% of population (2nd most behind Russia)
  • French Casualties in WWI 5% 8% 21% Military Deaths 66% Military Wounded POWs & Missing Civilian Deaths
  • Post-War Problems• massive war debt• much of France needs rebuilt• soldiers no longer have jobs• Russian ally replacement question• German question
  • Post-War France• Treaty of Versailles • France was a major player • French PM - George Clemenceau • wanted to humiliate Germany • said treaty was not harsh enough • got back Alsace-Lorraine • German troops not allowed to occupy the Rhineland
  • "So far as possible, therefore, it was the policy of Franceto set the clock back and undo what, since 1870, theprogress of Germany had accomplished. By loss ofterritory and other measures her population was to becurtailed; but chiefly the economic system, upon whichshe depended for her new strength, the vast fabric builtupon iron, coal, and transport must be destroyed. IfFrance could seize, even in part, what Germany wascompelled to drop, the inequality of strength betweenthe two rivals for European hegemony might beremedied for generations." - John Maynard Keynes The Economic Consequences of the Peace
  • Reconstruction• most of WWI fought in France • counted on reparations from Germany to rebuild • reparations didn’t arrive until 1926• Aristide Briand • French Prime Minister • allowed Germany more time before paying reparations • forced out of office in 1922
  • Raymond Poincaré (1922-24)• successor to Aristide Briand• ordered troops into the Rhineland • Occupation of the Ruhr • reluctance to military occupation• driven from office in 1924 • unable to produce any substantial reparation payments • international pressure from the Ruhr Crisis • increased taxes on French citizens• will later serve again as PM from 1926-29
  • Occupation of the Ruhr (1923-25)• How it happened... • France relied heavily on reparations for rebuilding • Dec. 1922 - Reparations Commission declares Germany in default • 40,000 French troops sent to occupy the Ruhr • passive-aggressive German resistance • German mark worthless due to hyperinflation • withdrew in July and August 1925• Consequences • unsuccessful • wrecked Germany’s economy, gaining world sympathy • The Dawes Act
  • The Dawes Plan (Aug. 1924)• consequence of the Occupation of the Ruhr• late replaced by the Young Plan• MainRuhr to be evacuated by all Allied troops • Points • Reparations payments were reduced • Reichsbank to be reorganized under Allied supervision • sources of reparations payments to now include transportation, excise, and customs taxes• Outcomesreparations burden on Germany • relieved • stabilized German currency • brought foreign investment to the German economy
  • Cartel des Gauches (1924-26) • “Left-wing Coalition” • gained power due to the Ruhr Crisis • replaced the conservative Bloc National coalition • generally unfit for government, disorganized, and disunited • in disagreement on economic issues • in disagreement on the German question
  • Treaty of Locarno (1925)• reaffirmed smaller treaties and alliances that had been signed prior• encourage by Britain to foster Franco-German reconciliation• HUGE improvement in European relations • “spirit of Locarno”• Rhineland Pact • Germany, France, Belgium, UK, Italy• answer to the Russian ally replacement question
  • The Great Depression• financial problems creates political instability • left - print money, lower taxes • right - printing money will cause inflation• Franc overvalued• causes France to rely even more heavily on German reparation payments• revolving door of governments
  • Fear of Extremism• feared a power vacuum• Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany• support for fascism and communism grew• Feb. to riotsbarricading of the main square in Paris due 1934 - and police confrontations
  • Popular Front (1936)• radical leftist political group• Leon Blum - Prime Minister • concessionary attitude towards workers • unable to stop increase of government deficit• fell apart in 1937
  • France (1937-39)• 1937 - rightist government took over• economy began to stabilize • investment in armaments manufacturers• betweenmonths average government lasted 7 1920-40,• unprepared for WWII • somewhat militarily prepared • politically and psychologically unstable • not unified