The Rise of Dictators 1920s-1930s Several nations views democratic gov’ts as too weak Turned to dictators
Soviet Communism 1929 Josef Stalin dictator of Soviet Union Made it a totalitarian state (a nation in which a single party controls the gov’t and every aspect of people’s lives) Took brutal measures to control & modernize industry & agriculture Peasant had to live crops, animals, & land to gov’t run farms Those who resisted were executed or sent to labor camps 4 million other Soviets were killed or imprisoned on false charges of disloyalty
Fascism in Italy Economic & social problems after WWI Led to unrest Benito Mussolini Promised to restore prosperity & order 1922 Mussolini & followers threatened to overthrow elected gov’t King appointed Mussolini prime minister Turned Italy into world’s 1st fascist state (political system based on militarism, extreme nationalism, & blind loyalty to the state & its leaders) Spoke of restoring Italy to time of Roman Empire when Italy controlled Europe Ended freedom of the press & banned all political parties, but his Critics were jailed or murdered Children in school recited the motto “Mussolini is always right”
Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler Was one of many Germans mad at WWI defeat & reparation payments 1921 Hitler became leader of National Socialist, Nazi, Party Nazism was a form of fascism Racism was at core of Nazi beliefs Hitler told Germans they were master race Cornerstone of racial theories was hatred of Jews Claimed Jews betrayed Germany in WWI (that is why they lost); Jews & other groups became the scapegoat
1933 Hitler named chancellor of Germany (leader of parliament) Created a totalitarian state All other parties outlawed Secret police enforced strict loyalty Anti-Semitic laws passed Jews banned from public schools & from certain professions (medicine & law) Jews communities were attacked 1938 Troops began sending Jews to slave labor camps (the worse was yet to come)
Militarism in Japan Great Depression undermined faith in democratic gov’t Military leaders pressured gov’t to take control of nearby countries Island nation need more space & raw materials for industries 1936 militarists completely controlled gov’t Preached racism Japanese were superior to other Asians & non-Asians
Military Aggression Japan attacks China 1931 w/o gov’t approval Japanese army seized Manchuria (in Northern China) League of Nations (founded to stop aggression) protested, but did nothing 1937 Japanese aggression increased in China Chinese treated brutally For 6 weeks Japanese forces pillaged Nanjing Quarter of a million civilians & prisoners of war were massacred
Italy Invades Ethiopia 1935 Mussolini’s armies invade Ethiopia Ethiopians battled bravely but modern technology prevailed Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie appealed to League of Nations for aid Response was week
German Aggression Hitler vowed to create empire to unite all German speaking people Began rebuilding German army (defined Treaty of Versailles) Moved troops to Rhineland region of western Germany 1938 German armies occupy Austria European democracies did nothing to stop him France & Britain protest when Hitler threatened to invade Czechoslovakia Met w/ Hitler in Germany(Munich) to appease him Munich Pact Agreed to let Germany invade Sudetenland (portion of Czech. Populated by people who spoke German) In return Hitler promised not to seek further territory Neville Chamberlain (British Prime Minister) claimed he had won peace A few month later Hitler occupied all of Czech.
Neutrality Act Passed by Congress in 1935 1st of several laws designed to keep U.S. at peace Forbade President from selling arms, making loans, or giving assistance to any nation involved in war
Good Neighbor Policy U.S. wanted to strengthen ties to Latin America Pres. Herbert Hover rejected Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine U.S. no longer claimed right to intervene in Latin American affairs Franklin Roosevelt created Good Neighbor Policy American troops withdrew from Nicaragua & Haiti Also cancelled Platt Amendment (had limited independence of Cuba)
War Begins in Europe Poland was next target of Hitler France & Britain realize appeasement failed Would aid if invaded Invasion of Poland August 1939 Hitler & Stalin sign nonaggression agreement (were enemies) Nazi-Soviet Pact Promised not to attach each other Secretly agreed to divide up Poland September 1, 1939 Nazi troops invade Poland 16 days later Soviet troops seize eastern Poland & invaded Finland & later annexed Estonia, Lithuania, & Latvia Britain & France declared war on Germany WWII had begun At 1st Germany army was unstoppable 1940 Germany army seized Denmark & Norway & later the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, & moved into France
Fall of France Britain sent troops to help France Overpowered Retreated to Dunkirk a port on the English Channel Every British ship available was sent to rescue trapped soldiers Germans marched on to Paris June 22, 1940 Hitler accepted surrender of France
Battle of Britain Britain stood alone against Nazi war machine Winston Churchill was confident Britain could win Hitler ordered air assault on Britain Day after day assaults continued (thousands died, but spirits never broke) They slept in subway stations at night & cleared wreckage, buried the dead, & tried to carry on during the day British air force fought invading planes overhead Battle continued for many months Hitler abandoned plans to invade Britain
Invasion of the Soviet Union June 22, 1941 Hitler broke pact w/ Stalin German forces invade Soviet Union Soviet Union now joined Britain in fighting Germans Churchill & Stalin mistrusted each other, but were forced to work together
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