Probing Cultural Frontiers The Great War destroyed much, including long-held beliefs about the superiority of European culture. Building on innovations in science, psychology art and architecture, changes in those fields reached true revolution in the two decades following the war. Probing Cultural Frontiers Postwar Pessimism “Lost Generation” – Term used to describe intellectuals and literati (particularly American) who flocked to Paris in the postwar years seeking to find some salve for their disillusionment. “A Farewell to Arms” – Ernest Hemmingway “All Quiet on the Western Front” – Erich Maria Remarque’s Spoke about the meaningless suffering and ceaseless death their generation experienced in the Great War. Probing Cultural Frontiers Revolutions in Physics and Psychology Physics Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity showed that there was no single spatial and chronological framework for the universe and thus it no longer made sense to speak of time and space as absolutes Psychology Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis Psychological disorders are the result of unconscious conflicts. Probing Cultural Frontiers Experimentation in Art and Architecture Art began to focus on reality and freedom of expression. Architecture focused on functional design well suited for the urban and industrial twentieth-century landscape. Global Depression In 1929, despite postwar hopes for a return to normalcy and prosperity, the world plunged into an economic depression so long-lasting, so severe, and so global that it has come to be called the Great Depression. Took over 10 years and another world war to bring the world out of it. Global Depression The Great Depression Booming 20s were only a façade Causes of G.D. Overproduction Occurred in both industry and agriculture Led to decrease in prices Led to unemployment and failing farms Availability of easy credit and poor mortgage lending practice Unequal distribution of wealth Unemployment Stock Market Collapse October 29, 1929 – Market Collapse… Bank failures follow Global impact Agricultural economies of Latin America, Africa, and Asia hit very hard Germany and Japan also hit very hard Global Depression Despair People were desperate to protect their jobs, homes, savings, and futures. When they failed, despair and depression set in. Poor began to resent the wealthy. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck was symbolic of the emotions and economics of the Great Depression. Global Depression Economic Experimentation Governments initially responded to the Great Depression by insisting that capitalism was a self-correcting system and the depression would work itself out. When it became clear that that was not the case, new methods were implemented John Maynard Keynes (The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money) proposed that governments should respond by stimulating the economy by increasing money supply and funding public works projects to create jobs. Franklin D. Roosevelt The New Deal Paralleled Keynes’ theory Helped but WWII eventually ends the Depression. Challenges to the Liberal Order Promise of a better tomorrow was the rallying cry for a range of political voices across the world in the postWWI world. Marxists – Like Lenin and Stalin believed the death of capitalism was inevitable and promised a new and better system based on the rule of the working class. Fascists – Like Mussolini and Hitler found alternative formulas for reconstruction through intense nationalism, militarism, and devotion to a strong leader. Challenges to the Liberal Order Communism in Russia 1917 – Russia withdraws from WWI due to Revolution 1917-1920 – Russian Civil War Reds (Lenin’s Bolsheviks) vs. Whites (dissident socialists and anti Bolsheviks) Reds win and Lenin maintains rule through ruthless oppression of dissenters Over ten Million killed in Civil War 1924 – Lenin dies 1924-1928 – Power struggle within the Bolsheviks results in Joseph Stalin gaining full dictatorship in the Soviet Union Implements extreme centralization of the Soviet economy Implements Five-Year Plans to catch Soviet Union up with other industrialized nations Maintains rule through ruthless oppression of dissenters and opposition Purges of 1935-1938 Over 3 million killed and 8 million sent to labor camps Challenges to the Liberal Order The Fascist Alternative Developed as a reaction to both communism and liberal democracy 1920s-1930s Italy and Germany fascist parties overthrew existing parliamentary systems. Fascism Dedication to perceived “lost traditions” Promote veneration of the state “Worship” a strong leader Emphasize ultranationalism, ethnocentrism, and militarism State, not the individual is the focus, and the individual must always be subordinate to the needs and service of the state. Challenges to the Liberal Order Italian Fascism Benito Mussolini – Fascist leader in Italy following WWI Became prime minister in 1922 Used “Black Shirts” to calm all dissent Eliminated all other political parties Limited freedom of the press, outlawed free speech, curbed free association, crushed labor unions, and outlawed labor strikes. Envisioned returning Italy to the glory days of the Roman Empire Widespread state control of the economy and society Formed close alliance with Hitler Challenges to the Liberal Order German National Socialism Nationalist Socialist Party (Nazis) Adolf Hitler emerged as leader Capitalized on fears as well as residual anger from the settlement of WWI Identified Scapegoats – Jews and “other impure races” Selected as Chancellor of Germany in 1932 Overthrew Weimar Republic and outlawed all civil and constitutional rights Suppressed, terrorized, and eventually outlawed all competing political parties and factions, purged the judicial and civil service of any non-Nazis, and firmly established a highly centralized state leaving little local or regional autonomy Eugenics Attempts to create and perpetuate a perfect “German Race” Anti-Semitism Nuremberg Laws (1935) – Deprived Jews of civil and citizenship rights Kristallnacht (1938) – “Night of Broken Glass,” a clear signal that conditions for Jews in Germany were going to quickly deteriorate.