what was the wall street crash
in 1929 american economy collapsed. wall street stock market in new York saw dramatic slump in value of shares.
why did the great depression begin in 1929?
the american economy went into a downward spiral. banks stopped giving out loans and customers struggled to repay existing loans. business experienced a huge drop in the number of goods that they could sell
how the economic depression affected relations bet
the USA made substantial loans to other countries such as Germany to help them rebuild their economies after ww1. but now that times were hard the wanted their money back. could no longer afford to import from others so, the economies of others countries suffered to. much of the goodwill that has existed between nations in the 1920s also collapsed.
the effects of the great depression on japan
japans economic well being depended upon exporting enough silk to be able to pay for imports of essential items such as coal, rubber and iron for its industries. by 1929 population had risen over 65 mil. difficulties finding jobs and sometimes food shortages. by 1931 half of its factories had closed and millions were unemployed.
the Japanese army solution to the great depression
japan needed raw materials, a market for goods and land for its surplus population. solution was that these things could be won by military conquest. japan held the right to build a railway line through china-manchuria. it had supplies of coal, iron ore and oil. however the Japanese government did not approve of such military action
the Mukden incident
18 Sept 1931, part of the railway near mukden was destroyed by a bomb. Japanese army claimed that it had been set off by Chinese soldiers. according to the army, therefore it had been 'forced' to invade Manchuria to 'protect' Japanese interests. not known for certain who was responsible it was widely accepted that it was a deliberate attempt by the Japanese army to create a reason for invading Manchuria. although the gov disapproved, the Japanese people greeted the news with enthusiasm so the government was forced to support the army's actions. by Feb 1932 Japanese completed conquest and renamed territory 'manchukuo', put last Chinese emperor ,pu yi, in control- he had to do what the Japanese told him.
the leagues reaction to the invasion of manchuria
the Chinese appealed to the league to act against the Japanese aggression but the league was in a difficult position. could be argued that japan was just restoring order in an area where it did have existing rights. there might also be some truth in what japan was saying about the mukden incident. furthermore, most countries in leagues particularly, France and Britain (most powerful members), didn't want to take action which meant they has to spend money on their troops since this would harm their own economies. the league had to respond to china's appeal. set up commission of inquiry under lord lytton. he sailed to china, in the meantime the league asked japan to withdraw its troops from Manchuria. they ignored the request. the lytton commission reported in Sept 1932 a year after the first action. report- japan acted unlawfully and it should return Manchuria to china. Japanese response ignore the report and leave the league.
the results of the Manchurian crisis
the league was shown to be powerless. japan clearly in the wrong and ignored the league when told to withdraw troops. however perhaps the leagues reluctance was due to the fact that china seemed to pose little threat to world peace and certainly not to Britain and France. if the problem occurred in Europe people hoped that the league would have taken a more decisive action
the ambitions of mussolini
Italian leader Mussolini, wanted to build an Italian empire in Africa. Abyssinia was one of the few independent countries in Africa and Italy had previously tried, unsuccessfully to conquer it. when 30 Italian soldiers were killed in a border clash with Abyssinian troops in DEC 1994, Mussolini had the excuse he needed to invade.
1935 Mussolini began preparing his forces for the attack. Britain and France were keen to avoid offending Mussolini as they saw him as a possible all against Hitler. in April the signed a treaty with him called stresa front-in this they agreed to stand united against Germany.
while Britain and France continued talking to Mussolini -attempt to avoid an Italian invasion. a ballot was held by the L.O.N. it showed that most British people wanted to use military forces to protect Abyssinia.
Oct 1935 Italian forces invaded Abyssinia, their modern army, with bomber planes, tanks and poison gas, soon had Abyssinian who fought with spears
what happened after the invasion of abyssinia
haile Selassie-Abyssinian emperor. appealed to the league for help. it had to take measures. it was formed to stop aggression. league imposed economic sanctions; no weapons were to be sold to Italy and no rubber or iron. it did not ban sales of oil as it thought countries like Italy could easily buy oil from non league countries like the USA. when Mussolini invaded Abyssinia Britain and France did not close the Suez canal, to Italian ships which would have caused him great difficulty. they did not want to provoke war with Mussolini or drive him into an alliance with Hitler.
the league failed to stop Italian aggression in ab
behind the scene Britain and France worked to find a solution to the problem. the British and french foreign ministers devised a plan to give Mussolini two thirds of Abyssinia if he agreed to stop fighting. there was an uproar when the details of the hoare-lavel pact were leaked to the press in DEC 1935. both hoare and laval were forced forced to resign but the damage was done. Britain and France had been shown to be putting their own interests first and those of the league second.
Mussolini continued his attack on may 2 captured the Abyssinian capital. a week later he competed the conquest of the country. haile Selassie fled his country. he traveled to Geneva where he asked the league for help.
but it was too late, Abyssinia was in Italian hands and the league was thoroughly discredited. the British and french plan to use Mussolini against hitler proved ineffective. Oct 1936 Italy and Germany signed an agreement known as the Rome-Berlin axis in which they agreed to work together more closely.
what was the impact of the treaty of Versailles on
when Germans signed the armistice after ww1, they believed that peace would be based on the fourteen points put forward in 1914 by president Wilson (USA) . Wilson wanted his fourteen points to make sure the horrors of world war 1 would not be repeated. Wilson thought Germany should be punished for its role,but not too harshly- as the Germans might want revenge and start another war.
Germany's representative were not allowed to attend the peace conference in the palace of Versailles. on 7 may 1919 they were presented with the peace treaty which was much harsher than expected.
there was no negotiations and the treaty soon became known as a 'diktat'(dictated peace)
why was the treaty described as unfair on Germany?
the treaty said that Germany had to accept the full blame for starting the war and therefore pay reparations to the allies 6.6 million. lost a huge amount of territory. all its colonies and over 70,000 square kilometers was given to neighboring countries. Germany was split into two. had to accept major cutbacks in its armed forces. it as no longer to have an air force and restrictions were placed on the size of its navy and army. no troops were allowed in the Rhineland.
Germans stunned by terms and there were mass demonstrations in German cities calling for the treaty to be rejected.
if they refused to sign the treaty, it was likely that allied armies would occupy the country and Germany was not strong enough to restart the war. 28 June 1919 2 German ministers went to Versailles and signed the treaty.
from the start, the German people did not accept the treaty as fair and were prepared to support anyone who promised to reverse its harsh terms
hitlers main aims when he came to power
- the treaty of versailles should be torn up
hitler saw versailles as a symbol of the humulliation that germans had been forced to suffur in 1919.
- germany must expand
hitler wanted back the land lost at versailles, but he intended to go further. he wanted to create a greater germany by bringing together all germans in one country
- communism must be destroyed
hitler hated communism and was determined to stop it spreading in germany.
Hitler breaking the treaty of versailles
he wanted to create an army of 600,000 men. the treaty had banned conscription and limited germanys army
- the saar rejoins germany, 1935
in 1919 the saar an important coal mining area was placed under control of the L.O.N for 15 years. when that run out a public vote was held to see whether the local people wanted it to return to german rule. as around 90% of the pop. voted to return to germany, and it was.
- the remilitarisation of the rhineland, 1936
7 march 1636 hitler ordered his troops to march into the rhineland. hitlers troops were no match for the french army and he had instructed them to withdraw of the french showed any sign of resistance. hitler was right that the french would not act without british support. so they took no action
- making allies
the alliances that hitler made
- 1936 rome berlin axis with italy,
this was an informal agreement to co operate, and later in the year they both provided support for the nationalists in the spanish civil war
- in the same year,germany and japan anti-comintern pact
they said they would work together to oppose communism. italy also joined in 1937
- 1939 rome berlin axis turned into a formal military alliance called he pact of friendship and alliance
in 1940 japan joined this alliance and the three countries began to refer to themselves as the 'axis poweres'. during ww2, hungary,romania and bulagria also became axis powers
the appeasement policy
this policy of conceding to reasonable demands in order to avoid war became known 'appeasement'. it was a policy which britain followed from the time hitler came to power, but it is most assosiated with chamberlain, who became britsh prime minister 1937
hitler beleieved that the policy of appeasement was one of weakness. he was convinced that appeasement meant that britain and france would do nothing to stop him expanding his territories. he had built up his armed forces and remiliteraised the rhineland without britain and france interfering, now he wanted to unite with austria.
the Anschluss was acheived
hitler wanted to create a 'greater germany' he wanted to unite all germanic people
- why shouldnt he?
the treaty of versailles was against it as they wanted to keep germany weak
- how was anchluss achieved?
schushnigg, the chancellor of austria tried to stop hitler, he appealed to britain and france for help. their answer no, because they did not want to risk war.
12 march 1938
10 april the plebiste on the anschluss 99.75% said yes
as a result hitler is emboldned because he thaught he was more powerful because britain and france did not stop him
how Hitler acquired the sudentenland
hitlers next target was czechoslovakia, it contained 3 million german speakers in an area on the german border called the sudentenland. it was these sudeten germans who gave hitler the excuse the intervene in czech poltics
czech geographical position made it a threat to germany, as its western border came deep into german territory. it was strong military and economically, with an army of 34 divisons, deposits of coal and ignite and the important skoda armaments factory. so it could prove to be a very difficult enemy if it chose to support any opponent of germany in war. however most of czech military resources were in the sudentenland, so if hitler could gain those territories he would extend germany and also weaken a potential threat.
hitler ordered the czech nazi party to making demands for a role in the czech government. president benes(czech) refused to make further concessions. hitler said he'd support sudeten germans if they caused further difficulties for benes. president benes crushed the rioters.
britain and france did not want to go to war with germany to help the czech. chamberlain flew to meet hitler to dicuss his demands. chamberlain and benes agreeded to transfer to germany those parts of the sudetenland where the majority of the pop. was german.
hitler said it wasnt enough. he wanted all and his possession by 1 oct
the Munich conference
Mussolini propsed a meeting between britain, france, italy and germany to resolve the crisis. the four powers met in munich 29 september. there they agreed that the sudtenland should become part of germany, but the borders of czechslovakia were also guaranteed.
the Nazi soviet pact
during 1939, stalin had also recieved visits from the german foreign minister ribbentrop, and on 23 august 1939 the announcement was made the the 2 bitter enemies, hitler and stalin had signed the nazi soveit pact. they agreed not to fight each other, but secretly they also agreed to divide poland between them. stalin wanted to stop an attack on his country. britain and france had a deep suspicion of the soviet union and stalin belived that what they really wanted was for germany and the soviet union to go to war so that each would be weekened. this pact would give him time to strenthen his forces for the inevitable war with germany.
hitler did hate communism,but after signing the pact he knew that if he invaded poland he would not have to fight the soviet union. he did not believe that britain and france would go to war to support poland, so he believed that the pact would allow him to take a large part of the ocuntry without war. even if britain and france did declare war. germanys eastern border was now secured by an alliance with the soviet union and he did not have to face the prospect of a war on 'two fronts'
chamberlain reacted to the nazi soviet pact by offering support to poland in the anglo-polish mutual pact on 25 aug.
so on 1 sept, germany invaded poland. britain and france demanded hitler withdraw his forces and when he did not they declared war on germany 3 sept.
why was appeasement right
- in 1938 it was just 20 years since the end of the most devasting war in the history of mankind. some 20 million people died in the first world war and the economies of the major powers were destroyed. no one wanted to see more killing, and with europe still in the grips of the great depression, there was little money to spare to bear the costs of another war
- in 1936 britrain was not ready for war. it simply did not have the military resorces to fight hitler. the policy of appeasement gave britain time to rearm and be better placed to fight
- years leading up to the 2nd world war, stalin had carried out reforms in the soviet union which made his country stronger. western politicians had fears that stalin would try to spread communism into their countries. hitler was strongly anti-communist and so remaining on good terms with him made sense
why was appeasement wrong
- appeasement was based on trust and people acting in an hournable way. chamberlain was an honourable man who believed what hitler told him. so, at every step, chamberlain believed taht hitler was happy with whatthey had agreed and would make no further demands, but hitler was unscrupulous and just saw each concession as weakness
- hitler exploited each concesion by making more demands. when britain and france took no action, his belif that they would not stop him became stronger
- apeasement was too one sided. it is one thing to make concesions to avoid war, but britain and france could have stopped hitler without war or at least made him realise that he could not always get what he wanted. even a moderate show of force in 1936 would have stopped hitler remiliterising the rhineland for example