Us history Chapter 24 World War Looms Chapter 24, Section 1 – Dictators Threaten World Peace



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US History - Chapter 24 World War Looms

Chapter 24, Section 1 – Dictators Threaten World Peace
Nationalism Grips Europe and Asia

Flashback: Treaty of Versailles ended WWI (“war to end all wars”)



  • Treaty was supposed to set up peace for New World, but actually it laid the foundation for WW2

  • GM had to take full blame for WWI, expected to pay full reparations, etc.

    • Not just angry, but also broke

  • Democracies (Wilson’s hope) didn’t last – became clear that authoritarian ways were better for dealing with problems (Short term)


Joseph Stalin Transforms the Soviet Union

  • Russia became a communist state in 1922 under Lenin

    • Renamed the Soviet Union

    • It was a totalitarian state = individuals have no rights, government suppresses all opposition

  • Lenin died in 1924, so Stalin took over

    • Wanted to create a model communist state

    • Focused on agriculture and industrial goals, so he got rid of all private farms and created collective farms – large government owned farms – worked on by hundreds of families

    • Also introduced “five year plans” – all economic activity became state controlled

    • By 1937 – 2nd largest industrial power (but at what cost?)

    • Stalin ruled by fear – anyone who threatened his power (real or imagined) was eliminated


The Rise of Fascism in Italy

  • Meanwhile, Benito Mussolini was working on his own totalitarian state in Italy

  • Unemployment and inflation led to an unhappy general public, so Mussolini eased their concerns

  • Denounced communism and won over their support

  • Mussolini created the Fascist Party

  • Fascism – style in which nationalism is stressed above all things and the interests of the state are above those of an individual

    • Fascists must follow a single leader and a small group of devoted party members

    • 1922 – Mussolini’s “Black Shirts” marched on Rome

  • The Italian king realized everyone supported Mussolini, so he appointed Mussolini as head of the government

  • Eventually, Mussolini had extended Fascism to every aspect of their lives (crushed all opposition)


The Nazis Take Over Germany

  • 1919 – Adolf Hitler joined the Nazi Party

  • Nazi Party – National Socialist German Workers’ Party

    • Actually not tied to socialism though

    • Because of Hitler’s speaking abilities, he became Nazi Party’s leader

  • Nazism – Based on extreme nationalism (German version of Fascism)

    • Hitler’s dream: Unite all German speaking people into a great German Empire

      • Also wanted racial “purification”

      • Aryans were the “master race” destined to rule the world in his opinion (blue eyes, blonde hair)

      • Also wanted National Expansion – Hitler felt GM needed more “living space” (lebensraum) – outlined this in his famous book, Meinkampf

  • Great Depression actually helped Nazis rise to power

    • Germans were so broke, unemployed, desperate, etc., that they would try anything including this new guy and his “Brown Shirts” – the private army of Hitler’s

  • By 1932, Nazis were strongest political party in GM

  • 1933 – Hitler was appointed chancellor of GM (or Prime Minister)

    • Upon taking over, the democratic republic was dissolved

    • Replaced it with “Third Reich” – 3rd GM Empire that would last for 1,000 years


Militarists Gain Control in Japan

  • Meanwhile, nationalistic leaders were also trying to take over imperial JP

    • Nationalistic leaders agreed with Hitler in lebensraum

    • These militant nationalists surprise attacked Manchuria (part of China) and all of its rich resources

  • The League of Nations had been established to deal with things just like this

    • Representatives were sent to investigate the Manchurian invasion

    • Result: Condemned JP for wrongdoing

    • JP’s response: They quit the League

    • JP’s government was in control by these militarists



Aggression in Europe and Africa

  • Europe’s dictators (Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini) noticed the League of Nations’ weak response to JP

    • 1933 – Hitler took GM out of League and built up GM’s military (violation of the Treaty of Versailles)

    • Then sent troops into the Rhineland (GM region by FR that had been demilitarized)

    • League did nothing about it

  • Mussolini began building his Roman Empire, starting with Ethiopia

  • Fall 1935 – thousands of Italian soldiers ready to advance on Ethiopia

  • May 1936 – Ethiopia fell

    • Haile Selassie (Ethiopian emperor) – “It is us today. It will be you tomorrow.”


Civil War Breaks Out in Spain

  • 1936 – Francisco Franco led a group of Spanish army officers against the Spanish Republic (Fascists)

    • Result: Spanish Civil War

    • Throughout the world, people chose sides

    • “Abraham Lincoln Battalion” – 3,000 US soldiers fought against Franco

  • Ultimately, fascism spread to Spain

    • Western democracies remained neutral

    • Hitler and Mussolini backed Franco’s forces with troops, weapons, tanks, etc.

      • Close relationships forged between GM & IT

      • Led to Rome-Berlin Axis – alliance

  • So totalitarian regimes in: Italy, Germany, Spain, & Russia


The United States Responds Cautiously

  • While alarming, most Americans remained isolationists

  • Kellogg-Briand Pact had been signed back in 1928, stating war would not be used for policy issues


Americans Cling to Isolationism

  • Early 1930s – books were written and newspapers discussed how US had gotten into WWI because of greedy bankers and arms manufacturers

  • Public outrage led to formal investigation (Sen. Nye)

    • Committee showed large profits by banks and manufacturers

    • Americans were upset and became even more “anti-war”

    • Girl Scouts even changed color from khaki to green

  • FDR had sensed his country’s desires and did a number of things to keep “good feelings” amongst the nations:

    • Recognized the newly formed SU

    • Continued Good Neighbor Policy in Latin America

  • Congress also passed a series of Neutrality Acts

    • Acts outlawed arms sales or loans to nations at war

    • Also extended the bans to nations in civil wars (SP)


Neutrality Breaks Down

  • Despite all these attempts to guarantee neutrality, FDR knew it wasn’t possible

  • FDR found a way around the Neutrality Acts with regards to the JP/CH fiasco, and continued to support CH by sending arms and supplies

  • FDR’s Quarantine speech didn’t set well (Chicago – 1937)

    • But his speech would begin to resonate


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