Chapter 29 The World Between the Wars: Revolution, Depression, and Authoritarian Response

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The World Between the Wars: Revolution, Depression, and Authoritarian Response

Kellogg-Briand Pact: A multinational treaty sponsored by American and French diplomats that

outlawed war; an example of the optimism that existed during part of the 1920s.

Interwar period: The 1920s and 1930s, shaped by the results of World War I.

The Roaring Twenties: Great social and economic changes were the hallmark of this decade.

Cubist movement: Artistic style rendering familiar objects in geometric shapes; headed by

Pablo Picasso, who was influenced by African art.

Fascism: Nationalist political form that featured an authoritarian leader, aggressive foreign

policy, and government-guided economics; started in Italy.

Benito Mussolini: Founder and dictator of the Fascist Party in Italy.

Settler societies: Australia, Canada, and New Zealand; forged separate “autonomous

communities” within the British empire, called the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Zaibatsu: In Japan, industrial corporations with close government cooperation that expanded

rapidly in this era into shipbuilding and other heavy industries.

Porfirio Díaz: Mexico’s long-serving dictator who resisted political reforms; his policies

triggered the Mexican Revolution.

Pancho Villa: Mexican revolutionary who led guerrilla fighting in the North; pursued

unsuccessfully by the U.S. government in 1913.

Emiliano Zapata: Mexican revolutionary who led guerrilla fighting in the South; motto was

“Tierra y Libertad”; demanded land reform.

Soldaderas: Women who were guerrilla fighters in the Mexican Revolution.

Victoriano Huerta: Sought to impose a Díaz-type dictatorship; forced from power by Villa and


Alvaro Obregon: Emerged as Mexico’s leader at the end of the revolution; wrote a new

constitution that promised land reforms.

Lazaro Cardenas: Mexican president who enacted land reform and rural public education.

Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco: World-renowned artists who depicted glorified

versions of Mexico’s Indian heritage and potential Marxist future in murals.

Cristeros: Conservative peasant movement in the 1920s in Mexico; backed by the Catholic

church and many politicians; resisted the secularization of the culture and government.

Party of the Industrialized Revolution (PRI): This Mexican political party dominated politics

from the 1930s to the end of the century.

Alexander Kerensky: Leader of the provisional government in Russia after the fall of the tsar;

kept Russia in World War I and resisted major reforms; overthrown by Bolsheviks at the end of


Bolsheviks: Violent, radical wing of the Social Democrats in Russia, led by Vladimir Lenin;

took power from provisional government; later renamed “Communists.”

Russian Civil War (1918-1921): Millions died in the struggle between the Reds (pro-

Communist forces) and Whites (an amalgam of non-Communists); the Reds won, largely

because of the organizational skills of Leon Trotsky.

Leon Trotsky: Lenin deputy who organized the Red Army during the civil war and later lost a

power struggle to Stalin.

New Economic Policy: Lenin’s temporary measure that allowed some capitalism within a

Communist framework; food production increased under this program; ended by Stalin.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Name of the Moscow-based multiethnic Communist

regime from 1923 to 1991.

Supreme Soviet: Parliament under the U.S.S.R. that had many of the trappings but few of the

powers of its Western counterparts.

Joseph Stalin: Assistant to Lenin who beat out Trotsky for undisputed control of the U.S.S.R.

after Lenin’s death; installed the nationalistic “socialism in one country” program,

collectivization, and widespread purges.

Sun Yat-sen: Western-educated leader of the Revolutionary Alliance, the Guomindang, and at

times, China, in the 1910s and 1920s; struggled with warlords for control of the nation.

Yuan Shikai: Chinese warlord who was that country’s leader from 1912 to 1916; he hoped to

establish himself as the ruler of a dynasty to replace the Qing; forced from power.

May Fourth Movement: Popular 1919 uprising in China against Japanese interference and for

Western-style government that featured intellectuals and students as its leaders; sank under the

weight of problems facing China in the early 20th century.

Li Dazhao: Headed Marxist study circle at University of Beijing; saw peasants as harbingers of

Communist revolution in China; influenced Mao Zedong.

Mao Zedong: Leader of Chinese Communist Party and eventual dictator of that country.

Guomindang: Nationalist party in China; it was the Communist Party’s greatest rival, yet the

Guomindang and Communists forged an alliance against Japanese aggression; the ruling party in

mainland China until 1949, it failed to implement most of the domestic programs it proposed.

Whampoa Military Academy: Established in China with Soviet help; it gave the Nationalists a

military dimension previously missing; first leader was Chiang Kai-shek.

Chiang Kai-shek: Successor to Sun as leader of the Nationalists; fierce opponent of the

Communists, yet he formed an alliance with them to fight Japan.

Long March: To escape the Nationalists, 90,000 Mao supporters traveled thousands of miles in

1934 to remote regions; solidified Mao’s leadership and created much of his myth.

Syndicalism: Economic and political system based on the organization of labor; imported in

Latin America from European political movements; militant force in Latin American politics.

Mexican Revolution: Fought over a period of almost 10 years from 1910; resulted in ouster of

Porfirio Díaz from power; opposition forces led by Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata.

Francisco Madero: (1873 – 1913) Moderate democratic reformer in Mexico; proposed

moderate reforms in 1910; arrested by Porfirio Díaz; initiated revolution against Díaz when

released from prison; temporarily gained power, but removed and assassinated in 1913.

Mexican Constitution of 1917: Promised land reform, limited foreign ownership of key

resources, guaranteed the rights of workers, and placed restrictions on clerical education; marked

formal end of Mexican Revolution.

Red Army: Military organization constructed under leadership of Leon Trotsky, Bolshevik

follower of Lenin; made use of people of humble background.

Comintern: International office of communism under U.S.S.R. dominance established to

encourage the formation of Communist parties in Europe and the world.

Lázaro Cárdenas: President of Mexico from 1934 to 1940; responsible for redistribution of

land, primarily to create ejidos, or communal farms; also began program of primary and rural


Great Depression: Worldwide economic collapse that began in late 1929 and continued until

the outset of World War II.

Socialism in one country: Stalin’s program to build a self-sufficient Communist state based on

industrial production.

Popular Front: Liberal, socialist, and Communist parties in France that forged a short-lived

alliance in the 1930s.

New Deal: The United States’ answer to the Great Depression, consisting of government

assistance to people affected by the crisis and of government reform of economic institutions.

Fascism: Created in Italy by Mussolini and expanded in Germany by Hitler, this political and

economic movement promoted socialist programs combined with authoritarianism.

Nazi: Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party; under the guise of political unity, the

Nazis forged a totalitarian state.

Gestapo: Hitler’s secret police that imprisoned and killed his real and imagined opposition.

Anschluss: Hitler’s union with Austria.

Appeasement: Britain and France’s policy of compromise with Hitler and Mussolini.

Spanish Civil War: Fascists led by General Franco fought supporters of the existing republic in

the 1930s; Germany and Italy aided the victorious Franco.

Import substitution industrialization: Cut off from supplies it had imported before the Great

Depression, Latin America began to produce for itself through the rapid expansion of


Syndicalism: In Latin America, organizing labor for the purpose of gaining control of political


Tragic Week: In Argentina in 1919, the government brutally repressed labor strikes.

Corporatism: In Latin America, a movement aimed at curbing capitalism and Marxism that

proposed using the state as a mediator between different social and economic groups.

Getulio Vargas: President of Brazil who imposed a pro-Western Fascist-like authoritarian


Juan Peron: Argentina’s leader who, like Vargas, nationalized key industries and led through a

combination of charisma and intimidation.

Training to endure hardship: Term used to describe the Japanese policy established in Korea

to induce the people there to cooperate with the conqueror’s wishes.

Kulaks: The relatively wealthy peasants in the Soviet Union who were starved and murdered by

the millions under Stalin’s direction.

Collectivization: Soviet policy of eliminating private ownership of farmland and creating large

state-run farms.

Five-Year Plan: State planning of industrial production in the Soviet Union.

Socialist Realism: School of art in the U.S.S.R. that emphasized heroic idealizations of workers,

soldiers, and peasants.

Politburo: “Political Bureau” in the U.S.S.R. that was titularly the executive committee but in

reality was, especially under Stalin, a rubber-stamp organization.


Summarize the political, psychological, and economic results of World War I.

Three major patterns emerged: First, western Europe recovered from the war only incompletely;

second, the United States and Japan rose as giants in industrial production; third,

revolutions of lasting consequence shook Mexico, Russia, and China.

Characterize the Roaring Twenties.

A brief period of stability, even optimism, emerged in the middle of the 1920s. The Kellogg-

Briand Pact, outlawing war, was signed by a number of nations. By the latter half of the decade,

general economic prosperity and the introduction of consumer items like the radio and affordable

automobiles buoyed consumer hopes. Cultural creativity appeared in art, films, and literature.

Women, who lost their economic gains in the war’s factories, attained voting rights and social

freedoms in several countries. In science, important advances continued in physics, biology, and


Explain why Italy was the first country in western Europe to experience a sweeping change

of its governmental form.

Postwar conditions appealed to Italian people. The fascists appealed to the strong sense of

nationalism in the Italian people. There was also growing dissension among and within the

classes. On top of that, many of the booms of the Roaring Twenties failed to reach Italy.

Discuss evidence of political and social change for women in the West in the 1920s.

Women, who lost their economic gains in the war’s factories, attained voting rights and social

freedoms in several countries. Declining birth rates and overall prosperity allowed women to

engage in more leisure activities. Women openly dated, smoked, and drank.

Describe how the United States was so successful in its rapid economic advance after the


The U.S. economy boomed between World War I and the Great Depression and established itself

as an innovator in products, technology, and corporate practices. The nation also exported its

culture around the world through music and movies. Primary to this was the fact that World War

I left the United States untouched by the war and the factory infrastructure was untouched.

Identify some political and social changes among the settler societies in this era.

Settler societies, such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, became more autonomous during

this era. Canada saw an increasingly strong economy and rapid immigration during the 1920s.

Australia emphasized socialist programs like nationalization of railways, banks, and power

plants, and experienced rapid immigration as well.

Describe the factors that led to Japan’s shift from a liberal democracy to a militarycontrolled


After World War I, Japan became Asia’s leading industrial power. The industrial combines

rapidly expanded in areas like shipbuilding. Like Western countries, Japan saw its political

institutions challenged by war and depression. In response, the nation developed an aggressive

foreign policy pushed by a government controlled by the military.

Was the Great Depression inevitable? Why or why not?

Although depressions occur on a cyclical pattern, the depth and severity of the “Great

Depression” could have been lessened if certain factors could have been attended to by the

Western Powers. Among those factors are the Treaty of Versailles, government controls for

inflation, and knowledge of economic principles within leadership groups in the Western


Define “totalitarianism” and provide examples.

Totalitarianism is a government that exercises massive and direct control over all activities of its

subjects. Totalitarian governments purge opposition, censor news, control movement of citizens,

and distribute commodities.

Compare totalitarianism in the U.S.S.R. and Germany.

Both the U.S.S.R. and Germany exercised massive and direct control over all the activities of

their subjects. Both governments purged opposition, censored news, controlled movement of

citizens, and distributed commodities. Whereas Germany tried to expand its ideals by conquering

neighbors, the U.S.S.R. remained highly introverted.

Trace the unique course of the United States in answering the dilemma of the Great


The United States government offered direct aid to Americans in economic trouble in the form of

the New Deal. The Social Security system, government economic intervention and agricultural

planning, and banking regulations were all attempts to recover from the depression. Most

importantly for Americans, the New Deal restored confidence in the economy and in the


Summarize the effects of the Great Depression on the politics in Latin America.

Its economic dependency and weak liberal regimes were made clear by the world financial crisis

of the 1930s. Reform movements gained momentum. Corporatism, with its roots in Fascism,

sought to create states acting as mediators between different social groups. The most successful

example of political change came from Mexico, where land was redistributed and oil wells were


Give reasons that Japan embarked on a foreign policy of conquest.

Japan’s policies subdued the effects of the depression. The depression hit Japan hard, but the

expansionist policies provided a unifying force and stimulated growth in war industries.

Relate Great Depression to political instability.

The depression weakened western Europe. Political institutions and ideals were brought into

question. The desperation that was seen by the average citizen was used as political capital by

radical and fringe groups seeking power through the weak parliamentary systems.

Identify ways that the economic crisis affected patterns of social behavior.

Traditional habits were challenged, especially within colonial territories. Western women gained

the right to vote.

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