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2S03 Lecture November 6.docx

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Martin Horn

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2S03 Lecture November There were limits to pacifism in France before WWII – they did rearm France won WWI but with extensive casualties and damage Americans did not ratify Versailles – no army to enforce German reparations France had to try to force Germany to repay Depression 1930s – F no security – couldn’t hold treaty w/o B and Am, Depression – came to Eur 1930-31 F initially spared due to pref. for small stores and local markets, substantial gold reserves, manpower shortage so unemployment not as bad F remained on the gold standard until B and Am. Wasn’t self regulating like people thought F still didn’t abandon it – did not make choices to help the French out of the depression Hitler as a threat from 1933 onward – 1920s F pursued collective security through contradictory means such as the Little Entente (Yugo, Czech, Romania) – problems: countries divided over whether to recognize USSR, financial, economic, etc. problems prevent helping these countries – by the 1930s, it began to break down F also courted Italy to help it prevent G expansion Pierre Laval signed agreement with Mussolini Stresa Front est. with Muss and B PM to stop further German attempts at expansion Collapsed when Italy invaded _____ Pursued relations with USSR despite his reservations – controversial within F and among allies Little practical significance because it was not material F did not disarm in the same way G was disarmed Adopted limited disarmament but remained most armed on the continent Had much broader base in place than G Planned for a war in two stages: defensive and then offensive – designed to exhaust G Maginot Line under minister of war Andre Maginot defensive wall inspired by WWI style warfare Each step forward in rearmament a response to Hitler After H remil. The Rhineland, Belgium reneged on their alliance with F and turned neutral Rhineland remilitarization Popular front: SFIO (French Section of the Workers’ International) – Leon Blum; Radical Socialists – Edouard Daladier; PCF (French Communist Party) – Maurice Thorez : often seen as pacifist – aimed to fight Fascism and promote peace – some argue that the ruling apparatus had become decadent – they did undertake a very costly rearmament program F did not lack resources, they just were not used effectively against G Charles de Gaulle called for an armee
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