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Lecture 8

HIST 122 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Oswald Spengler, United States Senate, Franklin D. Roosevelt

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HIST 122

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History 122B
Lecture- Day 8 (20)
“Now I Am Become Death”: Global War and Genocide
WWII: The Very Basic Facts
Global warfare between 1939 and 1945
Between 60 and 68 million people killed
Fought between the Axis and the Allied powers
Genocide and War Crimes
“A new kind of war”— Franklin Roosevelt
Ominous Prophecies
Marshall Foch’s: (France) he was involved in the peace process of the treaty of versailles.
He was unhappy with the sanctions against Germany and believed it was inadequate and
he called it not a peace process but an armistice for 20 years. He claimed that in 20 years
another larger war will break out with Germany in the lead
H. G. Wells and the new war: In 1933, in a book called shape of things to come he talks
about a new war that will break out in 1940. He was off by just a few months. He also made
all kinds of interesting prophecies. In the same book he talks about a time when people will
not have to climb stairs (escalator) He talked about a time where people would talk on
phones without wires (cellphones) and everyone thought he was crazy.
Seeds of Conflict…
An Impractical treaty—“ squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak” —Eric
Geddes: Excessive punishment can be counterproductive which is what happened here. He
was the minister of transport at this time who wanted to completely destroy Germany and
said this quote. Perhaps the second world war could have been avoided if the peace
process was mellower than that.
Failure of the league of nations: Initially looked very promising so it seemed as if we had
entered a new era. Built in however were two fatal flaws making it impossible to maintain
peace: a) clause of arbitration if any conflict takes place, instead of going to war we will
try to mutually arbitrate the negotiations instead of by war. We will mutually encourage
scaling down the production of weaponry. There is no mechanism to ensure this ensued.
The LON didn't have a military body so they couldn’t enforce the process of arbitration or
ensure disarmament b) Collective security — idea is that if one nation is attacked, they will
all come together to defend it. The problem was many of the strongest powers never joined
the LON. Germany withdrew right after hitler came to power (1933) as well as Britain, Japan,
Russia was expelled and the US never joined. United State Senate rejected the idea of
joining. Although it was progressive, it had no mechanism to make anything happen
An Age Of Uncertainty…
Profound Disillusionment: Their entire reference frame had been moved and dismantled
A lost generation— Gertrude Stein
The Decline of the West- Oswald Spengler
End of progress: End/death of this idea. The idea was we progressed so much and so
continuously that at some point in the future, heaven and earth would be the same. The
christian preachers at the end of the war were saying heaven was gods realm that was
impossible to bring to earth
Democracy Undermined: in places like Germany, Italy, France and England. There were
forces describing democracy as the tyranny of the average, weak people. So the greatest
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