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28 - The Crisis of the Imperial Order, 1900 - 1929.doc

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Tom Wang

CHAPTER 29 The Crisis of the Imperial Order, 1900–1929 00CHAPTER OUTLINE I0. Origins of the Crisis in Europe and the Middle East A0. The Ottoman Empire and the Balkans 10. By the late nineteenth century the once-powerful Ottoman Empire was in decline and losing the outlying provinces closest to Europe. The European powers meddled in the affairs of the Ottoman Empire, sometimes in cooperation, at other times as rivals. 20. In reaction, the Young Turks conspired to force a constitution on the Sultan, advocated centralized rule and Turkification of minorities, and carried out modernizing reforms. The Turks turned to Germany for assistance and hired a German general to modernize Turkey’s armed forces. B0. Nationalism, Alliances, and Military Strategy 10. The three main causes of World War I were nationalism, the system of alliances and military plans, and Germany’s yearning to dominate Europe. 20. Nationalism was deeply rooted in European culture, where it served to unite individual nations while undermining large multiethnic empires. Because of the spread of nationalism, most people viewed war as a crusade for liberty or as revenges for past injustices; the well-to-do believed that war could heal the class divisions in their societies. 30. The major European countries were organized into two alliances: the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy) and the Triple Entente (Britain, France, and Russia). The military alliance system was accompanied by inflexible mobilization plans that depended on railroads to move troops according to precise schedules. 40. When Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914, diplomats, statesmen, and monarchs quickly lost control of events. The alliance system in combination with the rigidly scheduled mobilization plans meant that war was automatic. II0. The “Great War” and the Russian Revolutions, 1914–1918. A0. Stalemate, 1914–1917 10. The nations of Europe entered the war in high spirits, confident of victory. German victory at first seemed assured, but as the German advance faltered in September, both sides spread out until they formed an unbroken line of trenches (the Western Front) from the North Sea to Switzerland. 20. The generals on each side tried for four years to take enemy positions by ordering their troops to charge across the open fields, only to have them cut down by machine-gun fire. For four years the war was inconclusive on both land and at sea. B0. The Home Front and the War Economy 10. The material demands of trench warfare led governments to impose stringent controls over all aspects of their economies. Rationing and the recruitment of Africans, Indians, Chinese, and women into the European labor force transformed civilian life. German civilians paid an especially high price for the war as the British naval blockade cut off access to essential food imports. 20. British and French forces overran Germany’s African colonies (except for Tanganyika). In all of their African colonies Europeans requisitioned food, imposed heavy taxes, forced Africans to grow export crops and sell them at low prices, and recruited African men to serve as soldiers and as porters. 30. The United States grew rich during the war by selling goods to Britain and France. When the United States entered the war in 1917, businesses engaged in war production made tremendous profits. C0. The Ottoman Empire at War 10. The Turks signed a secret alliance with Germany in 1914. Turkey engaged in unsuccessful campaigns against Russia, deported the Armenians (causing the deaths of hundred of thousands), and closed the Dardanelles Straits. 20. When they failed to open the Dardanelles Straits by force, the British tried to subvert the Ottoman Empire from within by promising emir Hussein ibn Ali of Mecca a kingdom of his own if he would lead a revolt against the Turks, which he did in 1916. 30. In the Balfour Declaration of 1917 the British suggested to the Zionist leader Chaim Wiezman that they would “view with favor” the establishment of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine. Britain also sent troops into southern Mesopotamia in order to secure the oil pipeline from Iran, taking Baghdad in early 1917. D0. Double Revolution in Russia, 1917 10. By late 1916 the large but incompetent and poorly equipped Russian army had experienced numerous defeats and had run out of ammunition and other essential supplies. The civilian economy was in a state of collapse and the cities faced shortages of fuel and food in the winter of 1916–1917. 20. In March 1917 (February by the old Russian calendar) the tsar was overthrown and replaced by a Provisional Government led by Alexander Kerensky. On November 6, 1917 (October 24 in the Russian calendar) Vladimir Lenin’s Bolsheviks staged an uprising in Petrograd and overthrew the Provisional Government. E0. The End of the War in Western Europe, 1917–1918 10. German resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare brought the United States into the war in April 1917. On the Western Front, the two sides were evenly matched, but in 1918 the Germans were able to break through the front at several places and pushed within 40 miles of Paris. 20. The arrival of United States forces allowed the Allies to counterattack in August 1918. The German soldiers retreated, many sick with the flu; an armistice was signed on November 11. III0. Peace and Dislocation in Europe, 1919–1929 A0. The Impact of the War 10. The war left more dead and wounded and caused more physical destruction than any previous conflict. The war also created millions of refugees, many of whom fled to France and to the United States, where the influx of immigrants prompted the United States Congress to pass immigration laws that closed the doors to eastern and southern Europeans. 20. One byproduct of the war was the influenza epidemic of 1918–1919, which started among soldiers headed for the Western Front and spread around the world, killing some 30 million people. The war also caused serious damage to the environment and hastened the build-up of mines, factories, and railroads. B0. The Peace Treaties 10. Three men dominated the Paris Peace Conference: United States President Wilson, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and French Premier Georges Clemenceau. Because the three men had conflicting goals, the Treaty of Versailles turned out to be a series of unsatisfying compromises that humiliated Germany but left it largely intact and potentially the most powerful nation in Europe. 20. The Austro-Hungarian Empire fell apart. New countries were created in the lands lost by Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. C0. Russian Civil War and the New Economic Policy 10. In Russia, Allied intervention and civil war extended the fighting for another three years beyond the end of World War I. By 1921 the Communists had defeated most of their enemies, and in 1922 the Soviet republic of Ukraine and Russia merged to create the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 20. Years of warfare, revolution, and mismanagement had ruined the Russian economy. Beginning in 1921 Lenin’s New Economic Policy helped to restore production by relaxing government controls and allowing a return of market economics. This policy was regarded as a temporary measure that would be superceded as the Soviet Union built a modern socialist industrial economy by extracting resources from the peasants in order to pay for industrialization. 30. When Lenin died in January 1924 his associates struggled for power; the two main contenders were Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin. Stalin filled the bureaucracy with his supporters, expelled Trotsky, and forced him to flee the country. D0. An Ephemeral Peace 10. The 1920s were a decade of apparent progress behind which lurked irreconcilable tensions and dissatisfaction among people whose hopes had been raised by the rhetoric of war and dashed by its outcome. The decade after the end of the war can be divided into two periods: five years of painful recovery and readjustment (1919–1923) followed by six years of growing peace and prosperity (1924–1929). 20. In 1923 French occupation of the Ruhr and severe inflation brought Germany to the brink of civil war. Currency reform and French withdrawal from the Ruhr marked the beginning of a period of peace and economic growth beginning in 1924. IV0. China and Japan: Contrasting Destinies A0. Social and Economic Change 10. In the first decades of the twentieth century China was plagued by rapid population growth, an increasingly unfavorable ration of population to arable land, avaricious landlords and tax collectors, and frequent devastatin
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