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#8: The Era of Appeasement.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George

THE ERA OF APPEASEMENT CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN THE 1930S INTRODUCTION •Two Prime Minster in the 1930s -- Mackenzie King and R.B Bennet In International Relations, this is the era toward the Second World War -- the era of •appeasement •Germany, Italy, and Japan (Axis Powers) are becoming strong imperials powers that just aren’t going away -- opposing alliances appeased the Axis powers •Appeasement was such a popular method because many countries were still shaken by the First World War G ROWTH OF THE DEA AND THE C ANADIAN R EPRESENTATION A BROAD •Had since 1909, emerged as more than a post office -- as it was in the Laurier period •The DEA was not only Skelton, it was slowly expanding -- starting to attract people who had gone into other departments •Namely 3 figures: Hume Wrong, WWI veteran; Norman Robertson, who become Skelton’s successor; Lester Pearson, very involved in politics •The point is is that the DEA was starting to attract talent -- the British were never comfortable with this because it was autonomous institutions Canada appointed minsters that conferred upon a more national statues • •Vincent Massey, Minster to the United States of America in 1927 • Massey was pro-British • He instituted on buying a residence in Washington DC -- this will become the Canadian Embassy •Philipe Roy, Minster to Paris in 1928 • Not as useful as the English or American minsters • Good for Quebec Politics •Herbert Marler, Minster in Japan in 1929 • Never close to Japan, but they were friends • It was at the insistence of the Marler, more than it was the Canadian government’s •The DEA was starting to expand and attract top candidates D EPRESSION AND D EFEAT , 1929-1930 •Over the course of time, the King Administration is known for doing very little •“Governments should not be judged by what they achieve, but what they prevent” •Crash in 1929 -- because of the severity of the crash there were cries from the public for relief •But, the Federal and provincial governments did not provide relief • King said that he would “not give them a 5 cent piece” THE ERA OF APPEASEMENT CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN THE 1930S •R.B. Bennett promised the exact opposite -- promised to end the depression or die trying •1930 Election -- Bennett won! G LOBAL IMPACT OF THE DEPRESSION , 1929-1930 •Not entirely unprecedented, but the scale and scope of this depression was extraordinary •Great contraction of global trade •The gross national product decreased by 40% in Canada •Imports dropped by 50% in Canada •Exports dropped by 55% in Canada Unemployment was climbing • •People were in desperate straits in the 1930s •In Canada, people would ask Prime Minster Bennett for money because he was so wealthy -- the Wretched Letters •The main affect of the depression was that countries turned inward -- they didn’t have the money or the will to lead the world anymore •In the democracies were was a sense that the governing systems didn’t work anymore -- they sought out strongmen (dictators) •1930s -- the communist party of Canada saw an enormous surge of support THE “SPECTER OFCOMMUNISM ” •The “scariest person” in the western world was Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Soviet Union •He was as ruthless dictator •Communist philosophy -- the overthrow of a government from within •After the Bolshevik Revolution, the Americans saw a “red scare” •“Reds” were feared -- anyone who was associated the labor unions was suspect to suspicion •The Communist International (Commintern) thought to be controlled by Stalin •He never cared much for it •“Purges of the 1930s” -- Stalin made 1000s of Soviet citizens disappear NOTE: Stalin’s Soviet Union was more feared than Hitler’s Nazi Germany • N AZI G ERMANY , 1933-1945 The greatest threat was the threat posed by Adolf Hitler • •Made Chancellor, democratically, in 1933 •He established a fascist government, modeled after Mussolini’s Italy •Fascism involves the authority of one man, a close relationship between state and business, and extreme nationalism (and xenophobia) •The ideal in Nazi Germany, was the “Aryan” or at least ethnically Germany -- Slavic peoples and Jews were subhuman THE ERA OF APPEASEMENT CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN THE 1930S • This was not clear yet clear in the 1930s -- it will become as clear as day in the 1940s • Hitler represented not only a desire of territory, but he was trying to wipe out whole races of people -- the ideas of race and space • The need for living space — “lebensraum” • To achieve this space, Germany would invade east Europe (initially Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland) • To those living in these areas, they would either be welcomed into Nazi society (that is if you were ethnically German) or exterminated R.B. B ENNETT • Bennett was a self-made millionaire • Bennett was involved in the Conservative partier earlier, but only became leader when Meighen retired • Prime Minster from 1930-35 • Believed that anyone could evolve out of their station -- had little sympathy for people who did not evolve out of their own station • Didn’t care much for regular people -- but always answered the Wretched Letters • In temperament he was hard-driving and not very forgiving -- known as “bonfire Bennett” because he had such a temper B ENNETT ’S FOREIGN POLICIES , 1930-1935 • Accused of running a one-man government • In international affairs, he was more of an imperialist than King -- a pre-WWI view of Britain • 1931, he said “what can a man do that represents only 10 million people” -- believed Canada didn’t have a presence on the world stage • Later, he believed that Canada did have a presence • In foreign policy, Bennett presided over the Statute of Westminster in 1931 • An act of the British Parliament which conferred what was
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