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29 - The Collapse of the Old Order, 1929 - 1949.doc

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Arizona State University
HST 101
Tom Wang

CHAPTER 30 The Collapse of the Old Order, 1929–1949 00CHAPTER OUTLINE I0. The Stalin Revolution A0. Five-Year Plans 10. Joseph Stalin, the son of a poor shoemaker, was a skillful administrator who rose within the Communist Party and used his power within the bureaucracy to eliminate Leon Trotsky and all other contenders for power. Stalin then set about the task of industrializing the Soviet Union in such a way as to increase the power of the Communist Party domestically and to increase the power of the Soviet Union in relation to other countries. 20. Beginning in October 1928 Stalin devised a series of Five-Year Plans that were designed to achieve ambitious goals by instituting centralized state control over the economy. Under the Five-Year Plans the Soviet Union achieved rapid industrialization, accompanied by the kind of environmental change that was experienced by the United States and Canada during their period of industrialization several decades earlier. B0. Collectivization of Agriculture 10. The Soviet Union squeezed the peasantry in order to pay for the massive investments required by the Five-Year Plans and in order to provide the necessary labor and food supplies required by the new industrial workers. The way the Soviet Union did this was to consolidate small farms into vast collectives that were expected to supply the government with a fixed amount of food and distribute what was left among their members. 20. Collectivization was an attempt to organize the peasants into an industrial way of life and to bring them firmly under the control of the government. Collectivization was accomplished by the violent suppression of the better-off peasants (the kulaks) and disrupted agricultural production so badly as to cause a famine that killed some 5 million people after the bad harvests of 1933 and 1934. 30. The Second Five-Year Plan (1933–1937) was originally intended to increase the output of consumer goods, but fear of the Nazi regime in Germany prompted Stalin to shift the emphasis to heavy industries and armaments. Consumer goods became scarce and food was rationed. C0. Terror and Opportunities 10. Stalin’s policies of industrialization and collectivization could only be carried out by threats and by force. In order to prevent any possible resistance or rebellion, Stalin used the NKVD (secret police) in order to create a climate of terror that extended from the intellectuals and the upper levels of the Party all the way down to ordinary Soviet citizens. 20. Many Soviet citizens supported Stalin’s regime in spite of the fear and hardships. Stalinism created new opportunities for women to join the workforce and for obedient, unquestioning people to rise within the ranks of the Communist Party, the military, the government, or their professions. 30. Stalin’s brutal methods helped the Soviet Union to industrialize faster than any country had ever done. In the late 1930s the contrast between the economic strength of the Soviet Union and the Depression troubles of the capitalist nations gave many the impression that Stalin’s planned economy was a success. II0. The Depression A0. Economic Crisis 10. In the United States the collapse of the New York stock market on October 29, 1929 caused a chain reaction in which consumers cut their purchases, companies laid off workers, and small farms failed. 20. On the international scale, the stock-market collapse led New York banks to recall their loans to Germany and Austria, thus ending their payment of reparations to France and Britain, who then could not repay their war loans to the United States. In 1930, the United States tried to protect its industries by passing the Smoot-Hawley tariff act; other countries followed suit, and world trade declined by 62 percent between 1929 and 1932. B0. Depression in Industrial Nations 10. France and Britain were able to escape the worst of the Depression by forcing their colonies to purchase their products. Japan and Germany suffered much more because they relied on exports to pay for imports of food and fuel. 20. The Depression had profound political repercussions. In the United States, Britain, and France, governments used programs like the American New Deal in an attempt to stimulate their economies. In Germany and Japan, radical politicians devoted their economies to military build-up, hoping to acquire empires large enough to support self- sufficient economies. C0. Depression in Nonindustrial Regions 10. The Depression spread to Asia, Africa, and Latin American unevenly. 20. India and China were not dependent on foreign trade and thus were little affected. Countries that depended on exports of raw materials or on tourism were devastated. In Latin America the Depression led to the establishment of military dictatorships that tried to solve economic problems by imposing authoritarian control over their economies. 30. Southern Africa boomed during the 1930s. The increasing value of gold and the relatively cheaper copper deposits of Northern Rhodesia and the Belgian Congo led to a mining boom that benefited European and South African mine owners. III0. The Rise of Fascism A0. Mussolini’s Italy 10. In postwar Italy thousands of unemployed veterans and violent youths banded together in fasci di combattimento to demand action, intimidate politicians, and serve as strong-arm men for factory and property owners. Benito Mussolini, a former socialist, became leader of the Fascist Party and used the fasci di combattimento to force the government to appoint him to the post of prime minister. 20. In power, Mussolini installed Fascist Party members in all government jobs and crushed all sources of opposition. Mussolini and the Fascist movement excelled at propaganda and glorified war, but Mussolini’s foreign policy was cautious. 30. The Italian Fascist movement was imitated in most European countries, Latin America, China, and Japan. B0. Hitler’s Germany 10. Germany had been hard-hit by its defeat in the First World War, the hyperinflation of 1923, and the Depression. Germans blamed socialists, Jews, and foreigners for their troubles. 20. Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German army veteran who became leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis) and led them in an unsuccessful uprising in Munich in 1924. In 1925 Hitler published Mein Kampf, in which he laid forth his racial theories, his aspirations for the German nation, and his proposal to eliminate all Jews from Europe. 30. When the Depression hit Germany the Nazis gained support from the unemployed and from property owners. As leader of the largest party in Germany, Hitler assumed the post of chancellor in March 1933 and proceeded to assume dictatorial power, declaring himself Führer of the “Third Reich” in August 1934. 40. Hitler’s economic and social policies were spectacularly effective. Public works contracts, a military build-up, and a policy of encouraging women to leave the work- place in order to release jobs for men led to an economic boom, low unemployment, and rising standards of living. C0. The Road to War, 1933–1939 10. In order to pursue his goal of territorial conquest, Hitler built up his armed forces and tested the reactions of other powers by withdrawing from the League of Nations, introducing conscription, and establishing an air force—all in violation of the Versailles treaty. Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935, and Hitler sent ground troops into the Rhineland in 1936. 20. Hitler’s and Mussolini’s actions met with no serious objections from France, Britain, or the United States. Hitler was thus emboldened in 1938 to invade Austria and to demand the German-speaking portions of Czechoslovakia, to which the leaders of France, Britain, and Italy agreed in the Munich Conference of September 1938. 30. There were three causes for the weakness of the democracies—now called “appeasement.” The democracies had a deep-seated fear of war, they feared communism more than they feared Germany, and they believed that Hitler was an honorable man who could be trusted when he assured them at Munich that he had “no further territorial demands.” 40. After Munich it was too late to stop Hitler short of war. In March 1939 Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia inspired France and Britain to ask for Soviet help, but Hitler and Stalin were already negotiating the Nazi-Soviet Pact in which the two countries agreed to divide Poland between them. IV0. East Asia, 1931–1945 A0. The Manchurian Incident of 1931 10. Ultranationalists, including young army officers, believed that Japan could end its dependence on foreign trade only if Japan had a colonial empire in China. In 1931 junior officers in the Japanese Army guarding the railway in Manchuria made an explosion on the railroad track their excuse for conquering the entire province, an action to which the Japanese government acquiesced after the fact. 20. Japan built heavy industries and railways in Manchuria and northeastern China and sped up their rearmament. At home, the government grew more authoritarian, and mutinies and political assassinations committed by junior officers brought generals and admirals into government positions formerly controlled by civilians. B0. The Chinese Communists and the Long March 10. The main challenge to the government of Chiang Kai-shek came from the Communist Party, which had cooperated with the Guomindang until Chiang arrested and executed Communists, forcing those who survived to flee to the remote mountains of Jiangxi province in southeastern China. 20. Mao Zedong (1893–1976) was a farmer’s son and man of action who became a leader of the Communist Party in the 1920s. In Jiangxi, Mao departed from standard Marxist- Leninist ideology when he planned to redistribute land from the wealthy to the poor
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