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HIST 215
Sarah Waurechen

Fascism ECONOMIES IN CRISIS • global depression had pol. consequences • undermined parl. rule • scapegoats • int'l coop. harder as more suspicion and blaming • massive, unjust reparations The Great Depression • increasingly interdependent world economy not recovered from war • wartime inflation • price of steel and iron sharp decline when demand for tanks and such plunges ◦ overproduction • price of coal falls • Euro agri. is depressed ◦ price of local farm products down, lower farm incomes, burden of tax • tariff barriers • Eastern Europe and Balkans can't repay wartime debts b/c trading partners are weak • contraction of demands and price deflation • unrestrained financial speculation erodes world economy • easily available credit • huge amount of stock shares issued w/o actual value • wartime loans and post-war debts make finances of larger powers interconnected and destabilizing of world economy • Dawes Plan extends schedule of Ger. reparations ◦ Ger. then borrows money from US to pay Allies • 1929 US depression and crash ◦ US + Br. pull assets out of Ger., depleting its gold reserves • unemployment skyrockets • manufacturing and agricultural prices down • thought the way out was through the reduction of public expenditures • int'l monetary system collapsed • lenders call in Ger. debts • Hoover moratorium of Ger. reparations and war debts • Br. run on the pound by Euro bankers, reducing gold reserves • Br. gov't is Nat'l Gov't, inter-party coalition ◦ takes away gold standard ◦ US soon follows • Conservatives in Br. follow deflationary measures, reducing spending (Chamberlain is chancellor of Exchequer) ◦ higher tariffs ◦ further reduction of consumer spending • Br. MP Mosley flirts with fascism, but fascism failed to take hold in Br. • Fr. prices gradually fell and unemployment rose, exports declined ◦ franc overvalued so Fr. goods too expensive abroad ◦ ignore demands for active intervention in eco. stimulation Gradual European Economic Revival • major powers act in own interests w/o consultation ◦ devaluing currency, higher tariffs • John Maynard Keynes only one to realize gov't should be spending to stimulate eco. ◦ then Br. saw minor recovery in 1932 when gov't increased unemployment benefits, and pumped money into eco. ◦ Ger. eco. recovered b/c of planning for next war under Hitler (rearmament) ▪ Lausanne Conference 1932 declares end of reparations payments ◦ Fr. depression lingers longer ◦ US New Deal + fireside chats ▪ only true recovery though with entry in WWII FASCIST MOVEMENTS • anti-parl., anti-communism, anti-semitism give fascism int'l character • Hitler + Muss. help Spanish Civil War nationalist rebellion ◦ but dictator Salazar doesn't want to expand further The Dynamics of Fascism • rise of extreme right • Ger. + It. + Aus. fascism in lower middle class • families' savings disappeared, frustrated ◦ but this doesn't explain rise of fascism in Eastern Euro and Balkans where middle class is small • fascist organizations ◦ reject parl. rule ▪ blamed for post-war instability ◦ hierarchical ◦ aimed at dictatorship ◦ anti-trade unions, socialists, and communists ◦ helped by big business in It. + Ger. + Fr. ◦ defined themselves by what/who they were against ◦ want more powerful state through expansion of borders through conquests • propaganda for Muss. + Hitler • BUT fascist states remained cap. in nature, b/c big business accrued great profits, while workers lagged • fascism summed up: ◦ middle-class economic frustration ◦ upper-class fears of socialism ◦ aggressive nationalism ◦ anti-parlimentarianism ◦ belief that dictator could provide order and nat'l fulfilment ◦ aggressive nationalism • Versailles divided Europe into victors and vanquished ◦ ALSO, It. pissed, got less at Vers. than it wanted • E. Euro dictators IDed other nationalities and ethic groups to blame for
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