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In the year 1929 on July 24th a significant pact called the Kellogg-Briand Pact, renouncing war as an instrument of foreign policy, goes into effect, that same day, Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré resigns for medical reasons - he is succeeded by Aristide Briand. As the rest of the year unfolds with repose and leads into the next The National Assembly of France authorizes construction of the concrete fortification wall on the French-German border known as the Maginot Line on January 4th. Then on February 21st Camille Chautemps is appointed Prime Minister but it was only four days later that he resignes and it wasn’t until March the 2nd that a new Prime Minister is appointed, this man is Andre Tardieu. Then on December the 4th the Tardieu cabinet resigns after falling to the minority following a debate on the general political situation in the country. The opening of 1931 on January the 22nd the Steeg Government is overthrown by a vote of 293 to 283 after a brief debate. Briefly after on the 31st , France is awarded possession of Clipperton Island. On February 12, the nation is overjoyed as 32,292 unemployed workers begin to receive relief payments. On May 13th Senate President Paul Doumer is elected as President of the Republic by the National Assembly, he serves until June 11th when Albert Lebrun succeeds him as President of the Senate. As 1932 begins on January 5th the formation of L’Association des Ecrivanset Artistes Revolutionnaires, a Communist front group is announced in L’Humanité. The people are happy with Lebrun’s leadership so he is reelected on the 14th . When Paul Doumer, President of the Republic is assassinated on May 6, Lebrun is promoted to presidency on May 10. On November 18th the nation’s pride throbs as they launch Surcouf, the world’s largest submarine, at Cherbourg. In 1933 and by February 11 the number of employed citizens increases to 326,340. As a response Civil Servants go on strike to protest the Government’s austerity budget on February 20. On the day 6th day of April France involves itself in a new situation when Minister Daladier accepts Mussolini’s proposed Pact of Four to keep peace in the ranks of the League of Nations but it isn’t until the 15th of July that French representatives sign the Pact. The preceding year on February 27th the French chamber ratifies the Franco-Soviet pact. The rest of that year is uneventful. In 1938 the French continues to create precautionary alliances, specifically the Anglo-French Defensive Alliance in London on April 28th. Later that year on September the 30th The Munich Agreement is signed by French Premier Édouard Daladier, British Prime Minister, Italian Premier, and German Chancellor. On March 31st of 1939 France engages itself with Poland’s best interest and fervishly guarantees their independence and the next day they make an official statement, in conjunction with the British government, that stated that their government officials would lend support to the Polish government if its independence were to be threatened. On July 24th France involves itself in yet another pact with Great Britain and Russia in order to protect each other in case of an outside attack. Then on October the 6th France coldly rejects Hitler’s peace offering. As 1940 begins France begins to brace itself. On May 11th French army forces begin defensive preparations in Belgium in an effort to stave off the German advance but by the 15th German Panzer Corps cross into the north of France and ten day later the German Army takes Boulogne- ser- Mer in northern France. It isn’t until November 8th that French General Mast surrenders to the British Eastern Task Force.
The U.S. stock market crash damages Latin America economies, but immediate economic effects in Europe are more limited.
June 17, 1930:
President Herbert Hoover signs the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act dramatically raising import taxes on foreign goods leading to a major disruption of world trade and substantial economic hardships in Europe.
Austria’s largest commercial bank, the Kredoitanstalt, collapses triggering a financial panic throughout Europe.
September 21, 1931:
British Parliament drops the gold standard meaning British banks are no longer required to back British currency with gold.
Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor, assuming governing leadership of Germany.
April 19, 1933:
President Franklin Roosevelt takes the U.S. economy off the gold standard.
The World Economic Conference unsuccessfully seeks cooperation among nations to resolve the global economic crisis.
September 25, 1936:
France, Britain, and the United States agree on monetary stabilization measures marking the beginning of international economic cooperation.
Germany invades Poland leading to the outbreak of World War II and eventual end of the Great Depression.
Many nations believed the Great Depression was exported by the United States. Though the European nations were economically struggling from war debts and recovery, the U.S. economy boomed through the 1920s until the October 1929 stock market crash. Hit with huge financial losses from the crash, U.S. investors pulled out of European investments. In an effort to promote more sales of goods produced in the United States, Congress raised tariffs on foreign produced goods making them less attractive to U.S. consumers. The withdrawal of investments, raising of tariffs, insistence that war debts owed European nations be paid to the Untied States, and retreat from the gold standard all served to further weaken foreign economies. This influence eventually pushed them into the Depression as well due to the loss of foreign capital and markets for their goods.
Rise of Fascism:
Italy between the wars during 1918 to 1945 was a time of many changes coming out of War World 1. Our starting point in Italy’s long chain of events begins in 1918 with The Battle of Vittorio Veneto. The Battle of Vittorio Veneto was the last battle of World War 1 for the Italians in which they destroyed the Austro-Hungarian army, and brought an end to its Empire. Just a few weeks later on November 3rd, armistice was declared and all fighting was called to a stop between the allies and Germany. Following that, in the year 1919 the Treaty of Versailles was signed which included terms and negotiations concerning political, social, and economic matters. However, Italy although it had fought for the allies, got little out of Versailles. Also during this time, the League of Nations was formed, this league was supposed to maintain world peace, however, later in Italy’s History, this is not the case. Following World War I, Italy, because of the Treaty of Versailles, was left with disappointed nationalists. So in an attempt to find land that they were supposed to be given, Italians sided with the Bolsheviks and began to take land in the 1920s. This was a result because of economic crisis, high unemployment and political instability. This was the perfect time for Benito Mussolini to rise to power with his Fascist Party. He accomplished this by supporting and voicing the complaints of Italian nationalists who were opposed to the Socialists because of the outcome of the agreement of the treaty of Versailles. His revolution to remove the socialists from power was working due to his forceful methods which as a result appealed to the middle class and workers. So as a final leap, at his highest popularity, Mussolini held the March on Rome in which he demanded that he be appointed King and that the Fascists be put in power. The King, Victor Emmanuel III, who did not like the other party he was dealing with at the time, had Mussolini form a cabinet and he was granted dictatorial power and parliament for a year. Once in power, Mussolini passed a law in which parliament was given the majority of the vote to decide on which party to vote for and because of this law, it kept the Fascists in power.
With Mussolini’s new power in the government, new changes occurred with the Catholic Church. In the late 1800s Italy had taken church property, and since that time, tension and hostility had been present between the Church and Italy. However, in 1929 Mussolini and the Pope signed the Lateran Accord of 1929 in which the Vatican was recognized as a separate state. Another part of the Accord was the concordant and financial agreement which stated that Italy would support the church financially. Finally, the concordant was that Catholic religious teachings would be allowed and brought to education in schools. In return for this Accordance, Italy sought legitimacy in which the Church would support and promote fascism.
Fascism and Germany:
Fascism is the glorification of the state and nation which gives power to the nation to control all aspects of life. Mussolini’s Fascism was the model for which Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers Party followed. Like Mussolini, Hitler rose to power as a result of unhappy war veterans, economic instability, and his appeal to the middle class. His promises made him appear as if a savior and from there he established his place as Germany’s leader. Germany and Italy joined together later in between the wars. Even during the rise of Fascism, in Italy, it was still a part of the League of Nations; however, in 1935 Mussolini decided to invade Ethiopia. The reason Italy wanted to invade Ethiopia was because Mussolini saw an opportunity to acquire land and resources for the high unemployment rate and needy people who were suffering from shortages due to the First World War. Also it was personal revenge for Italy against Ethiopia because during previous two incidents, the Battle of Adowa and Wal-Wal oasis both Ethiopia and Italy paid the costs for both incidents. However, Mussolini believed that it was Ethiopia’s fault and as a result saw it fair to seize their lands. This was a major offense to the League of Nations because they were supposed to prevent events that could lead to war and failed to do so, so when Italy withdrew from the League of Nations, as a result it lost all support from its former allies. Germany however remained to support Italy’s decision. From then on, Mussolini supported and joined German international politics. In 1938, with Mussolini under influence of Hitler, decided to sign anti-Semitic laws. These laws persecuted and revoked rights from Jews and certain freedoms. In 1939 as tension was rising again between the allies and Germany, Italy formed a formal alliance with Germany called the Pact of Steel. Italy agreed to this pact in the first place because it feared that if war were to break out, that they would not be prepared, also there was the underlying suspicion that Mussolini had to watch Hitler from becoming a powerful leader. Therefore, the agreements of the pact of steel were that there would be assistance in the war between the two countries, there would be discussions amongst another about any decisions, and economic relations would be open between Italy and Germany. When Germany Invaded Poland, beginning world war two, Italy remained neutral but clearly stated its support for Hitler. Until France was invaded by Germany, Italy would not stand a chance in the war. On June 10, 1940 once France fell under Germany, Italy joined world war two on Germany’s side. When France fell, according to the Pact of Steel, Mussolini hoped to capture colonies from the French but a previous armistice between Germany and Marshal Philippe Petain restricted the colonization for the Italians. So then Mussolini tried to invade Egypt but was met by the British who drove them back. By 1943 Italy was being attacked in every way and losing each time and in 1943, the Allies invaded Sicily so that Italy would be removed from the war. Italy was taken and by King Victor Emmanuel lll he appointed Pietro Badoglio as the New Prime Minister. Badoglio banned any remains of fascism in Italy and signed an armistice with the Allies and joined the Allies in the war against Germany. Right away, Mussolini went with Germany up to northern Italy where he set up his followers again but meanwhile, the allies advanced from southern Italy. But it was not long before Mussolini was captured on the 27th of April by Italian Partisans as he tried to escape Italy. He was executed for treason along with some of his followers and his mistress and a few days later Germans in Italy on May 2nd 1945 surrendered.
Japan and Italy:
Japan, like Italy, was focused on receiving more resources for its economy in order to improve the quality of life. Japan in 1931, was a part of the League of Nations, however it challenged the league much like Italy did for land in Inner Manchuria in northern China. Since the League was greatly upset about this, Japan in 1932 decided to withdraw from the league and continue to conquer more of china. This all occurs about the same time that Italy withdrew from the league and came together with Germany. In 1936, Italy, Japan, and Germany sign the anti-Comintern
Pact. This was an agreement that both sides agreed to be hostile towards communism. Also, if they were ever to be attacked by the Soviet Union, the two nations agreed to discuss what to do to protect each other. So basically, Japan like Italy came together with Germany to protect one another’s interests and to support each other resource and military wise. Italy and Japans agreements between Germany are what eventually led to establishments and agreements between each other. It is also noted that for both nations, Italy and Japan, their alliances with Germany did not end well for both nations on both parts.