Responses to the Great Depression (Germany (The Racial State: The Third…
Responses to the Great Depression
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945, 4 term)
Flag During Great Depression
Type of Government: Democracy
The Crash of 1929:
When a worldwide economic slowdown happened in October of 1929, experts noted that the stocks were overpriced, sending the whole stock market in a frenzy. On Black Thursday, many people panic selled, dropping the stock prices dramatically. Investors that overinvested watched in horror, as the prices continued to drop. This in turn caused thousands of people to lose their life savings.
American Economic Contraction:
Due to the market crash, wages, business activity, and employment dramatically decreased. Because of the lower consumer rates of certain products, some companies would have to cutback on production and had to fire some workers. This lead to a cycle in which less and less people would buy products and more people would become unemployed.
Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930: An act that was signed in 1930 that raised most manufacturing production to productive levels. The act did not help with the world economy, due to the high tariffs that other countries set on the United States manufactured goods. This lead to a sharp drop of world production (38%), and world trade (66%).
Social Conditions of Americans:
During the Great Depression, Americans faced personal suffering. The statistics that the government gave about the failure of the economy did not sit well with the citizens of the United States, as some of these people lost their jobs, savings, and homes, due to the stock market crash. Millions of United States citizens struggled to find food, clothing, and shelter, and the people became desperate. Lines to get food were blocks long, and suicide rates would rise. The social classes would clash, as the working class consisting of farmers and factory workers would despise the wealthy/upper class, which still lived a relatively comfortable lifestyle. People that would complete schooling during the Great Depression had a very hard time finding jobs.
John Maynard Keynes believed that the way to solve the unemployment problem was to get the population that was unwilling to work become willing. He proposed that governments should have more say in the people’s jobs by creating more public projects to provide jobs as well as to stimulate the economy by increasing the money supply.
The New Deal:
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created a program of social and economic reforms to deal with the worst of the Great Depression; the program was called the New Deal. It included further laws to prevent crashes, guaranteed minimum wages, provided jobs for those who were unemployed, and created the social security system.
Benito Mussolini (1919-1945)
Flag During Great Depression
Type of Government:
The leader of Italy at the time was Benito Mussolini, a former socialist who pushed for fascism to rise in Italy. He formed an alliance with Germany after WWI, and successfully elected 35 fascists into the Italian Parliament, just what he needed to start the fascist uprising. However, much of the uprising was caused by the forcing of socialists to become fascists by the Blackshirts, a fascist armed squad who committed acts of violence against socialists.
The Fascist State:
During this time, the Italians had just formed a strong alliance with Germany and began to create a very powerful military force. The goal of Mussolini was to push for the removal and extermination of all political parties in Italy except for fascism. This was done by spreading racist views and forming powerful alliances within Italy to destroy any possible revolts. Soon, Italy and Germany proclaimed themselves as the most powerful nation in the world and believed fascism was the future of the Earth
Soviet Union (USSR)
Joseph Stalin (1922-1952) and Vladimir Lenin (1922-1924)
Flag During Great Depression
Type of Government: Dictatorship/Totalitarian (Communist)
A revolution against the Bolshevik Party (Russian Communist Party) began in 1918, when the Whites, anticommunists, attempted to overthrow Lenin. Lenin, which holds power over Russia, deployed a tactic which would demolish everyone that was against the Bolshevik Party and Lenin. People that were suspected of spreading/participating in anti communist ideology would be arrested, tried, and executed for treason. People that supported the Bolshevik Party and Lenin were the peasants, which feared if the Whites were successful, Russia would return to a monarchy government. Foreign countries supported the White’s revolutionary, as they were angry at Russia’s withdrawal from World War I. These countries would aid the Whites with supplies and sometimes military personals, however, the Reds and Lenin would defeat the White revolution in 1920.
The government at the time thought that the only way to help win their civil war was to nationalize industry as well as take control of private lands for themselves. They took control of the banks, industries, and other commercial properties all for themselves. They also abolished the idea of a free market with private trade, which caused merchants and the common people to become outraged.
New Economic Policy (NEP):
Lenin’s willingness to compromise with the people lead to him creating a system in which he called it the New Economic Policy (NEP). The policy would temporarily restore the market’s economy and some of the privately owned companies in Russia. Large companies were still state-owned, as well as the banks, transportation, and communication facilities, however, Lenin’s government allowed small companies that had 20 workers or less to become privately ran. Lenin and the government also allowed the peasant farmers to sell the surplus that they had at free market prices.
The Great Purge: Click here and watch the video
Between 1935 and 1938, Stalin began a campaign on political repression, which is now known as the Great Purge. During this campaign, Stalin would remove all people of power that is thought to oppose Stalin, which included ⅔ of the members of the 1934 Central Committee. Stalin would also purge ½ of all high ranking members in the army. People that were captured, they would face either execution or long-term work in labor camps. Out of the 1.5 million people that were detained, 681 thousand of these people were executed.
The Five Year Plans were a set of movements that helped create new laws and was done to help the Soviet Union catch up from being behind in the industrial aspect of life. The goals were mainly achieved, but the progress of these plans was put ahead of the lives of the citizens, so many peasants lost their money and in many cases, their lives as well. Although Stalin thought these plans were a success, the people did not.
Collectivization: Stalin needed a way to feed the people that worked in the factories if the country were to industrialize. He came up with a solution known as collectivization of agriculture. Since the Soviet Union had the right to take privately owned land for the government, Stalin ordered that all food that was created on the farm was put into the effort of industrializating the country. Farmers would have to meet a quota on their farm, and any excess food that was left over after the quota was for the farmer’s own use. This increased the efficiency of the agricultural production, however, some farmers couldn’t meet the quota. The farmers that were not able to meet the quota were forced to starve, causing a man made famine that killed lots of farmers. Stalin and the government were most harsh on the kulaks, the wealthy peasants, setting their quotas high.
Riots from the outraged peasants happened all over the country, as some peasants would slaughter their livestock and burn all their crops. Others would leave the farms and head to the city in search of jobs, mostly factory jobs, as there we a lot of factory jobs that were offered. Stalin ended collectivization in 1931, and he described the system as “dizzy with success”.
Adolf Hitler (1933-1945)
Flag During Great Depression
Type of Government: Fascist
Hitler became the chairman of a party called the National Socialist German Workers' Party in 1921. The National Socialism (the Nazi movement) made its first appearance in 1923, when some of the party members along with Hitler attempted to overthrow the government at the time, a democratic Germany, Weimar Republic. The Weimar Republic replaced the German Empire after World War I and the Republic was forced into many harsh war reparations, causing a recession in Germany. The revolution failed, as gunfire from the police and the arrest of Hitler himself lead to the ending of the revolution. Hitler was released from prison in 1924, and attempted to recreate the revolution again, but with a different tactic. This time, Hitler and fellow members attempted to gain power by voting and when they do get into power, they would destroy the democratic system that got them into power.
(video): This was a tactic used by Hitler to gather the support of the entire German population. Due to the disillusion of the people after the Treaty of Versailles was signed, the population was easily controlled. Although Hitler was a fascist rather than a socialist, it shows how easily people could be manipulated in times of turmoil.
Hitler's Rise to Power
The Racial State:
The Third Reich and the Nazi party began to enforce harsh rules on which race was "better" and those that were "racially inferior." The "perfect race" was based on antisemetic views from the early 19th century. These were enforced using tactics like eugenics in the 1930's to the late 1940's.
Women and Race:
After the birth rates declined, the Nazis started a campaign to increase the birthrates as they wanted more of these “racially valuable children”. The Nazis believed that the role of a women was primarily to be a wife and a mother. Using tax credits, special child allowances, and marriage loans, the Nazis believed that these incentives that they put in place would encourage marriage. The Nazis would rewrite divorce laws, and they banned abortions, closed birth control centers, restricted birth control devices, and made it harder to get information about family planning. The Nazis would create pronatalist propaganda, and gave out awards to mothers that would have over 4 children, making a gold badge available to mothers that would have 8 or more childrens. All of this propaganda and new laws did not work, as the birth rate still remained below a replacement level. Most German families were not willing to change their reproductive preferences for fewer children.
Eugenics was a horrible tactic of forming the population around people that only fit the proper race. Its foundations were built on textbook racism; people who were considered to be the “proper race” would be encouraged to have more children while people who were not were discouraged. This was a political way to project power over the people, which the Nazi party used very effectively.
Anti-Semetism was one of the foundations of this generation of Nazism. The goal was to suppress the Jewish population in Germany because they were not "pure" to the Nazi party, who was in total control at the time. This led to the Nuremburg Laws.
In 1935, the Nazis created the Nuremberg Laws which would remove German Jews citizenship in Germany. The Nazis would also prohibit the marriage and sexual intercourse that involved a Jew and another German. The Nazi Party along with the government agencies attempted to remove the Jews from economic life and took all wealth that the Jews had. Most if not all Jews would lose their jobs, doctors would lose their non-Jew clients, and the government would buy Jewish-owned businesses for little to no value.
Translates to “The night of broken glass”, was a two day (night of the 9th and 10th of November 1938) This event that saw the destruction of many Jewish own/run stores, the burning of synagogues, and the murder of more than 100 Jews throughout Austria and Germany. This caused as many as 250 thousand Jews to seek refuge in different countries, and those who didn’t seek refuge were left to suffer.