Presentation on theme: "Impact of WWI, Revolution & Collapse, Public Opinion."— Presentation transcript:
Impact of WWI, Revolution & Collapse, Public Opinion
WWI severely disrupted international trade Even neutral European countries had suffered economically through loss of trade and German U-boats destroying their ships Britain & France had changed their economic focus to meet the demands of war—lost overseas markets to US and Japan US and Japan hadn’t seen fighting on home soil and emerged more powerful and economically strong Allies had been forced to borrow from US bankers and had to repay their loans Had to demand reparations payment from WWI losers All European economies needed to be rebuilt
Besides the casualties of war, the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 killed 40 million people around the world— more than the war itself Total war had involved large numbers of citizens Food shortages, strikes and demonstrations against Germany In Germany, some feared a revolution like in Russia because people were so bitter and tired of war People expected the Paris Peace Conference to respond to public demand; and they were feeling pretty nationalistic post-war
WWI placed pressure on the tsarist regime and brought a revolution in 1917. Tsar Nicholas abdicated. October 1917 the provisional government was overthrown by Bolsheviks who wanted out of the war Bolsheviks made separate peace treaty with Germany: Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Bolsheviks became first communist state—Hungary was second—it seemed Europe was ripe for a communist takeover This threat frightened Europe because communism opposes private ownership and the capitalist system and the middle class factory owners Leaders at the peace conferences felt pressure to act fast and prevent this communist takeover
Italy had been promised (by Britain and France) some sovereignty over the Dodecanese Islands off the Greek coast, but this went against the self-determination theories post-war. Large #s of non-Italians would be under Italian rule But Italy was eager to make itself a great power and to show its people they hadn’t fought in vain and refused to release Britain and France from their promises
You know everything there is to know about this, but… Britain had promised support for Arab independence in order to get them to revolt against their common Turkish enemy (the Arab Revolt) Contradicted the Balfour Declaration which promised the Jews a homeland in Palestine Britain and US had also allowed Japan some concessions in Asia
Britain and France had general elections within a year of the war ending and in their campaigns, candidates who supported “making Germany pay” won the elections and those who supported Wilson’s moderate views were defeated. Italy’s economy was so weak, and its people so bitter, Prime Minister Orlando had to ensure Italy made significant gains from the peace treaties.
One of the greatest difficulties faced by leaders of Britain and France was public pressure—they were elated to have won the war, and wanted to make the defeated nations pay Sir Eric Geddes, a British government minister, speaking to a rally in the general election campaign, December 1918. “If I am elected, Germany is going to pay. I have personally no doubt we will get everything that you can squeeze out of a lemon, and a bit more. I propose that every bit of German-owned property; moveable and immovable, in Allied and neutral countries, whether State property or private property; should be surrendered by the Germans.” Sir Eric Geddes, a British government minister, speaking to a rally in the general election campaign, December 1918. “If I am elected, Germany is going to pay. I have personally no doubt we will get everything that you can squeeze out of a lemon, and a bit more. I propose that every bit of German-owned property; moveable and immovable, in Allied and neutral countries, whether State property or private property; should be surrendered by the Germans.”
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