Interwar Years

The Interwar Years

A Nazi rally in Nuremburg, Germany.

A Nazi party rally in Nuremburg, Germany, 1933. (unknown, German Federal Archives)

The end of World War I brought a decade of prosperity known as the Roaring Twenties to America and most of Europe until the stock market crash in 1929. Germany, on the other hand, suffered from hyperinflation due to the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles it was forced to sign at the end of World War I.

As the American economy collapsed, so did western Europe's. The poor condition of the economy in Europe directly led to the rise of Fascism in Germany and Italy.

Germany - Adolf Hitler was able to rise to power as the leader of the Nazi party by promising to fix the German economy and eliminating the "real" problem with Germany, Jewish people. He used secret police, the Gestapo, in order to censor people who did not agree with his ideas.

Italy - Benito Mussolini was able to rise to power in a similar way to Hitler. He promised the people a return to the Roman Empire. He also used a secret police, the Blackshirts, to censor people who did not agree with his ideas.

Meanwhile in Asia, Japan had modernized in the late 1800s under Emperor Meji. In the early 1900s they were beginning to establish themselves as an imperialist power in Asia. By the 1930s they had taken over many islands in the Pacific and parts of mainland China.

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