The Search for Stability


The Futile Search for Stability

Treaty of Locarno-Responses of Depression


After being defeated in war, the Imperial Germany of William II came to an end in 1918. Then came a German democratic state called the Weimar Republic. They elected Paul von Hindenburg at the age of 77 but he didn’t fully endorse the republic he served. Inflation came in 1922 and 1923 plus social problems. The inflation brought the middle class toward political parties that were against the republic. After 1929, the Great Depression hit Germany with unemployment growing from 3 million people in March to 4.38 million in December. The depression brought a rise to extremist parties.
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France becomes the strongest European power after defeating Germany. Despite the defeat, they face many financial problems after the war. The full effects of the Great Depression didn’t come until 1932. In an 18 month period from 1932-1933, 6 different cabinets for France formed and cause political chaos. Then, Communists, Socialists, and Radicals formed the Popular Front government. The group started a program for workers called The New Deal, originally started in the US. It gave workers the right to collective bargaining, a 40-hour workweek in industry, a two-week paid vacation, and a minimum wage. Although the idea sounded great, it failed to solve problems in the Great Depression.
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Great Britain

Britain faced many economical problems because of the United States and Japan. Their coal, steel and textile industries all declined. in 1921, 2 million Britons were out of employment. They then experienced limited prosperity from 1925-29. In 1931, the Labour Party failed to solve economic problems for Britain and disbanded. The Conservatives then claimed to for bringing Britain out of the deepest stages of the Depression by using traditional policies of balanced budgets and tariffs. John Maynard Keynes, who published General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, was ignored. He believed the Depression should be left alone to resolved itself. He claimed that unemployment came from the decline of demand, and it could be increased by hiring more people even if it caused the country to go into debt.
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The United States

United States was effected the most by the Great Depression, more than any other Western nation. Production had fallen to 50% by 1932 and by 1933 more the 12 million were unemployed. Then President Roosevelt was elected and promoted Free Enterprise in the US and believed capitalism needed to be saved. With this he introduced the New Deal. The New Deal brought an increased program of public works, such as the Works Progress Administration in 1935. The WPA employed 3 million people and they worked on buildings, bridges roads, post offices, and airports. The Social Security Act created a system of old-age pensions and unemployment insurance. The New Deal probably prevented a social revolution in the US, but it didnt solve all unemployment problems. Unemployment stood at 10 million people and the production of weapons in WWII brought the employment back up.
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Essential Questions

What caused the great depression?

How was stability found?