History of the Inter-War Years

History of the Inter-War Years

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The history of the Inter-War Years is relatively brief, but it accounted for many significant social, political, and economic changes throughout the world. The postwar recovery led to the Roaring Twenties, a time of breaking social and economic barriers. Automobiles, electric lighting, radio combined to spread the high energy of the age. But this was followed by the Great Depression, a desperate time for the world’s people and their economy.

This period from 1918 through 1939 saw the rise of communism in Russia they ended with the rise of the Nazis in Germany and the fascists in Italy. China was embroiled in the Chinese Civil War between the Nationalists and the Communists. The empires of Britain, France and were challenged by independence movements that arose in many colonies.

The Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and German Empires were dismantled, with the Ottoman and German colonies redistributed among the Allies, mostly Britain and France. The western parts of the Russian Empire, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland became independent nations in their own right, and Bessarabia chose to reunify with Romania.

The Russian communists managed to regain control of the other East Slavic states, Central Asia and the Caucasus, forming the Soviet Union. Ireland was partitioned between the independent Irish Free State and the British-controlled Northern Ireland after the Irish Civil War. This conflict pitted the Free State against “anti-treaty” Irish republicans, who opposed partition. And in the Middle East, Egypt and Iraq gained independence.

During the Great Depression, countries in Latin America nationalized many foreign companies, mostly American, in a bid to strengthen their own economies. The territorial aggression of the Soviets, Japanese, Italians, and Germans led to the expansion of their domains.

The era ended in September 1939, the beginning of World War II.

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1919-1939 Index | Society: Great Depression in Europe | Culture: ArchitectureArtLiteratureMusicPhilosophyPopular CultureScience and Technology | Power: Progression | Economy | Eastern Europe | England: SocietyPower | FrancePower | Germany: Weimar RepublicNazis: Hitler: Vienna | Rise of the NazisElections of 1933Reorganization | Italy: PowerFascism: Mussolini: BackgroundRiseAllianceChaos | Portugal | Scandinavia | Soviet Union: PowerEconomy | Spain: Power | United States

Inter-War Years 1919-1939: Index


Great Depression in Europe


Culture: Architecture

Culture: Art

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Culture: Literature

Culture: Music

Culture: Philosophy

Culture: Popular Culture

Culture: Science and Technology


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Power: Background

Power: Ideology

Power: Progression


Eastern Europe


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England: Society

England: Power


France: Power


Germany: Weimar Republic

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Germany: Nazis

Nazis: Hitler

Hitler: Vienna

Nazis: Rise

Nazis: Elections of 1933

Nazis: Reorganization

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Italy: Power

Power: Fascism

Fascism: Mussolini

Mussolini: Background

Mussolini: Rise

Mussolini: Alliance

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Mussolini: Chaos



Soviet Union

Soviet Union: Power

Soviet Union: Economy


Spain: Power

United States

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