Este foi o 4° ensaio do curso, de um total de 6, que conclui sobre História Mundial desde 1300. Foram 4 meses de estudo, com aulas em língua inglesa e legendas. Descobri o curso através do site coursera.com, e as aulas foram ministradas pelo prof. Jeremy Adelman da Princeton University.

After First War, diseases flied around the world thanks to modern communications and a denser planet, so they spread much more quickly. Indeed, one-fifth of the world’s population infected by influenza that season. Demobilization of troops who carried with them the infection when they went back home.

But if the First World War had left some nine million soldiers, and another seven million civilians dead, the disease was far more devastating and it urged solutions about public health systems. It added to the fears that a new conflict could make things yet worse.

As a result, Europe’s postwar leaders reaped a bitter harvest of anger, sorrow, and despair. The war destroyed entire empires. Suddenly, 60 million people in central and Eastern Europe now emerged as inhabitants of new nation-states.

coragemWith armies conscripting nearly every able-bodied man, women filled their places in factories, especially in those that manufactured war materials. Demobilization hit societies hard, especially working women; when soldiers hobbled home, women faced layoffs from their wartime jobs. Still, they did not retreat entirely. Within a few years, women gained the vote in Russia, Britain, Germany, and the United States.

Radio entered its golden age after World War I. Radio also was a way to mobilize the masses, especially in authoritarian regimes. For example, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini pioneered the radio address to the nation. Later, Soviet and Nazi propagandists used this format with great regularity and effect. In Japan, too, radio became a tool to promote the right-wing government’s goals.

Film, too, had profound effects. For traditionalists, Hollywood by the 1920s signified vulgarity and decadence because the silver screen prominently displayed modern sexual habits. Moreover, like radio, film served political purposes.

The war reshuffled the world’s economic balance of power, boosting the United States as an economic powerhouse. The most outstanding example of the relationship between mass production and consumption in the United States was the motor car. Ford’s factory near Detroit employed 68,000 workers—the largest factory in the world. In addition, millions of cars required millions of tons of steel alloys, as well as vast amounts of glass, rubber, textiles, and petroleum. Nearly 4 million jobs related directly or indirectly to the automobile—an impressive total in a labor force of 45 million workers.

In 1929, the Great Depression causes went back to the Great War, which had left European nations in deep debt as they struggled to rebuild their economies and pay off war debts. To restore stability, Europeans borrowed heavily from the United States. Never before had the U.S. federal government expended so much on social welfare programs or intervened so directly in the national economy. Yet the Depression lingered, and before long unemployment again climbed—from 7 million in 1937 to 11 million in 1938.

As authoritarian regimes spread across Europe, the military took over and instituted dictatorships in Spain and Portugal. Their effort to seize power in Spain provoked a brutal civil war from 1936 to 1939, which left 250,000 dead. The Spanish civil war was, from the start, an international war.

The socialism efforts to build a noncapitalist society required class war, and these began in the heavily populated countryside. Peasants already lived in village communes, leasing the land together while working it individually.

Despite important differences, the major authoritarian regimes of this period—communist Soviet Union, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and militarist Japan—shared many traits. All rejected parliamentary rule and sought to revive their countries’ power through authoritarianism, violence, and a cult of the leader.

Of all the postwar anticolonial movements, none was more successful or more committed to European models than that of Mustafa Ataturk, who helped forge the modern Turkish nation-state. Handled by Winston Churchill, approximately 1.2 million Greek Christians left Turkey to settle in Greece, and 400,000 Muslims relocated from Greece to Turkey. Ataturk was knew as “father of the Turks.” He did radical reforms in Turkish society avoiding Islamic influence. However, modern historians’ estimates from 1.1 to 1.8 million killed out of about 2.5 million Armenians alive in the Ottoman lands at the onset of the slaughter in 1915 knew “Armenian Genocide”. Sadly, Hitler used that event to support his eugenic crazy war.

Latin American countries had stayed out of the fighting in World War I, but their export economies had suffered with hard debts. A nation in debt leaves his people oppressed by creditors.

In Africa as well as Asia, then, the search for the modern encompassed demands for power sharing or full political independence. Anticolonialism was the preeminent vision. To overcome the contradictions of European democratic liberalism, educated Asians and Africans proposed various incarnations of nationalism. A weakened Europe cannot resist demands for independence from Asian and African nationalists.

The Second World War grows out of unresolved problems connected to First World War, especially the aggressive plans of Germany and Japan to expand their political and economic influence. The war brings unheard-of human and material costs and ushers in an age of nuclear weapons.

Empires created nations but failed to take a next step to include minorities discriminated against or massacred during the Great War that ended with the loss of the colonies of Europe and the end of the Cold War.

Works Cited:

Worlds together, worlds apart: a history of the world from the beginnings of humankind to the present / Robert Tignor … [et al.].

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