Histoire-géographie internationale/H1

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Course outline[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

  1. The 1929 krach and the Great Depression in the U.S.
    What triggered the 1929 Wall street Crash and what where its consequences?
    1. A spectacular decade of growth
    2. An abrupt stop : October 24, 1929
    3. The Great Depression in the U.S and worldwide : 1929-1932
  2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal: a solution to the crisis?
    What were the political and economic choices of the New Deal under FDR?
    1. A New President for a New Deal
    2. The Alphabet agencies
    3. The outcome of the New Deal: the US in the 30s
  3. The 1930s in France : from the Depression to the Front Populaire
    What were the consequences of the Depression in France? In which political context?
    1. The impact of the 1929 crisis in France and in Europe
    2. Economic turmoil and political unrest in France: 1931-1936
    3. The Matignon Accords and the Front Populaire: 1936-1938

Dates[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

  • Thursday 24th, October 1929: Black Thursday or Wall Street Crash (up to Tuesday 29th)
  • November 1932: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Dem.) elected President
  • 1933-1934: First New Deal
  • 1935-1936: Second New Deal
  • February 6th, 1934: anti-parliamentarist street demonstration in Paris organized by far-right leagues
  • 1936-1938: Popular Front (France)
  • 1936-1939: Spanish Civil War

Key terms[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

  • Roaring Twenties (Années Folles): a period of cultural, social, economic prosperity, succeeding WWI
  • overproduction
  • speculation
  • credit system
  • stock market
  • financial/banking/economic/social/political crisis
  • Depression: a period of major economic contradiction (i.e. negative growth)
  • Great Depression: an economic shock that impacted most countries across the world (1929–1939)
  • Dust Bowl: Dust storm partly caused by agricultural practices, caused environmental damages, added consequences to the Depression
  • protectionism
  • austerity
  • laissez-faire
  • deflation
  • New Deal
  • State interventionism
  • 3 R's (Relief, Recovery, Reform): motto of Roosevelt's New Deal
  • Alphabet Agencies: a total of 69 agencies created by F.D. Roosevelt, part of the New Deal.
  • pump-priming
  • Keynesian economics: theory based on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes, as put forward in his book The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, published in 1936 in response to the Great Depression of the 1930s, and extensively extended by a large body of followers before and after his death in 1946.
  • Big Government: Big government is a pejorative term for a government or public sector that is considered excessively large or unconstitutionally involved in certain areas of public policy or the private sector.
  • Welfare State: A social system in which the state takes overall responsibility for the welfare of its citizens, providing health care, education, unemployment compensation and social security.
  • far-right leagues
  • union of the left: self-explanatory
  • Front Populaire:
  • Matignon Agreements: agreements between the CGT (union), the CGPF (association of employers) and the French State.
  • Spanish Civil War
  • antisemitism
  • Social Security: A system whereby the state either through general or specific taxation provides various benefits to help ensure the wellbeing of its citizens.

Summary of the course[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

The 1929 krach and the Great Depression in the U.S.[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

A spectacular decade of growth[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

The 1920s were a decade of economic growth and prosperity in the United States and other Western countries. The US was in a favorable position with financial and gold reserves from the war and a rise in production, wages, and urban population. A new production method appeared: the assembly line, which contributed to the economic growth. Wages increased by 17% between 1922 and 1929, allowing more people to buy more goods. However, not everyone benefited from the growth and some parts of society, such as farmers in rural Southern states, were excluded as the prices of agricultural products decreased. The stock market also became a popular investment opportunity in the late 1920s, with many people buying shares using loans from banks or brokers.

An abrupt stop : October 24, 1929[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

In the late 1920s, the stock market became a popular investment opportunity as people sought a quick profit by speculating. The loose access to credit allowed people to buy stocks using loans from banks or brokers. However, in 1929, the values of shares skyrocketed while dividends remained stable, causing some experienced traders to sell, leading to a panic sell-off on October 24th, known as Black Thursday. The stock market crash ruined many investors who still owed money to banks and brokers, triggering a chain reaction of people unable to repay their debts. This caused investments and credit to fall to low levels and companies were forced to lay off workers. In 1932, the number of unemployed people rose from 1.5 million to 15 million, nearly 25% of the active population. This resulted in a migration from rural areas to cities in search of better opportunities during the Great Depression.

The Great Depression in the U.S and worldwide : 1929-1932[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

The Great Depression was a period of intense economic hardship and social upheaval that lasted from 1929 to the late 1930s. The crash of the stock market in 1929 and the subsequent wave of bank failures and business closures had a profound impact on the global economy. Unemployment rates skyrocketed, and many people found themselves struggling to make ends meet. The Great Depression affected nearly every country in the world, but the United States was particularly hard hit. The government attempted to stimulate the economy through various programs and initiatives, but it took the massive mobilization of resources during World War II to finally end the Depression. Despite the many hardships and difficulties it caused, the Great Depression remains one of the most studied and analyzed periods in modern economic history.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal: a solution to the crisis?[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

A New President for a New Deal[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

Herbert Hoover became the 31st President of the United States in March 1929, during a time of prosperity. However, the stock market crash changed everything and the country faced an economic crisis. Hoover initially opposed government intervention but changed his stance and provided state funding for jobs. He also supported the Hawley-Smoot Act, a protectionist tariff, but it backfired and led to a decrease in foreign markets. Despite obtaining more funding and increasing taxes, he faced growing discontent and lost the 1933 election to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who campaigned on a "New Deal" for the American people. Roosevelt immediately took action, relying on a team of advisors, and passed several bills in his first 100 days as President, creating the New Deal, which had two stages: pump priming and structural reforms. The actions of the New Deal helped revive the economy and introduced social measures for companies that followed national economic interests. Positive results were seen as early as 1934 with a 20% increase in National Income and a decrease in the number of unemployed.

The Alphabet agencies[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

69 agencies were created under the Roosevelt administration in the first 100 days of his presidency. Some of these agencies include the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), the Emergency Banking Act of 1933 (EBA), and the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC). The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was one of the most iconic agencies created during this period and was established to provide navigation, flood control, better agriculture, manufacturing hydroelectricity, and global economic development to the Tennessee Valley. The TVA achieved great success in bringing electricity to rural areas and improving agriculture and remains an energy producer today, serving about 10 million people.

The outcome of the New Deal: the US in the 30s[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

The New Deal was a series of measures taken by President Roosevelt from 1932 to 1938 in response to the Great Depression. The first stage, from 1932 to 1935, was the First New Deal. The second stage, from 1935 to 1938, saw pressure from opposition groups and unions for more action from the government. Roosevelt responded with new programs, including the National Youth Administration and the Social Security Act of 1935, which employed around 10 million people and established social rights against unemployment and disabilities. In 1938 to 1939, after Roosevelt's reelection and another economic downturn, the government reduced its help and funding, but this resulted in a rise in unemployment. The New Deal was a partially coherent system based on government intervention, opposed to the laissez-faire ideal of the Republicans and liberal economists. The New Deal policies seem to have stabilized the economy and brought some structural changes, such as better infrastructure and work productivity, but the US was not fully out of the Depression in 1939.

The 1930s in France : from the Depression to the Front Populaire[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

The impact of the 1929 crisis in France and in Europe[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

The French economy experienced a crisis in 1931 due to a decline in exports, particularly of grain and wine, leading to decreased demand for other goods, and decreased production which resulted in job losses. Despite the relative stability of some advanced industries, the country faced a budget deficit and high unemployment in 1936. The average income in France dropped by 30% between 1930 and 1935, and public spending was reduced, affecting the urban middle-class, farmers and workers. The economic crisis resulted in political instability with frequent government resignations and a growing anger and resentment among the working-class population. The situation was further exacerbated by internal divisions within the government and widespread dissatisfaction with the 3rd Republic's inability to solve the crisis.

Economic turmoil and political unrest in France: 1931-1936[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

The crisis in France in the 1930s led to a rise in popularity of the Communist Party, which offered an explanation for the crisis and a way out through a planned economy and collective control. Meanwhile, the far-right benefited from the discredit of the 3rd Republic and called for a more authoritarian regime. The death of Alexandre Staviski, a crook with political connections, led to calls from far-right groups for the government's downfall. On February 6, 1934, a march and protest took place in Paris, leading to riots between league members and the police that resulted in 14 deaths and over 600 injuries. The government led by Daladier resigned in the following days, and the French left saw this as a warning sign of the threat of the far-right. The Communist and Socialist parties discussed a union against this threat, but leaders were opposing due to differing views on capitalism and communism.

The Matignon Accords and the Front Populaire: 1936-1938[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

The Popular Front in France was a coalition of communist, socialist, and radical political parties formed in 1934 and 1935. In 1936, the Popular Front won the election and Léon Blum, the leader of the Socialist Party (SFIO), became the Prime Minister. Blum brought several social reforms including a 40-hour workweek, a wage increase, paid holidays, and recognition of union rights. However, the Spanish Civil War and the economic downturn of the time put pressure on the Popular Front and Blum had to pause social reforms. The political and economic contexts of 1937 were tense and Blum resigned in June after losing a vote. The Popular Front ended in April 1938 with the nomination of Edouard Daladier as President of the Council. The Popular Front was a unique experience in French political history and embodied a different approach to dealing with the economic and political crises of the 1930s compared to other countries like Italy, Germany, and Spain.