World History AP with Mr. Duez - Learning Targets


Chapter 21—The Collapse and Recovery of Europe, 1914–1970s

Learning Targets:

 •  Explore the history of Europe between 1914 & the 1970s as an organic whole made up of closely interconnected parts

 •  Analyze the repercussions of nationalism and colonialism in Europe and Japan

 •  Compare the effects of the two world wars, in isolation & as a whole

 •  Explain the potential appeal of totalitarian movements in the twentieth century 


      1.   What explains the disasters that befell Europe in the first half of the twentieth century?

      2.   In what ways were the world wars a motor for change in the history of the twentieth century?

      3.   To what extent were the two world wars distinct and different conflicts, and in what ways were they related to each other? In particular, how did the First World War and its aftermath lay the foundations for World War II?

      4.   In what ways did Europe’s internal conflicts between 1914 and 1945 have global implications?

Margin Review Questions:

      1.   What aspects of Europe’s nineteenth-century history contributed to the First World War?

      2.   In what ways did World War I mark new departures in the history of the twentieth century?

      3.   In what ways was the Great Depression a global phenomenon?

      4.   In what ways did fascism challenge the ideas and practices of European liberalism and democracy?

      5.   What was distinctive about the German expression of fascism? What was the basis of popular support for the Nazis?

      6.   How did Japan’s experience during the 1920s and 1930s resemble that of Germany, and how did it differ?

      7.   In what way were the origins of World War II in Asia and in Europe similar to each other? How were they different?

      8.   How did World War II differ from World War I?

      9.   How was Europe able to recover from the devastation of war?


blitzkrieg: German term meaning “lightning war,” used to describe Germany’s novel military tactics in World War II, which involved the rapid movement of infantry, tanks, and airpower over large areas. (pron. BLITS-kreeg)

European Economic Community: The EEC (also known as the Common Market) was an alliance formed by Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg in 1957 and dedicated to developing common trade policies and reduced tariffs; it gradually developed into the European Union.

European Union: The final step in a series of arrangements to increase cooperation between European states in the wake of World War II; the EU was formally established in 1994, and twelve of its members adopted a common currency in 2002.

fascism: Political ideology marked by its intense nationalism and authoritarianism; its name is derived from the fasces that were the symbol of magistrates in ancient Rome. (pron. FASH-iz-uhm)

flappers: Young middle-class women who emerged as a new form of social expression after World War I, flouting conventions and advocating a more open sexuality.

Fourteen Points: Plan of U.S. president Woodrow Wilson to establish lasting peace at the end of World War I; although Wilson’s views were popular in Europe, his vision largely failed.

Franco-Prussian War: German war with France (1870–1871) that ended with the defeat of France and the unification of Germany into a single state under Prussian rule.

Franz Ferdinand, Archduke: Heir to the Austrian throne whose assassination by a Serbian nationalist on June 28, 1914, was the spark that ignited World War I.

Great Depression: Worldwide economic depression that began in 1929 with the New York stock market crash and continued in many areas until the outbreak of World War II.

Great War: Name originally given to the First World War (1914–1918).

Hitler, Adolf: Leader of the German Nazi Party (1889–1945) and Germany’s head of state from 1933 until his death.

Holocaust: Name commonly used for the Nazi genocide of Jews and other “undesirables” in German society; Jews themselves prefer the term Shoah, which means “catastrophe,” rather than Holocaust (“offering” or “sacrifice”).

Kristallnacht: Literally, “crystal night”; name given to the night of November 9, 1938, when Nazi-led gangs smashed and looted Jewish shops throughout Germany. (pron. kris-TAHL-nakht)

League of Nations: International peacekeeping organization created after World War I; first proposed by U.S. president Woodrow Wilson as part of his Fourteen Points.

Manchukuo: Japanese puppet state established in Manchuria in 1931. (pron. man-CHEW-


Marshall Plan: Huge U.S. government initiative to aid in the post–World War II restoration of Europe that was masterminded by U.S. secretary of state George Marshall and put into effect in 1947.

Mussolini, Benito: Charismatic leader of the Italian fascist party (1883–1945) who came to power in 1922. (pron. ben-EE-toe moos-oh-LEE-nee)

Nanjing, Rape of: The Japanese army’s systematic killing, mutilation, and rape of the Chinese civilian population of Nanjing in 1938. (pron. nahn-JING)

NATO: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military and political alliance founded in 1949 that committed the United States to the defense of Europe in the event of Soviet aggression.

Nazi Germany: Germany as ruled by Hitler and the Nazi Party from 1933 to 1945, a fascist state dedicated to extreme nationalism, territorial expansion, and the purification of the German state.

Nazi Party: Properly known as the National Socialist Democratic Workers’ Party, the Nazi party was founded in Germany shortly after World War I and advocated a strongly authoritarian and nationalist regime based on notions of racial superiority.

New Deal: A series of reforms enacted by the Franklin Roosevelt administration between 1933 and 1942 with the goal of ending the Great Depression.

Nuremberg Laws: Series of laws passed by the Nazi-dominated German parliament in 1935 that forbade sexual relations between Jews and other Germans and mandated that Jews identify themselves in public by wearing the Star of David.

Revolutionary Right (Japan): Also known as Radical Nationalism, this was a movement in Japanese political life ca. 1930–1945 that was marked by extreme nationalism, a commitment to elite leadership focused around the emperor, and dedication to foreign expansion.

total war: War that requires each country involved to mobilize its entire population in the effort to defeat the enemy.

Treaty of Versailles: 1919 treaty that officially ended World War I; the immense penalties it placed on Germany are regarded as one of the causes of World War II. (pron. vare-SIGH)

Triple Alliance: An alliance consisting of Germany, Austria, and Italy that was one of the two rival European alliances on the eve of World War I.

Triple Entente: An alliance consisting of Russia, France, and Britain that was one of the two rival European alliances on the eve of World War I.

United Nations: International peacekeeping organization and forum for international opinion, established in 1945.

Weimar Republic: The weak government that replaced the German imperial state at the end of World War I; its failure to take strong action against war reparations and the Great Depression provided an opportunity for the Nazi Party’s rise to power. (pron.VIE-mahr)

Wilson, Woodrow: President of the United States from 1913 to 1921 who was especially noted for his idealistic approach to the end of World War I, which included advocacy of his Fourteen Points intended to regulate future international dealings and a League of Nations to enforce a new international order. Although his vision largely failed, Wilson was widely respected for his views.

World War I: The “Great War” (1914–1918), in essence a European civil war with global implications that was marked by massive casualties, the expansion of offensive military technology beyond tactics and means of defense, and a great deal of disillusionment with the whole idea of “progress.”

World War II in Asia: A struggle essentially to halt Japanese imperial expansion in Asia, fought by the Japanese against primarily Chinese and American foes.

World War II in Europe: A struggle essentially to halt German imperial expansion in Europe, fought by a coalition of allies that included Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States.

zaibatsu: The huge industrial enterprises that dominated the Japanese economy in the period leading up to World War II. (pron. zye-BOT-soo)