Stage I Initially, around , the international cooperation was prevalent throughout Europe and the world.
Aftermath of World War I
The core of the economic systems, namely Britain, Germany, France and the USA, had been in constant loan arrangements. Since Germany suffered severely from the war, the only way Germany could afford to pay the war reparations was to borrow from the United States. At the same time, since Britain and France both financed their war borrowing from the US, they paid their war debts and loans back to the US. As for the other parts of the world, the central banks generally responded the requests from the ones in distress.
For example, when Bank of Poland requested for credit in , fourteen central banks lent out loans. The central banks collaborated together and adjusted their discount rates, reserve ratios and exercise open market operation in sync. In this way, they achieved an international supply of lender-of-last-resort facility Eichengreen p.
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When one country was running a balance of payments deficit and losing its gold reserves, the central banks in the other countries lowered their discount rates to facilitate a gold outflow to help this country. Or in a more direct way, the nations negotiated stablization loans to restore the balance of payments and stabilize the price levels.
Other factors that contributed to the failure of the gold standard system: Combining the first and the second factors, the deficit countries were not only unable to receive foreign capital inflows, but also suffering from the declining prices. This created pressure and hardship for the deficit countries to struggle with hanging onto gold standard. Furthermore, even though the central banks were able to keep up the legal reserve requirements, a substantial amount of the gold reserve was foreign exchange. There was no specific law that prohibited the amount of foreign assets to supplement the gold reserves.
This fostered excessive interdependency between the central banks. As experts pointed out:. Thus, when one bank fell out, the rest would be dragged down from their holdings of this foreign asset. This was exactly what happened when bank panics occurred in Austria and Germany in and it quickly spread over to London and then to New York. After WWI After the turmoil war period, all countries tried their best to reconstruct the gold standard system in hoping to stabilize the price, to restore the frozen trade, and to push the economic recovery.
Stage II However, the world did not enjoy such friendly cooperation for long. In , the friendly situation took a sharp turn. Also, there were several significant developments in medicine and technology as the injured had to be cared for and there were several new illnesses that medicine had to deal with. While disillusioned by the war, it having not achieved the high ideals promised by President Woodrow Wilson , American commercial interests did finance Europe's rebuilding and reparation efforts in Germany, at least until the onset of the Great Depression.
American opinion on the propriety of providing aid to Germans and Austrians was split, as evidenced by an exchange of correspondence between Edgar Gott , an executive with The Boeing Company and Charles Osner, chairman of the Committee for the Relief of Destitute Women and Children in Germany and Austria. Gott argued that relief should first go to citizens of countries that had suffered at the hands of the Central Powers , while Osner made an appeal for a more universal application of humanitarian ideals.
At the Peace Conference, Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau 's aim was to ensure that Germany would not seek revenge in the following years.
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To this purpose, the chief commander of the Allied forces, Marshal Ferdinand Foch , had demanded that for the future protection of France the Rhine river should now form the border between France and Germany. Based on history, he was convinced that Germany would again become a threat, and, on hearing the terms of the Treaty of Versailles that had left Germany substantially intact, he observed that "This is not Peace.
It is an Armistice for twenty years. The destruction brought upon French territory was to be indemnified by the reparations negotiated at Versailles. This financial imperative dominated France's foreign policy throughout the s, leading to the Occupation of the Ruhr in order to force Germany to pay. However, Germany was unable to pay, and obtained support from the United States. Also extremely important in the War was the participation of French colonial troops , including the Senegalese tirailleurs , and troops from Indochina , North Africa, and Madagascar.
When these soldiers returned to their homelands and continued to be treated as second class citizens, many became the nuclei of pro-independence groups. Furthermore, under the state of war declared during the hostilities, the French economy had been somewhat centralized in order to be able to shift into a " war economy ", leading to a first breach with classical liberalism.
World War I - HISTORY
However, even if relations with Berlin became very friendly, the alliance with Vienna remained purely formal, as the Italians were keen to acquire Trentino and Trieste , parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire populated by Italians. This could happen since the alliance formally had merely defensive prerogatives, while the Central Empires were the ones who started the offensive. With the Treaty of London , Britain secretly offered Italy Trentino and Tyrol as far as Brenner , Trieste and Istria , all the Dalmatian coast except Fiume , full ownership of Albanian Valona and a protectorate over Albania , Antalya in Turkey and a share of the Turkish and German colonial empire , in exchange for Italy siding against the Central Empires [ citation needed ].
After the victory, Vittorio Orlando , Italy's President of the Council of Ministers , and Sidney Sonnino , its Foreign Minister , were sent as the Italian representatives to Paris with the aim of gaining the promised territories and as much other land as possible. In particular, there was an especially strong opinion about the status of Fiume , which they believed was rightly Italian due to Italian population, in agreement with Wilson 's Fourteen Points , the ninth of which read:.
Nevertheless, by the end of the war the Allies realized they had made contradictory agreements with other Nations, especially regarding Central Europe and the Middle-East. In the meetings of the "Big Four", in which Orlando's powers of diplomacy were inhibited by his lack of English, the Great powers were only willing to offer Trentino to the Brenner , the Dalmatian port of Zara , the island of Lagosta and a couple of small German colonies.
All other territories were promised to other nations and the great powers were worried about Italy's imperial ambitions; Wilson, in particular, was a staunch supporter of Yugoslav rights on Dalmatia against Italy and despite the Treaty of London which he did not recognize. This simply favored Britain and France, which divided among themselves the former Ottoman and German territories in Africa.
In Italy, the discontent was relevant: This idea of a "mutilated victory" vittoria mutilata was the reason which led to the Impresa di Fiume " Fiume Exploit ". On September 12, , the nationalist poet Gabriele d'Annunzio led around 2, troops from the Royal Italian Army the Granatieri di Sardegna , nationalists and irredentists, into a seizure of the city, forcing the withdrawal of the inter-Allied American, British and French occupying forces. The "mutilated victory" vittoria mutilata became an important part of Italian Fascism propaganda. The Republic of China had been one of the Allies; during the war, it had sent thousands of labourers to France.
At the Paris Peace Conference in , the Chinese delegation called for an end to Western imperialistic institutions in China, but was rebuffed. China requested at least the formal restoration of its territory of Jiaozhou Bay , under German colonial control since But the western Allies rejected China's request, instead granting transfer to Japan of all of Germany's pre-war territory and rights in China. Subsequently, China did not sign the Treaty of Versailles, instead signing a separate peace treaty with Germany in The Austro-Hungarian and German concessions in Tianjin were placed under the administration of the Chinese government; in they occupied the Russian area as well.
The western Allies' substantial accession to Japan's territorial ambitions at China's expense led to the May Fourth Movement in China, a social and political movement that had profound influence over subsequent Chinese history. The May Fourth Movement is often cited as the birth of Chinese nationalism , and both the Kuomintang and Chinese Communist Party consider the Movement to be an important period in their own histories.
Because of the treaty that Japan had signed with Great Britain in , Japan was one of the Allies during the war. With British assistance, Japanese forces attacked Germany's territories in Shandong province in China, including the East Asian coaling base of the Imperial German navy. The German forces were defeated and surrendered to Japan in November The Japanese navy also succeeded in seizing several of Germany's island possessions in the Western Pacific: At the Paris Peace Conference in , Japan was granted all of Germany's pre-war rights in Shandong province in China despite China also being one of the Allies during the war: Also, Japan was granted a permanent seat on the Council of the League of Nations.
Nevertheless, the Western powers refused Japan's request for the inclusion of a "racial equality" clause as part of the Treaty of Versailles. Shandong reverted to Chinese control in after mediation by the United States during the Washington Naval Conference. Weihai followed in The experiences of the war in the west are commonly assumed to have led to a sort of collective national trauma afterward for all of the participating countries. The optimism of was entirely gone and those who fought became what is known as "the Lost Generation " because they never fully recovered from their suffering.
For the next few years, much of Europe mourned privately and publicly; memorials were erected in thousands of villages and towns. As early as , Stanley Baldwin recognized a new strategic reality that faced Britain in a disarmament speech. Poison gas and the aerial bombing of civilians were new developments of the First World War. The British civilian population, for many centuries, had not had any serious reason to fear invasion. So the new threat of poison gas dropped from enemy bombers excited a grossly exaggerated view of the civilian deaths that would occur on the outbreak of any future war.
Baldwin expressed this in his statement that " The bomber will always get through. Out of this fear came appeasement.
One gruesome reminder of the sacrifices of the generation was the fact that this was one of the first times in conflict whereby more men died in battle than from disease, which was the main cause of deaths in most previous wars. The Russo-Japanese War was the first conflict where battle deaths outnumbered disease deaths, but it was fought on a much smaller scale between just two nations. This social trauma made itself manifest in many different ways. Some people were revolted by nationalism and what they believed it had caused, so they began to work toward a more internationalist world through organizations such as the League of Nations.
Pacifism became increasingly popular. Others had the opposite reaction, feeling that only military strength could be relied upon for protection in a chaotic and inhumane world that did not respect hypothetical notions of civilization. Certainly a sense of disillusionment and cynicism became pronounced. Nihilism grew in popularity. Many people believed that the war heralded the end of the world as they had known it, including the collapse of capitalism and imperialism. Communist and socialist movements around the world drew strength from this theory, enjoying a level of popularity they had never known before.
These feelings were most pronounced in areas directly or particularly harshly affected by the war, such as central Europe, Russia and France. Similarly, authors such as Erich Maria Remarque wrote grim novels detailing their experiences. These works had a strong impact on society, causing a great deal of controversy and highlighting conflicting interpretations of the war.
In Germany, nationalists including the Nazis believed that much of this work was degenerate and undermined the cohesion of society as well as dishonoring the dead. Throughout the areas where trenches and fighting lines were located, such as the Champagne region of France, quantities of unexploded ordnance have remained, some of which remains dangerous, continuing to cause injuries and occasional fatalities in the 21st century. Some are found by farmers ploughing their fields and have been called the iron harvest.
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Some of this ammunition contains toxic chemical products such as mustard gas. Cleanup of major battlefields is a continuing task with no end in sight for decades to come. Squads remove, defuse or destroy hundreds of tons of unexploded ammunition every year in Belgium, France, and Germany. Many towns in the participating countries have war memorials dedicated to local residents who lost their lives. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. German Revolution of —19 and Hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic. This section is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay that states a Wikipedia editor's personal feelings about a topic.
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