History 3: German and Italian Expansion

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0a. What is Fascism? Key Features (5)
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1. Extreme Nationalism – View of the nation state, its culture and history, as a unifying force. Desire to build up greatness and prestige of the state. Desire to remove foreign influences. Own nation seen as superior to other nations. Autarky. 2. Militarism – Promotion of political violence and war as a method of revitalizing society. Violence seen as necessary in order to progress. Seize power by force. 3. Social Darwinism – nations and races must purge themselves of socially and biologically weak or degenerate people, while simultaneously promoting the creation of strong people, in order to survive in a world defined by perpetual national and racial conflict. Survival of the fittest. Influenced many of the violent and xenophobic polices of Italy. 4. Totalitarian; the state has influence or control over all aspects of society. Promoted social unity. Anti- communist, Anti – democracy.
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0b. Nazism
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1. Life as a struggle, (Mein Kampf translates to “My Struggle”) in which only the strongest nations, races and individuals survived. He believed that Germany was world’s the greatest nation and that Germans were the master race (Jews were the opposite of Germans). Hitler did not believe in equality. Just as some nations and races were superior to others, some individuals were also superior. Hitler wanted to assert Germany’s dominance by acquiring land from the inferior slavs and destroying the evil of communism in the USSR.
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1a. Impact of fascism and Nazism on the foreign policies (1930s) of Italy and Germany (2)
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1. Italy – Mussolini pursued a clearly Fascist foreign policy. Characterized by the glorification of war, pursuit of imperial expansion, and a move away from diplomacy and cooperation. Continued to assert anti- French territorial claims. Strayed away from relatively good relations with Britain. Fostered good relations with Hitler after 1934, began to emulate Germany’s aggression. 2. Germany – Refer to ideology. The Hossbach Memorandum was the summary of a meeting on 5 November 1937 between German dictator Adolf Hitler and his military and foreign policy leadership where Hitler’s future expansionist policies were outlined. Extract (intentions) – “The aim of German foreign policy was to make secure and to preserve the racial community and enlarge it (gain territories with German population). It was therefore a question of space… Germany’s problem could only be solved by the use of force.”
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1b. Impact of Domestic economic issues on the foreign policies of Italy and Germany
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1. Italy – “The battle for the Lira” launched in 1926 involved the artificially overvaluing the Lira (Italian Currency), resulted in Italian goods becoming more expensive and a consequent decline in exports and increase in unemployment. The Great Depression exacerbated these negative effects. Undermined support for the regime by elites. Aggressive foreign policies were used to divert attention from the failings of the corporate state. Abyssinia was targeted in order to gain territory, provide an export market, and for natural resources such as oil. 2. Germany – By 1936, rearmament was not progressing fast enough for Hitler. The consumer economy was starting to struggle: there were shortages of butter and meat, as well as shortages of vital imports of raw materials. Hitler believed that Germany’s economic problems could only be solved by the acquisition of more land and living space. Promoted Autarky though Four Year Plan – increased party’s control of economy. Lack of resources + desire to be self- sufficient = expansionism in order to gain resources for militarism.
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1c. Changing diplomatic alignments in Europe; the end of collective sercurity; appeasement
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1. Everything Germany did, Four pact, Remember that Mussolini did not support Hitler from the start, Anglo-German Naval Agreement, League of Nations’s response: Abyssinia. All treaties, and all failures of the league
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2a. German challenges to post-war settlements (1933 – 1938)
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1. Military – 1933 Hitler proposed, at the World Disarmament Conference, that all nations should disarm to Germany’s level as stated in the Treaty of Versailles. France rejected (isolation, sympathy), Hitler withdrew Germany from conference and League of Nations. In March 1935, using the pretext that the other powers had not disarmed, Hitler announced that Germany was going to reintroduce conscription and create an army of 36 divisions, to 550,000 men strong (Treaty of Versailles set limit at 100,000). He also said that Germany was going to build up an air force (the Luftwaffe) and expand her navy. 2. Navy – The Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935 (unhappy with France’s pact with USSR) allowed Germany to expand their naval capacity to a limit of 35% of Britain’s, beyond the limits set by the Treaty of Versailles. 3. Rhineland – 1936, Hitler announced that his troops (only 22,000) had entered the Rhineland, breaching the Treaty of Versailles (as it was ordered to demilitarize in 1919) . The British public opinion about military operations was hostile + France was too weak to stop Hitler. 4. Anschluss of Austria (continuity of imperialist Germany Ideals, Pride and nationalism – Hitler ordered Austrian Nazis to create as much trouble and destruction as possible. If Hitler could claim that Austrian law and order had broken down, he could justify marching German troops into Vienna to restore peace – despite the fact that he was responsible for the chaos in the first place. 1938, German troops “were invited in” by the new Nazi Chancellor, Seyss-Inquart. Union with Austria was specifically forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles. Again the British and French did nothing. The new Prime Minister in Britain was Nevile Chamberlain who sought appeasement with Germany (ceding to their demands to avoid war) 5. Czechoslovakia – Following annexation of Austria, attention turned to Czechoslovakia. Motives: Slavs were inferior. Was allied with France and Russia. Only independent state created from Versailles Settlement, consisted of many ethnic groups , including German. Rich in mineral resources. Additional details in responses.
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2b. Italian expansion: Abyssinia (1935 – 1936); Albania; entry into the Second World War
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1. Abyssinia- Long term nationalist ambitions to become a imperialist power (Roman) like France and Britain. Consolidate Mussolini’s regime. Abyssinia not modernized, easy target. Economic goals as mentioned. Drawing on colonial troops to bolster military might. Italy had already acquired colonial territory on the border of Abyssinia (Italian Somaliland) with a border which lacked clarity – this would eventually lead to Mussolini’s excuse to annex Abyssinia. 1934 December, Italian and Abyssinian forces clashed at the disputed Wal Wal oasis, resulted in 30 Italian deaths. Mussolini demanded considerable compensation and later escalated – sent a 500,000 man army into East Africa (1935). 1936, Abyssinia was formally annexed by Italy. Resulted in increased tensions with Britain, which had naval bases in the Mediterranean, and France. Improved relations with Germany, imposed sanctions by LON caused Italy to trade with Germany. 2. Intervention in the Spanish Civil War (1939 – 1936) – Following annexation of Abyssinia, Mussolini was encouraged to look for further military greatness. Supported Franco’s militarist rebels, due to ideology – against liberal democrats. Also intended to weaken France as France had close links with the left Popular Front that Franco was attempting to overthrow; assert his own influence in Spain and strengthen his own strategic position in the Mediterranean. Sent assistance including 70,000 troops. Results – mainly negative economic effects, war dragged on far too long. Submarine attacks on supply ships led to increased tensions with Britain and France. 14 billion Lira deficit as a result, increased trade with Germany. Germany and Italy drew closer, Germany also supported Franco’s revolution. 3. Invasion of Albania 1939 – Consolidate regime, Ideology. Influenced by Hitler’s total invasion of Czechoslovakia earlier in 1939, wanted emulate Hitler’s success. Easy conquest, not too many results, check book for details. 4. Enter into the War – Important: Italy really did not want to engage in war with Britain and France, product of circumstance. During negotiations over the Pact of Steel, Mussolini told Hitler that Italy would not be ready for war until 1943. It has fought many economically negative wars over several years. Thus, when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Italy declared itself non- belligerent. However, it was difficult for Italy to keep out of the war. A. Not joining the war was an embarrassment for the Fascist leader; it was contrary to his Fascist doctrine and at odds with his portray of confident and decisive leadership. B. Mussolini did not want Italy to become a lesser rank of power by staying neutral. C. If Italy remained neutral and Germany won the war, Europe would be dominated by a Germany that would be hostile towards Italy because it had not supported in Germany’s war effort. D. The war could bring territorial gains and perhaps control over the Mediterranean. E. But, the deciding factor was 1940 Italy’s economic condition. The above factors could have potentially been met if Italy had allied with Britain and France. Germany had become a principal buyer of Italy’s food and textiles, and by August 1939 it owed Italy $40 million USD. Italy received German coal in return and became dependent on it. This German coal – two thirds of the Italian supply – had to be delivered by sea. In March 1940, Britain blockaded all German coal ports. June 1940, Italy declares war on Britain and France.

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