Modern World History Study Guide

Treaty of Brest-Litousk
Ended Russian participation in World War I, and Soviets agreed to massive territorial losses.

Paris Peace Conference
Members of the winning nations of World War I met to decide the reparations for the defeated countries. Germany wasn’t allowed to negotiate, or even attend the meetings, until the last day when they were brought there to sign the treaty.

Big Four
4 Major victorious powers (Britain, U.S., France, and Italy) who represented the 27 nations which were on the winning side of the war.

Woodrow Wilson
United States representative

David Lloyd George
Great Britain’s representative

Georges Clemenceau
France’s representative

Vittorio Orlando
Italy’s representative

League of Nations
Organization established after World War I to promote international peace. 63 nations were members. Headquarters was located in Geneva, Switzerland. The group was unable to fulfill its chief aims of disarmament and peacekeeping in the 1930’s, which caused them to lose members and fall into disuse before World War II.

Treaty of Versailles
Established unrealistic demands of Germany. It was signed on June 28th, 1919. Germany was forced to give up territory, disarm and limit its military, pay heavy reparations, and agree to the War Guilt Clause. This set the stage for World War II.

Polish Corridor
Gave Poland a narrow strip of land, allowing them access to the North Sea. This divided Germany into two parts, as part of the Treaty of Versailles.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Began with the seizure in Russia by the Bolsheviks in 1917. Early communist ideals were swept aside and the government evolved into a dictatorship. The USSR was a nation ruled through fear.

Joseph Stalin
He gained control of the Soviet Union after Lenin’s death, and created a dictatorship in the USSR, which lasted until his death in 1953. He made Russia an industrial giant and a military power. He had shortsighted policies that caused the death of millions, and he ordered the death of millions.

Leon Trotsky
He was a close associate of Lenin in the creation of the USSR, and a close political rival of Joseph Stalin. He was supposed to control the Soviet Union after Lenin’s death , but he was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1928. He lived in Mexico and continued to discredit Stalin, which resulted in him being axed to death by Soviet Union secret police at his Mexico City home.

Great Purges
Stalin’s attempts to remove his political rivals, which resulted in millions being executed, murdered, or sent away.

Forced labor camps that were part of punishment under Stalin’s soviet legal system. Over ten million official Soviet figures were imprisoned in these camps between 1934 and 1947. Millions of the camps’ inmates died from cold, disease, malnutrition, and executions. Camps were dismantled after Stalin, but forced labor was used throughout Soviet control.

Five Year Plan
Plan designed to increase production in the Soviet Union. Industrialization was achieved at the cost of agriculture and the lives of millions.

German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
Publicly, Germany and the Soviet Union agreed neither would attack each other. Secretly, they agreed to divide Poland and take over the Baltic states between the two countries. Stalin wanted to keep the Soviet Union safe and acquire new territory.

Russo-Finnish War
Also called the Winter War. USSR attacks to regain Finland when Germany invades Poland. Using ski troops, the Finns put up good defense. After two months, Soviets controlled most of Finland, who eventually allies with Germany

Osachi Hamaguchi
Japanese Prime Minister, whose assassination allowed the military to gain control of Japan. Fake railroad attacks in Manchuria and subsequent invasion of China left the League of Nations powerless. Japan quickly began taking over regions of Southeast Asia.

Mukden Incident
Japan accused China of blowing up a part of a Japanese railroad in Manchuria. Although disputed, it’s believed the Japanese conducted the act of terror to give themselves a reason to attack China. This incident opened the door for the Japanese invasion of China.

Second Sino-Japanese War
Longest Asia war of the 20th Century (1937 – 1945). It was a product of Japanese imperialism and its attempt to politically control China.

Rape of Nanking
Nanking had about one million citizens, most fleeing the Japanese takeover of Manchuria. Japanese soldiers entered the city and over the next sic weeks, killed 300,000 Chinese civilians. 80,000 women were raped ans then brutally executed. Stores were looted, and buildings and homes were burned. Judgement of a war times trial condemned seven to death and sixteen Japanese to life in prison. Today, Japanese government denies any involvement.

Japan invaded this region seeking to increase their military successes and to further isolate China from necessary supplies. France put up no resistance since they were occupied by Germany. Treaty signed in September 1940 with Vichy government that gave Japan control. The U.S. placed an embargo on Japan.

Benito Mussolini
Born in Italy to middle class family. His father gave him an interest in socialism. He became a teacher in 1901 before moving to Switzerland to avoid military service. He Changed his views during World War I and developed the Fascist movement in Italy. The Assassination of Socialist leader left the Fascists in charge of the government in 1922. He led Italy into an era of military expansion.

Political movement began in reaction to World War I political and social changes. This grew as a result of Italian fear of communism. The name came from the ancient Roman symbol.

Black Shirts
Secret police used by the Fascist Party in Italy.They were used to guarantee that the Fascists would remain in power. They were responsible for the spread of terror and fear among the Italian people.

Giacomo Matteotti
He accused the National Fascist Party of fraud in the 1924 Italian election. He was kidnapped and killed 11 days later, allegedly by the Fascists.

March on Rome
30,000 Fascists march in a parade to Rome. Fearing a civil war, King Victor Emmanuel surrendered public authority to the Fascists.

Ethiopian Invasion
Mussolini wanted to develop a colonial empire in Africa and create a distraction from Italy’s economic and social problem. Although Italy took political control of Ethipoia, Ethiopia never surrendered.

Rome-Berlin Axis
An alliance between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. By attacking Ethiopia, Italy strained the relations with Britain and France.

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