After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Austria was itching to declare war against Serbia and, as a result of Serbia's alliance with them, Russia. Austria asked the German government for support, which the German government responded to positively in the aforementioned "blank check telegram." This action had massive consequences, as it resulted in Austria's war against Serbia, which quickly turned into WWI.
Source: Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg in Sources reader, p. 403.
A four year long global war between the Allied Powers (France, Great Britain, the US, Italy, Russia) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire). There were monumental amounts of death and bloodshed, as well as new modes of technology and weaponry that changed methods of war permanently.
Source: McKay textbook, pages 835-848.
The peace treaty that ended World War I. Written without the German government, the Treaty effectively crippled the economy and government of Germany, as the document forced Germany to accept all responsibility for the War. The treaty left Germans with feelings of bitterness and contempt for the West, which would eventually result in the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Source: A Defeated Germany Contemplates the Peace Treaty in Sources reader, pg. 418.
A second global conflict between the Allies (US, Russia, Great Britain, France) and the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, Japan). It resulted in millions of deaths, and also marked the rapid ascension of totalitarian government.
Source: McKay textbook, pgs. 922-936.
The United States economic enterprise that gave financial support to Europe post-WWII. This plan was designed to make Europe prosperous again politically and economically, as well as minimize the growth and popularity of Communist parties.
Source: George C. Marshall in Sources reader, pg. 456.
In his work The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud made the argument that human behavior was almost entirely irrational, and caused by feelings entrenched in the subconscious. This offered a great juxtaposition to the ideals of the Enlightenment, which stressed human reason.
Source: Sigmund Freud in Sources Reader, pg. 421-422
A German cartoon that depicted the failing nature of the German economy post-WWI. As a direct result of the French occupation of the Ruhr, the German government dictated that its citizens stop working, which caused a huge over-inflation in the German printed currency. This German hyperinflation was concurrent with economic failings in other countries, such as the United States' Great Depression.
Source: Hyperinflation in Germany in Sources reader, pg. 429.
The German Communist Party, in an effort to convince German citizens that it was the answer to all of the country's problems, made propaganda posters. These posters, through visually stimulating art and catchy slogans, appealed to German people's basic needs and wants, while also communicating to them that no other party could effectively direct the country.
Source: German Communist Party Poster in Sources reader, pg. 436.
When WWII began, the German army quickly took over most of central and Western Europe. The British sent over troops and aid supplies to France in their effort against the Nazis, but the French could not hold out. With Germany closing fast on Britain, Churchill gave this speech to try and drum up support for WWII.
Source: Winston Churchill in Sources reader pg. 448.
Shortly after Churchill gave his "iron curtain" speech promoting the democratic values of Great Britain and the USA, Stalin responded in an interview with Pravda, a USSR newspaper. In this interview, Stalin compared Churchill to Hitler and proclaimed that Communist ideology was superior to democracy. This was a landmark in the tense relations that characterized the USSR vs. the West in future years.
Source: Joseph Stalin in Sources reader, pg. 465-466.
Mark Twain's satirical piece about the conditions that the Belgian government subjected its colonial workers in the Congo to. This pamphlet by Twain was a major proponent in the anti-imperialist sentiment of the early 1900's.
Source: Mark Twain in Sources reader, pg. 397
The "blueprint" for Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party and their policies towards Jews. These laws not only outlined the respective German laws for Jews in their country, but also served as a major first step in the Nazi Party's long term goal of eradicating all Jewish people.
Source: The Nuremberg Laws in Sources reader, pg. 450.
The Second Sex, a work published by Simone de Beauvoir, criticized the societal role of women in Europe during the 1900s. She argued that even though attempting to earn suffrage and property rights were important, it would not guarantee total equal status to men.
Source: Simone de Beauvoir in Sources reader, pg. 471.