World War I - Counter-Culture Movement


World War I

07/28/1914 - 11/11/1918

In 1914, European powers went to war with one another. Social Darwinism of the late 19th century and intense nationalism made countries confident in their ability to win the war. However, new military weapons caused millions of deaths and devastated the European economy. WWI brought the use of total war, that involved civilians as well as soldiers, and the senseless battles of trench war stalemate.

McKay, John "A History of Western Europe" pg 830-841

The Treaty of Versailles

06/28/1919 - 06/29/1919

The Treaty of Versailles was one of several treaties that came out of peace negotiations in Paris in January 1919. Under the treaty, Germany was forced to give up, and return, specific territories in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The treaty also contained a 'war guilt clause' which gave Germany all the blame for the war and required repayment for all civilian damages. The Treaty of Versailles was signed by German representatives on June 28, 1919 and caused tensions within Germany.

McKay, John "A History of Western Europe" pgs 859-860

French Occupation In Germany


The French occupied Ruhr after Germany refused to pay reparations laid out in the Treaty of Versailles. In opposition to French occupation, the German governments ordered a boycott of all jobs. Ruhr was the industrial center of Germany and the boycott had lasting effects on the German economy.

McKay, John "A History of Western Europe" pf 887

World War II

09/01/1939 - 08/15/1945

World War II gripped all of Europe, as well as the United States and Japan, in war. World War II officially began with the German invasion of Poland in 1939 and ended with the Japanese signed of surrender on August 15, 1945. The war included the Holocaust which resulted in the death and displacement of millions of European Jews.

McKay, John "A Western History of Europe" pg 916-925

The Cold War

10/01/1945 - 09/01/1991

The Cold War sparked out of tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union following the Second World War. Although the exact dates are difficult to pinpoint, in October 1945, President Truman denounced governments with forced administrations, alluding the U.S.S.R. involvement in communist governments in Europe. The Cold War divided Europe, as well as the rest of the world, between communist supporters and western-democratic supporters.

Vietnam War

01/01/1959 - 04/30/1975

The Vietnam War was closely related to the Cold War and the division between the communist North Vietnam and Western-supporting South Vietnam. Although the war was unofficial, the United States pledged hundreds of thousands of soldiers. In the 1960s, the war drew vast criticism in the United States as well as in Europe.

McKay, John "A History of Western Europe" pg 988

Prague Spring


In January 1968, Alexander Dubcek was elected prime minister in Czechoslovakia. Dubcek was a more liberal leader who supported dramatic reforms and called for "socialism with a human face".

McKay, John "A Western History of Europe" pg 992



01/01/1916 - 01/01/1930

Dadaism was an artistic movement that grew out of reaction to the atrocities of World War I. Dadaist tried to capture the absurd and meaningless aspects of life. Although it is difficult to specifically date an artistic movement, Dadaism originated from a group of artist who were exiled in Zurich and decreased in the 1930s amid the change in the political climate.

The Economic Consequences of the Peace


John Maynard wrote this criticism of the Treaty of Versailles and its economic effects on Europe. In "The Economic Consequences of the Peace", Maynard expresses the dissatisfaction felt throughout Europe and claims that in never in his generation has "the universal element of the soul of man burnt so dimly".

Maynard, John. Sources Book "The Economic Consequences of Peace" pf 427

German Communist Party Poster


This poster for the German Communist Party promises "work, freedom, and food" for all those who vote communist. Given the economic climate of the time, people had lost faith in traditional forms of government and the communist party began to gain popularity. The use of communist propaganda was a centerpiece to the success of the Nazi party in Germy.

Sources Book "German Communist Party Poster" (1923)

Consumer Revolution


In the late 1950s, rapid growth in the European economy lead to an increased in demand, and supply, of consumer goods. With increased stability and new technologies, people across Europe took part in the consumer revolution.

McKay, John "A History of Western Europe" pf 955

Age of Affluence


The 1960s, economic standards and the middle class increased to bring about abundance through out Europe and the United States. This abundance allowed many more people to partake in the consumer revolution that had begun in the 1950s. This positive change did not eliminated inequalities along racial, gender, and socioeconomic lines, leading to a general questioning of social and cultural ideals of the time.

McKay, John "A History of Western Society" pg 983

Second Vatican Council

10/11/1962 - 12/08/1965

In the age of abundance and consumerism, religion decreased in popularity. In an effort to broaden the Catholic community, the Second Vatican Council was convened. The council created many reforms that made the church more liberal and appealing to a larger audience.

McKay, John "A History of Western Society" pg 985

1968 Counter-Culture Movement

01/01/1968 - 12/31/1968

The sixties counterculture movement grew out of the economic conformity following World War II. Drawing inspiration from the civil rights movement, the counterculture movement stressed an end to imperialism, inequality, the Cold War and the negative aspects of capitalism.

McKay, John "A History of Western Europe" 986


The War in its Effect Upon Women


Helena Swanwick was a journalist who supported the feminist movement during and post war Europe. In "The War in Its Effect Upon Women" explained that the effect of the war were also felt by women. Swanwick argued that equal employment opportunity would result in equality as well as prosperity for the economy.

Swanwick, Helena. Source Book "The Warn in its Effect Upon Women" pg 408

Hyperinflation in Germany


The cartoon label "Hyperinflation in Germany", the artist depicts a mother holding her starving child above paper money that rises up to her chest. The image was drawn to show the rising inflation that occurred during boycotts of French occupation in Germany.

Sources Book "Hyperinflation in Germany" (1923). Artist not listed

The Nuremberg Laws


Hitler's Nazi regime believed in ethnocentric ideals and greatly discriminated against members of the Jewish community. The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were the first of many official sanctions against the Jewish population. These laws outlined who was considered Jewish as well as regulations on their interactions with the German population; the Nazi party saw these two groups as inherently separate.

Sources Book "The Nuremberg Laws: The Centerpiece of Nazi Racial Legislation" (1935)