Period 6 Timeline (1914 - Present)

KEY CONCEPTS: 6.1 Science and the Environment; 6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences; 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture


World War I

1914 - 1918

World War I was a highly anticipated war, instigated and intensified by numerous factors, including militarism, convoluted alliances, industrialization and production of weapons capable of destruction on an unprecedented scale, and nationalism among the powerful countries of Europe. The spark that set the war off was the assassination of Austrian-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by the Black Hand, a Serbian nationalist group looking to forward their cause towards a pan-Slavic nation. The complex alliances of the time eventually led to intense trench warfare between the Allies (Great Britain, France, Russia, The United States and Italy) and the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary). The war ended with over 15 million casualties because of the use of weapons like machine guns, heavy artillery, poison gas, and barbed wire. The war was settled by the Treaty of Versailles, which forced Germany to pay enormous war reparations to the Allies, who also limited the size of Germany's military.

6.1 Science and the Environment; 6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

World War II

1939 - 1945

The second World War was much more provoked than its predecessor. Europe, having seen the extreme death and destruction brought on by modern warfare, was, for the most part, reluctant to do battle again. However, Italy and Germany were unhappy with how World War I had been settled, and new leaders rose to power there to avenge the wrongs they felt had been done to their countries. This revenge presented itself in the form of aggression and expansionist ambitions; Italy, under Mussolini, bombed Ethiopia; Germany, under Hitler, invaded the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia; and Japan, which was in effect a military dictatorship, invaded Manchuria in Northern China. The League of Nations, which had been established to maintain world peace after WWI, had no power to put a stop to their actions, and atrocities continued to be committed by the aggressors until it became clear that they would not stop without direct military interference. The Allies (Great Britain, France, the USA, and, eventually, Russia) went up against Germany, Italy, and Japan once again, and eventually triumphed. Germany was divided into districts of occupation by various Allies, and the process of rebuilding began.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Establishment Of The United Nations


The United Nations was established at the end of WWII, much as the League of Nations was at the end of WWI, to help maintain world peace in future years. However, leaders learned from their mistakes; the UN was given military capabilities so it could enforce its edicts and be more effective that the League was. Today, the UN deals with issues that surpass national borders, like those regarding human rights, the environment, and epidemic disease, among other things.

6.1 Science and the Environment; 6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences; 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture

Establishment Of NATO


NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was established after WWII during the Cold War division of the world into capitalists and communists. It is a military alliance that guaranteed the protection of the United States and all of its missiles against aggressors, given that the countries in the alliance are wholly capitalist.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences; 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture

Western Europe

Mussolini Launches Fascist Movement In Italy


Benito Mussolini established a fascist dictatorship in Italy in the interwar years. He gained support because he rallied Italians around his nationalist standard and promised to bring to Italy the land and success denied to them in the Treaty of Versailles. Mussolini ran the country with military efficiency, using his police force, the Blackshirts, to eliminate any opposition or individualism, which was considered out of accordance with the national unity of Italy that fascism made an integral part of the country's structure. Mussolini's leadership style influenced and inspired Adolf Hitler in Germany, and the two of them later formed and alliance in the second world war.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Hitler Rules In Germany

1933 - 1945

Adolf Hitler was a WWI veteran who organized the Nazi Party in Germany in the interwar years. He, like Mussolini in Italy, promised to bring glory to Germany and take back what was taken from Germany in the Treaty of Versailles. The Nazis grew in power under Hitler, and the rest of Germany worried they would become too powerful. Hitler was made chancellor in Germany in attempts to pacify his party, and from that position he eliminated all political opposition and took dictatorial control of the country. Hitler's fascist regime was based in German nationalism and Aryan racial superiority, and Hitler used Jewish people and the 'ethnically inferior' as scapegoats for Germany's problems. He rebuilt the German army, ignoring the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles, and invaded Czechoslovakia, the first in a series of expansionist endeavors he would undertake, which eventually led to the outbreak of the second world war.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Construction Of The Berlin Wall


After the Allied defeat of Germany in WWII, the country was divided into spheres of occupation by various Allies. Russia was reluctant to relinquish its hold on its territories, which included East Berlin, and wanted to incorporate them into the Soviet Union as satellite states. The USSR declared travel bans from East to West Berlin, and eventually erected the Berlin Wall between the two, cutting them off from the USSR and forming a concrete barrier between communist and capitalist states. The Berlin Wall was a representation of the Cold War and the 'iron curtain' between states with communist or capitalist economic models. The wall was not taken down until 1989.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Eastern Europe/Central Asia

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand


Franz Ferdinand was the next in line for leadership of Austria Hungary, and he was assassinated in 1914 by the Black Hand, a Serbian terrorist group seeking a pan-Slavic state. Then, what should have been a regional conflict escalated into WWI, as Austria-Hungary demanded that they be allowed to investigate the Black Hand in Serbia in a way that entirely undermined Serbian sovereignty, and when Serbia refused, Austria-Hungary declared war, knowing they would be backed by Germany. However, Russia supported Serbia because it, too, was a slavic nation, and the conflict only became more convoluted from there.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Bolshevik Revolution


The Bolsheviks were a radical political minority in Russia, led by Vladimir Lenin, who reinterpreted Marxist thought and wanted to make Russia a communist state. They came to power in 1917 following a bloody revolution and the murders of the Romanov family, pulling Russia out of the first world war as they consolidated their hold on the country, despite the red shirts, a group of counterrevolutionaries backed by foreign powers. They eventually consolidated their hold, however, and then began implementing communist policy in the USSR .

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences; 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture

Ataturk Proclaims Republic Of Turkey


Ataturk was a war hero from the first world war, where he fought at Gallipoli. When he became leader of Turkey in the interwar years, he reformed the country to modernize it, making it a secular republic and adopting western culture and political beliefs. Ataturk's reforms included improved education, women's rights, a new constitution, and land reform.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

First Soviet 5-Year Plan

1928 - 1932

The first Soviet Five Year Plan was instated by Stalin to industrialize and collectivize the USSR so that it could function as a self-sufficient communist economy. Comparable to the Great Leap Forward in Communist China, the 5 Year Plan was not entirely successful at creating a communist society, as large-scale industrialization led to the creation of a wealthy elite that held a good deal of political power in Russia.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Stalin's 'Great Purge' In USSR

1935 - 1938

Joseph Stalin's dictatorship in Soviet Russia was characterized by his pervasive paranoia and willingness to see and combat enemies of the state anywhere and everywhere. The Great Purge was a period in which the Russian government made perceived enemies or any form of opposition 'disappear', either through outright killings or in labor camps or prisons.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Creation Of Israel


Israel was the end goal of many Zionists; an entirely Jewish state in Palestine. In the interwar years, control of Palestine was granted to the British, and during WWII, increasing numbers of Jewish people migrated to Palestine in hopes of creating a Jewish state there, much to the dismay of Palestine's other occupants. After WWII, a UN committee officially declared Israel its own sovereign state, and civil war broke out. Tensions still exist in the region today.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Uprising In Hungary


The Hungarian Uprising was in response to Soviet control and policy in Hungary. It was initialized by students and became massively popular in the country, which was a satellite state of the USSR. Although it failed in the long term, the uprising was proof of the failure of the USSR to accommodate for the needs of its satellites, and foreshadowed the eventual downfall of the Soviet Union.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Creation of PLO


The Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded to protect the interests of the people of Palestine, and was in its early years seen as a terrorist organization that used guerrilla warfare to attack Israel and Zionists. Today it is recognized as a legitimate representative of Palestinian people, as it has renounced violence and terrorist tactics.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences; 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture

Revolution In Iran


The Iranian Revolution overthrew the US-supported Shah Pahlavi in Iran and replaced him with a theocratic Islamic republic under Ayatollah Khomeini. The Revolution was executed at first though strikes and demonstrations, and eventually through guerrilla warfare.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Collapse Of USSR


The rapid industrialization and Cold War arms and technology races took their toll on the Soviet Union, which was suffering from extreme economic and political problems in the late twentieth century. Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the USSR at the time, implemented two new policies: glasnost (freedom of speech), and perestroika (elements of capitalist economy) that facilitated the complete downfall of the communist state and its dissolution into fifteen separate states. This began with the nationalist movements of the USSR's satellite states, until eventually all were independent and joined the Commonwealth of Independent Republics. The fall of the USSR was the official end of the Cold War, and as such allowed for a reshaping of global politics without the capitalist-communist super powers pressuring of influencing countries one way or another.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

East Asia & India

Japan Makes 21 Demands Of China


In the first world war, Japan revealed its imperial ambitions in China by sending Chinese leaders its 21 Demands, which would undermine Chinese sovereignty and give control of much of the Chinese economy and Manchuria over to the Japanese. The United States and Great Britain were very opposed to the action, but were occupied with the Great War, and did not take action. The Chinese responded with a boycott of Japanese goods, and the situation was diffused for the moment, until Japan redoubled its expansion efforts in the interwar years.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Civil Disobedience Movement In India


The Civil Disobedience Movement in India was a campaign of noncompliance with British law because the law allowed for British exploitation of Indian people. Led by Mohandas Gandhi, the movement was entirely nonviolent (a practice called satyagraha), and included demonstrations, worker's strikes, and, famously, the Salt March to protest British taxation of salt in India. The movement was eventually effective, as it, in conjugation with the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League, brought about the independence of India in 1947.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences; 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture

Japanese Invasion Of Manchuria


After its industrial revolution, Japan looked to expand as, being an island nation, it was not particularly resource-rich. It looked to China for land and potential agricultural and industrial production sites, and began putting imperialist pressures on the country in the first world war, with its 21 Demands. By 1931, Japan was ready to invade China, which was occupied by its civil war and was generally in a state of chaos, and so the Japanese orchestrated the Mukden Incident to justify their invasion. In the Incident, the Japanese detonated bombs near a section of railway they owned in Manchuria, and then launched their full-scale invasion into Manchuria, establishing a puppet government called the Manchukuo.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Long March By Chinese Communists


The Long March was an enormous relocation of the Chinese Communist army during the Chinese Civil War. The Communists seemed to be on the verge of losing the war, their opponents, the Guomindang Nationalist party, almost entirely surrounding them, when Mao Zedong emerged as the official leader of the communist party and led the troops on a 4000 mile march to reconsolidate their position. The March included frequent bombardment from Chinese Nationalist soldiers, and many soldiers starved to death on the road.

6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture

Invasion Of China By Japan


The full-scale invasion of China by Japan happened some years after Japan established itself in Manchuria, and was an extremely violent occupation of China that was accompanied by various atrocities and many civilian casualties (like in the Rape of Nanking). The invasion led to the Sino-Japanese war, a conflict that comprised much of the Pacific front of WWII because China sided with the Allies after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and Japan was allied with Germany.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Atomic Bombing Of Hiroshima & Nagasaki


Towards the end of WWII, Germany had been successfully dealt with, but battle was still being fought on the Pacific front. The United States was angry with Japan after its attack on Pearl Harbor and wanted to end the war decisively. The US was in possession of atomic bombs, never-before-used weapons of mass destruction, which it threatened to use if Japan did not surrender. The Japanese did not believe the US, and so the United States dropped the two bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both huge cities with large civilian populations that were almost entirely eliminated. The bombs left lasting radioactive damage that poisoned the water around the impact sites and made huge areas unlivable. Japan surrendered afterwards, and WWII was concluded.

6.1 Science and the Environment; 6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Partition Of India


The Indian Independence Movement brought about concerns in India's Islamic minority that the country's new government would not be amenable towards its Muslim citizens, and an increasing number of Indian Muslims, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah of the Muslim League, advocated for the establishment of Pakistan, a separate state for Muslim Indians in the Northwestern region of India. Jinnah eventually realized that goal in the Partition of India, which brought about mass immigration in India as Hindus and Muslims moved to their respective territories. The split was very opposed by people like Mohandas Gandhi, who was a proponent of singular Indian identity regardless of religious identity.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences; 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture

Establishment Of Peoples' Republic Of China


The establishment of the People's Republic of China by Mao Zedong marked the end of the country's civil war and the Communist Party's official victory over the Guomindang. This was extremely alarming for United States, whose fear of communism and fervent denouncement of the communist model, and added to Cold War tensions.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences; 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture

Korean War

1950 - 1953

The Korean War was a proxy war of the Cold War in which Korea, newly liberated from Japan after WWII, had issues over how to set up their new government. There was, as in Vietnam, a movement in North Korea to become communist, but the United Nations, backed by the US (with their communism containment policy) entered Korea to protect the South Koreans from the North. North Korea was backed by both Russia and China, and the war was a stalemate. It was resolved by creating two separate nations, North Korea and South Korea, where the North had a communist government and the South had a democratic one. A demilitarized zone was established between the countries, along the 38th parallel, and tensions between North and South Korea remain high to this day.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

French Defeat at Dien Bien Phu


The process of decolonization that occurred after WWII resulted in various struggles for independence from colonial countries that wanted to maintain some semblance of control over their old territories. This is exemplified in the conflict between the Vietnamese (led by Ho Chi Minh) and the French, which was ended at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, in which the French were defeated and forced to leave Vietnam.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Vietnam War

1955 - 1976

During the process of decolonization after WWII, France lost colonial control of Vietnam, which then had to set up its own government. Vietnam was led to victory in its struggle against the French by communist leader Ho Chi Minh, and much of the nation wanted to be communist. However, by this point, Cold War tensions were high, and the United States was reluctant to allow the formation of new communist states anywhere. The US, acting on its communist containment foreign policy, attempted to install a democratic government in South Vietnam, and stationed troops to take the North by force. North and South Vietnam then fought a war, considered now as a proxy conflict in the Cold War, as the USSR backed communist North Vietnam and its Viet Cong guerrilla fighters. Eventually, the US pulled its troops out of the conflict because of internal protests against the war, and Vietnam became an entirely communist state.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

Great Leap Forward In China

1958 - 1961

Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward was an attempt to collectivize China's industry and agriculture so that it could function as a self-sufficient communist economy. However, it was incredibly mismanaged, and led to a horrible famine in China that killed tens of millions of people.

6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture


Apartheid In South Africa

1948 - 1989

Apartheid laws were instated by the Boer Dutch settlers in South Africa and supported by British colonists there. They were a series of laws that segregated South African society based on race, forcing the black majority into cramped communities while the white minority held over 80% of all the country's land. The laws were heavily protested by activists in South Africa, notable among them Nelson Mandela, who was jailed for 27 years for his efforts. Eventually the laws were overturned in 19189, and, Mandela was freed and became the first black president of South Africa.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences; 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture

The Americas

US Stock Market Crash


The US Stock Market Crash was a pivotal event at the start of the global Great Depression. The United States was a crucial part of a large system of lending and debt after WWI. The US was lending money to Germany so that Germany could repay its war reparations to the Allies, who in turn had to repay the United States for the vast amounts of supplies and weapons they had purchased from the US during the war. When the US market crashed, the entire system was affected, resulting in global economic decline, worsened by attempts to foster internal trade by raising tariffs. Especially damaged were export-based economies like those in South America, which relied on foreign trade for much of their income. Populist and fascist leaders (FDR and Lazaro Cardenas, and Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler) allowed their governments to become increasingly involved in their economies, which were only fully repaired because of the global economic upturn brought about by WWII.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences; 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture

Cardenas Nationalizes Oil Industry In Mexico


Lazaro Cardenas was president of Mexico in an era of economic imperialism in the country. Comparable to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Cardenas was a populist leader who gained favor with the people when he chose to nationalize the oil industry in Mexico, much of which was in the hands of foreign investors. Cardenas' actions are an example of economic experimentation to counteract the Great Depression in the interwar years.

6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture

Castro Comes To Power In Cuba


Fidel Castro was the communist leader of Cuba who came to power in 1959. The United States was panicked by Castro's rise to power because Cuba was a communist nation relatively close to the US, and the situation intensified later in the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which Russia stationed missiles in Cuba, within range of the United States. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the climax of the Cold War, and had it not been dissolved, there likely would have been nuclear war.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences