Explaining the Modern World

A timeline for GCSE Historians

General Events

Worldwide Economic Depression

Approx. 1929 - 1939

A collapse in the US economy caused a world-wide economic slump that lasted well into the 1930s and some say did not end until the onset of WWII. European countries suffered especially, and the depression was a major factor in helping bring nationalists, such as Hitler, so the forefront of European politics.

Hitler comes to power

1929 - 1933

A weak Republic, a series of political miscalculations, growing support for the Nazis under Hitler, and clever propaganda helps bring Hitler to power in Germany

Hitler becomes Chancellor

January 1933

Berlin Olympics

1st August 1936

Czechoslovakian Crisis

15th September 1938 - 15th March 1939

Key Events

German Rearmament

Approx. 1933 - Approx. 1935

Re-armament was against the Treaty of Versailles - but Hitler began this secretly at first - In March 1935 he publically announced the fact in a 'Freedom to rearm' rally in Berlin.

Saar Plebiscite

Approx. 1935

A major victory for Hitler - as the population of the Saar vote to be part of Germany.

Luftwaffe formed

February 1935

Hitler announces conscription

March 1935

Re-militarisation of the Rhineland

7th March 1936

Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan

25th November 1936

Japan was under the leadership of hard-line anti-communists (e.g General Tojo) This pact pledged their opposition to communism.


14th March 1938

Austria had a strong Nazi party - after putting pressure on the Austrian government, Hitler simply marched into Austria to 'restore order'. Another plebiscite was arranged - an overwhelming victory for Hitler.

Meeting at Berchtesgaden

15th September 1938

Chamberlain flew to Germany to meet with Hitler in his mountain retreat! Chamberlain returns with the belief that if the Sudetenland is 'ceded' to Germany, (after a plebiscite) that would be the end of Hitler's demands.

Meeting at Bad Godesberg

22nd September 1938

Hitler 'disappoints' Chamberlain by increasing his demands to the whole of the Sudetenland....

Munich Agreement

30th September 1938

At Munich, in a four power agreement (Germany, Italy, France and Britain) agreed that Germany should have the Sudetenland.

Hitler marches into the rest of Czechosovakia

March 15th 1939