Interwar Years

The Democratic States

Conservative Party government (Great Britain)

1924 - 1929

Under the direction of Stanley Baldwin was prime minister, the Conservatives guided Britain during an era of recovery from 1925 to 1929. However, British exports in the 1920s never compensated for the overseas investments lost during the war, and unemployment remained at 10 percent. Attempts by mine owners to lower coal miners' waged led to the General Strike in 1926.

Cartel of the Left (France)

1924 - 1926

The Cartel of the Left was a coalition government formed by two French leftist parties, the Radicals and the Socialists. These parties shared a belief in antimilitarism, anticlericalism, and the importance of education. The Radicals were a democratic party of small property owners, whereas the Socialists were committed to Marxist socialism. Their differences on economic and financial issues made their efforts to solve France's financial problems between 1924 and 1929 largely futile.

First Labour Party government (Great Britain)

1924

By 1923, British politics experienced a major transformation when the Labour Party surged ahead of the Liberals as the second most powerful part in Britain after the Conservatives. After the elections of November 1923, a Labour-Liberal agreement enabled Ramsay MacDonald to become the first Labour prime minister of Britain.

Poincare's government (France)

1926 - 1929

He led the conservative National Bloc who sought to use German reparations to rebuild France after World War II ended. This resulted in Poincare's hard-line policy toward Germany and the Ruhr invasion. When Poincare's conservative government was forced o raise taxes in 1924 to pay for the cost of the Ruhr invasion, his National Bloc was voted out of power and replaced by the Cartel of the Left. However, after the fall of the Cartel of the Left he returned to power.

General Strike (Great Britain)

1926

Attempts by mine owners to lower coal miners' wages led to a national strike by miners and sympathetic trade unions. A compromise settled the strike, but many miners refused to accept the settlement and were eventually forced back to work at lower waged and longer hours.

Second Labour Party government (Great Britain)

1929 - 1931

in 1929, just as the Great Depression was beginning, a second Labour government came into power, but its failure to solve the nation's economic problems caused it to fall in 1931.

Beginning of National Government coalition (Great Britain)

1931

A National Government (a coalition of Liberals and Conservatives) claimed credit for bringing Britain out of the worst stages of the depression, primarily by using the traditional policies of balanced budgets and protective tariffs. By 1936, unemployment dropped to 1.6 million.

Election of Franklin D. Roosevelt (U.S)

1932

Beginning of the New Deal (U.S.)

1933

Created a variety of agencies designed to bring relief, recovery, and reform. To support the nation's banks, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was established; it insured the safety of bank deposits up to $5000. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration provided funds to help states and local communities meet the needs of the destitute and homeless. The Civilian Conservation Corps employed more than 20 million people on reforestation projects and federal road and conservation projects.

Second New Deal (U.S.)

1935

The Second New Deal included a stepped-up program of public works, such as the Works Progress Administration, established in 1935. This government organization employed between 2 and 3 million people who worked at building bridges, roads, post offices, and airports. The Roosevelt administration was also responsible for social legislation that launched the American welfare state. In 1935, the Social Security Act created a system o f old-age pensions and unemployment insurance. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 encouraged the rapid growth of labor unions.

Formation of the Popular Front (France)

1936

A coalition of Socialists and Radicals. The Popular Front succeeded in initiating a program for workers that some have called the French New Deal. It established the right pf collective bargaining, a forty-hour workweek, two-week paid vacations, and minimum wages. The Popular Front's policies failed to solve the problems of the depression, however.