Today’s key questions:
Part 1: What do we mean when we use the term “fascism” in the context of the 1930s?
Begin by dividing into three groups, each tasked with identifying actions, policies, or rhetoric that might be considered "fascism" in Italy (group 1), Germany (group 2), and Japan (group 3).
Next, members of groups 1, 2, and 3 will be mixed together into new groups (A, B, and C) and be tasked with identifying a list of essential characteristics of 1930s fascism that apply to all three (or at least two) of the nations identified above.
We will compare our responses on the board to develop a class definition of fascism.
Part 2: What might have students at Hotchkiss in the 1930s learned about fascism?
Finally we will read an article from the 31 October 1933 edition of The Record reporting on visiting lecturer on the nature of “Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime and the present situation in Germany.” With your partner(s), discuss:
John Reed in Petrograd, 1917
Begin by watching a 4 minute clip from the 1981 film Reds. In the film, Warren Beatty stars as John Reed, a left-wing American writer who documented the Russian Revolution in 1917.
Read the following passage from Reed’s preface to his account, Ten Days that Shook the World (first published by Boni and Liveright, 1919):
It is still fashionable, after a whole year of the Soviet Government, to speak of the Bolshevik insurrection as an “adventure.” Adventure it was, and one of the most marvellous mankind ever embarked upon, sweeping into history at the head of the toiling masses, and staking everything on their vast and simple desires. Already the machinery had been set up by which the land of the great estates could be distributed among the peasants. The Factory-Shop Committees and the Trade Unions were there to put into operation workers’ control of industry. In every village, town, city, district and province there were Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies, prepared to assume the task of local administration.
No matter what one thinks of Bolshevism, it is undeniable that the Russian Revolution is one of the great events of human history, and the rise of the Bolsheviki a phenomenon of world-wide importance. Just as historians search the records for the minutest details of the story of the Paris Commune, so they will want to know what happened in Petrograd in November, 1917, the spirit which animated the people, and how the leaders looked, talked and acted. It is with this in view that I have written this book.
In the Soviet Union, the Bolsheviks (later Communists) promised not just “Peace! Bread! Land!” but to achieve it through a radical reordering of Russian society:
power will be transferred to the hands of the revolutionary workers, soldiers, and peasants; in that case it will mean a complete abolition of landlord tyranny, immediate check of the capitalists, immediate proposal of a just peace [to end World War I]. (Reed quoting a Bolshevik paper in 1917, 89).
John Scott in Magnitogorsk
In 1931, another American, John Scott, traveled to the Soviet Union. Josef Stalin had been in power since the mid-1920s. He pressed forward with agricultural collectivization and achieved impressive industrial gains while much of the West was marred in the Great Depression. Yet it also came at a cost: a pervasive state security apparatus that targeted kulaks and other “purge” victims, sending them to the gulags or directly to execution squads. One place where these projects played out was Magnitogorsk, a city that underwent rapid change as a result of Stalin's First Five-Year Plan (1928-32),
With a partner, read selections from the following document and answer the questions, below.
1. Everyone reads section A and answers the following questions:
2. Then read the selection (B, C, or D) assigned to your team. Your task is to draw parallels you can find between Scott and last night’s homework.
Debrief as a class.
How does the state help people during an economic crisis? What sort of programs or assistance comes to mind? Write a short 2-3 minute response in your journal.
The New Deal's "Three Rs"
In his campaign for president in 1932, Franklin Roosevelt promised a “New Deal” for Americans struggling with the Great Depression. President Roosevelt, aided by majorities in Congress, put the full weight of the federal government behind ending the economic crisis. Historians divide New Deal legislation into three categories:
With a partner, visit at least four stations around the classroom that introduce Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. Chart key information about these policies using your graphic organizer.
Based on your reading of Hoover’s 1932 speech, do you think he would have changed his mind about the New Deal after seeing the policies Roosevelt ultimately put in place? Why or why not?
What is Hoover’s vision of an “American System”? How is it similar or different from the priorities and values reflected in the New Deal programs?
Ultimately, how do Roosevelt and Hoover articulate competing visions of liberty in these documents? Do you see any significant similarities along with these differences? Which of the two approaches do you view as more compelling in the context of the Great Depression? What about today?
Today's lesson consists of two parts, (1) the following Slides:
(2) Questions for investigation and discussion:
Homework: Assignment #609.
Background on Wilson:
How did WWI begin?
Source: “How and why did the First World War start?” The Week (31 May 2016).
As you read the following passage, consider:
Wilson: For and Against Entry
As you read each passage, consider:
Document A: President Woodrow Wilson, in a speech before Congress, August 19, 1914.
The people of the United States are drawn from many nations, and chiefly from the nations now at war. It is natural and inevitable that some will wish one nation, others another, to succeed in the momentous struggle.
Such divisions among us would be fatal to our peace of mind and might seriously stand in the way of our duty as the one great nation at peace, the one nation ready to play a part of mediator and counselor of peace.
The United States must be neutral in fact, as well as in name, during these days that are to try men's souls. We must be impartial in thought, as well as action.
Document B: President Woodrow Wilson, in a speech before Congress, April 2, 1917.
Property can be paid for; the lives of peaceful and innocent people cannot be. The present German submarine warfare against commerce is a warfare against mankind.
The German policy has swept every restriction aside. Ships of every kind, whatever their flag, their character, their cargo, their destination, their errand, have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom of the ocean without warning. American ships have been sunk, American lives taken.
I advise that the Congress declare the recent actions of the Imperial German Government to be, in fact, nothing less than war against the Government and people of the United States.
Neutrality is no longer feasible or desirable where the peace of the world is involved.
The world must be made safe for democracy. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek not material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of
the champions of the rights of mankind.
It is a fearful, but right thing to lead this great peaceful people to war. We shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts – for democracy, for the right of [people] to have a voice in their own government, for the rights and liberties of small nations.
A Historian's View
Source: Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States (New York: HarperCollins, 2003).
President Woodrow Wilson had promised that the United States would stay neutral in the war. . . . But in April of 1917, the Germans had announced they would have their submarines sink any ship bringing supplies to their enemies; and they had sunk a number of merchant vessels. Wilson now said he must stand by the right of Americans to travel on merchant ships in the war zone. . . .
As Richard Hofstadter points out (The American Political Tradition): “This was rationalization of the flimsiest sort. . . . The British had also been intruding on the rights of American citizens on the high seas, but Wilson was not suggesting we go to war with them. . . .
The United States claimed the Lusitania carried an innocent cargo, and therefore the torpedoing was a monstrous German atrocity. Actually, the Lusitania was heavily armed: it carried 1,248 cases of 3-inch shells, 4,927 boxes of cartridges (1,000 rounds in each box), and 2,000 more cases of small-arms ammunition. . . . The British and American governments lied about the cargo. . . .
Prosperity depended much on foreign markets, it was believed by the leaders of the country. In 1897, private foreign investments of the United States amounted to $700 million dollars. By 1914, they were $3.5 billion. . . .
With World War I, England became more and more a market for American goods and for loans at interest. J.P. Morgan and Company acted as agents for the Allies and when, in 1915, Wilson lifted the ban on private bank loans to the Allies, Morgan could now begin lending money in such great amounts as to both make great profit and tie American finance closely to the interest of a British victory in the war against Germany.