1900-Present Developments in the 20th Century



1900-Present Developments in the 20th Century
Developments in the 20th Century
Consequences of Global Conflict
*fall of Empires
• Europe ceased to dominate the global
political order by the end of the 20th century
• Land based empires Qing (1911), Ottoman
(1918), and Russian ( 1917) collapsed
because of internal discontent, lack of
technology, and military defeat.
Consequences of Global Conflict
*World War I
• Imperialism, nationalism, alliances, and
militarism lead to the war.
• The new technologies introduced during
war made an impact – machine guns,
airplanes, submarines, trench warfare, tanks,
firebombing. RESULT: large #’s of deaths,
lowered the value of humility.
• Full economic production and political
power of nations were engaged in military
Consequences of Global Conflict
* Peace treaties and organizations after
• League of Nations approved Treaty of
Versailles, which is mostly an economic,
political and military punishment to Germany.
• Increased Resentment of Germany toward the
Allied Countries.
Consequences of Global Conflict
• Russia becomes worlds first Communist
country after having to pull out of WWI
because of civil wars going on at home.
• Communists sought to unite people across
borders through Marxist ideology.
• Communists and socialist desired a
redistribution of land from the wealthy and
to the poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin
Consequences of Global Conflict
*World War II
• Germany’s government weakened after
WWI allows for Hitler to take power.
• The Great Depression is also an added
bonus to other counties governments failing
allowing for Fascist dictatorships to take
hold. ( Italy and Japan)
Consequences of Global Conflict
*World War II
• As the war started with the German take over of
Poland, it was apparent how the technology of
WWI had been improved upon.
• Atom/Hydrogen Bomb – will cause a competition
between the world powers. Will later lead to
Nuclear Proliferation.
• Blitzkrieg- “Lightening War” was the way in which
Germany attacked Poland and France with all guns
blazing, tanks shooting, all planes in the air!
“Shock and awe” was how how they gained
territory so fast.
Consequences of Global Conflict
*Holocaust and UN
• Holocaust and Anti- Semitism exposed after the War.
World sympathy and push for Jewish homeland in
• Questions are raised as to who’s job it is to police
human rights issues or genocides in other counties.
• United Nations replaces League of Nations. The UN
had more military authority to stop aggression by
nations, and to prosecute war crimes ( Nuremberg
Consequences of Global Conflict
• Anti-Imperialism movements dissolved empires &
restructured states.
• Nationalist leaders like Gandhi in India and Ho
Chi Minh in N. Vietnam challenged imperial rule.
• Regional, ethnic & religious movements
challenged not just imperial rule, but the structure
of post-colonial states.
– Muhammad Ali Jinnah calls for indpendent, Muslim
Pakistan ( 1940’s)
– Major demographic and social changes accompanied
post WWII politics.
Population resettlement: Hindus move to India, Muslims
to Pakistan. Jews move to Israel, Palestine pushed out.
Consequences of Global Conflict
* Cold War
• U.S. and Soviet Union emerge as Superpowers
and competition and paranoia begins.
• Cold War created new military alliances &
resulted in proxy wars in Latin America, Africa,
and Asia.
• Organizations formed: NATO, Warsaw Pact.
• In the name of containment: Cuban Revolution,
Cuban Missile Crisis, Korean and Vietnam wars.
Consequences of Global Conflict
* Cold War
• Economic and social breakdown in the
Soviet Union ended the Cold war by 1991.
• Many groups and individuals challenged the
wars of the 20th century.
– No Nukes movements of the 1970 and 80’s
– Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc set himself
on fire to protest conflicts and opression in S.
– Student protestors in the U.S. during the
Vietnam War.
Consequences of Global Conflict
*reactions to protests
• Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr,
promoted nonviolence as a way to bring
about political change.
• Some groups opposed existing issues and
promoted alternatives.
– Lenin in Russian Revolution – communism as
an alternative to fighting in WWI
– Tiananmen Square protestors promoting
democracy in China.
Consequences of Global Conflict
* Violence with Violence
• Militaries and militarized states often
responded to violence with more violence.
– Dictators in Chile, Spain, & Uganda
– Military build-up and arms trading
• Some movements used violence against
civilians to achieve political aims
- Al-Qaeda
Consequences of Global Conflict
* Ethnic Violence
• First Genocide- 2 million Armenia Christians
killed by Muslim Turks. World War I was
provided the Turks the opportunity to solve their
“Armenian problem”.Armenian Soldiers were
disarmed and killed by work or firing squad.
Armenian intellectuals killed first, followed by
Armenian men. Armenian Elderly, Women and
children were marched into the Syrian Desert to
eliminate them.
• Fact: Ottoman Turks were allied with Germany
during WWI. The next genocide will occur in
Consequences of Global Conflict
* Ethnic Violence
• Holocaust of 1940’s ( 11-15 millions deaths of
Jews, Gypsies, Polish, Slavs, African Germans,
and others)
• Cambodian Genocide by Khmer Rouge (1.7
million educated and religious leaders and their
• Serbian “Ethnic Cleansing” of 1990 ( 8,000
Bosnian Muslims died)
• 1994 Rwandan ( Hutu) massacres of the Tutsi
population. – 800,000 died in matter of weeks.
Human Rights and Aide
• Due to globalization human rights violations and the needs
of citizens in the foreign countries becomes more evident,
leading to the creation of several aide organizations to help.
• Red Cross – founded in England in 19th century. Works
with government agencies around the world.
• Amnesty international- raises awareness of the plight of
political prisoners around the globe.
• World Health Organization – UN agency committed to
combating infectious diseases.
• UNICEF – UN agency works for children’s rights and
survival around the world.
Science and the Environment
• Geographic distance is eliminated with
automobiles, airplanes, etc.
• Telephone, Radio/Tv broadcasts, Interest
make global communication instantaneous.
• New physics changes peoples’
understanding of the world
– Einstein’s theory of relativity
– Quantum theory
– “ Big bang” theory
Science and the Environment
• Green Revolution brought technology and
food production together to feed the
growing pop.
– Genetically engineered crops & livestock
– Pesticides & new fertilizers
• Petroleum and Nuclear Energy raised
productivity & increased the production of
material goods
• Medical innovations like antibiotics & heart
transplants increased life spans of humans.
Science and the Environment
• More that ever before, humans
fundamentally changed the environment and
their relationship to it.
• Competition over resources
• Global warming as a result of pollutants &
• Pollution threatens air & water
• Animal species become endangered or
extinct at an unprecedented rate.
Science and the Environment
• Diseases impact human life in new and old
– Tuberculosis & cholera persist in impoverished
regions… just like in early industrial Europe
– HIV/AIDS emerged in the late 1970’s
– Ebola virus devastated areas of Africa in the
– Diabetes & Heart disease are linked with more
sedentary lifestyles & improved tech/transport
– Alzheimer’s is linked to longer life spans
Global Connections
* Organizations
• International Olympic Committee – promote international
understanding through sports
• World Bank and International Money Fund- banking
principles and loan $ to developing nations.
• European Union – formed after WWII to help Europe
rebuild. Created a common currency and helped increase
trade between member countries.
• NAFTA – US response to EU. Trade agreement btwn US,
Canada, and Mexico.
• OPEC- Organization of Arab oil exporting counties.
Control petroleum prices.
Global Connections:
* Global Companies
• As major corporations began to spread around the world
they brought with them the culture of their home country.
These companies also spread Democratic and free
enterprise ideals.
• Exxon, McDonald's, General Motors, Coca Cola
( US companies spread around the world. )
• Philips Electronics, and Shell Oil
( Based in Europe but spread around the world.)
• Sony Electronics, Toyota Motors, and Hyundai Motors
( Based in East Asia but spread around the world.)
Popular Culture
• As the world became more globally connected popular
culture began to spread to.
• U.S. clothing styles and music like Elvis spread.
• The Beatles ( from Britain) were actually more popular in
the rest of the world.
• Bollywood ( Indian form of Hollywood) gained
popularity in the west. They produce more films than
• James Bond movies- simulated the fear the U.S. had for
the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
• Video Games – as technology becomes more developed
and affordable video games gain popularity.

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