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Thursday, March 26, 2009



Section 1

Neville Chamberlain- Pre-war Prime Minister of Britain. Appeasement.
He was a strong advocate of appeasement and believed that the survival of the British Empire depended upon an accommodation with Germany. Chamberlain had made it known to Hitler in November 1937 that he would not oppose changes in central Europe, provided that they were executed peacefully. After returning from the Munich Conference, Chamberlain boasted that the Munich agreement meant “peace for our time.” Hitler had promised Chamberlain that he had made his last demand; all other European problems could be settled by negotiation. Like many German politicians, Chamberlain had believed Hitler’s assurances.

On March 7, 1936, Hitler (confident that the Western democracies had no intention of using force to maintain all aspects of the Treaty of Versailles) sent German troops into the demilitarized Rhineland. According the Versailles treaty, the French had the right to use force against any violation of the demilitarized Rhineland. France however would not act without British support, and the British (going with their policy of appeasement) viewed the occupation of German territory by German troops as another reasonable action by a dissatisfied power.

the mountainous northwestern border area of Czechoslovakia that was home to 3 million ethnic Germans. It also contained Czechoslovakia’s most important frontier defenses and considerable industrial resources as well. Hitler demanded the cession of the Sudetenland to Germany and expressed his willingness to risk “world war” to achieve his objective. War was not necessary as appeasement triumphed once again, and Hitler gained the Sudetenland conflict-free at the Munich Conference.

Polish Corridor-
Poland’s access to the sea at the port at Danzig. (but separated a section from Germany).
Hitler demanded the return of Danzig (which had been made a free city by the Treaty of Versailles to serve as a seaport for Poland) to Germany. In response, Britain offered to protect Poland in the event of war. At the same time France and Britain realized that only the Soviet Union was powerful enough to help contain Nazi aggression and began political and military negotiations with Stalin and the Soviets. However, the West’s distrust of Soviet communism made an alliance unlikely.

Lebensraum- “living space”
This doctrine maintained that a nation’s power depended upon the amount and kind of land it occupied. This doctrine is what Hitler used to justify his expansionist policies into eastern Europe

Aryan race- the German race, who in Hitler’s view were the dominant race of mankind destined to rule Europe and possibly the world. Hitler believed that the leading group of Aryans was threatened from the east by a large mass of inferior peoples, the Slavs, who had learned to use German weapons and technology. He wanted to take over Russia so that its land could be resettled by German peasants, and the Slavic population could be used as slave labor to build the Aryan racial state that would dominate Europe for 1,000 years.

Spanish Civil War- Prelude to WWII
The Civil War between the Spanish Political Left and Political Right. Often characterized as part of a larger struggle of Communism vs Fascism. General Francisco Franco (a fascist) rebelled against the leftist republic government in 1936. Franco wins and maintains a dictatorship in spain until 1975.

Munich Conference-
an agreement that essentially met all of Hitler’s demands. German troops were allowed to occupy the Sudetenland as the Czechs, abandoned by their Western allies, stood by helplessly. The Munich Conference was the high point of Western appeasement of Hitler.
Today, Munich is a code word for being weak against an enemy.


Cold War- 1945-1991
the non-violent conflict between America and the Soviet Union; more of a competition between capitalism and communism that came very close to (but fell short of) an actual “hot” war.
Although allies during WWII, relations with between the west and the USSR deteriorated as the threat from Germany receded.

Winston Churchill- British Wartime Prime Minister
One of the Big Three that created the post-war world in 1945. Yalta Conference

Franklin Roosevelt-
Roosevelt was one of the Big Three who created the post-war world at Yalta. Often blamed for “giving” eastern Europe to the Soviets. (However, the soviet army was already there). Roosevelt died in 1945 before the war ended.

Joseph Stalin-
One of the Big Three who created the post-war world at Yalta. He was determined to guarantee the security of the Soviet Union after the War by creating “friendly” buffer-states between Russia and the West. He was the soviet leader when the Cold War started.

Teheran Conference- first meeting (1943) between Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill to decide the future course of the war (held in Teheran, capital of Iran).
- decided on an American-British invasion through France which would leave Eastern Europe to be liberated by Soviet forces.
- The Allies also agreed to a partition of postwar Germany, but differences over questions like the frontiers of Poland were carefully set aside.
- Roosevelt left feeling pleased with the accord reached with Stalin, with no “doubt in the minds of the President or ay of us” that future US-Soviet relations would be peaceful.

Yalta Conference - the most important of the post-war conferences.
- Roosevelt sought Soviet help in the war against Japan in exchange for Soviet influence in post-war Asia. (the atomic bomb had not yet been developed)
- Germany would be split into four zones of occupation instead of three (Churchill wanted France to regain its status as a great power to help a balance of power).
- Poland was a more difficult problem; there were anti-communist Poles in exile in London and communist Poles in exile in Moscow (Lublin Poles). It was agreed that a provisional government would be established with members of both the Lublin Pole and the London Poles.
- Stalin also agreed to free elections in the future to determine a new government (which in Eastern European countries and certainly in Poland would have led to governments hostile to the USSR), as long as the elected government be pro-Soviet. Stalin eventually gained his “friendly governments” (as opposed to “free governments”).
The American Right’s view: a feeble Roosevelt appeased & gave Stalin eastern Europe
The American Left’s view: Roosevelt accepted the reality of Soviet occupation. No war.

Hiroshima – birth of the Atomic Age
the Japanese city upon which the Americans dropped the first A-bomb, killing 80,000 on impact and injuring 130,000 more,
Traditional view: it was ordered because Truman and his advisors realized that an invasion of the Japanese mainland could cost many American lives.
Revisionist View: It was also ordered so that the Americans could end the war with Japan before the Soviet Union could get involved. The US would therefore have the say in what would happen there, with little or no input from the Soviet Union.

the second Japanese city to be victim to an American A-bomb, killing 70,000 on impact and injuring 140,000. The Japanese surrendered shortly after this second attack.

Los Alamos, New Mexico- location of the building and testing of the Atomic Bomb

Manhattan Project- code name for the construction of the Atom Bomb

Harry S. Truman- president after Roosevelt’s death before the war ended..(1945-1952)
- Made the decision to drop the A-bomb on Hiroshima & Nagasaki since he was convinced that American troops might suffer heavy casualties in the invasion of the Japanese homeland. Japan surrendered unconditionally on August 14, 1945.
- Took a hard-line approach to dealing with Stalin in the post war world. Represented America at the Potsdam Conference in which relations with the Soviets went sour.
- He was president when the Cold War started.

Potsdam Conference- by the time this conference met in July of 1945 (near Berlin) the Americans (now represented by Truman who succeeded Roosevelt after his death) had a working atomic bomb, and the 4 powers had taken possession of their zones of occupation in Germany. They agreed to establish a four-power Allied Control Council to determine the policies to be executed in all four zones in Germany. However, the four powers failed to reach an agreement on common policies, and thus each power proceeded to determine policy for its own zone.
US/Soviet relations were beginning to sour as the German Threat receded.

Teheran, Yalta, and Potsdam conferences and post-war Europe-
The overall result of the conferences was the beginnings of the Cold War in which Western and Soviet leaders had different conflicting goals for post-WWII Europe that made compromise nearly impossible.

Iron Curtain-
Metaphor for the division of Europe (cold war). It was coined in a speech by Churchill in which he declared that “an iron curtain” had descended across the continent dividing Germany and Europe into two hostile camps.

Megan Collier

what are the specific dates/years we will need to know for the test?


1939 Hitler Invades Poland

1941 - US enters war

1941 - Hitler invades USSR

1944 - D-Day

1945 - End of WWII VE Day and VJ Day
Atomic Bombs. Hiroshima


what are the answers to the questions in the backk of the Chapter?


i will post that at 7:00 am monday
; )

leah richardson

what are the two polish governments called when germans own poland?


leah the two governments were referred to as the government in exile, and the puppet.

leah richardson

thank you!


question four on section five i am unsure about because everyone wanted power what should i put


where are the back of the chapter questions posted?

leah richardson

scotty-past tsars wanted it. it stated stalin got romania, bulgaria, and hungary which past expansionist tsars tried to get. so then 4b is that hes not really all that different from them. same goals.

savanna-questions are posted below the cartoon

Nathan h

I can't exactly make the distinction between the battle of stalingrad and the siege of leningrad. Do we need to make these?


Stlingrad is the turningpoint of the war. it's as far as hitler gets.

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