Segment descriptions
 Modern European History Series:
Imperialism, Revolution
     & World War, Part 1


Imperialism, Revolution & World War, Part 1    
sampler  52     (54 lecture)

After World War I, what are the contrasting positions held by U.S. leaders about the League of Nations and its potential role in future U.S. foreign Policy, and which are not based on moral ideals?

                 play sampler




Impact of World War I 




Impact of WWI. The World Will Never Be The Same.  Outlook before is progress, onward and upward.  After -- where are all the good leaders? --dead.  Art and literature become abstract, music harsh.  Freud's conceives the concept of the death wish. 



New U.S. World Role.  U.S. enters the First World War partly for freedom of seas but also economic motives and Wilson's personality.  U.S. emerges as the most powerful economy.




The Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations.  Most of Wilson's 14 points are ignored.  England and France want revenge.  Although a strong supporter of the League of Nations, Wilson is mainly to blame for its rejection by the Senate.  U.S. ambitions for world domination and the conflicting strategies by various American leaders.  The Treaty of Versailles is both too lenient and too harsh on Germany and is a factor in the rise of Nazism.




Russian Revolution's Profound Effect on the World



The Least Likely Revolution.  Why conditions are the least favorable for revolution.  Why the revolution of 1905 fails but the one in 1917 succeeds by a twist of fate by which a small minority gains power.  How the Czar's image, Russia's participation in the first world war, the Czarina's role in the government, and the cult figure of Rasputin, all figure in this unlikely outcome.  The contrasting views of the role of capitalism by Marx and by Lenin.



Two 1917 Revolutions.  The Czar is forced to abdicate in early 1917.  The bourgeois take power, led by Karensky who continues the disastrous war against Germany, leading to the second revolution in October 1917 by the Bolsheviks led by Lenin.




The Threat to Capitalism.  Russia fights a brutal civil war from 1918 to 1921 against 5 invading armies from all directions.  How Trotsky, without military background, incredibly, defeats all of them one at a time.




Bolsheviks rule over a wasteland.  Buildings in ruin from war with Germany and civil war, millions of peasants killed, agriculture destroyed, and an influenza pandemic.  Lenin had hoped that communism would spring up elsewhere in more advanced countries and then help out Russia.  Revolutions did not occur successfully.  In 1921 Lenin realizes he is alone in transforming Russia.