Europe Between The Wars
Europe in wars
The US and Germany both encountered economic troubles during the late 1920s and 1930s. For United States this had been a significant factor for reaffirming to thee traditional values because it isolated itself from European affairs and the country was turned inward. Tariffs were passed for restricting trade and strict sanctions were imposed on immigrants. Great depression encouraged American leaders to promote traditional American values such as capitalism and national interest. The corporate firms prospered in 1920s because profits reached highest levels and state rewarded businesses. High corporate profits were derived by businesses that were based on capitalist model. The companies earned enormous revenues while wages of labor declined CITATION Nic10 \l 1033 (Crafts & Fearon, 2010). By 1929 the wages of workers were 10 to 20 percent lower than in the beginning of the decade. The productivity in the manufacturing sector increased by 40% but the wages declined. The reactions in Germany were different because Great Depression reflected Nazi’s propaganda not cultural ideas. Financial crisis created frustrations as masses suffered from starvation. Americans invested in the booming markets but German’s failed to endure retract to cash.
In 1930s many influential cultural trends emerged in America. Literature, art and music acted as important vehicles for transmitting American values. The New Deal program supported writers and artists for displaying culture and presenting it to the masses CITATION Nic10 \l 1033 (Crafts & Fearon, 2010). The Federal Art Project launched in 1935 remains one of the visible efforts of the state for engaging artists in the creation of murals, paintings and posters that transmitted the themes of American values and culture. Economic troubles also promoted black segregation and millions of immigrants were culturally isolated and reflected American regionalism. In 1932 when majority of the Americans were unemployed the prevailing cultural norms kept women out of industries. This massive market downturn was a prominent reason for discouraging women from entering wage-paying economies CITATION Nic10 \l 1033 (Crafts & Fearon, 2010). Max Weber highlighted workplace challenged faced by labor in his book ‘Protestant ethic and spirit of capitalism’. The focus was to make workplace better for labor where they could work with free spirits. Religion-spiritual faith system were promoted in the period that encouraged the workers to create a meaningful workplace. This era focused on personal values such as work goals, societal norms about working an work-role identification.
Compared to America, Germans were entrapped in situation of hopelessness that disconnected them from traditional values. They homelessness, starvation and unemployment created misery for the working class. They were unable to take part in religious activities and suffered dire consequences. The central reason for this difference between two countries was the powerful role of Nazi in Germany CITATION Nic10 \l 1033 (Crafts & Fearon, 2010). In America economic troubles of 1920s and 1930s lead to the affirmation of democracy resulting from political movements. The Civil War in the beginning of 1930s and Marxist movements stressed on the adoption of humane models based on revolutionary ideas of equality and social justice. People of all social classes learned the importance of economic value.
Social and political upheavals were common in Germany but the power of state prevented population from engaging in political movements. Compared to America, democracy was non-existent due to the authoritative role of Nazi. The government policies and actions didn’t represented the interest of masses CITATION Die69 \l 1033 (Petzina, 1969). The comparison between America and Germany depicts that the formed managed to reaffirm traditional American values like democracy, capitalism and protestant work ethic. The reactions were different in Germany because economic downfall played negative role and threatened the values of masses.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Crafts, N., & Fearon, P. (2010). Lessons from the 1930s Great Depression . Oxford Review of Economic Policy , 26 (3).
Kennedy, D. M. (2016). The Great Depression: An Overview. Journal of Gilder Lehrman Institute .
Petzina, D. (1969). Germany and the Great Depression . Journal of Contemporary History , 4 (4), 59-74.
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