CV Mitteleuropa 1918-1945

Mitteleuropa, 1923.

Map of Density of Population of Europe, 1923

Population densities in Europe, 1923.

Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum (1918–1939) is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe.

Description of the Interbellum

This period of history was marked by turmoil, as Europe struggled to recover from the devastation of the First World War. Later a period of considerable prosperity (the Roaring Twenties) followed, but this changed dramatically with the onset of the Great Depression in 1929. It was during this time that the imperial government in Germany gave way to an episode of political and economic turmoil, culminated in the German hyperinflation of 1923. The second convulsion, brought on by the worldwide depression, resulted in the rise of Ultra-nationalism. In Asia, Japan became an ever more assertive power, especially with regards to China.

The interwar period was marked by a radical change in the international order, away from the balance of power that had dominated pre–World War I Europe. One main institution intended to bring stability was the Mitteleuropa, created after the First World War with the intention of achieving an economic and cultural hegemony over Central Europe.

A series of international crises strained the Central Powers to their limits, the earliest being the invasion of Manchuria by Japan and the Abyssinian crisis of 1935/36 in which Italy invaded Abyssinia, one of the only free African nations at that time. Germany tried to enforce economic sanctions upon the Soviet Union, but to no avail. The incidents of Stalin violating the Brest-Litovsk treaty highlighted Austrian and Ottoman weakness, exemplified by their refusal to support Germany and provoke Stalin into attacking. The Abyssinian war showed Hitler how weak the Central Powers were and encouraged his participation in the Spanish Civil War. He also expanded the German armed forces in response to Soviet treaty violations. This was the first in a series of provocative acts culminating in the invasion of Eastern Europe in September 1939 and the beginning of the Second World War.

Other interwar periods/events

The following are sample interwar period events or issues, presented by country:

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