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Europe 1920's

DefinitionGlossary Term
Weimar Republic Historical name for the democracy that governed Germany from 1919 to 1933. The democracy was named after a German city, where a national assembly convened to produce a new constitution.
Locarno Treaties A series of treaties signed by the Allied powers and the countries of Europe in an attempt to ensure peace after the tragedy of World War I.
Young Plan, 1929 This plan was basically a renewal of the Dawes Plan which was a program to help Germany pay their reparations debts after World War I.
Dawes Plan, 1924 A plan that allowed Germany to make payments on their reparations by recieving loans from the American governemnt. It solved the problem of hyper-inflation.
Occupation of the Ruhr, 1923 Troops from France and Belgium took over this area when the German Weimar Republic failed to make reparation payments in the aftermath of World War I.
Hyper-Inflation Following the First World War, the Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to pay significant reparations to the nations that won the war. Germany printed worthless paper money which soon lost it value and prices dramatically increased.
Munich / Beer Hall Putsch The third failed attempt to overthrow the Weimar republic, but Hitler's first attempt to gain power. Ended when Hitler was arrested.
Spartacists This was a failed attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic by communists led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht.
Mien Kampf Adolf Hitler's book which was written in jail after the failed Beerhall Putsch. Combining elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology of Nazism.
Mussolini Led Italy from 1922 to 1943. He created a Fascist state through the use of diplomacy and propaganda. Using his charisma, total control of the media, outright violence and intimidation against political rivals, he disassembled the democratic government.
Black Shirts A Fascist paramilitary group in Italy during the period immediately following World War I and until the end of World War II. Originally reformers, their methods became harsher as Mussolini's power grew, and they used violence and fear to gain power.
Lateran Accord Three agreements made in 1929 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Catholic Church. The church recognized Mussolini as the leader of Italy and Vatican City was created.
Chamberlain This leader's political legacy is defined by his dealings with an appeasement of Nazi Germany. He signed the Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler in 1938 it effectively allowed Germany to annex the Sudetenland.
Munich Agreement An agreement between Chamberlain and Hitler that was part of the policy of appeasement. It gave the Sudatenland (Part of Czechoslovakia) to Nazi Germany.
Anschluss The 1938 joining of Austria and Germany by the Nazi Regime. Originally the joining of these 2 countries had been banned by the Treaty of Versailles.
Sudentenland The part of Czechoslovakia that was given to Germany as part of the policy of appeasement.
Rhineland This area was demilitarized under the Treaty of Versailles. German forces reoccupied the territory in 1936, three years before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Spanish Civil War, 1936 A conflict in which the Spanish Republic and political left-wing groups fought against a right-wing nationalist insurrection led by General Francisco Franco, who eventually succeeded winning the war with the help of Germany and Italy.
Hitler Chancellor of Germany from 1933 Leader of Germany from 1934 until his death. He was leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, better known as the Nazi Party. He was responsible for the death of millions of Jews and other minorities.
Brown shirts Usually translated as stormtroopers. They functioned as a paramilitary organization of the German Nazi party. They played a key role in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s.
Enabling Act Passed by Germany's parliament (the Reichstag) on March 23, 1933. It was the second major step after the Reichstag Fire Decree through which the Nazis obtained dictatorial powers using largely legal means. It gave Hitler absolute rule.
Nuremberg Laws These laws were passed by the government of Nazi Germany. They were the basis for the racial discrimination against Jews.
Night of Long Knives Also known as "the Blood Purge", it was a lethal purge of Adolf Hitler’s potential political rivals including Ernst Rohm.
Kristallnacht The Night of Broken Glass, was a massive nationwide pogrom in Germany and Austria on the night of November 9, 1938. It was directed at Jewish citizens throughout the country who had their shops, homes and synagogues destroyed.
Propaganda Messages, directly aimed at influencing the opinions of people, rather than telling the truth. Throughout the twentieth century this was a common tactic of political leaders particularily during periods of war.
Lebensraum The German term for habitat or "living space". A term for Nazi Germany’s expansionist policies, to provide extra space for the growth of the German population.
Aryan Race Another term for "master race". This idea was often intertwined with Anti-Semitic ideas. Hitler believed that Germans came from a true pure race that was destined to rule the world.
Final Solution The German Nazis’ plan to engage in systematic genocide against the European Jewish population during World War II. The execution of the Final Solution resulted in the most deadly phase of the Holocaust.
Holocaust The name applied to the state-led systematic persecution and genocide of the Jews and other minority groups of Europe and North Africa during World War II by Nazi Germany and its collaborators by the use of killing squads and extermination camps.
Mass Rallies Very large-scale events that took place in Germany that relied mostly on propaganda. They were used to provide support for the Nazis and to develop ultra nationalism.
Nazism The beliefs of Adolph Hitler and his followers.
Totalitarianism A political system in which the state, or the governing branch of the state, holds absolute authority, not allowing any opposition group.
Paul von Hindenburg Germany’s greatest military hero of World War I who served as president under the Weimar government from 1925 to 1933. He hated the Nazis, but was forced to appoint Hitler as chancellor after the burning of the Reichstag.
Rome-Berlin Axis The military alliance between Germany and Italy signed by Hitler and Mussolini.
General Francisco Franco Generalísimo Francisco Franco, was dictator of Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. His army won the Spanish Civil War.
Appeasement Giving in to the demands of aggressive powers to avoid war, as long as those demands appear reasonable. Such a policy was pursued by Britain and France in dealing with Germany in the latter half of the 1930s.
Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression pact An agreement between Nazi Germany and the USSR not to attack each other and to split up Poland after Germany invaded it.
Kapp Putsch An attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic by the Freikorps lead by Kapp. It failed when the citizens of Germany went on a general strike and did not support the revolt.
Friedkorps A group of ex-army veterans who put down the Sparatcist Putsch and then tried to take over the Weimar Republic themselves. They failed because they did not have the support of the army or the general public.
Rearming of Germany One of the first steps Hitler took after becoming leader of Germany. He did this to end the depression and to put people back to work. It was in direct conflict with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
Created by: alfromcanada