The Interwar Years (1919-1938)
June 28, 1919: The treaty of Versailles is Signed The Treaty of Versailles ends World War One and imposes heavy reparations payments on Germany.
November 1920: The First Meeting of the League of Nations The Assembly of the League of Nations meets for the first time in Geneva, Switzerland. The US is notably absent, the Senate having voted against joining the League in November 1919.
November 1921: The Washington Conference is Held The United States convenes the Washington Conference, attended by Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, China, Japan, and Portugal. The Conference results in a naval armaments treaty that sets a ratio for tonnage of capital ships (over 10,000 tons, with guns bigger than eight inches) for Great Britain, the US, Japan, France, and Italy. The ratio agreed upon, in that order, is 5:5:3:1.67:1.67.
October 30, 1922: Benito Mussolini is Made Italian Premier King Victor Emmanuel declares Mussolini premier in an attempt to head off violent conflict between the Fascists and the Communists.
November 9, 1923: The Beer Hall Putsch Adolf Hitler and General Ludendorf, a World War One hero, lead a small contingent of followers in a harmless, comical attempt at rebellion, for which Hitler is imprisoned for two years.
January 21, 1924: Vladimir Lenin Dies Lenin's death leaves some question as to who will be his successor. Joseph Stalin eventually beats out Leon Trotsky to take control of the Soviet government.
May 11, 1924: The Cartel des Gauches wins the French Election The Cartel displaces the ruling Bloc National, in a marked victory for the left, but proves unable to govern effectively.
August 27, 1924: The German Chamber of Deputies Accepts the Dawes Plan The Dawes Plan restructures the schedule of German reparations payments so as to reduce the amount of annual payments, and grants Germany a large loan.
December 1, 1925: The Locarno Pacts are Signed The Locarno Pacts are signed in efforts to stabilize relations with Germany and its neighbors. The pacts usher in a period of peace and prosperity.
1926: Joseph Pilsudski Becomes Virtual Dictator in Poland Pilsudski maintains this position until his death in May 1935
March 1926: The Samuel Commission in England Releases Its Report on Coal Mining The Samuel Commission, under the Conservative government, releases a report which advises wage cuts for miners. The Triple Alliance responds by striking, which is emulated by many other industries in England to protest he Conservative government's policies.
April 14, 1931: The Spanish Monarchy is Overthrown and The Republic Is Born A provisional government is established to take Spain from monarchy to republicanism.
1932: General Gyula Gombos Comes to Power in Hungary Gombos becomes prime minister, an office he uses like a dictatorship, setting the tone for Hungarian government during the remaining inter-war years.
February - July 1932: The final League of Nations Disarmament Conference is Held The last major League of Nations-sponsored disarmament conference meets from February to July 1932 at Geneva, with 60 nations in attendance, including the United States. However, this conference, like it's predecessors, fails to secure any agreement, and organized disarmament remains an unaccomplished goal.
1933 - 1934: 1,140,000 Communist Party Members are Expelled by Stalin Stalin's Central Purge Commission, created in 1933, publicly investigates and tries many party members for treason as Stalin seeks to rid the party of oppositon.
January 30, 1933: Hitler is Appointed Chancellor of Germany In an attempt to reel in the chaos of the German government, President Paul von Hindenburg declares Hitler chancellor, the first major step in Hitler's ascent to dictatorship.
March 23, 1933: The German Reichstag Passes the Enabling Act The Enabling Act gives Hitler the power to issue decrees with the status of law.
June 3, 1936: Leon Blum's Popular Front Government Comes to Power in France The Popular Front, a leftist party, institutes social legislation and allows wide public participation in the government, but ultimately fails to curtail the depreciating economy.
July 17, 1936: The Spanish Nationalists Begin the Spanish Civil War Generals Goded, Mola, and Francisco Franco lead troops in rebellion against the republic, sparking the Spanish Civil War.
April 25, 1937: Spanish Nationalists Bomb Guernica The small northern town of Guernica is bombed, and civilians are gunned down as they flee the scene. In this brutal massacre 1500 die and 800 are wounded, but the military targets in the town remain intact.
September 18, 1938: The Munich Pact is Signed Britain and France appease Hitler by signing the Munich Pact, which grants Hitler control of the Czech Sudetenland.
March 30, 1939: The Spanish Civil War Ends Madrid falls to Francisco Franco's forces, effectively ending the Spanish Civil War. Franco's oppressive dictatorship begins.
September 3, 1939: Britain and France Declare War on Germany In response to Hitler's continued aggression in Eastern Europe, Britain and France go to war with Germany in an attempt to stop Hitler's bid for global hegemony.