1 Answer

  •  1) The First World War was crippling to every nation in Europe, the sheer scale of it was enough to send most of these countries into a economic downturn in the early 1920s. The victorious Allies imposed the harsh Treaty of Versailles on Germany, whom they regarded as the core perpetrator of the war. This gave them the ability to strip Germany of profitable land and to also demand harsh war reparations that Germany simply couldn't pay. In terms of the Rise of Fascism in the 1920s, I would claim that the 1930s were the greatest time for Fascist movements as they took power in Germany, Japan and Spain, however I would claim that the 1929 Wall Street Crash and resulting Depression had a larger role to play in the rise of Hitler etc.. I suppose if you're referring to Mussolini's rise to power in 1922, one could argue that there existed a state of disgruntlement at the little achievements gained at the end of what was then the biggest war in human history. Italy in particular did not gain much from the war and that was the biggest contributor to Mussolini's rise.  

    2) Without the military alliances that existed in 1914, Franz Ferdinand's death arguably wouldn't have even made the front page of the newspapers in Britain or France. The Balkans/Central Europe was one of the most volatile places on Earth in the early 1900s, with Austria's annexation of Bosnia in 1908 and the Balkan Wars in 1913. What turned this relatively small Balkan crisis into the World War was the military alliances that Russia had signed with Serbia and Germany had signed with Austria. When Serbia and Austria started fighting, Germany and Russia were arguably dragged into the war. Whilst I don't think war would have been avoided, the aggressive nature of Germany and Russia alone were fundamental factors in the outbreak; the Sarajevo murder would have just resulted in a war between the Balkan States had the military alliances not been in place.