[HIS 212]  The twentieth century: Some basic events


International relations: war and peace

Dictatorship, Communism and Fascism

Other issues




1914: outbreak of First World War



1917: USA enters war

1917: Russian Revolution: Bolsheviks (Communists) take power in Russia


1918: Russia loses to Germany but Germany then loses in west; end of First World War



1919: Paris Peace settlement

1918–c.1920: Russian Civil War



1922: Fascists take power in Italy (full power 1925); Mussolini = dictator

1922: Irish independence


1924: death of Lenin


1925: Locarno Treaty




1925–6: Stalin emerges as Soviet leader



1929: Soviet collectivization begins

1929: Depression: Wall Street Crash



1931: Depression: collapse of Creditanstalt;  banking crisis


1932–3: famine in Ukraine

[1932 F. D. Roosevelt elected U.S. President]


1933: Nazis take power in Germany; Hitler = dictator



1930s: Soviet Terror


1935–36: Italy invades Ethiopia (Abyssinian War)

c. 1933: establishment of authoritarian Estado Novo in Portugal under Salazar


1938: Munich conference: Britain and France abandon Czechoslovakia

1936–39: Spanish Civil War; won by fascist-supported Franco

1936–38: Popular Front government in France

1939: outbreak of Second World War: Germany versus Britain and France



1940: Germany conquers western Europe except Britain


1940: France: Vichy government formed, accepting defeat


c. 1940–45: Nazi Holocaust

1940: Churchill coalition formed in Britain

1941: June: Germany attacks Soviet Union;
Dec: USA enters war



1945: Germany defeated—end of Second World War in Europe; invention and use of atomic bomb by USA against Japan

1945: end of Nazi regime

1945: election of Labour government in Britain
1947–51: Marshall Plan assists European recovery

c. 1947: start of Cold War



1949: Soviet Union tests atomic bomb; nuclear stalemate between superpowers; NATO established; [1949 Communists win Chinese Civil War]



[1950; Korean War starts]



1952: Britain tests atomic bomb

1953: death of Stalin;
Khrushchev becomes Soviet leader


1956: Hungarian revolt





1958: European Economic Community established



1958: collapse of 4th Republic in France; Gen. de Gaulle empowered to refound Republic; establishes 5th Republic and is elected President

[1960s: decolonization]


1960s: social liberalization in western Europe

1960: France tests atomic bomb
[1962: Cuban missile crisis]




1964 Khrushchev deposed; Brezhnev becomes Soviet leader


1968: attempt to reform communism in Czechoslovakia (Prague Spring)

1967–1974: Colonels’ regime in Greece

1968: Student revolt in Paris

1970s: détente


1970s: Left-wing terrorism in western Europe


1974: Coup in Portugal overthrows Estado Novo

1973: End of post-war boom


1975: Franco dies; succeeded by King Juan Carlos, who begins to move Spain to democracy


Early 1980s: new Cold War


1979: Election of Conservative government under Thatcher in Britain

1980–81: Solidarity movement in Poland




1982: Brezhnev dies, Andropov becomes Soviet leader



1984: Andropov dies; Chernenko becomes Soviet leader



1985: Chernenko dies;
Gorbachev becomes Soviet leader & begins reforms


1988–89: end of Cold War



1989: revolutions in Eastern Europe overthrow Communist regimes

1989: Congress of People’s Deputies meets  in Soviet Union



1991: Yeltsin elected president of Russia; failed Soviet coup;
collapse of Soviet Union

1990: Germany re-unified;
1993: EEC becomes European Union

1991–2001: Yugoslav wars




1999: Vladimir Putin becomes President of Russia




[2001: Sept. 11th attacks in USA]