Government, business and culture

A global context for the 1930s:

The 1930s were described as an abrupt shift to more radical lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the global depression. In Australia, this decade was known as the Dirty Thirties. In both Central Europe and Eastern Europe, Fascism, Nazism, Stalinism,dominated as the solution, the first two adopting war-oriented economic policies and the latter emphasizing heavy industrial development, all of them described as totalitarian regimes. In East Asia, the rise of Militarism occurred. In Western Europe, Australia and the United States, more progressive reforms occurred as opposed to the extreme measures sought elsewhere. Roosevelt’s New Deal attempted to use government spending to combat large-scale unemployment and severely negative growth. Ultimately, it would be the beginning of World War II in 1939 that would end the depression. Wikipedia

One way of thinking about the the twentieth century is provided by Reinhold Niebuhr--who looked at modern society as being shaped by the interplay of three domains that exert power and influence. All three changed during the twentieth century because of developments that made broader and deeper organization manageable. In economics and business, developments in modern transportation, communication and manufacturing technology led to commercial enterprises on an unprecedented scale. In politics and government many of the same technological developments made it possible to organize political campaigns, government programs--often prompted by a need to regulate large-scale business--and military actions on a vast scale.

The third area is culture and ethnicity, including religion. People do not always passively accept whatever changes are advocated by business and government leaders. Various ethnic heritages and cultures provide resources for critiquing, modifying, selecting and thwarting changes sought by business and government.

In the 1930s, radio became a powerful cultural force.

How did different religious or ethnic groups interpret and respond to the turmoil of the decade?

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 03/06 at 06:30 AM






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