to the article, military spending allowed some countries to rebound from the
Which paragraph BEST
supports the idea outlined above?
While the causes may be
difficult to pin down, we can more accurately examine how countries responded
to this challenge. There were both economic and political responses to the
Great Depression. The one overwhelming economic response of many countries was
to try to become economically self-sufficient and independent. To do this, the
governments put very high tariffs on all imported goods, in order to protect
their domestic industries. Some governments devalued their currency. By
devaluing their currency, those countries made the goods they exported cheaper
relative to other countries' manufactured goods. As a result, many countries
saw their gross domestic product (GDP) drop during the Great Depression. The
GDP is the total value of all goods produced by a country.
The political responses
were much more complicated, but many of those responses can be described as a
form of "populism." Populism is neither specifically liberal nor
specifically conservative, and in fact, both leftwing and rightwing parties
have successfully harnessed it. Populists usually strongly condemn the
traditional ruling parties on behalf of the ordinary citizens. Their actions
and attitudes are meant to suggest they are part of the ordinary majority
rather than an elite group. They also tend to favor government intervention in
the economy and even in society.
The fascist governments
in Europe took a third populist path. This is best exemplified by the Nazi
regime in Germany. Hitler called for national unity, an end to reparation
payments, and a return to the mythic glory days of the German Volk (or people).
Hitler also blamed the actions of outsiders, specifically Jews, for the
problems of the German people. The German people responded to Hitler's message,
and in 1933, Hitler was appointed chancellor, after which he put an end to
voting. In large part, the reparations imposed on Germany by the Treaty of
Versailles and the financial crisis of the Great Depression created the
conditions for the Second World War.
One way that nations
helped end the Great Depression, and at the same time prepared for the next
conflict, was to spend billions of dollars on military weapons and equipment.
In doing so, these nations created a lot of jobs in the arms industry. Germany,
Japan and the USSR put a lot more government funds into building armaments than
other countries did.
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