- The Oxford Handbook of European History, 1914–1945
- List of contributors
- Introduction: Europe’s Age of Catastrophe in Context
- Belle Époque: Europe before 1914
- Societies at War, 1914–1918
- Total War: Family, Community, and Identity during the First World War
- The Left and the Revolutions
- The Economics of Total War and Reconstruction, 1914–1922
- The New Diplomacy and the New Europe, 1916–1922
- Nation States, Minorities, and Refugees, 1914–1923
- Remaking Europe after the First World War
- The Great Depression in Europe
- ‘A Low Dishonest Decade’?: War and Peace in the 1930s
- Interwar Crises and Europe’s Unfinished Empires
- Rural Society in Crisis
- Interwar Democracy and the League of Nations
- The Political ‘Left’ in the Interwar Period, 1924–1939
- Fascism and the Right in Interwar Europe: Interaction, Entanglement, Hybridity
- Social Policy, Welfare, and Social Identities, 1900–1950
- Discipline, Terror, and the State
- The Nationalization of the Masses
- Political Violence and Mass Society: A European Civil War?
- European Sexualities in the Age of Total War
- ‘America’ and Europe, 1914–1945
- European Integration, Human Rights, and Romantic Internationalism
- Wartime Economies, 1939–1945: Large and Small European States at War
- Axis Imperialism in the Second World War
- Everyday Life in Wartime Europe
- The Holocaust in European History
- Europe’s Civil Wars, 1941–1949
- Nation-Building and Moving People
- Europe, the War, and the Colonial World
- Power Relations during the Transition from Nazi to Post-Nazi Rule
- The Memory of Europe’s Age of Catastrophe, 1914–2014
Abstract and Keywords
Much of Europe’s population still worked the land during the interwar years and peasants formed a crucial political and social constituency. Agriculture was vital to economic development, and the peasantry was central to social stability. The Great War had a major impact on European rural society and opened up the path to land reform and to a greater involvement of the peasantry in politics. In the early 1930s the Depression resulted in a slow decline of the agricultural sector and spurred states to intervene in support of markets and producers. Peasants played an important role in the growth of Italian Fascism and German National Socialism, and in some other parts of the Continent those who worked the land backed Communist parties. In the Soviet Union, Stalin embarked on an unprecedented attempt to collectivize rural society and eradicate the peasantry. While Stalin emerged victorious, he encountered strong peasant resistance.
Laird Boswell, University of Wisconsin – Madison.
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