The Great Depression, history homework help

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Discussion response needed:

The Great Depression

It is hard to underestimate the disruption caused in Europe by the
Great Depression.  To what extent did the policies pursued by various
governments of Europe in response to this economic crisis set the stage
for the diplomatic and political crises of the late 1930s?

In my reading of the course resources and some general searching it
is hard to find information about The Great Depression that isn’t
focused on the United States. Most of the articles and papers I read
seam to lean towards everyone watching and worrying about what the US
was going to do. Some of the notable things I found in relation to
policies pursued by governments in Europe was the Young Plan in 1929
which reduced the reparations owed by Germany and only forced them to
pay one third of the years amount owed and that they only needed to pay
the other two thirds if they could afford to do so. Russia was embarking
on the 5 year plan and was in a desperate state of their own. In 1930
the rise of Nazi Power and Hitler’s plans to take over Germany by using
his propaganda machine marked the fall of Germany’s democracy. In
mid-1931 Germany was near bankruptcy and allowed a postponement of
reparations for one month. At the same time Britain attempts to loan
Austrian/German credit and ended up losing all of the monetary value.
Britain started preparing to revert to a barter system because of the
lost value. In 1933 Hitler was appointed Chancellor and refuses to pay
reparations and was not met with any actions from the Allied forces. In
1935 Hitler began the Holocaust.

Unlike the US, Great Britain, Germany and Belgium the Netherlands did
not have a heavy industrial concentration. The Dutch industry was
relatively light. They had a powerful craft component that was
decentralized and majorly family owned and run. This decentralized work
force had a highly developed network of villages, towns and cities. The
urbanized Dutch cities contained a massive complex of craftsmen, small
retail stores, and highly specialized in only a few commodities and
various professional services. They relied heavily on foreign trade and
the depression hit them hard. The policies implemented between 1932 and
1939 were concentrated to protect and sustain existing retail and
production. Salary cuts and limitations on shopping hours, and
inspections/evaluations where conducted before any new retail outlets
could be opened. A policy of sharp wage increase during prosperity and a
strong decline during times of depression, a creation of crisis funds
during periods of prosperity to be used to supplement the current
unemployment compensation system and the initiation of public works
systems would help during the early phase of the recession.

Everyone was hit hard and experienced fluctuations in growth followed
by massive decline. Everyone was dependent on each other and looking to
one another for assistance. I believe that the start of WWII was the
unifying force that began the economic expansion needed to recover from
The Great Depression.

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