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The interwar period (1918-1939) is understood within Western culture to be the period between the end of the First World War and the beginning of the Second World War. This is also called the period between the wars or (in American English) interbellum. This period was marked by turmoil in much of the world, as Europe struggled to recover from the devastation of the First World War. In North America especially the first half of this period was one of considerable prosperity (the Roaring Twenties), but this changed dramatically with the onset of the Great Depression in 1929. It was at this time that the Weimar Republic in Germany gave way to two episodes of political and economic turmoil, the first culminated with the German hyperinflation of 1923 and the failed Beer Hall Putsch of that same year and, in the second one, rise of Nazism, who had previously tried to overthrow the Weimar Republic by force. In Asia, Japan became an ever more assertive power, especially with regards to China.
The interwar period was marked by a radical change in the international order, away from the balance of power that had dominated pre-World War I Europe. One main institution that was meant to bring stability was the League of Nations, which was created after the First World War with the intention of maintaining world security and peace and encouraging economic growth between member countries. This institution was hit by a number of issues that undermined its effectiveness and its legitimacy.