• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and Contrast the causes of WWI and WWII.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and Contrast the causes of WWI and WWII. Despite of numerous breakthroughs in science and technology, the two world wars of the twentieth century marred the history of human civilization with memories of bloodsheds, horrible trench warfare and Holocaust. Throughout the years of historical debate on the origins of the two world wars, historians are divided into two camps: the intentionalists and the structuralists. Intentionalists such as Fritz Fischer believe that there is continuity in German foreign policy from Bismarck to Hitler; whereas the structuralists claimed that Hitler is neither a master planner nor an opportunist. It was circumstances that paved German's road to both world wars. However, this essay will concentrate on the causes of both world wars politically, socially, culturally and economically to determine whether the causes of the two world wars are similar or fundamentally different in nature. When we investigate in the political causes of the two world wars, we can find great similarities between them. This is exceptionally apparent in German foreign policies under Bismarck and Hitler respectively. ...read more.

Middle

In the Second World War, Britain made the same mistake again by not emphasizing strong enough to Hitler that Britain had abandoned the policy of appeasement and would go to war if his troops invade Poland. Another similarity in the political cause of the outbreak of the war is militarism and armament. In pre-1914 period, Kaiser Wilhelm adopted an aggressive foreign policy. The Naval Law in 1898 was seen as an aggression against the supremacy of the Royal Navy. The arms race provoked by Kaiser Wilhelm fanned the flame of tension amongst many of the major states. This increased the international tension, which eventually led to the outbreak of the war. In Second World War, there is a strong undertone of rearmament even before Hitler became the Chancellor in 1933. The evidence is to be found in Mein Kampf and Hitler's second book, in which he envisaged that under his leadership Germany would restore national pride through reversing the Treaty of Versailles and rearmament. His step-by-step rearmament program alerted Britain and France in the Spanish Civil War when Hitler deployed his forces in supporting Franco's fascist force. ...read more.

Conclusion

The shortage of industrial raw materials was one of the major economic causes that justifies German's need for expansion. Some historians suggest that Germany was driven to war due to economic reasons. They believed that armament manufacturers such as Krupp or Vicker-Armstrong actually lobbied the government to wage war so that their can gain profit from the warfare. This argument has substantial support for partially leading to the outbreak of the Second World War since Krupp's was in close partnership with Hitler and the Nazi Party. The armaments manufacturer had funded Hitler in launching his election campaigns. In conclusion, there are many similarities between the causes of the First World War and Second World War. However, we can hardly find any similarities culturally and socially since there are major differences in the concept in the role of culture between autocracy and a single party state. In a single party state, the government sees culture and education as essential tools to instill the next generation with politically correct beliefs; whereas autocracy does not have an established system of cultural censorship. It relies largely on the loyalty of the people and the existing system of classes to generate common ideals. History Assignment Alvin Wong 12GY ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Operation Barbarossa - Causes and Consequences

    Although this was a huge loss, men and machines could be replaced. The Allies had not yet invaded Europe and Germany could go on the defensive while these losses were rebuilt. However, the army would never be the same. The experienced soldiers who died or taken prisoners were irreplaceable.

  2. International Relations in WWII

    Lastly, problems could be settled through the League of Nations, but the league was weak, and held no political pull, as shown by the Manchuria invasion. Since all these options were futile, the nations turned to pacts and agreements of defense and peace.

  1. Hitlers Germany

    Sowing mines in German harbors, and bombing their port installations. In December three British cruisers chased a German battleship Graf Spee into the Montevideo harbor. When the Uruguayan government asked it to leave, it was scuttled by its crew. On February 17, 1940 the British seized a German ship, which

  2. The Wannsee Conference was entirely responsible for the Holocaust. How valid is this assessment ...

    male being crucified on a Young plan cross whilst a Jewish man is stood laughing and politicians are fighting in the background. This suggests that the Jews were happy about the reparation payments set up by Owen D Young after the effects of the Wall Street Crash in 1929.

  1. The Holocaust

    Eventually this idea was abandoned because of English opposition. By 1904, Herzl died and under the presidency of David Wolffsohn, it was decided that Palestine was the only place to settle (Cohn-Sherbok, D., 2003, pp 278-280). The First World War had a dramatic effect on the fortunes of Germany.

  2. The Treaty of Versailles: Prelude to WWII

    again, and because of Clemenceau's fierce views he was known as 'The Tiger'3. President Woodrow Wilson of the US was for world-peace and had little resentment towards Germany because the US had suffered no damage in the war. He published a list of peace propositions in his Fourteen Points paper.

  1. How far were long term causes more important than short term causes in the ...

    The appointment of Vielle as chief minister was a major change because he was a staunch royalist, the reintroduction of press censorship which included the re-instatement of caution money and the change in the electoral system included the 'law of the double vote' which meant that and extra 172 deputies

  2. Causes of WWI and the roles of Women before WW1

    It is this promise that lead to the suffragette movement. The suffragettes maintained the belief that if they acquired the right to vote, that other steps in the quest for political equality will follow and that they will be able to issue social change.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work