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

What key factors explain Germany's changing relations with Italy in the years 1933-1939?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Caroline Howard November 2005 What key factors explain Germany's changing relations with Italy in the years 1933-1939? In the years 1933-35 Italy wanted to ally with the West and did so through the Streser Front and at the same time Germany left the international community and made alliances with Poland in an attempt to keep Britain as a potential ally. However, after Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia in 1937 the relationship between the two countries changed and they began to form an alliance. One reason Germany's relationship with Italy changed so dramatically in these years is because of their similar political outlooks. Nazism and Fascism had many similar elements such as obedience to the leader, nationalism, anti-communist beliefs and admiration of military values. This drew them closer together as they had more in common with each other than the democracies in the West. In addition, Mussolini had been a partial role model for Hitler and followed his career with interest. However, there were some ideological differences because Fascism did not include an anti-Semitic element although he did try to implement it after 1938 in order to impress Hitler. In the early years of Hitler's Chancellorship this ideological difference kept them apart but after 1937 neither country had anyone to ally with and so overcame their differences. ...read more.

Middle

The ineffective economic sanctions and lack of military action placed on Mussolini by the League of Nations encouraged Hitler to pursue more action against the Treaty of Versailles. Consequently, he defied the Treaty and remilitarised the Rhineland in March 1936. Following these incidents, Germany and Italy began to move closer together as both were now left without allies. It was during the Abyssinian crisis that a formal alliance, known as the Rome-Berlin Axis occurred. Hitler sacrificed the ex-Austrian territories in Northern Italy for the chance of a formal alliance between Germany and Italy. This reassured Mussolini and he knew he had to move closer to Germany because he was aware he needed an ally and this allowed him to back Hitler's plan to unite with Austria. This was the first formal alliance between the two countries. Not long after the Rome-Berlin Axis was signed, the Spanish Civil War broke out. Both Hitler and Mussolini supported the fascist, Franco which brought the two countries closer together. Both Mussolini and Hitler had similar reasons for sending help to Franco, including aiming to increase their influence in Spain. The success of Franco meant that there was now a third fascist leader in Europe who also had influence over the Mediterranean Sea. ...read more.

Conclusion

Following this visit, Mussolini adopted the German goosestep and introduced anti-Semitic legislation eventhough it lost him fascist support. Once he had strengthened the alliance with Italy, Hitler put pressure on Czechoslovakia to hand over the Sudetenland which Mussolini was very much involved with. In spring 1939, both countries began pursuing aggressive foreign policies in the East with Germany invading Czechoslovakia and Italy invading Albania in April. The invasion of Albania forced Italy further away from Britain and France and closer to Germany. Germany and Italy were now ready for a military alliance; the Pact of Steel was agreed in May 1939. This was essentially an aggressive treaty although it did include mutual defence clauses. Mussolini believed there was no need for a defensive treaty as it was unlikely that either of the Axis powers would be attacked. Hitler hoped the treaty would reduce the resolve of Britain and France to defend Poland if it was attacked. The Pact of Steel allowed Hitler to "attack Poland and to plunge into the Second World War" (Wiskemann). The main factors drew Italy and Germany into a military alliance by 1939 from being hostile towards each other in 1933 were shared ideological beliefs and lack of other powers to ally with. Hitler was able to manipulate Mussolini into a military alliance which enabled him to pursue his aggressive foreign policy. ...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. Hitlers Germany

    Wary and secretive, he entertained a universal distrust. He admitted no one to his counsels. He never let down his guard, or gave himself away. 'He never', Schacht wrote, 'let slip an unconsidered word. He never said what he did not intend to say and he never blurted out a secret.

  2. Compare and contrast the situation in Italy 1919-22 with that in Germany 1919-29.

    not result to much external help, and it almost seemed that they had too much pride to protect. In conclusion the Germans were willing to face their gaps and close them, unlike the 'lazy' Italians (who Mussolini claimed were) just kept sweeping their dirt and issue under the mat hoping

  1. Why did Hindenburg appoint Hitler as Chancellor in 1933?

    The use of Posters campaigning against or for certain issues helped the Nazis immensely. They could show the people what they wanted to do for Germany for example: 'We want work and Bread', the campaign to give workers their jobs back in order for them to buy food.

  2. Trace and explain the relations between Germany and Russia during 1871-1914

    This led to revolution and suppression in the Balkan. The situation was further complicated by the intervention of the big powers. For example, Austria sought to maintain the status quo in the Balkans. As she was a multi-national empire, the success of the nationalist movement might endanger the national security of the empire.

  1. What key factors explain Germany's changing relations with Italy in the years 1933-1939?

    At this point in time, it would seem that Mussolini had neither reason nor intention for alliance with Hitler. Despite many differences in foreign policy and personality differences, it could be said that Hitler and Mussolini shared common interest in their ideologies.

  2. Assess the relative importance of the reasons why the July 1944 Bomb Plot to ...

    of perplexity on the part of the conspirators; the arrest of the City Commandment von Hase; and con Stauffenberg appearing late in the evening resigned passing through the rooms of OKW.5 Seizing control of Berlin was the essential part of the military coup d'etat that was to follow the assassination of Hitler.

  1. Can historical parallels be drawn between democracies and dictatorships?

    The "show trials" are other examples. Stalin's execution of enemies and opposition started during his struggle for power after Lenin's death. His main contenders to power were Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev. Event though Trotsky was considered more popular and capable than Stalin, very cleverly Stalin was able to switch that around.

  2. Explain the role of Czechoslovakia in the appeasement story.

    It seemed as though the connections with Hitler was right back to 1935 but many people did not realise this until after the war. But after Anchluss Hitler seems to have said to Henlein to talk to Britain and convince them that there was no connection with Germany and that

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