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

Hitler's actions were the only cause of World War 2. How far do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...


History Essay for 16/9/11 By Benjamin Bloch Topic: Hitlers actions were the only cause of World War 2. How far do you agree with this statement? It is very easy to place the entire blame for starting World War 2 on Hitler's foreign policy. In this essay, I will show that Hitler's foreign policy was a major factor in causing the war, but that other reasons contributed as well. The first, and possibly the root cause, is the Treaty of Versailles, of 1919. The harshness of the Treaty and the way in which it blamed Germany for World War 1 humiliated and crippled Germany. Much of its territory was taken away, as well as 100,000 troops, ban on armored vehicles, ban on airplanes, ban on conscription, Rhineland demilitarization and only 6 battleships were allowed. The Treaty also forced harsh reparation payments (�6,6 billion) resulting in a great deal of the German public resenting Britain, France and America. Later, Hitler used the publicly bitter memories of the Treaty of Versailles to gain public support. ...read more.


The League didn't have an army of its own so could not take any military action to enforce any decisions. Britain did not want to go to war as the general public did not want it and France did not want to start a war without the support of Britain. That meant that Hitler got whatever he wanted. The fact that the USA did not get involved in any way whatsoever reinforced the idea to Hitler that he could get away with whatever he liked. Hitler decided to send troops back into the demilitarized Rhineland, in blatant contravention of the Treaty of Versailles and, consequently, the League of Nations. Both Britain and France let Hitler get away with it which meant that the League was powerless to do anything. After seeing how he had been allowed to remilitarize the Rhineland, Hitler looked towards Austria, and rebuilding Germany's link with it. Anschluss (union) with Austria was expressly forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles, but one of Hitler's main aims was to unite all German speakers. ...read more.


Stalin made this decision for many reasons. First of all, he was a communist and was under the impression that both France and Britain did not like him. One more reason was that he was not invited to the Munich Conference. This resulted in mistrust between Britain and France, and Russia. The final reason was that the USSR had no choice; they were not prepared for war and only joined Hitler to buy some time to rearm, but with a very correct suspicion that Germany would turn on them eventually. Taking all of this into account, I believe that World War 2 broke out not only because of Hitler's actions and foreign policy, but because of many other reasons, including resentment towards Britain, France and the USA due to the Treaty of Versailles, the many weaknesses of the League of Nations, fear of Communism, The Great Depression, and the policy of appeasement. I personally believe that if Britain and France had taken immediate action against Hitler when he first moved troops into the Rhineland, and had also enforced the Treaty of Versailles, then the devastation and the 60 million deaths may have been averted. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 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 GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. "Was the treaty of Versailles fair?"

    Those who signed it (though effectively they had no choice) became known as the "November Criminals". * Many German citizens felt that they were being punished for the mistakes of the German government in August 1914 as it was the government that had declared war not the people.

  2. Causes of World War 2

    Two movements in particular gained strength. The forces of Communism, known as the Left, called for revolution by the workers. The forces of fascism, called the Right, favoured strong national government. Throughout Europe, the forces of the Left clashed with the forces of the Right. The general assumption was that Germany had taken up extreme fascism

  1. Was Hitler the cause of WW2? A.J.P Taylor wrote the controversial The origins ...

    League or no League, a country which is determined to have a war can always have it. The failure of the League of Nations is connected to the American policy of isolationism because Woodrow Wilson thought of the idea of having meetings with all the nations which was called the

  2. War led to totalitarianism, and totalitarianism in turn led to war. Comment on the ...

    The system of proportional representation resulted in political instability for it was difficult for a single party to get majority votes. Thus, coalition governments were formed. They tended to be unstable and short-lived inasmuch as their ideological differences. Moreover, the constitution was unpopular.

  1. Great Depression

    But in the other side, we can say that the failure of the League of Nations was caused by other factors. The structure of the League was weak because very important countries such as United States which never join, Germany which was not a member until 1926 and left in

  2. How fair is Louise Shaw's Interpretation on Chamberlain? The interpretation revolves around the idea ...

    Chaimberlain?s conditions at the time of appeasement were considered, researched and re-evaluated. In the light of the information made available Shaw inferred that Chaimberlain was at fault because his political stance was unchanged in international relations when circumstances evolved. In 1938, Britain and France negotiated the Munich Agreement with Nazi Germany.

  1. The main cause of World War One was the alliances. How far do the ...

    On the other hand, this source also states militarism as the factor that brings about the creation of alliances, which therefore means that it ranks militarism as the major underlying factor as to why the war happened ("Austria had regarded the growing power of Serbia with concern for many years...")

  2. How far do I think Hitler was to blame for causing World War II?

    The economic crash of the USA holds a lot of blame, considering it helped Hitler gain popularity. If it hadn't been for the crash, Hitler's Nazis would've been a minor and insignificant political group. The Russian Revolution was idly involved, for the wave of savage communism that had taken place in it scared the middle and higher classes in Germany.

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