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How Important Were The Following In Causing The Second WorldWar? Hitler's foreign policy and Appeasement.

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Introduction

How Important Were The Following In Causing The Second World War? * Hitler's foreign policy * Appeasement ' We have peace for our time' Chamberlain, 30 December 1938 This quote if from Chamberlain after he had again appeased Hitler and given into his demands of the Sudentland. Yet at the same time he was building up his armies for a likely war and therefore his words are very deceptive. It is in analyzing the two main causes of the Second World War that we can understand how important Hitler policy and appeasement were in sparking off the war. Hitler's main aims in his foreign policy were to reverse the decisions of the Treaty of Versailles which he believed was unfair, to re-arm Germany, to unite all German-speaking people, to create living space (lebensraum) and to defeat Communism or Bolshevism. Looking at these aims, many of these arguably express a sense of war. Firstly, the aims were forbidden according to the Treaty Of Versailles. This meant that for Hitler to gain back everything his country had lost from the Treaty and create living space, he would have to invade other countries, which could easily escalate into a war. ...read more.

Middle

Even so, it later became apparent that the only way to defeat Hitler's policy was to wage a war against him, which many did not want. Hitler's foreign policy become even more of a cause when he begins to achieve them. For instance, insisting on taking the Sudetenland showed that he was willing to fight Czechoslovakia. When instead all of Czechoslovakia was invaded and this nearly resulted in a war, it showed that Hitler's aims were uncontrollable and irrational because Czechoslovakia is not a German speaking country. Another example is the Anschluss with Austria, which seemed to be forced by Hitler who used his troops to ensure that the people voted for an Anschluss. This further showed that Hitler was intent on achieving his aims and would resort to war if possible. Mainly Britain but other countries responded to Hitler's aims by appeasing him. This meant they would accept Hitler's aims if they seemed reasonable and fair in order to prevent war occurring. One of the main aspects of Hitler's policy where this can be seen is when they agree that Hitler can take part of the Sudentland. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the end therefore it seems more likely that appeasement contributed more to the Second World War than Hitler's foreign policy. Even though both causes are linked because appeasement is the response given to his policy, Britain and other countries did not anticipate Hitler's unreasonable demands until it was too late. This was revealed when he insisted upon having all of the Sudentland. Arguably Britain and France only realized the full extend of Hitler's policy when they were forced to go to war over the invasion of Poland. If Britain and France had stopped Hitler when he re-militarized the Rhineland and easily defeated his armies, they would have probably prevented him from increasing his demands and thus have prevented World War Two. Therefore, Hitler's aims were inevitable since he believed that Germany was treated unfairly by the Treaty of Versailles. So even though Hitler's aims were a main cause, the key to preventing him achieving this aims was not solely due to appeasement because this only made Hilter's demands worse and delayed the war, not stop it. Jahanara Abedin 10A 17th January 2003 ...read more.

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