• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11

What were the causes of World War II?

Extracts from this document...


-------------------------- What were the causes of World War II? -------------------------- -------------------------- 2004.03.16 -------------------------- Many reasons have been given why World War II started in September 1939. Some historians believe that the unfairness of the Treaty of Versailles made another war inevitable. Others argue that Hitler was solely responsible for the war and yet others believe that the policy of appeasement was the main cause. The weakness of the League of Nations certainly did not help and American isolationism and the Nazi-Soviet Pact mat also have plated an important role. The years of World War II were the times of the largest worldwide conflict. Every major power in the world was involved in this disagreement. The powers were split up into two sides; the Allies and the Axis. After losing World War I Germany was forced, by the Allies, to sign the Treaty of Versailles (ToV) in June 1919. This treaty consisted of all points about Germany's new 'rules'. As we know, not only Germany, that eventually lost the war, was destructed effectively during the war. The Allied countries were damaged even more. The treaty forced Germany to repay the countries. A plan was created for Germany, so that they could pay the debt as quickly as possible. Of course this did not happen. This was one of the reasons behind WWII. Germany couldn't cope with the extreme costs, thus printing exceeded amounts of money. This eventually led to the devaluation of the German Mark. There has probably not been any depression as big as that one, hence the name The Great Depression. Just to buy a small amount of dairy products, when those were available, you'd need so much money, that you would have to carry it in a wheeler barrow. It was cheaper to hang wallpaper using the bills than to buy wallpaper and use it. The treaty itself did not mention the price of the repair costs. ...read more.


The government then banned the Nazi party. Hitler spoke to the leader, and he didn't agree with him. Hitler wanted all important government places to be taken by members of the Nazi Party. Schuschnigg avoided Hitler's demands and explained that it would have to be a democratic vote. When Hitler realized he wouldn't get the support he wanted he called it off. The Austrian leader called for help form the coalition, but didn't get any. Eventually he had to appoint the members of the Nazi Party to the important government places not to risk an invasion of Germany. Yet that was the follow-up and Austria was a part of Germany. Hitler's next step was to invade Sudetenland. Austria had lost that land in the Treaty of St. Germain. It was signed September 10th, 1919 to end Austria's incorporation with Germany. Austria lost 3 million German speaking people, which Czechoslovakia gained. They used the same method as in Austria. The Nazi Party started riots creating a hard political time for the president. Fearing war, the British Minister of Foreign, Chamberlain, met Hitler to discuss world peace. Eventually the Munich Agreement was signed by Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain and Daladier. Those were the people responsible in Britain, France, Germany and Italy. The agreement stated that the Sudetenland was to be taken by Hitler the day after the agreement was put into action without any public vote. Hungary and Poland were to be able to take border districts from Czechoslovakia and finally Britain and Germany said they would never go to war. Chamberlain returned to England with his famous piece of paper saying 'I believe it is peace for our time'. A cheering crowd accepted the new information; however, Churchill was not that sure. Chamberlain claimed that Hitler was 'a man you could rely on'. All those discussions were about land of Czechoslovakia, even though any minister from that nation did not participate in the talks. ...read more.


When he'd done that, (of course the league didn't know about it) the league suggested a plan to just give a part to of Abyssinia to Italy. This was completely ignored, so the league banned weapon sales and natural resource productions. The Italians used force to get it, and upon the emperor's appeal, nothing was done. The incompetent league failed again. The Treaty of Versailles didn't solve anything. In fact, it just created anger in the minds of the Germans. The treaty made Hitler more aggressive and would easier commit and act of vengeance. The LoN was always weak, and did a lot of things wrong. They probably did everything wrong. They couldn't handle their objective creating an unstable protection for the coalition. Appeasement encouraged war. Hitler thought nobody could stop him when the LoN acted as it did. He could therefore go on and on and on, pushing the limit and exceeding it to a level deep enough to ruin the world. It also led to the secret Nazi-Soviet Pact which created an 'alliance' between one of the two major powers in the world. Hitler himself could be a reason for the war. He was a leader with his special attitude and opinions. Perhaps he was in some way screwed that he had no reason, but to fight. He thought that WWI was unfair and wanted to make WWII fair. Perhaps the following events, when Hitler conquered more and more led to him suddenly wanting to fight a war. As he realized he was strong enough to do it nothing could stop him. In my opinion it is a combination of all of the above points, perhaps excluding the one that there was no reason. I'd say that ever since the loss in WWI Germany had searched for revenge. AS the ToV showed up they became more angry and wanted their revenge even more and then the LoN made them understand how easy it would be for them to do this. Sources http://histclo.hispeed.com/essay/war/ww2/cou/us/ww2us-iso.html http://www.johndclare.net/RoadtoWWII1.htm http://www.rpfuller.com/gcse/history/6.html http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761560118/League_of_Nations.html http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761556540_1____11/Hitler_Adolf_:_Rise_to_Power_:_Mein_Kampf.html World History - People and Nations, Revised Edition - Anatole G. Mazour, John M. Peoples ...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 Germany 1918-1939 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 Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. Why did World War II break out in 1939?

    Unemployment swept the nation and the economic problems had become so bad that children were playing with worthless banknotes on the streets. I think that this factor was quite important but not very, as it, along with other problems, had caused Hitler to come into power.

  2. AJP Taylor's views of the causes of WWII v. Bullock's.

    faced with extreme war reparation costs, loss of all of its colonies and embarrassing war guilt. In response to the war, the Allied powers, along with the United States, set up the Weimar Republic. This was an institution run by the League of Nations in order to protect the democratic

  1. Germany was solely responsible for the outbreak of World War II - Discuss.

    pay extensive reparation not just in the form of money, but also in terms of important natural resources livestock, trains and ships. In addition, Germany was no longer allowed to import or export war materials. The treaty had some implications for Germany's sovereignty, and as a result the country lost

  2. Hitler in ww2

    Hitler obviously did not have enough money to pay all of its workers a lot of money so to get around this; he had set up the German labour force or the DAF. This organization was set up to take over the free trade unions, so the Nazis had total control over the workers and the aspects of working.

  1. Between 1933 and 1945 Hitler and the Nazi Part were successful in their creation ...

    view that the reality of womanhood during the Nazi period is contradictory to the Nazis ideal. Source 1 clearly states what is expected of a woman in that period, as it says, "For her world is her husband, her family, her children and her home," This implies that a woman

  2. Was the Treaty of Versailles fair on Germany?

    It was required to cede western Thrace to Greece and parts of Dobruja to Romania, and recognize the existence of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia). The Treaty also required Bulgaria to reduce its army to 20,000 men and pay reparations exceeding $400 million.

  1. Germany's resonsibility in WWI and WWII

    All these colonial expansion created fear, suspicion and rivalry which intensified the European situation. Germany was also largely responsible for speeding up the arms race in Europe. Germany first started military conscription in Europe and caused the other European countries to follow.

  2. what were the roots of the british policy of appeasement?

    Czechoslovakia Chamberlain said "there is nothing France or we can do to help Czechoslovakia if Germany really wanted to invade." To conclude I believe in my opinion that Chamberlain's mistake was the failure to recognise that Britain was declining in power and prestige.

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