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What were the causes of World War II?

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-------------------------- 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.

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