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Why did the second world war break out?

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Why did the Second World War break out? After the First World War ended it was called the "War to end all Wars" and few wanted the horrors of the previous years to ever be repeated. Many treaties were signed and the League of Nations was set up to try and stop another war breaking out. However in 1939 war broke out again. There are many different ideas on whom or what is to blame for the breaking out of the Second World War. Historians believe that there was no single reason why it broke out and that there were in fact many causes but that some people and plans were more to blame then others. Many people would argue that the main reason that War broke was that Germany was very aggressive and without Hitler's words and actions War would not have broken out again. This I believe to be true. In his book "Mein Kampf" he writes about how the Treaty of Versailles must be cancelled and land taken from Germany must be returned. This would put pressure on the League of Nations and Europe because breaking the treaty meant almost certainly breaking the peace, meaning War, which Europe would do anything to stop. He also talked about wanting more land for [his] people in the east ("Lebensraum") and that the German's were a "Master Race." This would scare the rest of Europe as more land meant more power and the only way to get this new land would be through the invasion of another nearby country such as Poland. This was something sure to cause War and something the League of Nations would do anything to avoid. ...read more.


It wasn't until Germany invaded Poland that they declared War and by this time Germany was a much stronger and more powerful country. Waiting meant the War was a much bigger one which a lot higher risk. It is clear to see appeasement was the completely wrong way to get peace. If the leaders of other powerful countries had stopped Hitler sooner the war could have been avoided, or at least have been on a much lesser scale. Germany would have been very weak and no match for the rest of Europe's armies but instead Hitler was allowed to quickly get closer to his goal of war and finally succeed. The League of Nations was set up to stop another War breaking out and it is plain to see, therefore that it failed to do so but I believe that it isn't as main a reason as the aggression of Germany or the failure of appeasement as it was these things that resulted in the league of Nation's failure. It also did not completely fail like the appeasement of Britain and France as it helped solve minor disputes and organised the resettlement of refugees successfully after the First World War. The league was also weakened at the start as powerful countries like the USA, the Soviet Union as well as Germany were not members. France and Britain were the leading members and they followed foreign policies based on their own interests rather than the leagues. This meant they had a loud voice to support the appeasement plan which of course failed and helped collapse the league. At the Treaty of Versailles it was agreed the League of Nations would not have an army and this decision actually led to the downfall of the league though it was the key members of the league (Britain, France and the USA) ...read more.


When others wanted to stand up and fight, Britain and France would have two powerful votes against. They also went off on their own to try and solve the problem by appeasement like the Munich agreement and were not quick enough to stop appeasement when it was clearly failing. However I believe that Germany being so aggressive was more to blame as without this aggression the British and French would not have had to think of ways to keep the peace. The third important reason why the Second World War broke out is the failure of the League of Nations however it was affected by the aggression of Germany and the failure of appeasement. It was not well equipped to deal with a military threat and not completely united or used in the right way. E.g. the leading members were more concerned with their country's need rather than Europe's. It would have been more successful it Germany hadn't had such a military strategy or some of the members been so unsuccessful in their own plans. I believe the least important point is that the War was inevitable. Without the aggression of Germany, the failures of appeasement and the League of Nations there is a large chance the War would have been avoided. Although the Treaty of Versailles was very harsh and people regretted it, if countries had stuck to it the situation could have been different. It is unlikely that after the First World War that there were not going to be people fighting against it with all their might. If they had all wanted what Hitler wanted it may have been a different story. It was the failed attempts to stop the aggression of Germany that caused the War, things that could have been stopped if events had been different. ?? ?? ?? ?? Becki Murray U4P 21/06/2009 ...read more.

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