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The causes of the second world war

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The causes of the Second World War The Second World War began when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, which resulted in declarations of war on Nazi Germany by Britain. However, this was not the reason for the outbreak of war - Over the years, there have been many discussions amongst historians and observes as to what factors had been built-up until the invasion of Poland, so that this led to the outbreak of the Second World War. In this essay, I plan to look at and analyze the causes of the Second World War, and come to the decision of which of these were the most important in building up the tensions that ultimately led to World War II. Following the armistice of 1918, after WWI, the victorious Allied forces created a peace settlement, the Treaty of Versailles, which was designed to prevent the reemergence of a warring Germany. The Treaty required that Germany accepted responsibility for war and disarmed, that Germany made substantial territorial concessions and that she paid reparations the countries that had formed the Entente powers. By doing so, Germany was isolated, restricted from opportunities of re-integration and, above all, humiliated by the victorious powers. This 'damaged' Germany's national pride and led to the build-up of a desire for revenge over the powers responsible for the Treaty of Versailles. ...read more.


After the Anchluss Hitler wanted the union of Germany with the Sudetenland (as the Sudetenland had a majorly German population), which happened after the Munich Conference, on the 29th September 1938, as Britain and France hoped this would be the last of Hitler's demands. But, in March 1939, Hitler took over Czechoslovakia and seized the former German port of Memel and these were followed by demands on Poland with regard to Danzig and the Polish Corridor. All of these events show how Hitler was not afraid of defying any type of agreement/Treaty, if he did it in the 'name' of his aims for him and his people. This, in turn, created tensions between Germany and the other powers and it also led to the build-up of distrust and insecurity, because no one knew what Hitler would do next. Furthermore, Britain and France's appeasement policy , i.e. "the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and compromise, thereby avoiding the resort to an armed conflict" is also often seen as a major cause for war. This was presented after the Sudetenland crisis, in which Hitler was granted some of his wishes as long as these were reasonable. Hitler saw it as a weakness, as he believed that Britain and France would do little to stop him, so it allowed him to gain territory in the East, with little intervention from the British and French. ...read more.


This created an axis of power in the centre Europe, and now there were two dictators allied, with expansionist aims - this increase tension and distrust in Europe. To conclude, it cannot be said that there was one single factor that caused war, because none of these by themselves would have caused a Second World War. I believe that the combination of several factors was what caused the Second World War. From my point of view, the harshness of the Treaty of Versailles and of the economic crisis at the time was the 'explosive' combination that sent the world into a Second World War. This is because the TOV left Germany bitter for revenge over the Allies and the economic crisis was Hitler's ticket into power, as he promised to fight off the crisis, as well as the TOV. If there was no economic crisis then Hitler wouldn't have gone into power so, it is likely that a Second World War would not have emerged. Also, if the German people were not so humiliated and frustrated because of the Tov and of the economic crisis, they would be more reluctant to recur to extremism and, again, Hitler would not have risen into power and a major war could have been avoided. This two factors, combined with all the others such as the failure of the League of Nations, appeasement and so on, opened the way for conflict and, consequently, for the Second World War. ?? ?? ?? ?? Maria Silveira ...read more.

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