"Hitler's aims and actions were the only cause of World War Two." Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

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Adam Baxter 10F

“Hitler’s aims and actions were the only cause of World War Two.”

Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

        When considering the reasons for the outbreak of war in 1939 it is easy to place the entire blame on Hitler’s aggressive foreign policy in the late 1930s. One British historian, writing a few years after the end of the war, claimed that ‘the Second World War was Hitler’s personal war, in that he intended it, he prepared for it, he chose the moment for launching it.’ In this assignment it is my intention to show that Hitler’s foreign policy was a major factor in causing the conflict but that other reasons, both long term and short term, need to be recognised as well.

        Probably the first factor that need considering is the Treaty of Versailles, of 1919. The harshness of the Treaty and the way in which it blamed Germany for World War I crippled Germany. Much of its territory was taken away from it, including West Prussia that went to form a new Polish Corridor to the sea. Plus the Treaty forced Germany to reduce its army, demilitarise the Rhineland and get rid of its navy. The Treaty also forced harsh reparations for the War resulting in a great deal of the German people resenting the Allies. And it was later that Hitler used the bitter memories of Versailles to gain public support for his actions.

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        Another factor in causing World War II was the Wall Street Crash of 1929 resulting in a 2-year economic depression all over the world. Not only did these cause countries such as Britain and France to take a less active foreign policy, but also it destroyed the newly found prosperity in Germany and made many people jobless. This led to Hitler quickly taking power as he promised a new strong Germany.

        Germany was not the only country that was badly affected by the Depression, Japan and Italy also suffered due to the decrease in World trade and unemployment and eventually ...

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