• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was Hitler to blame for WW2?

Extracts from this document...


TO WHAT EXTENT WAS HITLER TO BLAME FOR WORLD WAR II? In my opinion, Hitler was ultimately to blame for the outbreak of World War II because he was committed to conquering Europe and his aggression would only be permitted to go so far by other nations. Nevertheless, Hitler's actions were motivated and facilitated by the decisions of other nations and organisations in accordance with a number of themes which underpinned international relations from 1919 to 1939. Economics was the fundamental force driving the foreign policy of European nations from 1919 because they wanted their economies to recover from the First World War so that they could pay off loans which they had taken from America to fund their war efforts. I know that France in particular was heavily indebted and had been obliterated in the war, so it could not afford to pay off its loans or repair the damage. This predicament, along with strong anti-German public sentiment in France after the war, propelled France to demand 132 billion German Marks in war reparations from Germany in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. This amount was unreasonably high, but France was self-interested so it cared nothing for the prosperity of Germany. However, the Treaty of Versailles was one of the initial causes of World War II because it sparked outrage among ordinary Germans which fed bitterness ...read more.


However, I know that Chamberlain was fully aware of Hitler's unrelenting ambition and his real aim was to buy time so that Britain could rearm in preparation for war with Hitler. Imperialism was another major theme in the lead up to World War II. In 1930, Britain and France both controlled large empires and were preoccupied with protecting and maintaining them, so other countries were unopposed when they began forming their own empires. For instance, in 1931, Japan invaded the Chinese province of Manchuria. The motivations for this expansionism were actually economic; Japan sought to gain control of Manchuria's resources (such as coal, iron and timber) in order to increase the competitiveness of its economy so that it could afford to export goods to America despite the tariffs that the USA had put in place to protect domestic industry during the Great Depression. The League of Nations condemned Japan's imperialism, but neither Britain nor France were prepared to risk their navies in a war on the other side of the world that would leave their colonies exposed and Japan was too important to Britain as a trading partner, so the League could not force Japan to withdraw. Similarly, in 1935, Italy invaded Abyssinia and the League was once again prevented from discouraging aggression by Britain and France because they were self-interested and wanted Italy as an ally against Hitler who was becoming increasingly powerful. ...read more.


However, this was a biased alliance because it was much less important to Hitler than Stalin, so when it was no longer beneficial to Hitler he broke it, invading the USSR in 1941. The alliance between Britain and France is also interesting because although it was created to counter any threat posed by Germany through collective security, it was undermined by Britain's policy of appeasement. France was less sympathetic towards Germany than Britain and it did not condone Hitler's demands for more territory. However, it was unwilling to use force without the support of Britain which it lacked because of appeasement and it was also unwilling to go to war in 1936 to prevent Hitler remilitarising the Rhineland as there were upcoming elections in France. This encouraged Hitler to invade Czechoslovakia and Poland because he knew that France would not intervene. In conclusion, economics and militarism had the greatest influence on Hitler's capabilities as he would not have come to power without the desperation caused by the Great Depression, nor would he have been unable to conquer any of Europe without powerful armed forces. But in the end, Hitler was overall to blame because he had no limit to his ambition - the themes of economics and militarism were only the most important because they determined the extent to which Hitler was able to fulfil his ambition. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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 International relations 1900-1939 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 International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. Was Hitler the cause of WW2? A.J.P Taylor wrote the controversial The origins ...

    There was far too many who don't feel the necessity for stopping "war lords" who want to take over their neighbours. The USA has been a force for good around the world, stopping the aggressive attacks of people who want to take over their neighbours.

  2. To what extent was appeasement the correct policy during the 1930s?

    For example, Britain and France were still suffering from the economic effects of the Wall Street Crash in 1939. Britain and France did not have enough money for the reparations of another war, so they felt that the policy of appeasement would prolong peace until their economies were able to cope.

  1. Great Depression

    The Depression hit Japan badly. Both China and USA put up tariffs against Japanese goods. The collapse of the market put its economy in crisis. In 1931 they had the opportunity they had been looking for to expand the empire.

  2. Japanese Invade Manchuria

    Germany was most angry at the failing of disarmament as, they felt that it wasn't fair as they were the only country to disarm to that extent. This meant that they might have wanted to get revenge. Even so, after the failing of disarmament two new treaties were made.

  1. Questions on World War One.

    Thus imperial rivalries were beginning to color relationship within Europe. After imperialistic game, new appetites had been whetted. Germany no longer talked like a satiated power, while Italy and Russia longed to compensate for their failures in the imperialist game.

  2. History Revision notes - International Relations: Why did WW2 break out? 1929-1939

    This caused the Japanese economy to suffer terribly more. By 1931, half of Japan?s factories had closed and millions were unemployed. The Japanese Army?s solution ? Japan had a very powerful army and its army leaders had great influence. Japan controlled Korea and the railway that ran into it.

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