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The Causes of the Second World War

The Causes of the Second World War
The American Home Front During the War
The Important Events of the War
The Effects of the Second World War

World War Two, or WWII, had many causes that led up to the war. Some of the causes were the Treaty of Versailles, Japan, Hitler/Germany, and the League of Nations.  Each of the reasons had a hand in starting the second World War.  The war was a horrible time point in European history for it was mainly caused by the power hungry Hitler who wanted everything his way or not at all.

The Treaty of Versailles was a cause of the WWII because Germany felt that the treat was unjust. The Treaty of Versailles stated, “Germany had to accept sole responsibility for starting the war (World War I)…It (Germany) was required to pay huge reparations to the Allies; to give up land to France, Poland, Belgium, and Denmark; to cede its colonies; to limit its army and navy to small self-defense forces; to destroy military bases; and to promise not to manufacture or purchase armaments” (Goldfield 750). This showed that Germany was angry against the nations that came up with the treaty that put Germany in such hardship. Also Germany was put under control of Poland, which further infuriated the Germaniums.

The Treaty of Versailles was the main cause of Germany starting the war, but the countdown started with Japan in 1931. Japan started the countdown to WWII, because it “…invaded and soon conquered the northern Chinese province of Manchuria. Adding Manchuria to an empire that included Korea and Taiwan emboldened Japan’s military. A full-scale invasion of China followed in 1937... (and) Japanese nationalists believed that the United States, Britain, and France after the World War I had treated Japan unfairly, despite its participation against Germany. They believed that Japan should expel the French, British, Dutch, and Americans from Asia and create a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere…” (821). The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was the Japanese plan to gain the control over the East Asia economy.  The quote showed how the hatred of the Europeans and Americans started with little more than the hatred left over from the Treaty of Versailles.

Hitler’s part, along with Germany’s part, in the start of the war started “…in 1936, when Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland, Germany’s border region with France that had been demilitarized since 1918. The Reich (empire) absorbed German-speaking border district of Czechoslovakia know as the Sudetenland” (821).  This showed how power hungry Hitler really was.  The Nazi party and Hitler, who was the head of the party, believed, “(about) German superiority.  In the Nazi scheme, Germany and other northern European nations ranked above the Slavs of eastern Europe.  Special targets of the Nazi hatred were Jews, who were prominent in German business and professional; life but who soon faced persecution aimed at driving them from the country” (821).  The quote showed another reason for the start of the war, the persecution of the Jewish, which many countries were against, and fed the fuel on the fire towards the start of the war.

The war really started with the formation of the Rome-Berlin Axis in 1936. After the formation of the Axis Hitler “…invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Britain and France, Poland’s allies, declared was on Germany but did nothing to stop the German war machine” (822).  Also Germany attacked and invaded the Union of Soviet Socialist Republicans or the USSR (the Soviet Union) in 1941, which had signed a nonaggression pact in 1939 with Germany.

            The League of Nations were also blamed for helping start the war because they were unable to keep the peace between the countries.  If the League had been able to do its job, the war would have started later or not have happened at all. (Goldfield)

            In conclusion, it was many different causes that started the war; no one thing can be completely blamed for the start of the war.  Each of the reason had their own hand in creating the horrible war that caused such destruction in Europe and in the lives of the people that had been hurt during the war.


                      Works Cited

1) Goldfield, David. The American Journey: A History of the United States. Upper Saddle River,      New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2001.

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