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Explaining The Cause Of World War Two

1616 words - 6 pages

Explaining the Cause of World War Two

This statement is totally correct in that no one factor alone can
sufficiently explain how the conditions needed for world war two were
created. There are a great range of factors which we need to identify
and show how they all link together or overlap. All these causes
reinforce each other and can be split into short, medium or long term
causes. These key causes are; the failure of the league, consequences
of the treaty of Versailles, Hitler's foreign policy, the great
depression, appeasement, Nazi Soviet pact and the invasion of Poland.

The failure of the league in the 1930's led to a number of
consequences and could be described as a long term cause. The leagues
main aim was peace through collective security but it became apparent
that it could not uphold this during the Abyssinian/Manchurian crisis.
The leagues weakness was exposed in that it could not stand up to
aggressors leaving dire consequences for the victims of this
aggression. These weaker nations were left defenceless and became
preoccupied by other powers. These nations realised they could no
longer look to the league for security. Aggressors, on the other hand,
kept their stolen territory and faced no penalty and this encouraged
them to take further aggressive actions. These leaders felt that they
could escape punishment and get what they wanted. Nationalists like
Hitler were encouraged to accelerate aggression. The greed of these
leaders could have led to a war. The weaknesses of Britain and France
were exposed as they were too consumed in their own affairs. Britain
concentrated on building their British Empire and the French on
guaranteeing protection from German attack. With Britain and France
preoccupied with their own problems they were reluctant to help any
other nations that didn't concern them. The league was effectively
destroyed as a peace keeping organisation and its credibility was
destroyed. People knew peace had been destroyed and they could act
without receiving punishment now the league was ignored. This could
escalate towards a war if peace was no longer upheld.

Another long term cause was the consequences of the treaty of
Versailles. The harsh terms towards Germany that were laid out in the
treaty created a bitterness and resentment amongst the German nation.
A desire for revenge was generated and Germany wanted to upturn the
terms set out by the treaty. Germany rejected the treaty and were
dissatisfied so when a leader who opted to help them destroy the
treaty asked for their vote he got it. Hitler's rise to power revolved
around destroying the treaty of Versailles. Hitler's aggressive
demands of 'lebensraum' (living space) signalled that Germany could
pose a threat of war to get what they wanted. Germany left the
disarmament conference and the league...

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