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The Causes Of World War Ii

1002 words - 5 pages

The causes of World War II can be attributed to the following ideas or events: the mentality of power is strength by Heinrich von Treitschke, the Treaty of Versailles, the global depression following the end of World War I, and Nazi Imperialism.
Heinrich von Treitschke is a cause of World War II because of his idea that imperialism is a viable and practical way to further the common good, and strengthen a nation. This appeared in the writings of leaders, such as Mussolini and Hitler, just before World War II, focusing on the idea that, “Only the truly great and powerful states ought to exist” (Treitschke 293). Mussolini believed that war was the greatest measure of the greatness of a country ...view middle of the document...

The world economy was a disaster, everyone owed money to each other: Britain, France and Germany had all taken out loans from the United States, Russia had taken out loans from France and when the European nations decided to print more money, their economies tanked. Testaments to this include the fact that in 1928 the French Franc lost ⅘ of its prewar value, and it took 4 Trillion Deutsche Marks to equal the value of one US dollar. This is where the seduction of Fascism comes into play, leaders like Mussolini and Hitler preyed upon the peoples’ psychological and economic damage and promised them that by following them, then they can create, together, a better tomorrow and enjoy an era of glory, once they got rid of the undesirables. Therefore, Fascists rose to power and began introducing military based economies to solve economic and psychological woes, which strangely worked and helped the leaders grow in popularity as people dragged themselves out of poverty. As the leaders gained power, they also spread their ideas of racial superiority and worked out ways to blame entire races for the troubles that befell them, like Hitler did with the Jews in Germany (Gesink 4/3/14).
However, the immediate causes of World War II were the annexation of Austria, the invasion of the Sudetenland, and the invasion of Poland. Hitler justified this German expansion with the comparison that caging the German people into one area is a crime and they should be allowed to have the means to live a decent life since they are German, even if it means they must go to war to attain said territory, also known as Lebensraum (Hitler 404) (Gesink 4/3/14). No one questioned Hitler’s annexation of Austria in March 1938, he was even welcomed by the Austrians, and his invasion of the Sudetenland in May 1938 only resulted in the Munich Agreement where Hitler promised Neville...

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