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The Causes Of Ww2. Essay

1181 words - 5 pages

CAUSES OF WORLD WAR 2Many historians have traced the causes of World War II to problems left unsolvedby World War I (1914-1918). World War I and the treaties that ended it also created newpolitical and economic problems. Forceful leaders in several countries took advantage ofthese problems to seize power. The desire of dictators in Germany, Italy, and Japan toconquer additional territory brought them into conflict with the democratic nations.After World War I ended, representatives of the victorious nations met in Paris in1919 to draw up peace treaties for the defeated countries. These treaties, known as thePeace of Paris, followed a long and bitter war. They were worked out by thesecountries with opposing goals; and failed to satisfy even the victors. Of all the countrieson the winning side, Italy and Japan left the peace conference most dissatisfied. Italygained less territory than it felt it deserved and said it would take action on its own.Japan gained control of German territories in the Pacific and thereby launched a programof expansion.The countries that lost World War I--Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, andTurkey--were especially dissatisfied with the Peace of Paris. They were stripped ofterritory, arms and were required to make reparations (payments for war damages). TheTreaty of Versailles, which was signed with Germany, punished Germany severely. TheGerman government agreed to sign the treaty only after the victorious powers threatenedto invade. Many Germans particularly resented the treaty that forced Germany to acceptresponsibility for causing World War I. World War I seriously damaged the economies ofGermany.Nationalism was an extreme form of patriotism that swept across Europe duringthe 1900's. Supporters of nationalism placed loyalty to the aims of their nation, above anyother public loyalty. Such beliefs helped nations justify their conquest of other lands andthe poor treatment of minorities within their borders. Nationalism was a chief cause ofWorld War I, and it grew even stronger after that war. Nationalism went hand in handwith feelings of national discontent. Many Germans felt humiliated by their country'sdefeat in World War I and its harsh treatment under the Treaty of Versailles. During the1930's, they enthusiastically supported a violently nationalistic organization called TheNazi Party. The Nazi Party declared that Germany had a right to become strong again.The Peace of Paris established an international organization called The League ofNations to maintain peace. Each country backed its own interests at the expense of othercountries this prevented The League from working effectively. Only weak countriesagreed to submit their disagreements to The League of Nations for settlement. Strongnations reserved the right to settle their disputes by threats or, force.In the Soviet Union, the Communists, led by Lenin, had seized power in 1917.Lenin had set up a dictatorship that firmly controlled the country by the time he died...

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