'to What Extent Was Germany To Blame For Causing The Second World War?'

1061 words - 4 pages

There are a number of factors which could be blamed for causing the war and in order to asses to what extent Germany was to blame, we must look at all of these. Other than Germany and Hitler, causes to the war were appeasement, the Treaty of Versailles, the failure of the failure of League of Nations, international rivalry, imperialism and also the roles of Britain and France are important when looking at the causes of the war. One other major cause was economics, it was the root of many other causes therefore it is worth analysing the extent to which it caused the war.First of all it is fitting to look at Germany's involvement in causing the war. The most important question to ask when looking at Germany is 'would there have been a war without Hitler?' and most would say that a war without Hitler seemed unlikely. Those who would side with that argument have many reasons to do so, for example Hitler's military plans clearly show that he had plans for a war, a long term war proving that he did in fact plan to fight a second world war. Further evidence to support the idea that Hitler was planning for a world war is his out line of 'the Z plan' which involved building a large navy. The only use for a large navy was fighting Britain and USA showing that he had plans for world domination not only European domination. Lebensraum is again evidence for Hitler's expansionist aims, in some ways it was a promise to the German people that he will attack Russia and they will have 'living space'. The idea of Lebensraum also links to international rivalry and imperialism, as the basis for Lebensraum was an ideological and racial struggle between communists and fascists, Aryans and Slavs. The ideological war had been waging for a long time and the best example of it was the Spanish civil war when the two sides in Spain were each helped by Russia or Germany and Italy according to their ideology. Imperialism is closely linked to international rivalry as during the Great Depression, countries with empires were not as affected as the countries without. The countries without wanted to expand in order to get themselves out of their economical and domestic problems while the countries with empires wanted to keep them, this would eventually lead to conflict as the only way to acquire an empire is by taking someone else's.The main way in which Hitler caused the war, however, was by constantly breaking the Treaty of Versailles. With rearmament, remilitarisation of the Rhineland, Anschluss and invasions of Czechoslovakia and Poland. All these, examples of the failure of the League of Nations, which was unsuccessful in preventing Germany from breaking the treaty and as the most powerful countries in the League, Britain and France had the responsibility of taking the lead and enforcing policies. Each time he broke the treaty, the closer Europe was to war. However the blame cannot be fully put onto Hitler. It was Britain and France who...

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