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Why Was It Inevitable That There Would Be A Second World War, Even Though Measures Were Set In Place To Avoid This?

1785 words - 8 pages

Although measures were set in place to avoid a second world war, many things caused it to be inevitable. The Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Hitler, the rise of Japan as a world power, the rise of fascism in Italy and the League of Nations were all factors which contributed to the cause of World War II.

The Treaty of Versailles was a peace settlement between Germany and the Allied Powers that officially ended World War I. However, the conditions in the treaty were so harsh on Germany that many believe the Treaty of Versailles was one of the main causes for the eventual rise of Nazis in Germany and the eruption of World War II. Part of the treaty commonly known as the "War Guilt Clause" forced the German nation to accept complete responsibility for initiating World War I. Germany was responsible for all material damages, and the premier of France, Georges Clemenceau, particularly insisted on Germany paying large amounts of money to compensate for all the damage caused. Clemenceau and the French were aware that Germany would probably not be able to pay such an enormous debt, but nevertheless greatly feared rapid German recovery and the initiation of a new war against France. To avoid this, the treaty also limited the German army to 100,000 men, restricted the Navy to vessels under 100,000 tons, and forbade Germany to have an air force. The terms of the Versailles Treaty were so hostile to Germany that German Chancellor Philipp Scheidemann resigned rather than sign it. However, Germany realised they had to sign it for they no longer had any military power left to resist. The treaty left Germany weak enough to turn against the Allied Powers but they were strong enough to retaliate if they broke the treaty which eventually happened during the rise of Hitler.

Adolf Hitler's rise to power began in Germany in September 1919 when Hitler joined the political party known as the National Socialist German Worker’s Party - also known as the NSDAP or Nazi Party. When the Nazi Party first formed it had only 50 members, but by 1923 it had over 50,000 members, Hitler had become its leader and the party had its own armed force of storm-troopers to attack those who opposed it. The German Workers’ Party held its first public meeting on February 24th 1920 in the German city of Munich. It was at this meeting that Hitler stated that the party had to adopt his ‘25 Points’, which later became known as the ‘Twenty Five Points Programme’. Hitler demanded the cancellation of the Treaty of Versailles and Saint Germain – the peace treaty the Allies signed with Austria-Hungary. He also wanted the German colonies restored, only people of German race to be citizens of Germany and all immigrants into Germany since 1914 expelled. In November 1923, the Nazi Party tried and failed to overthrow to government of Munich. Hitler was arrested, charged with treason, tried, convicted and sentenced to five years in prison, during which he spent the time writing a book about his ideas...

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