Causes of World War II Essay Sample
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Causes of World War II Essay Sample
World War II was the most disastrous war ever fought in our world’s history, but one question arises in the minds of many is, what caused this most devastating war man has ever experienced? President Woodrow Wilson stated that World War I had been fought for peace and democracy, but this peace had not lasted long. After World War I, delegates of the battling nations met at Paris to discuss terms upon which peace could be maintained, but the addressed terms did not serve its purpose but implanted the seeds of revenge and hatred in the hearts of many German citizens. They were forced to accept that World War I was entirely their fault. This gave the rise to Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, as German citizens wanted someone to destroy their symbol of humiliation and loss; the Treaty of Versailles, since the government of Germany at that time was incapable of doing so. European leaders underestimating the capability of Hitler and wanting to avoid another war at any cost gave in to his demands and requests or embraced the policy of Appeasement. The causes of World War II have a number of important and significant contributors towards it.
The Treaty of Versailles which set up a foundation for all of Hitler’s irrational actions and the policy of Appeasement adopted by the European leaders at that time, served as the major causes for World War II. The Treaty of Versailles was a major blow at Germany as it disagreed to all of the fourteen points proposed by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. This set a spark for the war as it agitated and angered the Germans. After the Great War, representatives of the warring nations met at Paris to discuss terms upon which peace could be maintained. President Wilson had suggested 14 points which asserted that no revenge would be taken on countries that had lost the World War I and therefore ensuring peace. But, the French wanted revenge, they wanted to ensure that Germany would never again be a threat to their borders and wanted to demilitarize Germany. British Prime Minister David Lloyd, though he privately sided with Wilson, did not want to upset the British public as they wanted Germany to be punished severely as well; so he did not oppose the terms of the French. Germany on the other hand expected a treaty based on or similar to the fourteen points.
On the contrary the final treaty named as the Treaty of Versailles had very less resemblance with the fourteen points. Germans were not at all happy with the Treaty but with the fear of invasion in mind they had no option but to sign it or rather they were forced into signing the Treaty. According to the Treaty of Versailles Germany lost all its colonies, its army was limited to 100, 000 troops, it had given up its colonies to France and payed $35 million (Canadian $) as reparations to the Allies for the losses they experienced during World War I. Finally, the Germans were forced to accept that they were the cause of World War I. Most of the Germans were not pleased with the Treaty as they considered it too ruthless on them. Tough economic times added to their worries. They wanted revenge against France and Britain and wanted to tear down the Treaty of Versailles. Therefore the Treaty of the Versailles paved the way for the Second World War and the rise of Hitler. During the economic depression of Germany, many turned for aid to the hypnotic speaker Adolf Hitler. They made themselves believe the Nazi’s mottos and encouraged the violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
The condition of Germany during the 1930’s was deplorable; tough economic times, high prices for basic necessities, unemployment and most of all a democratic government that was unable to solve the problems faced by the Germans; along with the impositions and restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles. During these harsh times, Adolf Hitler along with his extremist party, the Nazi’s, began to convince the German’s that they were the solution to all their problems and promised a bright future. Hitler was able to captivate his audience with his excellent public speaking skills and also because his plans for Germany were way more ambitious than any other Politician. He wanted Germany to be a world power; “Germany will either be a world power or will not be at all” (Quotes par. 1). The public gradually started to believe Hitler’s promises and was soon elected to power. Within a short period of time, Hitler exterminated all his political opponents and became the only dictator of Germany. He started becoming more and more popular because, as promised, employment rose since the Nazi’s started war factories and other major projects.
He introduced conscription and captured the area of Rhineland, therefore directly violating the Treaty of Versailles. His popularity grew even more since he was successful in violating the Treaty of Versailles, and the leaders of other countries did nothing to stop Hitler. This started to make him more power hungry and so he started to conquer more colonies. In conclusion, we can say that the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi’s turned out to be another major cause of the Second World War. The policy of Appeasement was promoted by the French and British for many reasons; but mainly because they thought that it would pacify Hitler, but instead he used the weaknesses of the policy for his violation of most of the terms stated in the Treaty of Versailles. The actions of Hitler could have been easily put to an end before1939, when he was not that powerful, but the French and British underestimated him. They had an assumption that opposing forces would be always the same as the Great War and they thought he would keep his promises. Others like British PM Neville Chamberlain believed that giving in to the demands of hungry dictators would pacify them, and did not stand up to stop Hitler.
In fact, this policy of Appeasement was supported by many people as the terrifying incidents of World War I were still remembered and people wanted to avoid another war at any cost. Moreover, lots of problems and issues had been created by the Great Depression and everyone wanted to sort out problems at home before being concerned about the outer world. The leaders of France and Britain trusted Hitler, Neville Chamberlain of Britain believed that Hitler would keep his word and never step into war. After his visit to Germany in 1938 he addressed the British Public as follows, “My good friends, this is the second time there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time” (Experts par. 13).
They believed that he would stop capturing any other colonies, after Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, just as Hitler had promised. But soon after, he captured the rest of Czechoslovakia; he started to make demands on Poland. France and Britain soon realized that they were wrong and Hitler was not a person who could be trusted after the incident of Czechoslovakia. When Hitler invaded Poland on 1st, September, 1939, Britain and France realized that this was going too far and they declared war. A deadly and horrifying war that shook the lives of many, begun and the policy of Appeasement became a reason for this war. The causes of World War II have a number of influential and critical reasons towards it; but the major causes include, the Treaty of Versailles which was an agent for the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, and the policy of Appeasement promoted by the French and British. The Treaty of Versailles solved nothing; instead it angered many Germans and many of those who wanted revenge. Adolf Hitler used the Treaty of Versailles as an agent for all his absurd actions, which was supported by the policy of Appeasement. Appeasement supported World War II, as Hitler got chances to increase Germany’s wealth and territory to a point that Britain and French declared war. All these causes led to a war that was the most horrific in our world’s history and from which people are suffering to this day.