Causes of World War 2 Essay Sample
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Causes of World War 2 Essay Sample
Throughout history various historians have looked into the roots and causes of World War 2 and ended up with many different conclusions and results depending on what sources they looked at, how they interpreted and analyzed them and their own personal opinions; whether biased or neutral. There is no doubt that the Second World War was one of the most devastating and most brutal wars of all time. It was a wakeup call to the human race. This war showed just how cruel people can be and the full extent of what modern warfare was capable of.
Millions upon millions of people died across the various continents of the world. But what on earth could bring up such a merciless war and why did it happen? Throughout this essay, numerous sources will be analyzed to give a concise and informative conclusion to this question through the analysis of many different sources. First and foremost, it is widely believed by some people that World War II was not in fact an individual war of its own, but merely a continuation of World War I after its abrupt halting as a result of the German government at the time surrendering.
Many soldiers and citizens of Germany were devastated and shocked both psychologically and morally as they believed that were going to be victorious no matter what happened. This meant that many blamed the current German government for this and were consequently put in a very bitter and vengeful mindset throughout the period between the end of World War I and beginning of World War II, eager to continue what had been stopped. Although this is not fully proven, it is evident that this mindset was present through various German newspaper articles of the time stating how the German government had ‘gravely failed them’.
The idea that World War I was just a continuation of World War II has been disputed by many however it is clear that it is a relative long term cause of the Second World War, although nowhere near enough to start a war on its own. Secondly, the effects of World War one left Europe and other countries in a very vulnerable state. The shift from a wartime economy to a peacetime economy caused further problems. Italy and Japan (allies of Germany in World War One) suffered from too many people and too few resources after World War I.
They eventually tried to solve their problems by territorial expansion. In Germany, runaway inflation destroyed the value of money and wiped out the savings of millions of people. In 1923, the German economy neared collapse. Loans from the United States helped Germany’s government restore order. By the late 1920’s, Europe appeared to be entering a period of economic stability. A worldwide business slump known as The Great Depression began in the United States in 1929. By the early 1930’s, it had halted Europe’s economic recovery.
The Great Depression caused mass unemployment, wide spread poverty and despair. It weakened democratic governments and strengthened extreme political movements that promised to end the economic problems. Two movements in particular gained strength. The forces of Communism, known as the Left, called for revolution by the workers. The forces of fascism, called the Right, favoured strong national government. Throughout Europe, the forces of the Left clashed with the forces of the Right.
The general assumption was that Germany had taken up extreme fascism when Adolf Hitler came into power while Russia became an extreme communist country when Robert Stalin came to power. Adolf Hitler greatly disliked communism meaning that splits in opinions and policies between different leaders and countries were already re-appearing. If such opposing ideas of policies clashed to such a high extent, whole countries could go to war with each other because of this.
In fact the clashing of policies is usually undermined but is actually an extremely important factor as to why the war broke out because it is one of the core and underlying factors why Hitler declared war on Russia in World War II. Also with countries continuously competing for land for their ever growing populations and to stabilise their plummeting economy, competition for colonizing weaker countries’ would have rapidly grown. Competition could be so furious that many countries’ went to war over colonial properties.
Italy for example invaded Ethiopia to gain established status and wealth while Japan was on a quest to invade the whole of Eastern Asia; and nearly succeeded. Finally Germany desperately wanted to gain more colonial lands in Northern Africa as it was well behind on this compared to other European powers. However Germany was robbed of all the colonies it had ever had because of the Treaty of Versailles, which had proved to be a deadly mistake by Europe as Germany was extremely eager to regain these lands at all costs, even if it meant war.