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Forum LockedCauses Of World War II

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st darwin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote st darwin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Causes Of World War II
    Posted: 23-Feb-2008 at 15:01
Hello everyone. I was recently set an interesting assignment in my History class regarding the causes of the Second World War. Below are six reasons why the war started and we were required to list them in order of importance (with regards to which is a contributory cause, root of the problem etc). Just a bit of fun to but any takers? E.g. Just write say 4,2,3,6,1,5 and discuss away!!
 

1)      The origins of World War II lie in the Treaty of Versailles. The penal clauses of that Treaty inevitably meant a hostile Germany that would, given the opportunity, attempt to redress its grievances.

 

2)      The unavoidable failure of the League of Nations in Manchuria and Ethiopia meant the end of collective security and, consequently, a return to the principle “might is right.”

 

3)      The policy of appeasement encouraged Hitler to continue his plans for the expansion of the Reich. In particular, the attitude of the Western power at Munich confirmed his opinion that they would not go to war with Germany in defence of an Eastern power.

 

4)      Agreement between Britain and France and the Soviet Union would have prevented the outbreak of war. This agreement proved impossible only because of the fear and suspicion of Communism in Government circles in Britain and France, who must, therefore, take responsibility.

 

5)      Nazism meant war: once Hitler had come to power in Germany, a European war was inevitable as the aims and creed of Nazism were bound to conflict with those of other countries. One or more of these would ultimately attempt to resist Hitler.

 

6)      The creation of a series of weak states in Eastern Europe, especially ones that could not even agree with each other, brought about the war as it meant there was no state, or ‘bloc’ of states, to oppose Hitler in the very area that he had stated he planned to conquer.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mughal e Azam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Feb-2008 at 16:28

World War II is funny, because even in America people think Hitler, although the Americans had their military bases attacked by the Japanese.

The Japanese were also very violent an inhumane. The amount of lives lost in Manchuria coupled with the European invaders of China (Britan, France, America, etc) created a distrust of foreigners in China.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Feb-2008 at 21:15
4 and 6 are dumb statements.

the only real reason is 5. the origin of 5 is 1 and the Black friday. then comes 2 and 3 though it wouldn't really had stopped Hitler anyways.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2008 at 01:44
Some suggest Japan provoked into attacking Pearl Harbor preemptively because the US was altready supporting the Chinese financially and also underhandedly by encouraging the "flying tigers" mercenary squad to engage the Imperial Japanese Airforce? Obviously Japan also wanted to replace France, Britain and the US as the dominant colonizing power in East Asia 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vulkan02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2008 at 18:34
U.S. put an oil embargo on Japan which essentially placed its whole economy in a grinding halt. Figuring that their army would also become completely ineffective by this in a couple of years, Japan's leaders decided to attack US before it was too late. American leaders certainly did foresee an attack but it was a good excuse to enter the war.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacobtowne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2008 at 21:39
The six questions, with the exception of #2, are eurocentric. The U.S. fought the equivalent of two separate wars - one in the Pacific, the other in Europe. In my view, the war began with the Japanese invasion of China in 1937.

JT

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 16:21

Hello to you all

 
The so called "appeasement" of Hitler is a stupid  reason like Temujin said and it was used and raised for pure political reasons. Neither Britain nor France had the power (economic and political not military) or the stomach for a war with Germany and actually certain political movements inside those two countries actually saw Hitler as an Ally not an enemy especially the majority of  the rightwing of French politics.
 
The reason for WWII was simply the failure of the German political system (giving Hitler the full reigns of Power in 1933 despite the fact he did not have the absolute majority and his popularity was rapidly falling). If those politician stood up Germany would have went for a civil war that would have ended with the defeat of the Nazis forever.
 
Yes Versailles was terrible but Europe have already indicated they would not demand the full application of the treaty and maybe even establish a new treaty similar to Lausanne. As for the Americans they got what they wanted, ever since the war was in Europe the wanted to join and hoovered dangerously round the battle field and it wasa natural they will be involved.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2008 at 18:24
I do not agree Al Jassas, first of all Hitler was not losing popularity, second: when Nazism come the economic power and military of Germany was weak.
Probably one of the (many) reason is the pact of non aggression with the USSR, which feared Nazi Germany and which provided them with resources... 5,1,3 and the others does not look good enough for me
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Feb-2008 at 14:44
Hello Illirac
 
I beg to differ with you, in the July 1932 elections, the Nazis were the second party with 37.2% of the popular vote, the two main leftist parties, the SDP and the communists shared nearly 50% of the votes and the Nazis were hated by everyone so politicians had the opportunity to bar them from taking control. In the November election of the same year, with a higher turnout I might add, Nazi support dropped by over 2 million votes to 33% of the popular vote and the rest was for the leftists and other groups, yet political failure led to giving Hitler the reigns of power in January of 1933 which set doom for Germany. If politicians were responsibe they would have done everything in their hands to stop this but they did not.
 
Al-Jassas 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacobtowne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Feb-2008 at 19:17
Al Jassas wrote:
"As for the Americans they got what they wanted, ever since the war was in Europe the wanted to join and hoovered dangerously round the battle field and it wasa natural they will be involved."

If you substitute "Roosevelt" for "Americans," you'll be on the mark. During the late 1930s the U.S. was at the height of isolationism. Americans wanted absolutely nothing to do with the war in Europe, nor did they seek war with Japan. During 1940 and '41, it was Pres. Roosevelt who pushed for aid to Britain, not the American people.

We're still forgetting that there was a war in the Pacific and China-Burma-India.

JT



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Feb-2008 at 21:44
Helli jacob
 
Actually there was some strong support within certain communities and politician inside the US for the allies and to a lsser extent to te axis. American pilots and volunteers joined the armed forces of the allies, not in large numbers, despite the law that strips US citizenship from them, which was not applied. Most of the laws proposed by Roosevelt passed through congress easily and the leaders of both parties supported the policies that were used by Japan to justify declaring war, the oil embargo. While they couldn't say publically they want war the acted as if they wanted it this is something different.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2008 at 03:10
Originally posted by Mughaal Mughaal wrote:

World War II is funny, because even in America people think Hitler, although the Americans had their military bases attacked by the Japanese.

 

I believe it has to do with which coast your on.  On the East Coast people had been dealing with U boats since 39-40.   Considering the distance it didn't have the impact as a Japanese sub shelling the Oregon coast, which didn't happen until early 42.
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2008 at 03:32
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Helli jacob
 
Actually there was some strong support within certain communities and politician inside the US for the allies and to a lsser extent to te axis. American pilots and volunteers joined the armed forces of the allies, not in large numbers, despite the law that strips US citizenship from them, which was not applied. Most of the laws proposed by Roosevelt passed through congress easily and the leaders of both parties supported the policies that were used by Japan to justify declaring war, the oil embargo. While they couldn't say publically they want war the acted as if they wanted it this is something different.
 
AL-Jassas
 
 
You need to do some serious remedial American history.  In the late 1930's early 40's  the Pacifist movement was incredibly powerful politically.  Isolationism was the general mood across the country.  Roosevelt had a difficult time getting anything to do with Britain through the Congress.
 
Both parties supported the oil embargo because it was in direct response to the invasion of China.[ I know that's only a detail]
 
If the US had been preparing for war, we sure as hell did a lousy job of it.  When we entered the war our army was ranked 16th in size and preparedness.  Our Navy was a little better, it ranked 5-6 but still wasn't "frontline".
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2008 at 07:41
Hello red
 
I know that isolationists and pacifists were very strong after WWI but their power and support eroded quickly after WWII started. Yes, some provisions of the acts that helped the allies past with just one vote but remember, no major party official in both parties or a presidential candidate for that matter opposed what Roosevelt did actually they turned out to be one of his biggest supporters prior entry to WWII. In addition to that, strict isolationists were powerless against the policies of Roosevelt which were supported by the people when he was reelected. Yes, the major issue was economics but in 1940, Roosevelt won a landslide which says it all.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2008 at 23:12
1 and 3 are realistically the only main reasons, to a lesser extent is 5.  The others are more like nitpicking/minimal factors to the point of irrelevance. 
"War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."--Thomas Mann

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brunodam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Mar-2008 at 01:03
I personally believe WWI and WWII are the same war with a "temporary peace" between  the 2 wars, like in a soccer match (excuse my "elementary" example Smile....). So the "global" causes of WWII are the same of WWI: the anglo-american control of the world and the german tentative to impede it and substitute it. But if we try to find a "precise" cause for only WWII I believe the Treaty of Versailles (with all its mistakes, not only toward Germany) is the right answer.  Brunodam

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Mar-2008 at 18:47
Originally posted by Justinian Justinian wrote:

1 and 3 are realistically the only main reasons, to a lesser extent is 5.  The others are more like nitpicking/minimal factors to the point of irrelevance. 


i disagree. 3 is actually really redundant. Hitler was going to get Czechoslovakia anyways, he had already plans to take it by force if he doesn't get it at Munich. this is actually what happened with Danzig which started the war. so appeasement only postponed ww2 but it is most certainly not a cause.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Mar-2008 at 07:06
I guess I look at it as 3 built up the Nazi's strength to the point where a world war was inevitable, whereas if Hitler had never been appeased it would have been a more localized conflict, Barbarossa never happens, less countries are invaded etc. etc. 
"War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."--Thomas Mann

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aslanlar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Mar-2008 at 20:55
1.) only comes into play because Hitler came to power. Before '33 i don't recall mass demonstrations for breaking the treaty of versailles?
2.) League of nations should of stopped it, but never had power. A greater block could/would have been Britain, France and Russia but they had their own interests. This is pretty much 3.)
4.) is pretty much them lacking to enfore versailles and going with appeasement. However, i still doubt that France would have stopped Germany remiliterizing the Rhineland even if the USSR was an ally.
5.) Nazism didn't mean war if he was stopped in '36. Military leaders were unsure of his policies. Hitler was also going to withdraw if there was ANY french opposition for the Rhineland, this would have seriously affected his authority.
6.) has no real meaning. He invaded Russia for christs sake, i would hardly call that a small state.

In the end, take away the Treaty of Versailles and ww2 would be avoided.
Take away Hitler and ww2 would be avoided.
Take away the self-interests of Britain + France and war would be avoided. I think this would have been the simplest way to defeat Hitler.
It all depends on how back you go... Maybe you might wanna blame it on 19th century German growth? :D
"The league is alright when sparrows dispute but it can do little when eagles argue" -Mussolini
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Mar-2008 at 21:38
^^ Good points, you reminded of another thing I had wanted to say.  Without the appeasement which was seemingly vindication of Hitler's policies within Germany the army leadership would have had a much better chance of overthrowing him/may have actually attempted it. 
 
Completely agree about Hitler being undecided in his foreign policy early on, (as far as enacting it, not whether he didn't know what he ultimately wanted to do) I think he would have backed down if threatened early on like you said, once he was in a stronger position and pretty self confident he started taking larger and larger risks.  Call the gamblers bluff (which hitler definitely was) early and the effects are not as great.
"War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."--Thomas Mann

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