Second World War, Causes and effects
The Second World War and its impacts are significant. There were many causes for World War II. Some of the major causes of World War II were the Treaty of Versailles, the Great Depression (the worldwide economic depression), Japanese militarism, Hitler’s political takeover. Due to the dislike of many of the allied states, the Treaty of Versailles was a full and nearly utter failure. Here we have militarism in Japan. Japan’s militarism expanded quickly throughout the country.
Although Japan has an emperor, the military possessed more power than the crowned emperor at the time. Then there’s the politico-military takeover of Hitler since we all know how important Hitler’s control of Germany was in the war.
Attempts were undertaken to achieve a durable peace in the 1920s. The first was the creation of the League of Nations in 1920 as a forum for nations to settle their differences. The League’s power was limited to persuasion and various levels of moral and economic sanctions, which members might deploy as they saw fit.
The Locarno Conference (1925) gave rise to a treaty that assured the German-French border and a German-Polish arbitration pact. In the Kellogg-Briande Pact (1928), 63 countries, including all of the Great Powers save the USSR, promised to handle all problems among themselves “through pacific means.” The signatories had already committed to exempt “self-defense” conflicts.
Causes of Second World War
Rise of Fascism
One of the victorious nations’ proclaimed goals in World War I was to “make the world safe for democracy,” and post-war Germany, like most of the other states restored or established after the war, adopted a democratic constitution. The wave of the future, however, appeared to be a sort of nationalistic, military dictatorship known as fascism in Italy in the 1920s.
It pledged to better serve people’s needs than democracy and positioned itself as the only safe haven against communism. During the interwar period in Italy, Benito Mussolini formed the first Fascist European dictatorship in 1922.
Formation of the Axis Coalition
The leader of the German National Socialist (Nazi) party, Adolf Hitler, taught a racial kind of fascism. Hitler promised to reverse the Treaty of Versailles and win more Lebensraum for the German people, whom he said deserved more as members of a superior race. The Great Depression affected Germany in the early 1930s.
Because the moderate parties couldn’t agree on how to respond, many voters resorted to the Nazis and Communists. In 1933, Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany, and via a series of subsequent actions, he established himself as dictator. Although Japan did not technically adopt fascism, the military’s overwhelming position in government allowed them to construct a totalitarian regime that was akin to fascism. The Japanese were far ahead of Hitler in dismantling the world order. In 1931, they used a brief clash with Chinese troops near Mukden, commonly known as the Mukden or Manchurian crisis, as a pretext to seize control of all of Manchuria, built up the puppet state of Manchukuo in 1932. They occupied the major Chinese ports from 1937 to 1938.
Following Hitler’s denunciation of the Versailles Treaty’s disarmament terms, the creation of a new air force, and the reintroduction of conscription, Hitler tested his new weaponry on the side of right-wing military rebels in the Spanish civil war (1936-39). This business venture brought him into contact with Mussolini. After capturing Ethiopia in a minor battle (1935-6) he was also a supporter of the Spanish uprising. Japan and Germany, for example, signed the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1936, followed by Italy in 1937. This contract condemned communism and demonstrated its solidarity in the face of it. Following that, the Axis was used to refer to those countries and their allies collectively.
Aggression by Germany in Europe
With the annexation of Austria in March 1938, Hitler began his own expansionist drive. The path was clear: Mussolini backed him, and the British and French, fearful of German rearmament, accepted Hitler’s argument that Austria’s status was a matter of German internal politics. In September 1938, Hitler vowed to invade Czechoslovakia, annexing the Sudetenland and its 3.5 million ethnic Germans. On British and French urging, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain launched talks that culminated in the Munich Pact at the end of the month.
The Great Depression in the United States
The expenditures of fighting in World War I, as well as the costs of rebuilding Western Europe after years of fighting, resulted in massive debts owed to the United States by the Western European countries. The massive reparations imposed on Germany as part of the Treaty of Versailles added to the indebtedness. In addition, several of these European countries have weak governments. As a result, rehabilitation has been delayed and economic growth has been dismal. Following the crash of the New York Stock Exchange on October 29, 1929, the US recalled all foreign debts within days. The West’s economies collapsed as a result of their inability to repay these debts, kicking off the Great Depression.
Effects of the Second World War
Ground engagements and airstrikes destroyed a large amount of physical capital over the course of six years. Many people were forced to abandon or give up their homes and move to new lands without recompense. Even in relatively rich Western Europe, hunger became more widespread.
Deliberate genocide, massacres, mass-bombings, disease, and malnutrition claimed the lives of many civilians. During the conflict, the Soviet Union lost roughly 27 million individuals, including 8.7 million military personnel and 19 million civilians.
The United States’ involvement in World War II had a tremendous influence on its economy and workforce. American companies were retooled to create commodities for the war effort, and unemployment plummeted to roughly 10% virtually immediately.
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