The Causes of World War II Essay

The Causes of World War II Essay

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The causes of World War II can be attributed to the following ideas or events: the mentality of power is strength by Heinrich von Treitschke, the Treaty of Versailles, the global depression following the end of World War I, and Nazi Imperialism.
Heinrich von Treitschke is a cause of World War II because of his idea that imperialism is a viable and practical way to further the common good, and strengthen a nation. This appeared in the writings of leaders, such as Mussolini and Hitler, just before World War II, focusing on the idea that, “Only the truly great and powerful states ought to exist” (Treitschke 293). Mussolini believed that war was the greatest measure of the greatness of a country and its people (399). Mein Kampf written by Hitler, echoes Treitschke in the line, “The stronger must dominate and must not blend with the weaker orders and sacrifice their powers” (401).
The Treaty of Versailles is a cause of World War II because of the restrictions it placed on Germany as the alleged sole aggressor of the war. The war reparation totaled $98 billion, and under Clause 231 Germany was forced to take the entire load onto her ruined economy and attempt to repay the debt starting with an initial $5 billion payment. In terms of military, Germany was limited to a 100,000 man army, with her navy stripped to the level of a coast guard, she was allowed no heavy artillery, no weapons of mass destruction and the border with France became a demilitarized zone for 15 years following the signing of the treaty on June 28 1919. Germany also lost all her territories in Africa and became a mandate of the Allied Forces, those living in mandated zones could participate in “self-determination” after the Allies taught them how to be a democracy (...


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...sillusionment and the Rise of Socialism and Fascism." World Civilizations II. Baldwin Wallace University. Marting Hall, Berea. 1 April 2014. Class lecture.
Gesink, Indira. "Fascism, Nazism and Road to WWII." World Civilizations II. Baldwin Wallace University. Marting Hall, Berea. 3 April 2014. Class lecture.
Hitler, Adolf. “Mein Kampf.” The Human Record . By Alfred J. Andrea and James H. Overfield. Vol. 2. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2011. 2 vols. 401-404.
Mussolini, Benito. “The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism.” The Human Record . By Alfred J. Andrea and James H. Overfield. Vol. 2. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2011. 2 vols. 399-400.
Treitschke, Heinrich. “History of Germany in the Nineteenth Century and Historical and Political Writings.” The Human Record. By Alfred J. Andrea and James H. Overfield. Vol. 2. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2011. 2 vols. 292-295.

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