Could the Second World War have been Avoided?

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Although measures were set in place to avoid a second world war, many things caused it to be inevitable. The Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Hitler, the rise of Japan as a world power, the rise of fascism in Italy and the League of Nations were all factors which contributed to the cause of World War II.

The Treaty of Versailles was a peace settlement between Germany and the Allied Powers that officially ended World War I. However, the conditions in the treaty were so harsh on Germany that many believe the Treaty of Versailles was one of the main causes for the eventual rise of Nazis in Germany and the eruption of World War II. Part of the treaty commonly known as the "War Guilt Clause" forced the German nation to accept complete responsibility for initiating World War I. Germany was responsible for all material damages, and the premier of France, Georges Clemenceau, particularly insisted on Germany paying large amounts of money to compensate for all the damage caused. Clemenceau and the French were aware that Germany would probably not be able to pay such an enormous debt, but nevertheless greatly feared rapid German recovery and the initiation of a new war against France. To avoid this, the treaty also limited the German army to 100,000 men, restricted the Navy to vessels under 100,000 tons, and forbade Germany to have an air force. The terms of the Versailles Treaty were so hostile to Germany that German Chancellor Philipp Scheidemann resigned rather than sign it. However, Germany realised they had to sign it for they no longer had any military power left to resist. The treaty left Germany weak enough to turn against the Allied Powers but they were strong enough to retaliate if they broke the treaty which eventually happened ...

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There were many reasons why a second world war was inevitable. The Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Hitler, the rise of Japan as a world power, the rise of fascism in Italy and the League of Nations all had key roles in the eruption of World War II. Although there were many measures set in place to avoid a second world war it was unavoidable, and there will no doubt be at least one more in the future.

Works Cited

Maureen Anderson et al 2012, Retroactive 10: Australia Curriculum for History, Jacaranda, Milton, Queensland pp48-56
Tony Taylor et al 2012, Oxford Big Ideas: Humanities 4, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne pp72-76 http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/versailles.htm http://history1900s.about.com/od/worldwari/p/Versailles-Treaty.htm http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/lessons/riseofhitler/ http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/leagueofnations.htm

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