World War II

Powerful Essays
The Second World War began in September of 1939 and was between the Allies and the Axis. It began with Germany’s unprovoked attack and conquest of Poland, and involved Britain and France from the beginning. Its origins lay in German resentment at the terms of the Treaty of Versailles (1919), the economic crisis of 1929-30, which favored the rise to power of Fascist dictators, the failure of the League of Nations to gain international acceptance for disarmament, and the policy of imperialism adopted by Germany, Italy and Japan as a means of acquiring raw materials and markets. As a part of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany had to accept full responsibility for the First World War, which then led up to the outbreak of the Second. The reparations chapter of the Treaty of Versailles was universally condemned in Germany. Article 231, a proclamation of German guilt, had been inserted to establish Germany’s moral responsibility for the war and, therefore, her legal responsibility for all damage to property and persons and was disliked because of the War Guilt clause it contained. Germany, prepared for military conquest by Hitler, remilitarized the Rhineland in violation of the Locarno Pact. The League of Nations failed to react firmly either to this or to the conquest of Ethiopia by Italy under Mussolini. The Second World War was indeed one of the greatest conflicts in history. What started out as a European struggle, soon emerged to the level of worldwide warfare. The Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill, American President, Franklin Roosevelt and Russian leader, Joseph Stalin were just a few of the leaderships that tried to bring their nations to victory. Although they all could not have “won” the war, these particular three men worked together to form an outstanding alliance system. The causes of the Second World War truly are numerous. There were several steps to war, and according to various sources, most were associated with Germany. Hitler’s first attempt to gain worldly power was to rearm Germany. The German rearmament began after Hitler left the 1932-34 Geneva Disarmament Conference, where it was decided as a unanimous British option, that all nations should “disarm to the German level, as a first step to total disarmament.” By 1935, rearmament was well underway. This involved conscription and munitions factories. Rearmament alarmed the French, w... ... middle of paper ... ...rom economic exhaustion. Bibliography Baumont, Maurice. The Origins of the Second World War. London: Yale University Press Ltd., 1978. Black, Jeremy. World War Two. London: Routledge, 2003. Churchill, Winston S. The Grand Alliance. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1950. Crozier, Andrew J. The Causes of the Second World War. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1997. Imlay, Talbot C. Facing the Second World War. New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2003. Mallett, Robert. Mussolini and the Origins of the Second World War, 1933-1940. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. McKay, John P., Bennett D. Hill, John Buckler, and Patricia Buckley Ebrey. A History of World Societies. Edited by Jean L. Woy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Townshend, Charles. The Oxford History of Modern War. New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2000. Utley, Jonathan G. Going to War With Japan 1937-1941. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1985. Zelinski, Victor, Graham Draper, Don Quinlan, and Fred McFadden. Twentieth Century Viewpoints: An Interpretive History. Edited by Loralee Case. Toronto: Oxford University Press Canada, 1996.