All the horrors and capacity put on display by mechanized warfare during the first Great War, gave the world a grim indication to the more callous side of modernity, which kills in mass numbers. Despite entering the ominous era of advanced warfare, it took no more than a couple decades for Woodrow Wilson’s infamous phrase; “the war to end all wars” to become an ironic travesty. In a basic framework, it’s easy to blame Adolf Hitler and the galvanization of his fascist Germany, whose ideological misgivings, like Social Darwinism, had developed into a desire for lebensraum, which eventually manifested into the nationalist aggressions that caused the Second World War. However, it is too simplistic and imprudent to neglect significant economic and social aspects of the interwar period, as well as the ideological and political happenings that caused Europe to develop as it did. This paper will tentatively suggest that there is no independent reason that can be attributed for causing the Second World War, but rather a culmination of different factors. In this study I will draw attention to some significant events and occurrences in a chronological context, starting back from the experiment put forth by the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, and then moving to unravel the inter war period of Europe, and Germany more in particular, with a closing look at the rise of the NSDAP.
The conclusion of WW1 and the subsequent conference presented itself as an unparalleled opportunity to enact immediate change in Europe. After all, four long-standing empires had suddenly collapsed and the map was ripe to be redrawn. The proceedings in Versailles not only reworked the concert of Europe, it also attempted to build an enduring international system out...
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...pealing. Subsequently, the rise of authoritarian policies becomes widespread, as it seemed like a sure way out of the depression. Hitler capitalized on this opportunity, as he led his right wing National Socialist German Workers ' Party to electoral victory by promiscuously pandering to German grievances.
Once Hindenburg had died in 1934, Hitler lost all restraint and would go on to set a path of totalitarianism, militarization, and eventually racist war. The benefit of hindsight, allows us to consider certain peculiarities, like the flaws of the Paris Peace Conference, or the economic and social downturns of the interwar period. However, it’s important to see these factors as a culmination of things, which developed into creating the deadliest war in history that once again, fed an entire generation of men through the human meat grinder known as modern warfare.
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- All the horrors and capacity put on display by mechanized warfare during the first Great War, gave the world a grim indication to the more callous side of modernity, which kills in mass numbers. Despite entering the ominous era of advanced warfare, it took no more than a couple decades for Woodrow Wilson’s infamous phrase; “the war to end all wars” to become an ironic travesty. In a basic framework, it’s easy to blame Adolf Hitler and the galvanization of his fascist Germany, whose ideological misgivings, like Social Darwinism, had developed into a desire for lebensraum, which eventually manifested into the nationalist aggressions that caused the Second World War.... [tags: World War I, Adolf Hitler, Treaty of Versailles]
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