Honors American Cultures
30 December 2014
World War II Reflection (1930s-1940s)
Totalitarian Regimes in Europe and Asia
The conclusion of World War I and the effect of the Great Depression influenced countries around the world. On November 11, 1918, World War I ended with the signing of the Armistice of Compiègne, between the Allies and Germany. While the armistice put an end to the direct conflict, the peace agreement between the Allies and Germany, the Treaty of Versailles, took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude. Representatives from 27 nations met in Versailles to discuss the peace agreement. However, only Britain, France, and the United States had actual decision-making power. German diplomats were denied entrance to the Paris Peace Conference and were excluded from negotiations. The resulting Treaty of Versailles forced Germany into various territorial changes, mandates, military restrictions, and reparations.
Many Germans resented the peace agreement, and considered the Treaty of Versailles unfair and disgraceful to Germany. Irate resentment over Germany’s forced acceptance of the Treaty of Versailles and severe hardships due to the Great Depression led to the German support and rise of Adolf Hitler. By the conclusion of World War I, the already weakened German economy was in shambles. The worldwide Great Depression in the early 1930s worsened the already failed German economy. Germans faced widespread unemployment, homelessness, and hunger, and many blamed the Allies as well as failed German leaders for their hardships.
Adolf Hitler quickly gained the support of the German people by promising that “Germany would rise again from the quagmire of reparat...
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...ions did not distinguish between the Allied and Axis powers. The Neutrality Acts helped keep the United States neutral (for a time) in World War II, and protected America against European influence.
Another reason America did not experience the rise of a totalitarian regime was because of its strong system of government and its patriotic citizens. America’s government is protected by a system of checks and balances, and this process of security ensures that one section of the government (or individual) can never gain more power than the other branches. As long as this system is enforced, America can never become a totalitarian country. Also, America’s patriotic citizens would not accept the demands of a dictator, and would most likely replace them. America’s strong government and patriotic citizens prevent the United States from becoming a totalitarian country.
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