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Essential Questions . What were the causes of WWII? Why do we describe World Wars I and II as total wars? What are the causes and consequences of genocide? How did the United Nations attempt to promote global interdependence in the face of global imperialism?

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essential questions
Essential Questions
  • What were the causes of WWII?
  • Why do we describe World Wars I and II as total wars?
  • What are the causes and consequences of genocide?
  • How did the United Nations attempt to promote global interdependence in the face of global imperialism?
  • What are the causes of the Cold War?
major causes of wwii
Major Causes of WWII
  • Failure of the Treaty of Versailles
  • Global economic depression
  • Fascism, militarism and imperialism in Germany, Italy and Japan
  • Weakness of the League of Nations
  • British and French appeasement
the rise of fascism in italy
The Rise of Fascism in Italy
  • When Italy agreed to join the Allies in 1915, France and Britain secretly promised to give Italy certain Austro-Hungarian territories.
  • When the Allies won, Italy received some of the promised territories, but others became part of the new Yugoslavia.
  • The broken promises outraged Italian nationalists.
mussolini s rise to power
Mussolini’s Rise to Power
  • Disorders within Italy multiplied.
  • Peasants seized land, and workers went on strike or seized factories.
  • Government split into feuding factions.
  • Into this turmoil stepped Benito Mussolini.
  • In 1919, organized veterans and other discontented Italians into the Fascist party.
  • He became leader of Italy and by 1925 Mussolini had assumed more power and took the title El Duce, “The Leader.”
state control of the economy
State Control of the Economy
  • To spur economic growth and end conflicts between owners and workers, Mussolini brought the economy under state control.
  • He preserved capitalism.
  • Under Mussolini’s corporate state, representatives of business, labor, government, and the Fascist party controlled industry, agriculture, and trade.

Mussolini’s system favored the upper class and industrial leaders.

  • Although production increased, success came at the expense of workers.
  • They were forbidden to strike, and their wages were kept low.
the individual and the state
The Individual and the State
  • In Mussolini’s new system, loyalty to the state replaced conflicting individual goals.
  • To Fascists, the glorious state was all-important, and the individual was unimportant except as a member of the state.
  • Men, women, and children were bombarded with slogans glorifying the state and Mussolini.

“Believe! Obey! Fight!” loud-speakers blared and posters proclaimed.

  • Men were urged to be ruthless, selfless warriors fighting for the glory of Italy.
  • Women were pushed out of paying jobs.
  • Mussolini called on women to “win the battle of motherhood.”
  • Those who bore more than 14 children were given a medal by Il Duce himself.
the nature of fascism
The Nature of Fascism
  • Mussolini built the first totalitarian state.
  • In totalitarianism a one-party dictatorship attempts to regulate every aspect of the live of its citizens.
  • Other dictators, like Stalin and Hitler, followed Mussolini’s lead.
  • Mussolini’s rule was fascist in nature, as was Hitler’s, but totalitarian governments rise under other kinds of ideology as well, such as communism in Stalin’s Soviet Union.
what is fascism
What is Fascism?
  • Historians still debate the real nature of Mussolini’s fascist ideology.
  • Mussolini coined the term, but fascists had no unifying theory as Marxists did.
  • Today, we generally use the term fascism to describe any centralized, authoritarian government that is not communist whose policies glorify the state over the individual and are destructive to basic human rights.
  • Fascism meant different things in different countries.

All forms of fascism shared some basic features.

  • They were rooted in extreme nationalism.
  • Fascists glorified action, violence, discipline, and, above all, blind loyalty to the state.
  • Fascists also pursued aggressive foreign expansion.
  • Echoing the idea of “survival of the fittest,” Fascist leaders glorified warfare as a noble struggle for survival.

Fascists were also antidemocratic.

  • They rejected faith in reason and the concepts of equality and liberty.
  • To them, democracy led to corruption and weakness and put individual or class interests above national goals.
  • Instead, fascists emphasized emotion and the supremacy of the state.
fascism compared to communism
Fascism Compared to Communism
  • Fascists were the enemies of socialists and communists.
  • While communists worked for international change, fascists pursued nationalist goals.
  • Fascists supported a society with defined classes.
  • They found allies among business leaders, wealthy landowners, and the lower middle class.

Communists touted a classless society.

  • They won support among both urban and agricultural workers.
  • The products of these two ideologies had much in common.
  • Both drew their power by inspiring a blind devotion to the state, or a charismatic leader as the embodiment of the state.

Both used terror to guard their power.

  • Both flourished during economic hard times by promoting extreme programs of social change.
  • In both a party elite, claimed to rule in the name of the national interest.
hitler and the rise of nazi germany
Hitler and the Rise of Nazi Germany
  • In November 1923, a German army veteran and leader of an extremist party, Adolf Hitler, tried to follow Mussolini’s example by staging a small-scale coup in Munich.
  • The coup failed, and Hitler was soon behind bars.
  • But Hitler proved to be a force that could not be ignored.
  • Within a decade, he made a new bid for power.
  • This time, he succeeded by legal means.
the weimar republic s rise and fall
The Weimar Republic’s Rise and Fall
  • As World War I drew to a close, Germany tottered on the brink of chaos.
  • Under the threat of a socialist revolution, the Kaiser abdicated.
  • Moderate leaders signed the armistice and later, under protest, the Versailles Treaty.
  • In 1919, German leaders drafted a constitution in the city of Weimar.

It created a democratic government known as the Weimar Republic.

  • The constitution set up a parliamentary system led by a chancellor, or prime minister.
  • It gave women the right to vote and included a bill of rights.
political struggles
Political Struggles
  • Germans of all classes blamed the Weimar Republic for the hatred Versailles treaty.
  • Bitter, they looked for scapegoats.
  • Many blamed German Jews for economic and political problems.
  • In 1923,Germany fell behind in reparations payments and France occupied the coal-rich Ruhr Valley.
  • Germans workers protested refusing to work.

The government continued to pay the workers and printed huge quantities of paper money.

  • Inflation spiraled out of control, spreading misery and despair.
  • The German mark became pretty worthless.
  • Under the Dawes Plan, France withdrew its forces from the Ruhr, and American loans helped the German economy recover.
  • Then, the Great Depression
recovery and collapse
Recovery and Collapse
  • Germans turned to Adolf Hitler.
  • He promised to solve the economic crisis and restore Germany’s former greatness.
  • Adolf Hitler was born in Austria in 1889.
  • While living in Vienna, Hitler developed the fanatical anti-Semitism, or prejudice against Jewish people.
  • This would later play a major role in his rise to power.
the nazi party s rise to power
The Nazi Party’s Rise to Power
  • He became leader of the National Socialist German Workers, or Nazi party.
  • Like Mussolini, Hitler organized his supporters into fighting squads.
  • Nazi “storm troopers” fought in the streets against their political enemies.
  • In 1923,Hitler made a failed attempt to seize power in Munich.
  • He was arrested and found guilty of treason.

While in prison, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”).

  • It would later become the basic book of Nazi goals and ideology.
  • Mein Kampf reflected Hitler’s obsessions—extreme nationalism, racism, and anti-Semitism.  
  • He believed Germans belonged to a superior “master race” of Aryans, or light-skinned Europeans, whose greatest enemies were the Jews.

Hitler blamed Germany’s defeat in World War I on a conspiracy of Marxists, Jews, corrupt politicians, and business leaders.

  • Slavs and other inferior races must bow to Aryan needs.
  • To achieve its greatness, Germany needed a strong leader, or Fuhrer.
  • Hitler was determined to become that leader.
  • Hitler was appointed chancellor in 1933 through legal means under the Weimar constitution.
hitler comes to power
Hitler Comes to Power
  • Within a year, Hitler was dictator of Germany.
  • Once in power, Hitler and Nazis moved to build a new Germany.
  • Like Mussolini, Hitler appealed to nationalism by recalling past glories.
  • Germany’s First Reich, or empire, was the medieval Holy Roman Empire.

The Second Reich was the empire forged by Bismarck in1871.

  • Under Hitler’s new Third Reich, he boasted, the German master race would dominate Europe for a thousand years.
  • To combat the Great Depression, Hitler launched large public works programs.
  • Tens of thousands of people were put to work building highways and housing or replanting forests.
  • He also began programs to rearm Germany and schemed to unite Germany and Austria.
germany becomes a totalitarian state
Germany Becomes a Totalitarian State
  • To achieve his goals, Hitler organized an efficient but brutal system of totalitarian rule.
  • Nazis controlled all areas of German life—from government to religion to education.
  • Elite, black-uniformed troops, called the SS, enforced the Fuhrer’s will.
  • His secret police, the Gestapo, rooted out opposition.

The masses, relieved by belief in the Nazis’ promises, cheered Hitler’s accomplishments in ending unemployment and reviving German power.

  • Those who worried about Hitler’s terror quickly became its victims or were cowed into silence in fear for their own safety.
  • In his fanatical anti-Semitism, Hitler set out to drive Jews from Germany.
  • In 1935,Nazis passed the Nuremberg Laws, depriving Jews of German citizenship and placed severe restrictions on them.
night of broken glass
Night of Broken Glass
  • November 7, 1938, a young Jew shot and wounded a German diplomat in Paris.
  • Hitler used the incident as an excuse to stage an attack on all Jews.
  • Kritallnacht, or the “Night of Broken Glass,” took place on November 9 and 10.
  • Nazi-led mobs attacked Jewish communities all over Germany, Austria, and annexed portions of Czechoslovakia.
  • Hitler and his henchmen were making even more sinister plans for what they called the “Final Solution”—the extermination of all Jews.
nazi youth and women
Nazi Youth and Women
  • To build for the future, the Nazis indoctrinated young people with their ideology.
  • School courses and textbooks were rewritten to reflect Nazi racial views.
  • Women were dismissed from upper-level jobs and turned away from universities.
  • To raise the birthrate, Nazis offered “pure-blooded Aryan” women rewards for having more children.
purging german culture
Purging German Culture
  • They denounced modern art, saying that it was corrupted by Jewish influences.
  • They condemned jazz because of its African roots.
  • Hitler despised Christianity as “weak” and “flabby”.
  • He sought to replace religion with his racial creed.
  • The Nazis combined all Protestant sects into a single state church.
from appeasement to war
From Appeasement to War
  • After the horrors of World War I, Western democracies desperately tried to preserve peace during the 1930s.
  • They ignored signs rulers of Germany, Italy, and Japan were preparing to build new empires.
  • Neville Chamberlain and other Western leaders believed the world was headed to war again.
aggression goes unchecked
Aggression Goes Unchecked
  • Throughout the 1930s, challenges to peace followed a pattern.
  • Dictators took aggressive action but met only verbal protests and pleas for peace from the democracies.
  • Mussolini, Hitler, and leaders of Japan viewed that desire for peace as weakness and responded with new acts of aggression.
agression goes unchecked
Agression Goes Unchecked
  • 1931, Japan overruns Manchuria and Eastern China.
  • Italy invades Ethiopia
  • Hitler Goes Against the Treaty of Versailles
hitler goes against the treaty of versailles
Hitler Goes Against the Treaty of Versailles
  • Hitler tested will of Western democracies and found it weak.
  • Built up German military in defiance of Treaty of Versailles.
  • In 1936, sent troops into the “demilitarized” Rhineland bordering France—another treaty violation.
  • Germans hated the Versailles treaty, and Hitler’s challenge made him more popular at home.
policy of appeasement
Policy of Appeasement
  • Western democracies denounced his moves but took no real action.
  • They adopted a policy of appeasement, or giving in to the demands of an aggressor in order to keep the peace.

The British had no desire to confront the German dictator.

  • Some thought Hitler’s actions constituted a justifiable response to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Some believed treaty had been too harsh on Germany.
  • In both Britain and France, many saw Hitler and fascism as a defense against a worse evil—the spread of Soviet communism.
  • Great Depression and pacifism also factors.
u s neutrality acts mid 1930s
U.S. Neutrality Acts-Mid 1930s
  • United States Congress passed a series of Neutrality Acts.
  • One law forbade the sale of arms to any nation at war.
  • Others outlawed loans to warring nations and prohibited Americans from traveling on ships of warring powers.
  • The fundamental goal of American policy was to avoid involvement in a European war, not to prevent such a conflict.
rome berlin tokyo axis i
Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis I
  • Germany, Italy, and Japan formed what became known as the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis.
  • Known as the Axis powers, the three nations agreed to fight Soviet communism.
  • Agreed not to interfere with one another’s plans for territorial expansion.
  • Agreement cleared the way for these anti-democratic, aggressor powers to take even bolder steps.
the road to war
The Road to War
  • Spain Collapses into Civil War in 1936
  • Francisco Franco rises as a Fascist dictator with support from Hitler and Mussolini
  • German raid on Guernica, Spain
  • 1938, the Anschluss, union of Austria and Germany.
  • Appeasement and surrender of the Sudetenland.
  • Hitler promises no more expansion.

What were the causes of WWI?

  • Why do we describe World Wars I as total war?
  • How did the League of Nations attempt to promote global interdependence in the face of global imperialism?
peace for our time
“Peace for Our Time”
  • British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain told cheering crowds that he had achieved “peace for our time.”
  • Winston Churchill warned of Nazi threat.
  • As Churchill predicted, Europe plunged rapidly toward war.
  • March 1939, Hitler broke promises and gobbled up the rest of Czechoslovakia.
  • Appeasement had failed.
  • Democracies promise to protect Poland.
europe plunges toward war
Europe Plunges toward War
  • Hitler signs non-aggression Pact with Stalin in 1939
  • On September 1, 1939, a week after the Nazi-Soviet Pact, German forces invaded Poland.
  • Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany.
  • World War II had begun.
  • Destructive power of modern technology made the idea of more fighting unbearable.
the axis attacks
The Axis Attacks
  • Hitler’s blitzkrieg, or “lightning war”-Poland
  • Blitzkrieg utilized tank and airpower technology to strike devastating blow.
  • Germany attacked from west, Stalin invaded from east, grabbing lands promised under the Nazi-Soviet Pact. Poland falls in month.
  • Stalin’s armies forced Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to agree to host bases for the Soviets.
  • Soviet forces also seized part of Finland
the miracle of dunkirk
The Miracle of Dunkirk
  • Norway and Denmark fall to Hitler’s blitzkrieg in April 1940.
  • Next, his forces slam the Netherlands and Belgium.
  • British forces defeat Germans off the beach of Dunkirk in May.
  • This heroic rescue raised British morale.
france falls
France Falls
  • German forces headed south toward Paris.
  • Italy declared war on France and attacked from the south.
  • Overrun and demoralized, France surrendered.
  • Germany occupied northern France.
  • In the south, the Germans set up a “puppet state,” with capital at Vichy.
  • Some French officers escaped to England and set up a government-in-exile
  • Led by Charles de Gaulle worked to liberate their homeland.
operation sea lion
Operation Sea Lion
  • Hitler launches Operation Sea Lion—invasion launched by massive air strikes against Britain who now stood alone.
  • From August 1940, German bombers began a daily bombardment of England’s southern coast.
  • Britain’s Royal Air Force valiantly battled the Luftwaffe for a month.
  • Germans bomb London and other cities 
germany launches the blitz
Germany Launches the Blitz
  • The bombing continued for 57 nights in a row and then sporadically until the next May.
  • These bombing attacks are known as “the blitz.”
  • Much of London was destroyed, and thousands of people lost their lives.
  • Led by Winston Churchill, British do not break under blitz, Operation Sea Lion failed.
  • British more determined to defeat Axis. 
africa and the balkans
Africa and the Balkans
  • Axis armies also pushed into North Africa and the Balkans.
  • In September 1940, Mussolini ordered forces from Italy’s North African colony on Libya into Egypt.
  • General Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox,” victorious in North Africa for Hitler.
  • Pushed the British back across the desert toward Cairo, Egypt.
  • Greece and Yugoslavia fall to Axis Empire.
  • Bulgaria and Hungary joined the Axis alliance.
  • By 1941, the Axis powers or their allies controlled most of Europe.
germany invades the soviet union
Germany Invades the Soviet Union
  • Decision to invade the Soviet Union helped relieve Britain.
  • Proved to be one of Hitler’s costliest mistakes.
  • Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa nullified non-aggression pact with USSR.
  • Unleashed a new blitzkrieg in Soviet Union.
  • Soviets lost two and a half million soldiers.
  • German advance stalled with the help of “General Winter” in December of 1941.
  • Seige of Leningrad-over a million die.
  • Britain and Russia agree to work together.
the nazis commit genocide
The Nazis Commit Genocide
  • Hitler pursued a vicious program to kill all people he judged “racially inferior,” particularly Jews.
  • Nazis also targeted Slavs, Gypsies, homosexuals, and the disabled.
  • German leaders had devised plans for the “Final Solution of the Jewish problem”—the genocide of all European Jews.
  • Hitler had six special “death camps” built in Poland.

They were herded into “shower rooms’ and gassed.

  • Nazis worked others to death or used them to perverse “medical” experiments.
  • By 1945, the Nazis had massacred some six million Jews in what became known as the Holocaust.
  • Nearly six million other people were killed as well.
  • Jewish people resisted the Nazis but efforts failed.

In the spring of 1943, knowing that their situation was hopeless, the Jews took over the ghetto and used a small collection of guns and homemade bombs to damage the Nazi forces as much as possible.

  • On May 16, the Nazi regained control of the ghetto and eliminated the remaining Warsaw Jews.
  • Still, their courage has inspired many over the years.

Denmark and Bulgaria saved almost all their Jewish populations.

  • Many people, however, pretended not to notice what was happening.
  • In France, the Vichy government helped ship thousands of Jewish people to their deaths.
  • Strict immigration policies as well as efforts to block Jewish immigration prevented many Jews from gaining refuge elsewhere.
  • Today, the record of that slaughter is vivid reminder of the monstrous results of racism and intolerance.
japan s brutal conquest
Japan’s Brutal Conquest
  • Japanese forces took control across Asia and the Pacific.
  • Their goal was a Japanese empire in Asia.
  • Treated the Chinese, Filipinos, Malaysians, and other conquered people with great brutality, killing and torturing civilians throughout East and Southeast Asia.
  • In the Philippines, Indochina, and elsewhere, nationalist groups waged guerilla warfare against the Japanese invaders.
japan attacks the united states
Japan Attacks the United States
  • In 1939 U.S. declared neutrality.
  • In March 1941, FDR persuaded Congress to pass the Lend-Lease Act.
  • Allowed him to sell or lend war materials to “any country whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States.”
  • U.S. would become “the arsenal of democracy,”
  • Atlantic Charter- “permanent system of general security.”
japan and the united states face off
Japan and the United States Face Off
  • Japan wants oil, rubber, and tin.
  • 1940, Japan advanced into French Indochina and Dutch East Indies.
  • The U.S. banned the sale of war materials, iron, steel, and oil, to Japan.
  • Japanese leaders saw this as a threat.
  • Gen. Tojo ordered surprise attack on Dec. 7, 1941 on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii leading to Pacific War between the U.S. and Japan.
women help win the war
Women Help Win the War
  • Millions of women around the world replaced men in essential war industry jobs.
  • Women, symbolized by the character “Rosie the Riveter” in the U.S., built ships and planes and produced munitions.
  • British and American women served in the armed forces in many auxiliary roles—driving ambulances, delivering airplanes, and decoding messages.

In occupied Europe, women fought in the resistance.

  • Marie Fourcade, a French woman, helped downed Allied pilots escape to safety.
  • Soviet women served in combat roles.
  • Soviet pilot Lily Litvak, shot down 12 German planes before she herself was killed.
the allies forge ahead
The Allies Forge Ahead
  • The years 1942-1943 marked the turning point of the war.
  • The Allies won victories on four fronts—the Pacific, North Africa and Italy, the Soviet Union, and France—to push back the Axis tide.
  • Japanese suffered first serious setback at the Battle of the Coral Sea.
  • Battle of Midway in June 1942 devastating blow to Japanese by Americans.
  • Japan unable to launch more offensives.
the big three
The Big Three
  • In 1942, the “Big Three”—Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin—agreed to focus on finishing the war in Europe before trying to end the war in Asia.
  • Battle of El Alamein in November 1942, Allies halted the Desert Fox in North Africa.
  • British and American troops defeated the Italian forces in Southern Italy July of 1943.
  • Weakened Hitler by forcing him to fight on another front.
germans defeated at stalingrad
Germans Defeated at Stalingrad
  • A major turning point occurred in the Soviet Union in 1942.
  • Hitler he aimed for the rich oil fields of the south.
  • His troops got only as far as Stalingrad.
  • The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the costliest of the war.
  • November, Soviets encircled Germans.
  • Trapped, without food or ammo, the German commander finally surrendered in January 1943.
the d day assault
The D-Day Assault
  • Allies chose June 6, 1944—known as D-Day—for the invasion of France.
  • American General George S. Patton helped the joint British and American forces break through German defenses and advance toward Paris.
  • Under pressure from all sides, the Germans retreated.
  • On August 25, the Allies entered Paris. Within a month, all of France was free.
allies continue to advance
Allies Continue to Advance
  • Two years of bombing by Allies crippled Germany’s industries and destroyed the morale of its civilians.
  • At the bloody Battle of the Bulge, which lasted more than a month, both sides took terrible losses as Allies advanced toward Germany.
  • At the Yalta Conference, the three leaders agreed that the USSR would enter the war against Japan.
  • In Italy, guerillas captured and executed Mussolini.

As Soviet troops fought their way into Berlin, Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker.

  • On May 7, Germany surrendered.
  • Officially, the war in Europe ended the next day, May 8, 1945,which was proclaimed V-E Day (Victory in Europe).
  • After just 12 years, Hitler’s “thousand-year Reich” was bomb-ravaged and in ruins.
defeat for japan
Defeat for Japan
  • With war won in Europe, the Allies poured their resources into defeating Japan.
  • In bloody battles on the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the Japanese had shown that they would fight to the death rather than surrender.
  • Beginning in 1944, some young Japanese men chose to become kamikaze pilots who undertook suicide missions, crashing their explosive-laden airplanes into American warships
the bomb
The Bomb
  • Scientists offered another way to end the war.
  • Understood that by splitting the atom, they could create an explosion far more powerful than any yet known.
  • Allied scientists, some, German-American and Italian-American, conducted research, code-named the Manhattan Project, racing to harness the atom.
  • In July 1945, they successfully tested the first atomic bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Harry Truman had taken office after Franklin Roosevelt died unexpectedly on April 12.

  • After consulting with his advisors, and determining that it would save American lives, he decided to use the new weapon against Japan.
  • On August 6, 1945, an American plane dropped an atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima killing over 70,000 people.
  • Japanese leaders would not surrender.
  • The next day, the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki.
  • More that 40,000 people were killed..
  • Finally, on August 10, Emperor Hirohito intervened, forcing the government to surrender. 
the end of world war ii
The End of World War II
  • The war had killed as many as 50 million people around the world.
  • In Europe alone, over 30 million people had lost their lives, more than half of them civilians.
  • The Soviet Union suffered the worst casualties, with over 20 million dead.
  • Nuremburg Trials/Trials in Japan
  • American occupation of Japan
establishing the united nations
Establishing the United Nations
  • In April 1945, delegates from 50 nations convened in San Francisco to draft a charter for the United Nations (UN).
  • The UN would play a greater role in world affairs than did its predecessor, the League of Nations.
  • Under the UN Charter, each of the member nations has one vote in the General Assembly.

A much smaller body called the Security Council has greater power.

  • Each of its five permanent members—the United States, the Soviet Union (today Russia), Britain, France, and China—has the right to veto any council decision.
  • The UN’s work would go far beyond peacekeeping.
  • The organization would take on many world problems—from preventing the outbreak of disease and improving education to protecting refugees and helping nations to develop economically.
  • UN agencies like the World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization have provided aid for millions of people around the world.