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Causes of WWII. The world at war…again. Treaty of Versailles Great Depression Totalitarianism Policy of Appeasement Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. Main Causes of WWII . Allied powers met in early 1919 (at the end of WWI) to discuss Germany’s fate Purpose-prevent another world war

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causes of wwii

Causes of WWII

The world at war…again

main causes of wwii

Treaty of Versailles

  • Great Depression
  • Totalitarianism
  • Policy of Appeasement
  • Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
Main Causes of WWII
treaty of versailles

Allied powers met in early 1919 (at the end of WWI) to discuss Germany’s fate

  • Purpose-prevent another world war
  • Harsh on Germany
    • Germany had to admit they started the war
    • Pay reparations $33 billion
    • Limited army to 100,000
    • Germany lost territory and colonies
Treaty of Versailles
germany and the great depression

Germany’s econ went down the tubes

  • To pay for the war the govt. printed TONS of money in the 20’s lowering the value of German $$
  • The world depression in the late 1920’s & 30’s made it worse for Germany
  • They were unable to make the payments back from the war
Germany and the Great Depression

Totalitarian dictatorship: A dictatorship in which the government uses intimidation, violence, and propaganda to rule all aspects of social and political life of its citizens.

  • Modern weapons made it possible for dictators to control the populations
  • Germany and Italy were fascist (militarism and extreme nationalism) totalitarian regimes: The government controlled econ and resources
  • One leader has all power

In the 20s Nazi’s gained support by criticizing the democratic government in Germany and the Treaty of Versailles

  • 1933 Hitler became Chancellor of Germany
  • He banned all political parties other than Nazis
  • Used Gestapo (secret police) to enforce rules
  • Defied terms of the treaty by using money to build up his military
stalin s communist soviet union

1924 Stalin became the leader

  • 5 year plans to industrialize the country & give the government control of the economy
  • Seized privately owned land & controlled media
  • Strict censorship & travel restrictions
  • Arrested anyone who was a threat
  • The great purge of the 30s: Stalin eliminated anyone who opposed communism-many executed
  • Many died of starvation
Stalin’s Communist Soviet Union
mussolini s italy

After WWI, Italy struggled economically

& politically

  • Mussolini established the fascist party challenging democracy.
  • Created “black shirt” gang who attacked communists and socialists in the streets
  • 1922 March of Rome: 26,000 black shirts & demanded government be turned over to him
  • After taking over Italy he brought all communications under fascist control
Mussolini’s Italy

Appeasement: policy of satisfying or giving into demands. When a country becomes aggressive, other countries give the aggressor what it wants to prevent war.

  • The treaty of Versailles forced Germany to give up Rhineland
  • March 1936 Hitler violated it and sent troops to Rhineland
  • 1938 troops moved into Austria and made it apart of Germany
  • GB & France did nothing
appeasing hitler cont

1938 Hitler threatens to invade Sudetenland (W. part of Czech., bordering Germany)

  • GB & France panic & call a conference in Munich, Germany
  • They tried to negotiate with Hitler to try to avoid war
  • Hitler wanted Sudetenland so they gave it to him if he promised not invade the rest of Czech.
  • …That promise didn’t last long. He invaded in March 1939
Appeasing Hitler cont.
nazi soviet non aggression pact

Soviets played no role in appeasement

  • Because Soviet Union was communist GB & Fr. Wanted nothing to do with them
  • Stalin tried to form a pact with them to instill fear in Hitler
  • His proposal was rejected
  • Stalin feared Nazi Germany because Hitler declared he would take them down
Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
non aggression pact

Hitler approached Stalin about pact

  • Agreed that neither would attack the other 1939
  • Hitler was trying to avoid two-front war
  • Split Poland between the two countries
  • Both sides knew the other was lying and would not keep pact
  • Signing the pact cleared the way for Hitler to invade Poland
  • September 1, 1939 Hitler invades Poland and WWII begins
Non-Aggression Pact

Axis-Germany, Italy and Japan

  • Allies-Great Britain, France, Russia and US
how does japan fit into this

Japan was severely affected by the Great Depression

  • Japan needed more land and resources for its expanding population
  • Japanese military leaders thought territorial expansion was the best solution
  • By 1931 Japanese forces invaded Chinese region of Manchuria
  • By 1937 Japan and China at war
  • 1940 Japan signed an alliance with Germany and Italy entering WWII
How does Japan fit into this?
why the jews

The Jews were the ‘scapegoat.’ The Nazis said the Jews were responsible for them losing the war and the economic crisis.

  • All problems caused by the Jews
  • Hitler believed in the the superiority of the German or Aryan race.
  • Wanted racial “purity”
  • Hitler had been open about his views of Jews since 1925 when he wrote Mein Kampf
  • When he came to power he spread these beliefs and acted upon them
Why the Jews?
propaganda in the war

Propaganda: information of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a political cause or point of view

  • Purpose: 1) To demonize the enemy

2) Encourage viewers to buy war bonds

3) Help rally people behind the war

4) Help to relieve the tension from the war

Propaganda in the War
What message is this poster trying to send?How does it portray the enemy?Who is the message intended for?
what message is it trying to send how does it portray the enemy who is the message intended for
What message is it trying to send?How does it portray the enemy?Who is the message intended for?
propaganda video

  • What did you see in the video?
  • How did they portray the Nazis and Germany?
  • What was the message of the video?
  • Why would they use propaganda in kid cartoons?
  • Do you think it was effective?
Propaganda Video
german aggression

Hitler uses blitzkrieg: means “lightening war” take by surprise and with speed.

  • Hitler invades Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands and France and took all very quickly
  • Attacked Britain from the air- was never able to overcome GB air force
  • Unsuccessfully invaded the Soviets. Had to retreat. This was the downfall of Germany’s war effort. Didn’t learn from Napoleon.
German Aggression

Italy invaded Greece and North Africa.

  • The Greek campaign was a failure
  • Allies win victory in N. Africa


  • Leader Tojo expanding empire
  • Organized attack on Pearl Harbor which officially brought the US into the war
  • US eventually used the atomic bomb on Japan and they surrendered in 1945
normandy d day

June 6, 1944 “D-Day”

  • Landing of Allied forces on the coast of France which lead to a German retreat
  • France was liberated and Allied troops push eastward into Germany that leads to German surrender in 1945
Normandy (D-Day)
end of the war

1945 Allies close in on Berlin

  • Hitler commits suicide, Germans surrender
  • Yalta Conference between Churchill, Stalin, and FDR in Feb. 1945 planned to create the United Nations as a peacekeeping body
  • Potsdam Conference between Stalin, Churchill and Truman outlined hopes for justice against war criminals from the Nazi regime
  • Germany got split into four sections-Berlin wall
  • Nuremberg Trials-trail of Nazis for their war crimes some to prison and some death
End of the War