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Chapter 34. Origins of World War II. Munich Pact.

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Chapter 34

Chapter 34

Origins of World War II

Munich pact
Munich Pact

  • A pact signed in September 1938 between Italy, France, England and Germany in which the Sudetenland was given over to Germany. This pact was a hope to avoid WWII. It represents the policy of appeasement, giving in to your enemies to avoid a conflict.


  • A form of Fascism based on the idea of the racial superiority of the Aryan Nordic people.

Spanish civil war
Spanish Civil War

  • In 1936 Spanish General Franco started a military rebellion to overthrow the elected government. The nationalist(Franco) backed by Italy and Germany defeated the Republicans(the elected government) backed by the Soviet Union. It was a practice run for WWII.

N uetrality acts
nuetrality acts

  • Passed by the Congress in 1935, 1936 and 1937 it forbade the country from selling weapons or war supplies to countries in conflict. It was designed to keep the United States out of European conflicts.


  • Translated from German as lightening war it was an all out mechanized sudden attack on an enemy.

Lend lease act
Lend-Lease Act

  • Passed by Congress in 1941 gave “lent” aid to the allies in every way possible short of declaring war. This was done to prevent the defeat of Great Britain.


  • Italy: Invaded Ethiopia, 1935; aided fascists in the Spanish Civil War, 1936. Germany: Also aided fascists in Spain, 1936; forced political union with Austria, 1938; demanded the annexation of a region of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland , 1938. Japan; invaded Manchuria, 1931: captured the Chinese city of Nanjing, followed by the conquest of Chinas’ major cities, 1937; conquered French Indochina, Formosa, Korea and several Pacific Islands, 1937-1939.


  • France and Britain were following a policy of appeasement, hoping that if they gave into Hitler’s demands for a small piece of land, he would be satisfied. Both countries were still feeling the effects of World War I and wanted to avoid another war.


  • Barely six months after signing the Munich Pact, in which Hitler disavowed an further territorial demands. Germany invaded Czechoslovakia. This action caused Britain and France to warn Hitler that any further aggression would lead to war. Soon after, Hitler signed the a Nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union to secure his eastern front. Finally, in September of 1939, German forces invaded Poland. Two days later Britain and France declared war on Germany.


  • In the 1930’s the United States did little to halt the growing crisis in Europe. Some examples of Isolationism are: They refused to take part in an oil embargo against Italy in response to the invasion of Ethiopia; The Neutrality Act of 1935 prevented Americans from supplying arms to nations at war; Neutrality Acts of 1936 and 1937 strengthened the first act; in his “Quarantine” speech in 1937 Roosevelt expressed the need to quarantine aggressor nations, but took no action. Once war broke out in 1939, the United State began to inch away from Neutrality. The Neutrality Act of 1939 favored Britain and France; Lend –Lease Act of March 1941 allowed the United states to lend not sell arms to Britain; Atlantic Charter of August 1941, negotiated by Roosevelt and Churchill set forth goals for a better post war world, thereby expressing U. S. interest in the war’s outcome without committing any troops. Finally, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, The United States declared war on Japan. Three days later Germany declared war on the United States.


  • On December 7, 1941, the Japanese brought more that 300 aircraft to attack Pearl Harbor, home of the U. S. Pacific fleet. The surprise attack left 18 American warships and 300 military aircraft destroyed or damaged and caused more than 3,500 U. S. casualties. The next day, Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan, bringing the nation into WWII.