I. After World War I: World War I laid the foundation for World War II. Many events set the stage for a dictator or dictators to rise and war to start.
desire to stay out of world affairs. Ex Isolationism
(B) Many countries prior to World War II adopted a policy of disarmament. Disarmament was a policy that nations adopted reducing and limiting their weapons in hopes of preventing future wars. For example, the Kellog-Briand Pact:
was an agreement signed by 62 countries that stated war was outlawed. The pact stated that war was only allowable if attacked and a nation wasacting in self-defense. This policy was initiated by the United States and France.
(C) War debts damaged economies and aggressive leaders took advantage of the situation, i.e. Hitler, Mussolini. The Great Depression spread worldwide and made it very difficult for many nations to repay their war debts.
Arguments of debtor nationsbasically stated that the United States should cancel all war debts from World War I because the USA did not suffer like many other nations.
The United States did not lose as many causalities and thewar was not fought on US soil. However, countries were forced to repay their debt. The Dawes Plan set a repayment schedule for German reparations.
(D) Rise of Militarism - Government Instability 1. Benito Mussolini became the dictator of Italy during the 1930’s.Mussolini limited free speech and imprisoned political opponents..
He started the Fascist Party which created a government dominated by the military. He also had an army of Blackshirts which were his police/thugs to crush opposition and carry out his orders
2. Joseph Stalin came to power in Russia after Lenin’s death. Stalin continued communism in Russia/ Soviet Union. He made Russia /USSR a totalitarian state which is a country where the government has complete control over every aspect of a citizen’s life.
3. Adolph Hitler came to power in Germany during the1930’s.He promised recovery from the Great Depression. Hitler ended all opposition parties & free press was outlawed..
He abolished any laws that contradicted the Nazi Party’s goals and stripped the Reichstag (German Parliament) of all power naming himself the dictator of Germany
His Nazi Party used terror to rule and maintain order. The Brownshirts were Nazi storm troopers who carried out Hitler’s orders. Before he became the German dictator, he wrote Mein Kampf a book that outlined his plan to restore Germany and exterminate the Jewish race.
Mein Kampf means “my struggle.” The Third Reich was the title given to Germany under Hitler’s control—it means “new empire.” Hitler is blamed for starting WWII because he violated the Versailles Treaty(ended WWI) on numerous occasions.
He rearmed Germany, instituted anti- Semitism and invaded territories. Some examples of how he violated the Versailles Treaty were: invading the Rhineland in 1936, Austria in 1939 and Czechoslovakia.
Hitler also violated the Versailles Treaty when he acted upon his hated the Jews. Kristallnacht “night of the broken glass” when Nazi Brownshirts destroyed Jewish property. This was the beginning of the end for the Jews. The Nazis destroyed synagogues, homes, businesses and made the Jews pay for the damages.
4. Japan adopted militarism and invaded the following areas: Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937. Japan started a rapid military build-up in 1934. Japan was under the control of aggressive “war lords” headed by General Tojo.
II. Summary of the causes of World War IIA. Violations of the Treaty of Versailles ---problems unresolved after World War I, new treaties created political and economic problems
B. Forceful leaders took advantage and seized power causing government instability. Examples are:
Hitler—Germany Italy—Mussolini Japan—General Tojo USSR----Stalin
C. Economic problems—German inflation and lack of resources. Italy and Japan also lacked many resources.
1931----------Japan invaded Manchuria1935----------Italy invaded Ethiopia1936----------Hitler’s military occupied the Rhineland (demilitarized by Treaty of Versailles—WWI)
1937----------The Panay Incident (Japan paid $2 million indemnity and issued a formal, public apology)
1938----------Neville Chamberlain (GB Prime Minister) met with Hitler and Mussolini and offered a compromise—take no more ofCzechoslovakia. This became known as the Policy ofAppeasement—Hitler violated this policy andinvaded the restof Czechoslovakia. This was the Munich Conference.
1939----------The Nazi-Soviet Pact was signed between Germany and the Soviet Union promising that they would never attack each other. This created a problem when Germany invaded Poland, the USSR’s neighbor.
1940----------Hitler launched a “blitzkrieg” (lightening war) attack against Western Europe.German troops occupied Denmark & Norway German troops rushed through the Netherlands,Belgium, and Luxembourg.June 14, 1940 German troops took Paris
B. US Foreign Policy during the 1930’s: 1. Respect for ourselves and the rights of others 2. Attempt to stay out of affairs of other nations--isolationism
C. Franklin D. Roosevelt urged neutrality but wondered could theUSA maintain that position. He urged a “quarantine” of aggressor nations. FDR had to deal with pacifists, non-interventionist andisolationist in the United States. The United States Congress passed the following acts:
1. Neutrality Act of 1935 & 1936—prevented Americans from sending arms to nations at war.
2. Neutrality Act of 1937—permitted trade with belligerent nationsonly on a “cash and carry” basis. Munitions were embargoed. This policy became known as the Cash & Carry Policy.
3. Neutrality Act of 1939: this act provided that Europeandemocracies might buy US war materials, but again on “cash & carry” basis.
4. Many Americans pushed for a constitutional amendment that would require a popular vote referendum before Congress could declare war. This amendment was only discussed, never proposed.
5. During the 1930’s FDR created the Good Neighbor Policy which tried to improve relations with Mexico and Latin America.
This policy expanded Latin American trade to help them fight the Great Depression and united the nations to help fight fascism. The USA withdrew troops from Haiti and cancelled the Platt Amendment.
6. The USA started following a doctrine called collective security—what was needed to defend common interestagainst enemy attacks.
A. The Axis Powers in 1936 were Japan, Germany and Italy. All three relied on foreign countries for natural resources. They were all aggressive nations that wanted to expand their territories.
They were all led by dictators and were suffering from the worldwide depression.
B. The Munich Conference: was a meeting held between Germany,France and Great Britain. At this conference, Hitler was given part of Czechoslovakia in appeasement in return that he would promise not to take any other lands in the future.
1. Policy of Appeasement—when Great Britain and Francegave into Hitler’s demands to take Czech to avoid any future conflicts.
C. The Non-Aggression Pact: was between Russia (Stalin) and Germany (Hitler). They agreed not to fight each other and to invade Poland and split the land.
D. Germany invades Poland—World War II begins!1. September 1, 1939---Germany & USSR invade Poland. 2. September 3, 1939—Great Britain and France declare war On Germany (WWII starts).
3. Blitzkrieg—German “lightening war”; Germany used tanks and planes together This strategy was dependent on: air power, use of mechanized mobile vehicles and speed and mobility in battle.
1. Maginot Line—line of concrete bunkers along the border with Germany. Guns were pointed at Germany as France waited in bunkers for Germany to attack.
2. In April 1940 Phony war ends. Germany attacks Denmark, Norway and then crossed Belgium to invade France. The Maginot Line was useless. By June 1940, France had fallen under German control. Great Britain was left alone to fight Germany.
5. The Battle of Britain—after the fall of France in 1940, Britain stood alone against Germany. During the summer and fall of 1940, intense bombing of British cities took place. Hitler hoped to force a quick surrender before the United States entered the war aiding Britain.