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Road to War: WWII


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Title: Road to War: WWII

Road to War WWII
  • Nationalism and Imperialism in Europe and Asia
  • Causes of WWII

How did we get to this point?
1. Terms of Treaty of Versailles
  • Reparation payments crippled Germany
  • Bitterness and anger lead to a desire for revenge
    National Socialism
  • Strict terms made German compliance difficult.
    (War Guilt Clause, restricted military.
  • Creation of new countries like Czechoslovakia and
    Poland meant that many Germans were left living
    as minorities in new countries - ex. Sudetenland

2. Great Depression
  • Massive unemployment, many people could not
    support their families
  • Many supported dictators like Hitler and
    Mussolini because they promised opportunity
  • Poverty Unemployment Instability ? extremist
    governments emerge

German Hyperinflation
3. Rise of Totalitarianism Dictators
  • Totalitarian dictators control all aspect of
    society education, military, politics,
    economy, art, etc.
  • Advances in technology allowed dictators to be
    able to control their populations more fully.
  • Allowed no opposition, used secret police to
    terrorize the population.

Totalitarian Dictators
  • Mussolini - Italy
  • Gen. Franco - Spain

More dictators
  • Hideki Tojo Japan (not really a dictator)
  • Josef Stalin - USSR

And finally, Hitlers version of fascism Nazism
Totalitarian Alliances
  • Japan joins forces with both Hitler and
    Mussolini during World War Two
  • 1936 Rome-Berlin Axis
  • 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact

4. Imperialism
  • Imperialism Empire building in order to gain
    access to resources, land and financial wealth.
  • Imperialism was visible in the lead-up to WWII
  • 1. Japan Asia (Korea, China)
  • 2. Italy Invasion of Abyssinia, Ethiopia
  • 3. Germany Poland

'Asia for Asians'
  • Japan tried to justify their imperialistic plans
    to take over Asia by claiming that they were
    'saving' other countries from being taken over by
    the United States

The Rape of Nanking
  • In 1937, Japan attempted to take over Nanking,
    another region of China
  • The Nanking Massacre is considered to be one of
    the worst war crimes of the 20th century
  • The casualty estimates exceed 300,000 while
    historians estimate that 80,000 women were raped,
    including infants and the elderly.

Lebensraum Living Space
  • Hitler was voted into power in 1933, on a
    political platform that was extremely
    nationalistic, anti-democratic, anti-semitic
    (hatred of Jews), and a desire to restore
    Germanys military might
  • Hitler also believed in the superiority of the
    Aryan race blond, blue-eyed, athletic (irony!)
  • He also believed that the Slavic peoples of
    Eastern Europe/Russia were inferior, and that
    Eastern Europe should be taken over so that the
    Germans could have more living space
  • This explains why he invaded Czechoslovakia/Poland

Hitler Youth the Aryan Race
Life in Nazi Germany
  1. Hitler was able to pass the Enabling Act which
    gave him absolute authority to pass any law he
  2. Night of the Long Knives Hitler ordered the
    murder of over 1000 people over the course of one
    weekend. These were all political opponents or
    potential threats
  3. Nuremburg Laws Hitler enacted discriminatory
    laws against Jews including the wearing of the
    Star of David, loss of property and careers, loss
    of citizenship, and the creation of ghettos where
    Jews were forced to live

Life in Nazi Germany
  • 4. Kristallnacht The Night of Broken Glass
    Nazis encouraged citizens to attack and vandalize
    Jewish shops and property. People were beaten in
    public, and imprisoned
  • 5. The Gestapo (German secret police) and the SS
    became all-powerful. Children were also
    encouraged to join Hitler Youth
  • 6. All trust in society was lost, children were
    encouraged to spy and report their parents for
    crimes, and anyone could be imprisoned without

5. Appeasement Failure of the League of Nations
  • Hitler watched as the League of Nations did
    nothing to stop Japan in Manchuria, or Italy in
  • From these experiences, he concluded that in the
    face of aggression, Britain and France would
    choose appeasement at all costs in order to avoid
  • As a result, once he had achieved full power as
    Fuhrer in Germany, he set about expanding his
    empire and preparing for war.

Hitlers Steps to War
  • 1. Remilitarization of the Rhineland
  • 2. Anschluss - Union of Germany and Austria
  • 3. Annexation (taking over) of the Sudetenland
    (border region of Czechoslovakia) Munich Pact
  • I have secured peace for all time - Chamberlain
  • 4. Annexation of Czechoslovakia Everyone now
    knew that appeasement as a policy had been a
  • 5. Nazi-Soviet Pact Alliance with Stalin
  • Invasion of Poland Start of WWII
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