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The Causes of World War Two


The Causes of World War Two – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Causes of World War Two

The Causes of World War Two
  • There were three main causes of World War Two in
  • The Treaty of Versailles
  • The Great Depression
  • The Failure of the League of Nations

  • The causes of the war in the pacific were
    slightly different, they included
  • Japanese Depression
  • Japan was the only independent Asian nation with
    her own empire
  • The Depression took a terrible toll on Japan,
    trade fell by 2/3
  • They attempted to break out of the Depression
    through conquest
  • They did this through aggressive nationalism

  • 2. Japan invaded Manchuria (China) in 1931
  • The United States was concerned by this act and
    reacted by
  • Freezing Japanese assets in the United States
  • Oct 4th, 1941 they cut off all oil to Japan,
    Japan had been getting 90 of her oil from the US

The Treaty Of Versailles
  • The war guilt clause was a tremendous source of
    anger and discontentment in Germany
  • Many blamed all of Germanys woes on the treaty
  • Reparation payments left Germanys economy ruined
  • Hitler used the Treaty as a vehicle to attain

The Great Depression
  • The Great Depression had the greatest impact on
    Germany and Japan
  • Germany was burdened by reparation payments
  • Japan was reliant on foreign imports of oil
  • Both nations turned to radical political
    solutions to solve their economic problems

The Failure of the League of Nations
  • The United States never joined the League of
    Nations because Congress failed to ratify the
    Treaty of Versailles
  • This left the league weak from the start due to
    incomplete membership
  • The league also failed to provide the collective
    security it had promised to deliver

  • The league refused to take military action
    against both Japan and Italy when they acted as
  • In 1931 Japan
  • attacked
  • Manchuria with
  • the goal of
  • taking their
  • natural
  • resources

  • In 1935 Italy invaded Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in an
    effort to begin to re-establish the Roman Empire
  • In both cases the League of Nations took no
  • The League declared that the Manchurian incident
    was irrelevant to Europe and thus was unimportant
  • The league attempted to dissuade the Italians by
    imposing economic sanctions

  • Britain and France who were both unwilling to go
    to war over Ethiopia, refused to honour the
    sanctions and Ethiopia was given to Italy
  • The League failed for the following reasons
  • The League was too closely linked with the Treaty
    of Versailles
  • The allies realized that the Treaty was unjust
    and were trying to distance themselves from it
  • Nationalism was simply too strong

The Road to War
  • Nazi Foreign Policy was based on three main
  • Repudiation of the Treaty of Versailles
  • Uniting all German peoples- Austria,
    Czechoslovakia, East Prussia and the Polish
    Corridor all contained Germans
  • Lebensraum- the need for more living space,
    Hitler had been eyeing the Ukraine for this

The Nazis and Appeasement
  • Appeasement was an approach to foreign relations
    which attempted to maintain the peace while
    making concessions to the enemy
  • This was the strategy that France and Britain
    adopted to deal with Hitler
  • The appeasers wanted to prevent another war in
  • They felt Hitlers aggression was due to the
    unfairness of the Treaty of Versailles

  • The appeasers wanted to prevent a repeat of the
    First World War
  • They also thought that Hitler made an effective
    block against communism, which concerned them more

The Rhineland Crisis
  • The Rhineland, which separated France and
    Germany, had been declared a de-militarized zone
    by the Treaty of Versailles
  • The Germans wanted it back and on March 7, 1936
    the German army moved in and reclaimed it
  • Hitler claimed this was merely a defensive action
    against France

  • France was angry and complained to the League of
    Nations, who refused to take action against the
  • Hitler saw that the rest of Europe was unwilling
    to take action against him
  • At this point Appeasement became the accepted
    policy for dealing with Hitler

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The Anschluss Crisis
  • The Treaty of Versailles prevented the
    unification of Austria and Germany
  • Hitler wanted to annex Austria and so he used the
    Austrian Nazi Party
  • The Austrian President called a plebiscite on the
    issue of Austrian independence on March 13, 1938

  • Hitler feared the result of this vote so he used
    a massive propaganda campaign
  • Hitler sensing that the Nazis were going to lose
    the vote, threatened the Austrian president
    Schuschnigg, with invasion unless he turned the
    government over to the head of the Austrian Nazis
  • Schuschnigg gave in and turned the government
    over to the Nazis who invited Hitler into Austria
    to ensure safety of the citizens

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Czechoslovakia and the Nazis
  • Hitler was interested in the area of
    Czechoslovakia known as the Sudatenland where 3.5
    million ethnic Germans lived
  • Hitlers true goal was to annex all of
    Czechoslovakia, despite his claims that he was
    only interested in the Sudatenland
  • September 15th 1938 Chamberlain returns from a
    meeting with Hitler where it is agreed that the
    Germans can have the Sudatenland if they can work
    out the logistics

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  • No one has asked the Czech President Benes, for
    his opinion on the matter.
  • The British and the French now put pressure on
    the Czechs to accept as they do not want to go to
    war over Czechoslovakia
  • Benes reluctantly agrees but demands several
    months to allow for the transfer to occur
  • Hitler doesnt want this crisis to die down yet,
    so he states that the Nazis will occupy the
    Sudatenland on October 1st
  • The Czechs would resist which would cause a war

The Munich Conference
  • In hopes of diffusing the situation Mussolini now
    enters and offers to serve as a mediator,
    proposing a four way conference at Munich
  • Hitler makes concessions to delay occupation
    until the tenth of October, on September 29th the
    French and British agree

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  • Chamberlain returns home claiming that this will
    ensure peace in our time
  • March 1939
  • Hitler
  • threatens to sign
  • away Czech
  • independence
  • or face invasion

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  • Benes agrees and all Czechoslovakia becomes
    German territory
  • Chamberlain finally realizes that Everything I
    have worked for in my public life lies in ruin.
  • March 30, Chamberlain gives Poland a public
    guarantee ending the policy of Appeasement

Nazi-Soviet Pact
  • In August of 1939 Hitler and Stalin signed the
    Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
  • This stated that neither nation would attack the
  • Also they secretly agreed to divide Poland
  • It gave both countries time and a buffer between
  • Both knew they would be fighting each other
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