Civilization Week 26 The Lead-up to World War II

Prompt: Considering information in the reading and lectures, what problems from WWI helped contribute to the outbreak of WWII?

After the Treaty of Versailles ended WWI Germany fell under strong economic hardship. Adolph Hitler, an army officer and military speaker at the time, was sent to the DAP (German Workers Party) to give speeches about the glory of nationalism. He was eventually made the leader of the DAP because of these well worded speeches, and in 1920 changed the name to NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or Nazi party for short). With the Nazi backing Hitler attempted to take over Germany by force, but he failed and was arrested. Once he was released from jail the economic depression in Germany was in full swing, and he used this to his advantage by creating a political campaign advertising nationalistic ideals. People were so desperate for the depression to let up that they were willing to overlook Hitlers more discriminatory tendencies (for example blaming Germany’s loss during WWI on Jews and other minorities), and consequently Hitler took power.

Meanwhile Japan was doing its best to invade China, and it was also attempting to expand its reach over the Pacific islands. This raised conflict, because at the time America was also trying to gain power over the islands. America was setting up its Pacific Defense Triangle, and to do this it needed power in the Philippines. Japan was also pushing for power in this area, and this lead to the two countries butting heads.

Fascism was spreading throughout much of Europe. Nazism continued gaining power in Germany, turning it into a near totalitarian country. Italy was also suffering heavy fascism under Mussolini, and Russia was full out nuts with totalitarianism violence and ethnic cleansing under Stalin. These factors, combined with America and Japan feuding over the Philippines, were the perfect storm to spark another world war. So basically, WWII was created by a joint force of mass murder under the hands of dictators, peace treaties that humiliated Germany and left them bitter and spiteful, and a universal gluttony for ever expanding territories at the cost of their rightful owners.

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