The cause of world war II from The History.com
in Sept, 1939 when Britain and France declared war on Germany following Germany’s invasion of Poland.
After WWI, in 1919, Lloyd George of England and Clemenceau of France and Woodrow Wilson from the US met to discuss. Germany had to sign the treaty based on Wilson’s 14 points and were not happy with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. However, Germany could not pay for the fee. It was a lot of money, and Germany was poor with a high inflation.
became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933. In 1934, he increased the size of army, weapons, and start to build warships and created a German air force.
Although Britain and France were aware of Hitler’s actions, they were also worried about Communism and believed that a stronger Germany might help to prevent the spread of Communism to the West. Hitler made two important allies during 1936. First was through Axis Pact with Italy. Mussolini’s Italy. The second was called the Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan.
In 1938, German troops marched into Austria to take the land back.
The results of the vote were fixed and shows that 99% of Austrian people wanted to be part of Germany. The Austrian leader asked Britain, France and Italy for aid. Hitler promised that it is to be the end of his expansionist aims and not wanting to risk war, the other countries did nothing.
However, six months later Hitler asked for a part of the land from Czechoslovakia. The prime minister of Britain met with Hitler three times during September 1938 to try to reach an agreement that would prevent war. The Munich Agreement stated that Hitler could have the region of Czechoslovakia but not to invade the rest of the country.
Soon he invited the rest of Czechoslovakia. Despite calls for help from Czechoslovak government, neither Britain nor France was prepared to take military action against Hitler.
Now the next destination for Hitler was Poland, and this time both Britain and France promised that they would take military action against Hitler if he invaded Poland. Finally, German troops invaded Poland in 1939 1st Sept.
In May 1937, Chamberlain became Prime Minister of Britain. He believed that the Treaty of Versailles had treated Germany badly and that there were a number of issues associated with the Treaty that needed to be put right. He felt that giving in to Hitler’s demands would prevent another war. The Policy by Chamberlain is called as the policy of Appeasement. The most notable example of appeasement was the Munich Agreement of September 1938.
The Munich Agreement signed by the leaders of Germany, Britain, France and Italy agreed that Sudetenland would be returned to Germany and that no further territorial claims would be made by Germany. The Czech government was not invited to the conference and protested about the loss of the Sudetenland. They felt that they had been betrayed by Britain and France with whom alliances had been made. However, the Munich Agreement was generally viewed as a triumph and an excellent example of securing peace through negotiation rather than war.
When Hitler invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, he broke the terms of the Munich Agreement. Although it was realised that the policy of appeasement had failed. Chamberlain was still not prepared to take the country to war over.
Failure of the League of Nations
The League of Nations was an international organisation set up in 1919 to help keep world peace. It was intended that all countries would be members of the League and that if there were disputes, it would be settled by negotiation rather than by force. but ultimately it failed.
in 1920s, the whole world was hit by a depression. A depression is when a country’s economy falls. Trade is reduced, business lose income, prices fall and unemployment rises.
Japan in 1931 was hit badly by the depression. People lost faith in the government and turned to the army to find a solution. The army invaded China where had rich minerals and resources. China appealed to the League for help. The Japanese government were told to order the army to leave it, but the Japanese army continued to invade China.
Italy invited Abyssinia. The Abyssinians did not have the strength to withstand an attack by Italy and appealed to the League of Nations for help.
Four reasons why the league of nations failed: Not all countries joined the League: Germany was not allowed to join and Russia was also excluded due to a growing fear of Communism. The League had no power.
The League had no power. The main weapon of the League was to ask member countries to stop trading with an aggressive country. but due to the depression in the late 1920s and as the country still could trade with nonmember countries, it really did not matter.
The League had no army: soldiers were to be supplied by member countries.
The League had no army. Unable to act quickly. (met only four times a year, and decision had to be agreed by all nations.)