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World War II (1939–1945)

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Study Questions & Essay Topics

Always use specific historical examples to support your arguments.

Study Questions

Compare the roles of Germany and Japan during World War II. Generally speaking, were their aggressions fundamentally similar or fundamentally different?

The respective roles of Germany and Japan in the initiation and escalation of World War II seem similar on the surface—a combination of economic ambition and racist ideology. However, the countries’ root motivations and the ways in which they were expressed were fundamentally different.

Both Germany and Japan engaged in large-scale territorial conquests in the years leading up to World War II. Hitler and other Nazi officials in Germany advocated the concept of lebensraum, the natural “living space” required by what they considered the racially superior German people. Under this doctrine, Hitler claimed openly that German territory needed to be expanded through conquest of surrounding nations. Though some of Japan’s leaders held similar beliefs in the racial superiority of the Japanese people, they also had concrete motivations for territorial expansion: Japan’s population was growing too large for the confines of the Japanese islands, and colonial holdings in Asia were arguably becoming necessary to feed and clothe the Japanese people.

Also, Japan’s economic problems were far more severe than Germany’s. Although the German people were indeed humiliated by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, Germany actually ended up not paying the bulk of the economic reparations that the treaty demanded. Rather, Hitler channeled the German people’s resentment to fuel his own schemes. Japan, however, though a victor in World War I, suffered when the United States and several European nations imposed high tariffs and blocked industrial imports. As a result, many Japanese people began to believe that whites were hostile to the idea of a developed non-white nation.

In response, Japan’s leaders asserted the superiority of their people and tried to change Japan into a colonial power itself, rather than a colonial subject. They therefore invaded and attempted to “develop” other Asian countries, including China and Korea. However, though Japanese policies in these countries were sometimes brutal, and often motivated by ideas of racial superiority, they were a far cry from the overtly genocidal goals of the Nazi death camps.

Ultimately, whereas Japan’s racist ideology and territorial ambitions grew as a result of real economic problems and Western exclusion, Hitler used Germany’s alleged economic woes and residual resentment from the Treaty of Versailles to promote his own racist ideas and premeditated plan to expand Germany’s borders.

Consider the role of technology during World War II. Did it fundamentally affect the outcome of the war? If so, how? If not, why not?

World War II saw the new application of many new technologies by military forces on all sides of the conflict, and some of them had a profound impact on the war. The airplane in particular became a fundamental instrument of war and changed the way many battles were fought. Much the same may be said of the aircraft carrier, which became crucial to the United States after so many of its battleships were lost at Pearl Harbor. As a result of these developments, the Battle of Britain in 1940 marked the first time in history when air power alone determined the course of a major battle, and the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942 was the first naval battle in history fought exclusively in the air, by carrier-based planes. Both sides also realized the effectiveness of radar as a way of warning against approaching enemy planes. Germany experimented with new missile technologies as well as both jet- and rocket-powered aircraft, but none of these projects was perfected in time to change the outcome of the war.

Although the majority of these new technologies had an effect on the war, they generally were created by one side in response to similar technologies being developed by the other side—the net effect of which was to balance out the new power these technologies offered. The notable exception was the atomic bomb, which the United States developed in secret from 1942 to 1945 and which Japan had no way to counter at the time. Indeed, Japan declared its surrender just days after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 . Even today, however, historians debate whether the atomic bomb changed the outcome of the war, as Japan may have been already very close to surrendering.

Explain Germany’s mistakes in Russia and the ways in which they affected the outcome of the war.

Most historians concur that Hitler’s decision to invade the Soviet Union was one of the primary causes of Germany’s ultimate defeat. By invading the USSR, Germany made essentially the same mistake that Japan made by expanding so far across the Pacific. The huge expanse of the Soviet Union and the vast distances between its major cities required an enormous German invasion force. Despite this geographical challenge, Hitler assumed that Operation Barbarossa would take only six months, expecting Russia to capitulate rapidly after the shock of Germany’s initial, devastating attack. When events transpired differently, the German forces were faced with an enormous challenge, as their forces were dispersed and poorly equipped to deal with the brutal Russian winter. Russian soldiers and civilians, conversely, had plenty of room to retreat east when necessary, which caused the pursuing Germans to extend their supply lines so far that they were unable to maintain them. It was under these conditions that the Germans had to fight the massive battles of Stalingrad and Kursk. After the Germans lost both of these battles, they were no longer capable of maintaining their position and were forced to retreat to the west. Within a matter of months, the pursuing Red Army had pushed the Germans back through eastern Europe and toward a last stand on their home turf, which was the beginning of the end of the Nazi empire.

Suggested Essay Topics

1 . How and why was Germany allowed to annex Austria and the Sudetenland? Was there any justification for Britain and France’s policy of appeasement?

2 . Discuss the role that Italy played in World War II. How did the nation become involved in the conflict? How did its participation affect the direction of the war and Germany’s fortunes?

3 . Discuss the issues surrounding the United States’ decision to use atomic bombs against Japan. What motives were behind this action, and what arguments have been made against it?

4 . Explain how the situation in Europe immediately following the fall of Germany led directly to the Cold War. In your opinion, should the Western Allies have acted to oppose Soviet domination of Eastern Europe?

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World War I (1914–1919)

History SparkNotes

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Study Questions & Essay Topics

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Study Questions & Essay Topics

Study Questions & Essay Topics

Always use specific historical examples to support your arguments.

Study Questions

World War I has often been described as an “unnecessary war.” Why? Do you agree?

World War I has been called unnecessary because the original dispute that triggered the conflict was limited, yet it triggered a massive, global war. In short, the conflict stemmed merely from Austria-Hungary and Serbia’s disagreement over how to handle the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand: the Austro-Hungarian government believed that the Serbian government was connected with the assassination and therefore demanded to be involved in the investigation and judicial process within Serbia. No other countries had a direct interest in the matter. Russia and Germany were the next to get involved, not because of animosity toward each other but because of their intentions to protect Serbia and Austria-Hungary, respectively. France, Britain, and the Ottoman Empire had even less interest in the matter. Thus, one could argue that much of the war could have been avoided if Russia and Germany had simply kept out of the matter.

On the other hand, real tensions existed among many of the principal nations prior to the war, and these conflicting ambitions contributed to the war’s escalation. In particular, the naval arms race between Germany and Britain was intensifying, and growing German colonial ambitions raised the tension level further. Additionally, the spread of nationalism in southern Europe was destabilizing Austria-Hungary, making the country dangerously vulnerable to minority uprisings. Thus, many observers and strategists felt that an armed conflict between the European powers was inevitable; the disagreement over the archduke’s assassination simply provided a spark and an outlet.

2. What, if any, are the connections between the causes of the war in 1914 and the reasons that the war was still going on in 1918 ?

In many ways, World War I in mid- 1914 and World War I in mid- 1918 are unrelated. What started as a local conflict over a political assassination had become an unbelievable bloodbath: the Indian troops fighting in Mesopotamia, the Australians fighting in Gallipoli, and the Americans fighting in France had little invested in the conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. The same was largely true at the government level in many of the warring nations. For the Allied Powers, the fight was mostly about Germany, not Austria-Hungary. By 1918 , those who were still fighting were doing so because they could not find a way to stop without facing unacceptable losses.

On the other hand, some of the roots of the original conflict—factors that predated Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination—were still present and still unresolved. Nationalism, which was spreading rapidly through southern and eastern Europe, became the major cause of mutinies in the Austro-Hungarian army. Ultimately, these mutinies caused Austria-Hungary’s collapse, isolating Germany and helping bring about the war’s end. Thus, one could argue that the same problem that had started the war was at least partly responsible for ending it.

Consider the role of diplomacy in World War I. How was it a positive influence? How was it a negative one?

Although diplomacy traditionally is used to prevent armed conflicts from happening, in the case of World War I, it in many ways played the opposite role, whether intended or not. Few of the combatant nations in World War I were directly interested in the disputes between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, and in many cases they became involved only because of treaties obligating them to defend other countries. Although some of these treaties were publicly known, many had been made in secret, preventing potential enemies from ascertaining the consequences of their actions.

This opaqueness of diplomacy was arguably one of the main factors that led Germany to make such aggressive moves early in the war, as many German leaders believed that Britain would never enter the war against them. Russia likewise pursued a number of secret treaties and agreements both before and during the war. Italy even went so far as to shop around secretly when trying to decide which side offered the greatest potential benefits. Ultimately, these secret diplomatic maneuverings escalated the war to catastrophic levels. As a result, one of President Wilson’s Fourteen Points policy was that henceforth, all treaties and trade agreements between nations be held with full public disclosure.

Suggested Essay Topics

1 . What is trench warfare, and why was so much of World War I dominated by this method of fighting? Consider such elements as technology, strategy, attitudes of leaders, and any other factors you can think of. How did trench warfare affect the duration of the war?

2 . After the war, Germany was punished much more severely than were the remnants of Austria-Hungary. Do you think this was reasonable? In your answer, consider the roles each country shared in starting and escalating the war. Also consider the roles of Serbia and Russia.

3 . How did the use of new technologies during World War I influence the war? Which sides benefited the most from which technologies? Did any of them play a role in either lengthening or in shortening the war? Which technologies were the most important?

4 . Discuss the U.S. policy on American troops serving in Europe during World War I. Why do you think American commanders were hesitant to allow U.S. soldiers to serve in British and French regiments? What effect did this policy have on America’s relations with the other Allied countries?

5 . What was the Schlieffen Plan and why was it unsuccessful during World War I?

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Ww2 essay questions

Welcome. This website aims to enhance insight of interesting and exciting World War 2 topics. Instead of over-detailed or too technical essays, its focus is presenting and explaining why and how things happened the way they did in World War 2, with a better perspective of when they happened during that war. It’s more useful and interesting to learn about World War 2 that way.

Sections: Strategy , Battles , Weapons , People , Intelligence

The "Big picture" perspective of the strategy and war effort of the warring nations in World War 2.

  • World War 2 summary – brief answers to the key questions about World War 2.
  • World War 2 casualties – insights, and statistics by country.
  • Causes of World War 2 – the root causes of World War 2.
  • The biggest mistakes – the alternative decisions which could dramatically change the course of the war.
  • When did Hitler lose the war – an attempt to mark the time when Adolf Hitler lost the chance to win World War 2.
  • The turning points of World War 2 – a list of the great strategic turning points of the war.
  • Russia in World War 2 – the great war plan, preparations, collapse, and recovery – a revised view.
  • Timeline – the main events timeline, before and during the war.

Battles and operations

The dramatic battles and operations, from vast campaigns to small but important raids, in land, at sea, and in the air, that decided the outcome of World War 2.

  • The Battle of Britain – the key causes for the German defeat in the Battle of Britain.
  • Kursk – the greatest tank battle of the war, and the last major German offensive in the East.
  • Stalingrad – the German army’s greatest defeat, and a major turning point of the war.
  • Midway – in this battle of aircraft carriers, Japan lost the initiative in the Pacific.
  • Blitzkrieg – the German tactic of rapidly advancing tank forces and massive air support.
  • Dambusters – the daring special air attack on German dams, using bouncing bombs.
  • Doolittle’s raid – America’s first air raid over Japan, that hit Tokyo in total surprise.

From the ancient spear, to today’s GPS-guided bomb, many wars saw the appearance of new weapons based on amazing technologies, but none saw such a dramatic and diverse flow of exciting new scientific developments and new weapons as World War 2. During six years of war, the most scientifically advanced nations recruited the best minds and enormous resources to an unprecedented arms race.

Land weapons:

  • Infantry weapons – rifles, sub machine guns, pistols, and other weapons.
  • T-34 – simply the best main battle tank of World War 2.
  • M4 Sherman – the main American tank. It won by numbers.
  • German tanks – Panzers, the German tanks which stormed Europe.
  • Tiger – the most formidable German tank. Lethal, heavy, and almost indestructible.

Airplanes and air weapons:

  • Bombers – the strategic weapons that struck at the enemy’s heart.
  • De Havilland Mosquito – the most versatile and successful allied aircraft.
  • Fallschirmjager – the German paratroopers and their combat operations.
  • Fieseler Storch – the first true short take-off and landing aircraft.
  • Kamikaze pilots – suicide warfare in World War 2, and its military and cultural rationale.
  • The Manhattan Project – the making of the atomic bomb.
  • Messerschmitt Me-262 – the world’s first operational jet fighter.
  • P-51 Mustang – the American long range fighter which defeated the Luftwaffe over Germany.
  • RADAR – the technology which revolutionized air and naval warfare.
  • Stuka dive bomber – the airborne element of the German Blitzkrieg weapons.

Ships and naval weapons:

  • Submarines – they almost defeated Britain, and paralyzed Japan. Also about frogmen and human torpedoes.
  • PT boats, Torpedo boats – The fast night raiders of the sea.

Leaders, Generals, Heroes

Despite the mobilization of millions, individual people greatly affected the course and outcome of wars. National leaders, Generals and Admirals, aces and heroes, and brilliant scientists.

  • Leaders – a complete list of the national leaders of the countries which participated in World War 2 .
  • German Field Marshals – a chronological review of the German field marshals of World War 2.
  • Heinrich Himmler – the power-hungry head of the Nazi SS.
  • Adolf Hitler – founder of Nazism, dictator of Germany 1933-1945. The ultimate aggressor and the ultimate evil.
  • Joseph Goebbels – the Nazi propaganda master.
  • Hermann Goering – Adolf Hitler’s brutal and greedy deputy, and head of the Luftwaffe.

  • Medal of Honor – the highest U.S. military decoration.
  • George Patton – the master of mobile warfare.

  • Knight’s Cross – the medal awarded to Germany’s greater heroes and commanders, and its recipients.
  • Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto – Japan’s best Admiral, who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • Otto Skorzeny – Germany’s commando leader, nicknamed "The most dangerous man in Europe".
  • Erich Hartmann – a young German fighter pilot who became the highest scoring ace in history, with 352 victories.
  • Hans Joachim Marseille – the most amazing fighter pilot of World War 2 .
  • Quotes – a few selected wartime quotes which are still very meaningful today.
  • Intelligence

    In World War 2, military intelligence dramatically advanced. The use of new scientific methods and technologies, as well as great human efforts involving endless work, great risks, and brilliant thinking, made intelligence become an equally important part of the armed forces, a crucial element for victory.

    • Enigma – the German military cipher machine, and the allied efforts to break its code.
    • Luftwaffe bomber wing KG 200 – this top secret unit flew the most special missions with the most special aircraft.
    • Navajo code talkers – American-Indian Marines who used their complex native language to form an unbreakable code.

    Military Theory

    How to fight? How to win? – the following essays answer these questions, and provide many concrete examples from World War 2.

    • The principles of war – the timeless rules of thumb for fighting, strategy, and tactics.
    • The mechanisms of defeat – the various material and psychological ways to achieve victory.


    Every college or university student is required to write a research paper during the academic career. As with the norm, the course instructors may provide a student with a subject and ask them to select a topic of their choice and discuss it in the essay. Your course tutor may ask you to write about World War II as an assignment. This is an extremely broad subject, and it can be difficult to narrow down to a specific topic for your essay. The truth is that they are many topics you can base your essay on.

    Some scholars focus on how and when the events took place during World War 2. Alternatively, they are others that solely focus on the timeline before and after WW2 happenings. In the same way, students can also select topics on World War 2 based on tactical strategies that led to important developments or historical changes. There were a lot of events that happened during World War 2 including battles, operations, vast campaigns as well as crucial raids like Stalingrad, Blitzkrieg plan, Kursk and Doolittle’s raid. All these events affected the course of the war. A student can concentrate on these topics when writing a research paper on World War II.

    The best way to come up with topics on World War 2 is through brainstorming and writing down a list of phrases, words or related questions. Students can base their essay topics about World War 2 by relating to the battled techniques employed during the war, or the weapons used – such as naval weapons, land weapons, and air weapons. Similarly, the topic can be based on heroes, leaders, admirals and generals who greatly influenced the series of events that took place during the war. Moreover, WW2 topics can include information on military intelligence – that is, how soldiers used analytical intelligence and scientific technologies to attain victory. Here are several potential topics that you can discuss in your World War II essay:

    1. When did the United States of America join the WW2?
    2. Which Historic Cities and Sites Destroyed during the World War 2?
    3. How Did Mediums of Communication like Radio influence major Events?
    4. Did World War 2 Have any Impact on Domestic Violence?
    5. What was the Impact of WWII on the Economy of Countries that Participated?
    6. What were the Major Causes of WWII?
    7. The Effect of Food Rationing During World War II.
    8. How Military Intelligence Impacted WW2.
    9. Did World War 2 lead to the Emergence of New Vocabulary?
    10. Did World War II Give Rise to Any Medical Developments?

    Origins of World War II, 1919-41

    School Certificateand NCEA Essay Questions

    Origins of WorldWar II

    Why did the major European Fascist Powers carry out the policies of expansion in Europe in the 1930’s?

    What was the result of these by the end of 1939?

    How did the League of Nations propose to maintain peace?

    Why did it fail in the 1920’s and 30’s?

    What attempts and agreements were made by nations to preserve peace between 1922 and 1932?

    What were the weaknesses of these agreements?

    Show how Japan’s actions, 1930-1941, led to its entry into WW II.

    Why did the entry of the USA and the USSR into the war in 1941 pose a threat to the Axis Powers?

    In what ways did the Treaty of Versailles aim to reduce Germany’s strength?

    Why were other agreements to assist peace and security made 1920-1930?

    What events, 1931-1937, led to disagreement between nations?

    Why did Britain and France follow the policy of appeasement at The Munich Conference 1938?

    What efforts were made by the major powers to avoid war in the 1920s?

    Why were there threats to world peace by 1931?

    Why did Adolf Hitler and the Germans object to the Treaty of Versailles?

    In what ways did Hitler’s foreign policies upset international relations in Europe 1938-1941?

    Why was the League of Nations set up?

    What were the major weaknesses and failures of the League of Nations?

    Why did some countries adopt a policy of appeasement in the 1930s?

    How did the aggressive powers take advantage of appeasement 1935-1938?

    Why did the Fascist powers adopt aggressive foreign policies in the 1930s?

    How was this shown during the period 1931-1937?

    What aspects of the Treaty of Versailles caused bitterness in Germany after WW I?

    In what ways did Adolf Hitler fail to keep to the terms of the Treaty between 1933 and 1938?

    How did Hitler’s actions in 1938 and 1939 lead to the outbreak of war?

    What was the extent of Axis success by 1941?

    Why did the peace settlement after WW I cause ill feeling between Germany and the Allies?

    In what ways did relationships between European countries improve between 1924 and 1929?

    What aggressive actions threatened peace in Europe and Asia between 1930 and 1937?

    How did the League of Nations attempt to deal with these challenges?

    In what ways did major countries attempt to deal with international aggression from 1936 to 1941?

    Describe the successes of German and Japanese aggression in this period.

    Describe how the countries of Europe tried to secure peace throughout the 1920s.

    What weaknesses were there in their attempts to establish a permanent peace during this time?

    For what reasons did European nations become involved in war during the period 1937 to 1939?

    Describe how European conflict in 1939 spread into a world war by the end of 1941

    Describe international agreements that were signed in the 1930s.

    How did these agreements help to cause World War II?

    What attempts were made to restore and maintain peace after WWI, 1919-1920?

    How did people and countries react to these attempts to restore and maintain peace up to 1930?

    Describe actions by Germany in 1938 and 1939 that contributed to the outbreak of war.

    Outline ways in which the war was widened by the actions of the Axis powers by the end of 1941.

    In what ways did the terms of the Treaty of Versailles cause German anger?

    What measures were taken in the period 1920–1929 to maintain peace?

    What events in Europe from 1937 to 1939 led to the outbreak of war in 1939?

    How did the war spread between 1939 and 1941?

    What actions by aggressive powers increased tension in Europe and Asia between 1931 and 1937?

    How did the League of Nations and other countries respond to these actions?

    How did the countries of Europe seek to avoid war during the 1930s?

    Why did war break out in Europe in September 1939?

    What measures were taken in 1919 and 1920 to help restore and maintain peace after World War I?

    How did countries respond to these measures up to 1924?

    What aggressive actions by European and Asian nations threatened world peace between 1930 and 1937?

    How did nations and organisations respond to these aggressive actions?

    What aspects of the Treaty of Versailles caused bitterness in Germany after World War I?

    How did Adolf Hitler fail to keep to the terms of the treaty between 1933 and 1938?

    Essay: Causes of World War 2

    Out of all the wars that the world has gone through, none has been more devastating as world war II. But what caused this war? Well, world war II had six major causes: anger over the Versailles Treaty, the failure of peace efforts after world war I, the rise of Fascism, the goals of Hitler, the isolationism by America and Britain, and the re-armament of Europe. This paper will go over each of these causes individually and then draw some conclusions about world war II.

    The first cause of world war II was the intense anger over the Versailles Treaty. Germany was very angry over two things and the first of which was the many territorial losses they had to endure as a result of the treaty. They lost two cities on the French-German border and as per Wilson’s thirteenth point Poland was re-formed with access to the Baltic Sea, which went right through Germany. Giving Poland Sea access split Germany into two parts, the main part of Germany, and a small portion to the North of the Danzig corridor. The Danzig corridor really inflamed Germany for many years, but they really could not do anything about the situation because they lost world war I. Another country that was angry over the Versailles Treaty was Italy. They were angry because they thought that the land that they had received as a payment for their participation in the Allied effort against Germany did not offset the cost of the war, nor did it satisfy their ambitions to grow. The final country that was angry over the Versailles Treaty was Japan. They were also a victor over Germany and they wanted to gain control over China as reward for their participation in the war. This, however, did not happen and they were angry over the situation.

    The second cause of world war II was the failure of the many peace efforts that occurred after world war I. The League of Nations, which was one of Wilson’s fourteen points and part of the Versailles Treaty, was a forum in which nations could settle their disputes with one another. The problem was that the League did not have any real power. The only thing it could do was try to persuade the offending nation to concede and if that did not work out they could impose economic sanctions on that country. But the league had so little power that the sanctions it passed were normally ignored and it could do nothing from that point on. Another failed peace effort was the Washington Conference. At this conference the principal naval powers agreed to limit their navies according to a fixed ratio. But again none of the powers really went through with their agreement. Yet another failed peace effort was the Locarno Conference. This conference produced a treaty between France and Germany stating that the border between the two countries was guaranteed. However, we know that this treaty failed because Germany invaded France during world war II. The final failed peace effort was the Paris Peace Act. At this conference all of the major countries, excluding Russia, and many smaller countries agreed that war was not a national policy and stated that they would try to resolve problems through diplomatic means. The only way that war was acceptable in this act was by means of self-defense. These did not directly cause world war II, but they made it possible by their obvious lack of power. Countries still did not trust each other enough to follow through with the good ideas that they had.

    The third cause of world war II was the rise of Fascism. Fascism was a movement that began before world war I, but did not become a serious political power until Benito Mussolini took control of the Italian government in 1922. Under Mussolini Italy became a Totalitarian government where labor unions were abolished and political opponents were killed or silenced. This caused many things to happen to Italy’s social and economic problems. The first of these problems was the lowered living standard of the Italian people. The people lost their eight hour work day protection and their wages were lowered by the government. Mussolini acknowledged that the living standard had gone down, but explained it by saying that the Italian people were not used to eating much anyway, so they would not feel the lack of food as badly as others. Another thing the Fascist government caused was an increased birthrate in Italy. Mussolini wanted women to have more children so that he could create a larger army in the future. In this way he felt that he could have a large army by the time he was ready to go to war for more land. Mussolini used tactics much like the communists in that he had total control over all of the Italian population and could have people killed whenever he wanted. Italy, however, was not the only country to fall under Fascism. Germany adopted this form of government only it was called national socialism. It’s leader was Adolf Hitler and it called itself the Nazi party. The Nazi party differed slightly from Mussolini’s government in that the Nazi’s were more racist and believed that it was their destiny to make the world subject to the perfect German people. They were particularly hateful to the Jewish people, which was proven after they started to exterminate all of the Jews within central Europe after world war II started. These events did not directly cause world war II, but they brought us to the brink of war. People that listened to these dictators believed that these men could bring them to world domination.

    The fourth cause of world war II was the goal’s of the German dictator, Hitler. He had a vision of the German people becoming a master race and dominating the entire world, but he also knew that he could not achieve all this during the war he intended to start. He, however, had two major goals which was to bring all of central Europe together and form a larger Germany and to create more room for Germany to grow by taking over Poland. His first move was to test the other European powers by inserting troops into Germany’s coal mining area next to France. This was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles and Hitler wanted to see how far he could push his adversaries before they would strike back. If Britain had not been so passive to Hitler they might have stopped this war before it ever started. They, however, allowed Hitler to do this because they did not want to start another war. Hitler then pushed the European powers further and further until he invaded Poland and Europe had no choice but to react.

    The fifth cause of world war II was American and British isolationism. After world war I America turned away from Europe and went back to its domestic problems. The American people did not want anything to do with European affairs because many of the debts that were accrued during the war were not being paid and Americans were very bitter. Britain also turned to its domestic problems and did not want to interfere in Continental Europe’s problems. If one or both of these countries had attempted to stop Hitler when he first came into power he probably would have been thrown out of office and world war II might have been prevented.

    The final cause of world war II was a direct result from all of the previous causes, and that is the rearmament of all the European powers. Tensions started to increase as Hitler tested the European powers and most if not all countries began to increase their armies and navies. This brought war closer because it meant that the government leaders were prepared to use force to resolve the problems that Hitler was causing, and it raised tensions even higher than they already were.

    In conclusion, world war II was not an extension of world war I, but world war I was a big cause of world war II. Most of the causes of world war II came out of the Treaty of Versailles, and if that treaty had been better there might not have been world war II. Nevertheless, world war II happened and we can only learn from the mistakes we see from the past.

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