World War Ii Dbq

Topics: World War 1

World War II DBQ After the deaths of 37,508,686 soldiers by the end of World War I, Europe was a mess. Countries had been dissolved and rearranged, governments had fallen and been replaced, and economies were thriving then crashing, all as a result from World War I. One of the main goals at the end of World War I was to prevent another tragedy like World War I from happening again. Clearly that did not happen, as World War II still happened, causing over 50 million deaths.

The repercussions of World War I caused World War II due to radical ideology, bad economic conditions, and nationalism to the point of extremity.

The rise of Fascism in Italy contributed to World War II because of it’s militaristic and nationalistic nature. When the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, Italy, which had suffered 2,197,000 soldiers either wounded or killed, but claimed to not get the territory or status that it deserved. This caused parliamentary instability within Italy, which gave Benito Mussolini a place to promote a form of government that would provide a scapegoat of the political and economic chaos in Italy, Fascism.

One of the main goals that fascism promised to the people is the “conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. ” (Document #7). Depending on how dedicated the people were to the state determined their status. This pressure that was placed upon nationalism was not new in Europe, for the beginning of Germany’s movement to National Socialism, or Nazism, was beginning in the 1920’s, and on October 28, 1922, Il Duche and his Fascist followers did the March on Rome, and on November 9, 1923, the Beer Hall Putsch was Hitler’s attempt at a revolution, attempting to seize power in Munich, Bavaria, and Germany.

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This militaristic and nationalistic form of government contributed to World War II, but Italy was not the only country in Europe with this radical political ideology. The rise of Nazism in Germany contributed to World War II because of it’s militaristic nature and going against the League of Nations and Treaty of Versailles. World War I left Germany a mess, both economically and politically. The Weimar Republic was set in place, and the War Guilt Clause which stated that “Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to… the Allied and Associated Governments… ” (Document #1).

Aside from having to accept the charges from all of the damage done in the war, “The provinces of Posen and almost the whole of West Prussia are to be separated from the German Empire… ” (Document #2). Much like the economy of Italy, Germany’s economy was in a slump, with a 26% unemployment rate. This terrible economy along with the increased number of Germans disliking the Weimar Republic allowed Adolf Hitler, a failed artist, to rise up. Hitler’s political system of National Socialism, or Nazism, promised the German people a way out of their economic hardships and to make Germany rise as a world power once again.

Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany in 1933 by democratic means. His votes, mainly by farmers, small businessmen, civil servants and young people made Nazi party the most popular in the country. When President Paul von Hindenburg invited Hitler to form a government, Hitler persuaded von Hindenburg that Germany was on the verge of a Communist revolution, so the emergency laws would have to be in place. Once the emergency laws, which allowed a dictatorship, were established, the Nazi party was able to gain full power in Germany.

Much like the Fascist Italy, this form of radical ideology was a major contributor, to World War II, along with the crimes against the League of Nations. Germany’s invasion of territories lost during World War I and Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 against the League of Nations contributed to the cause of World War II. One of the first actions taken by Hitler was to regain all of the territories that were taken away as a result of the Treaty of Versailles, which was directly against what the Treaty of Versailles said.

The British found out about Hitler “reoccupying the Rhineland” (Document #9),a direct violation against the League of Nations. Woodrow Wilson, the President of the United States in 1918, proposed the idea of an international peace-keeping organization in his 14 Points speech. Germany was allowed to join the League of Nations through the Treaty of Locarno in 1925, in hopes that this organization would be able to help prevent any future world wars. Another violation of the League of Nations was Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935.

In World War I, Italy started out fighting on the side of the Germans and the Austrians and switched sides halfway through the war. The invasion of Ethiopia was a direct violation of Article X of the League of Nations, because not only was Ethiopia a member of the League of Nations, but the invasion resulted in the Italo-Ethiopian War, which started in October of 1935, right after Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia. The Italians violated the rules of the League of Nations, but Germany also violated the Treaty of Versailles.

Due to Germany taking back the colonies lost after World War I and forming an alliance with Austria, Germany’s actions against the Treaty of Versailles contributed to the cause of World War II. After Germany got slapped with a $33 Billion dollar war reparation bill and Kaiser Wilhelm was removed from power, Germany was a mess, which allowed the rise of Hitler. Hitler, being a former Iron Cross winning “Gefreiter”, or Private First Class in World War I, believed that Germany was forced into signing the Treaty of Versailles.

The bitterness he held facing the Treaty of Versailles continued on throughout his leadership, which is why some of the first places that he attacked were those that had been lost during World War I, such as the Rhinelands, which “was a complete reoccupation,… not merely an attempt at remilitarization, but actual and complete remilitarization… ”(Document #10). Another restriction that was placed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles was the prevention of an alliance with Austria. After World War I, Austria-Hungary was dissolved into Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, and parts of it into Italy and Poland.

The Treaty of Versailles was created by the Big 4- David Lloyd George of England, George Clemenceau of France, Woodrow Wilson of the United States and Vittorio Orlando of Italy, although Orlando was frequently on the sidelines. Even the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain says that “His Majesty’s Government were not within their rights in interesting themselves in the independence of Austria… ”(Document #11). Radical ideology throughout Europe in the 1920’s and 30’s was a major player in World War II, but bad economic conditions helped to cause the bloodiest war in history.

The high unemployment rate and high inflation contributed to the cause of World War II. When the Weimar Republic was installed in Germany in 1919, Germany along with the rest of the world was producing goods at a war-like rate. When a country produces goods like this for so long, “the vast expenditures of the war, the inflation of prices and the depreciation of currency,… ”(Document #3) cause a country to go into a depression. When the Weimar Republic was ending it’s 14 year stand to Hitler and Nazism, the unemployment rate was 26%.

This was reflected in the proletariats, or the non-working class in this case because “Whole families… had piled all their goods into baby carriages and wheelbarrows that they were pushing along as they plodded forward in a dumb despair. ”(Document #8). Even the Great Depression in the United States in 1929 only got to 25% unemployed. The Depression in the United States caused problems in Germany, with a decline in industrial production of over 30%, and in 1933, the percentage of workers that were unemployed in 1933 hit 36. 2%, or 9 out of every 25 people was unemployed.

Between January of 1933 and January of 1939, the total number of people unemployed went from 6 million to 302,000, or a 5, 698,000 person difference. This number kept on decreasing, but it is not the pure cause of the Nazism government. Between women not being needed in the working force after World War I, Jews losing their citizenship in 1935 and the young men that were needed for World War II in 1939, there were less people involved in the work force to begin with.

Between German housewives using Reichmarks to burn instead of wood and “an almost unbroken chain of homeless men extends the whole length of the great Hamburg-Berlin highway… (Document #8), paying for the damages Germany had caused was not on the top of their list. The $33 billion dollar war reparation Germany had to pay in response to World War I was a major contributor to World War II. One of the main problems that Germany encountered was a $33 billion dollar war reparation that was a part of the Treaty of Versailles. However, since Germany had just lost a major world war, Germany did not have the means to pay back Britain and France right away. In fact, Germany wouldn’t finish paying back the debts until October of 2010.

Germany’s economy was already down the drain which could already lead to a “rapid depression of the standard of life of the European populations to a point which will mean actual starvation for some… ”(Document #3). Britain and France were dependent on Germany to pay back the $33 billion to help kick start their own economies. The British and the French were paying the United States who were funneling to Germany, so when Germany was not able to pay up, it lead to a worldwide economic crisis, not just German.

The Germans already agreed to “make compensation for all damage done to the civilian population of the Allied and Associated Powers and to their property… ”(Document #1). Aside from the support from the United States, Russia, with it’s New Economic Policy installed by Joseph Stalin, or Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, was also able to loan money to Germany. Germany was also spending close to $30 billion dollars every year, which certainly does not help the economy. he Reichmark losing worth by the hour was not the sole cause of World War II, the colorful signs of propaganda and the emphasis on nationalism contributed as well. The pull of propaganda and the fear to not be nationalistic contributed to the cause of World War II. Nationalism and pride for one’s country is present in every country: waving the flag, singing the national anthem, etc. However, once your status in the government is being decided by your dedication to your country and citizens are being taught that “all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State… (Document #7), pride for your country becomes an understatement. In Germany, colorful signs coated the streets of Berlin varying from the bomb shelters of England with Churchill scratching off the cities that had been bombed to a giant monster with a sword in it’s tongue, representing the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. These signs promoting war had a great effect on children, who were writing about how “war gives them the opportunity to develop their talents. Without war the world would have fewer great men… ”(Document #6).

Hitler Youth was created to appeal to the German children. It was considered useless to stay at home and do nothing because “it is sweet to die for the Fatherland. The dead of the enemy live in the memory of the victor. ”(Document #6). Certainly flashy posters and appealing to children wasn’t the only reason why World War II happened, but creating the ideal German race certainly did help. Germany’s blaming of the non-Aryans to use as a scapegoat from the problems of World War I contributed to the cause of World War II. The Aryans are by definition, not a race.

They are just a person that spoke and Indo-European language. However, Hitler believed that there was and ideal German race, and “what we see before us of human culture today, the results of art, science, and techniques, is almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan… ”(Document #4). This ideal race, which Hitler himself did not even fit, had blonde hair and blue eyes. Hitler never wanted to father a child because he felt that he was not able to produce one of the ideal race because his nose was too “Jewish” looking.

Hitler believed that a Jew was the complete opposite to the Aryan. The only way that would be able to stop these non-Aryans from destroying the culture was to eliminate them so “never again can its consequences be removed from the body and the mind. ”(Document #4). During the Holocaust, or the Nazi’s systematic genocide of the non-Aryan people (Jews, Communist, homosexuals, Gypsies, etc. ), Hitler eliminated close to 2/3 of Europe’s Jewish population, almost 6 million, and in total the number of Holocaust victims was between 11 and 17 million people.

With the total death count of 56, 125,262, and the estimated number of people serving racking in at 1. 9 billion people, World War II was the bloodiest war the world has ever seen. The consequences of World War I caused World War II because of radical ideology, bad economic conditions, and nationalism to the point of extremity. Hitler is now buried under a garbage dump in what used to be East Germany, and as far as history knows, we’ve done a pretty good job preventing World War III so far. “A people free to choose will always choose peace. ”- President Ronald Regean.

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World War Ii Dbq
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