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World War II
Transcript of World War II
The United States*
Sides in the War
World War II
As we remember from WWI, the
Treaty of Versailles
effectively ended the Great War after four years of fighting.
The treaty also:
Put limits on the
of Germany's military
conquered imperial lands
The one positive element was the creation of the
League of Nations.
Made up of the world's nations, its main objective was to
encourage international cooperation
While generally considered a good idea at its start...
It had its fair share of
which made it ineffective in maintaining peace
No effective military force
No steps towards disarmament
No United States
No control of major conflicts
Come at me bro
There were enormous social and political consequences of prolonged economic collapse.
Unfair and bitter feelings from the Treaty of Versailles
Weak League of Nations
The Great Depression
Angry, desperate, revenge seeking Germans...
In such a damaged position, the German people were looking for two things: Someone to
blame for their problems
someone to lead them
and the Nazi Party
Hitler was a charismatic and powerful speaker, and he rose to power in 1933 promising to
restore German greatness
Hitler Promised to:
" or living space
Rebuild Germany's glorious
the Treaty of Versailles
Jews, communists, and capitalists
Hitler begins his aggression by invading the
in 1936, and annexing
(Anschluss) in 1938 which violates the Treaty of Versailles
Now instead of
for breaching the Treaty of Versailles, The French and the British
by giving in to German demands. This was the policy of
, the British prime minister who agreed with appeasement thought he had avoided war. He said, "
I believe it is peace for our time. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep
Winston Churchill however, a British politician, warned that giving into Hitler's demands would
ultimately lead to war
Was ist das?
So Neville Chamberlain flew all the way
in Germany, and struck an agreement with mister Hitler.
And so the
stated that in exchange for peace, the British and French forces would
overlook the Nazi advance
Now while Hitler was busy keeping the French and the British of his back, he was also
busy creating alliances
Fascist, and totalitarian regimes
While part of the Allied Powers during WWI, Italy decided to flip-flop
back to the dark side
. Led by
, the Italian nation became a
Like Hitler, Mussolini was a
who seized control of a nation weakened by the economic collapse.
The Japanese were also highly
, and aggressive in the Pacific East. Japan began
and taking over countries like
Manchuria, Korea, China, and the Philippines
So in 1939 Germany, Italy, and Japan sign a
, and pledge to aid each other in war. Their new alliance is called the
Hitler remembered how difficult it was to fight a
during WWI. So he forged a 10 year
and the Communists in Russia in August of 1939.
Everything was falling into place - Time for:
Looking to avoid slow
The Nazi's employ a military strategy called:
The point is lightning is fast, and so was the Nazi
invasion of Poland
. With that France and Britain
between air and ground forces to quickly overwhelm the enemy!
The Blitzkrieg began with air attacks by the
, or air force, to damage defenses and cause a panic
fast-moving tanks, infantry, and artillery
through the area. Poland and even France was easily, and quickly defeated!
With confidence and morale at an all time high, Hitler had plans to
increase the Lebenstraum, and take over the rest of Europe!
Ultimately people had
that the treaty would build a lasting peace. That life would return to normal after the terrible trauma of total war.
They were horribly wrong
Instead people were looking for ways to put meaning back into life during the
Age of Anxiety
The Storm has died away, and still we are restless, uneasy, as if the storm were about to break. Almost all the affairs of men remain in a terrible uncertainty. We think of what has disappeared, and we are almost destroyed by what has been destroyed; we do not know what will be born, and we fear the future, not without reason....Doubt and disorder are in us and with us. There is no thinking man, however shrewd or learned he may be, who can hope to dominate this anxiety, to escape from this impression of darkness.
- Paul Valery, "Crisis of the Mind" - 1920
The optimism of the Enlightenment was gone...
Germany was the key to future lasting peace, but the overt flaws of the Treaty of Versailles
represented a harsh, forced peace that needed immediate revision
. The German people languished against it, and demanded its temporary status.
Had astronomical reparations that would impoverish Germany for decades.
Soured already strained relations between Germany and the western world
This was a problem because prewar Germany was Great Britain's
second-largest economic market
. Also according to economist
John Maynard Keynes
, an impoverished Germany would also increase economic hardship in ALL countries
And because most of the war had been fought on French soil, the French had massive reconstructions costs, as well as staggering war debts to the US.
It was in French interests to HAMMER Germany, and stress the harsh elements of the treaty.
Germany was forced to pay
$20 Million Marks, or $5 Billion USD
. Most of this was payed for by borrowing money from New York investors, and the rest was payed in coal, chemicals, and other assets.
After WWII, they were forced to resume payments and the final installment of the repayment was made on:
October 3rd, 2010
Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire
In the wake of WWI, another international disaster struck terror into the hearts of nations:
The Great Depression
As you may be painfully aware, economic depressions are nothing new and are inherent in the business cycle of peaks and troughs.
The capital Gee-Great Depression on the other hand was unique in its ferocity and duration.
Life became insecure for
millions of ordinary people
who were originally oblivious to the intellectual crisis of the Age of Anxiety
The Crash was caused by:
Large inequalities of income
Dangerous stock market speculation
"Buying on Margin" - purchasing assets for a small fraction of the total price on borrowed money.
When prices dropped in 1929, concerned buyers began selling their stocks en masse, which created a financial panic.
Thousands lost all of their investments and life's savings in a matter of days.
This created a Domino Effect of economic hardships
Investors are stripped of Wealth and confidence
Citizens purchase and consume fewer commodities
Prices and production begins to fall
Factories began to fire workers which increases unemployment
Spiraling Decline of the Global Economy
Broke and in a panic, New York investors began recalling debts lent to foreign countries which forced gold reserves to flow out of Europe towards America.
Borrowing in Europe thus became increasingly difficult which triggered panicked Europeans into withdrawing all of their money from the banks
European banks and businesses promptly began to fail, which collapsed world prices, and trade
Consequences of Poverty
High infant mortality and annual death rate
Increased violent crime rate
Divorce rate doubles with couples in poverty
Increased alcohol and substance abuse
"Work and Bread," through public works programs
Germany began constructing superhighways, offices, sports stadiums, and public housing.
The German military began rearmament, and began preparing for war. These policies (and luck) dropped unemployment from 6 million to 1 million
While Mussolini was initially disturbed and threatened by the Nazis, Hitler's enthusiastic support of Italy's advances into Ethiopia created trust for the Nazis.
Japan's Sphere of Influence