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Why did international peace collapse by 1939?

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Thiago Soares

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Transcript of Why did international peace collapse by 1939?

by : Thiago Soares Why did international peace collapse by 1939? (Wikipedia)
Peace /pēs/

Freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. League Of Nations The Three Main Reasons For International Peace Collapse by 1939 What Is Fascism? Totalitarian Ideologies Economic Depressions The League of Nations was a union of countries around the world, aimed towards international peace. This intergovernmental organization first started when the First World War ended, in 1919 and declared officially over at the Paris Peace Conference. They strived towards world peace by the means of disarmament and collective security. They believed that by resolving things with words instead of violence (arbitration), they could successfully create a better world. Although they had the right idea in mind, they seemed to be ineffective to the point where countries were ignoring their orders and going into war. What Was the League Of Nations? On the 28th of June 1919, The First World War was officially over through the signing of a peace treaty. The treaty of Versailles was only one of the peace treaties signed to end World War I, but heavily contributed to the creation of the League of Nations. Although the armistice was signed on the 11th of November, 1918, which concluded the fighting, it took another six months for negotiations to finalize and the Paris Peace Conference to take place. The treaty of Versailles was made to end all of international war and it did so until 1939 when it all broke down and sparked the Second World War. Treaty of Versailles The largest economic depression of all times was sparked by the crash of the American Stock Market in the year of 1929. The Stock Market was fairly new to the American public and people dove in without the required prior knowledge. This was true not only for investors, but also for regular citizens who had their money in the bank. The way banks profit is by investing the money they have stored, which in 1929 was all invested in stocks. When the market crashed, the banks lost everyone’s money meaning nobody profited. As people had less and less money, they started to buy fewer things, meaning their companies produced less. This quickly raised the unemployment rate and left many American’s in tough financial situations. Money wasn’t flowing enough for the country to recover, so the United States decided to take drastic measures, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. This tariff was a tax increase on all imported goods from places like Europe whom depended on the American buyers. By trying to help themselves, the US failed to abandon the depression, and instead took Europe down with them. Stock Market Crash 1929 The United States (as mentioned) was in a great economic depression during the 1930’s. The unemployment rate for 1929, the year of the stock market crash, was only about 3.2%. It is safe to say that the US wasn’t in the red zone yet. This, however, rapidly changed because one year later the unemployment rate averaged at 8.9%. In the year of 1932 the Bank of the United States collapsed and the unemployment rate rose all the way up to 16.9%, and a stunning 24.9% in 1933. The US was major economic power which was affected by the great depression in many ways, similarly to countries in Europe. As stated before, the United States implemented the Smoot-Hawley Tariff which raised taxes on products being exported to the United States from foreign nations, mainly European ones. The US expected great results from this selfish act, but the changes were minor, in fact they suffered even more because it stopped all international trade bringing the whole world’s economy down into an abyss. Nations such as Germany, Austria, Netherlands, East Prussia (Germany) and Norway the unemployment rate rose to almost one third in the year of 1932. In Poland, Sweden, the UK, France, Belgium and Switzerland, it topped 15%. Japan struggled as well in these times, leading to the need of greater resources and the Manchurian Crisis. The great depression really did affect the whole world and led to the start of another global war. Unemployment Conclusion League of Nations Economic Depressions Totalitarian Ideologies Manchurian Crisis Much like many other countries, Japan was going through an economic crisis during the year of 1931 due to a tariff created by the United States raising taxes on all imported good from the Far East. As Japan suffered more and more sinking deeper into the depression, they needed a way to bail out their economy and employ their people. This solution was seen as geographical expansion to a Chinese province named Manchuria. While Japan already controlled Manchuria’s economy and railways (as well as natural resources such as coal and iron ore), they also desired the land for themselves. A railroad car was blown up and the Chinese government was blamed by Japan. This was an excuse to use military power to gain control over Manchuria. The rest of the world disagreed with Japan, but they did not seem to care. As all of this was happening the League of Nations was standing idly by providing no support to stop the invasion causing Japan to leave the league. The league showed to be ineffective once again which lead to greater tension between Japan and the Chinese. This later evolved into a much bigger conflict between Japan and China which overlapped World War II. A conference was held in Geneva, Italy in the year of 1932 to discuss means of international peace. The organizer of this conference was the League of Nations, and this was another attempt to end war. The name of the conference is self-explanatory; it was a discussion of general disarmament. This was similar to the Hague Conference (held in The Hague, Netherlands) with a similar idea, but neither of them showed to be effective. This thought of an ideal world without war was too far-fetched to put into practice. A lot of countries did not agree to the terms, and the ones who did negated to follow the rules. At first, nobody seemed to completely disagree with the idea, but countries continued to secretly develop arms and were always ready for war. Some nations did however agree to limit their armed forces such as the Navy, Air Force and Military. This strive for a Utopia by the League of Nations was ineffective and another reason to consider the League rather useless. This brought the image of the League of Nations down, and countries began to ignore future attempts of peace by the league. Disarmament Conference 1932 The League of Nations was a union created with an effort to bring global peace and end all wars. The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization created when the First World War was over in 1919 at the Paris Peace Conference. The United Nations is good example of a similar organization nowadays. Many great ideas for peace were brought up and attempts were made to implement them, but it seemed like the League just wasn’t doing enough. When the Manchurian crisis came about, Japan was trying to take advantage of China in order to profit and bring itself out of the economic depression. China was blamed for events which they had nothing to do with, and Japan tried to get away with colonizing the province of Manchuria. Major western powers like the UK and France tried to halt Japan’s actions, but the League did nothing. In 1932 the disarmament conference took place in Geneva, Italy. The League of Nations tried to stop countries from producing weapons and preparing for war. Many countries disagreed with these conditions or simply chose to ignore them. All of these events are proof that the League of Nations was not involved enough with peace-keeping and lead to War in 1939. Did The League of Nations Do Enough? The Dawes Plan In the early 1920s, Germany was hit by the great depression much like other nations. Germany had nowhere to go because of their major debts owed to the world. At the end of World War One, major Allied powers blamed Germany for almost all of the damage done during the conflicts and demanded the Weimar Republic to pay the world back. Germany was trying to Rebuild itself and pay the world back at the same time, which was not possible so they realized they needed more money, and the only way they could do that was by simply printing more currency. This seemed like a good solution at first until the Marks were affected by inflation on an exponential scale. In August of 1924, the monetary law created a new currency called Reichsmark (controlled by Allied powers) which was worth a whopping 1 trillion marks. This was part of the Dawes Plan named after its creator, Charles Dawes who wanted to rebuild Weimar’s economy. Most of Germany’s money at the time came from its industrial area called the Ruhr. When France and Britain took over the Ruhr in 1923, German workers went on strike and Germany suffered even more together with France and Britain. What the French and British did not realize was that if the Germans had no money, they would have no means of paying France and Britain back. This was the focus of the Dawes plan, remove French and British troops from Ruhr and return it to the Weimar republic. France & UK Germany United States The Debt Triangle Reparation Payments Pay Back Loans Payback For Help During War Sources The Locarno Pact was a conference held in Locarno, Switzerland in 1925 to discuss world peace once again. The nations agreed to fight only in times of self-defense and that any other means of conflict would be punishable. This related to the Treaty of Versailles on the west front, but not on the east. Germany was then promised entry into the League of Nations as a hope for a new era of nothing but peace. This lasted for eleven years until 1936 when Germany denounced the Locarno Pact and Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland, after building up his army and preparing the revenge-seeking Germans for World War II. Locarno Pact The stock market crash of 1929 sank the United States into the great depression. Considering the US was one of the world’s biggest powers, it took most of Europe and Japan down with. This combined with the fight for power and land in the Far East and hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic resulted in a world with no jobs and no money. Many attempts were made such as the Dawes Plan, the Young Plan, the new currency in Germany, the Manchurian Crisis and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, but they all seemed to backfire. The more countries tried to pull themselves out of the great depression, the lower they sank meaning the more drastic measures would have to be taken. People were struggling to find jobs and even simple things now seemed more vital and crucial than ever. With the people insecure in times of such failure, the government is the first to take the blame. People elect the government to take care and look over the country for the greater good of the population, which was obviously not being done. New leaders saw their chance to rise up to power, taking advantage of the fragile scared population leading to Totalitarian Ideologies and sparking World War II. Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures Hitler came into power in the year of 1933 with a goal to make Germany a great nation again. He thought this would occur by taking some drastic and even illegal actions (for which he is most known for doing). The funny thing about his actions is that he came into power completely legally, and only when he had the public on his side did he start to perform actions the western world frowned upon. One of his first goals was to immediately rearm the Rhineland, which was strictly against the Treaty of Versailles. The benefits from remilitarizing the Rhineland would come from the public’s reaction. Hitler was right to assume that rearming the Rhineland and showing power and control to the world would impress the German’s and get them on board with any of Hitler’s future plans. With Germany’s unemployment rate ranging from 20-33%, their military potential was huge. Hitler reintroduced the conscription and began to rebuild Germany’s military forces. The unemployed were now recruited into the army and it seemed like Hitler had hit two birds with one stone. He obviously had to do this secretly, leaving the outside world unaware because of the Treaty of Versailles. The Germans were so prepared for such an event, that when World War II came about, they were not only ready, but on board with Hitler's actions. Rearmament of the Rhineland Fascism is a governmental system led by a single person having complete power and control, by criticism and suppression of the opposition as well as regulating all industry and often discrimination towards a minority group, or racism. This became very popular in some regions of the world in the 1930s because people were looking for change as quickly as possible. Fascism seemed like a great idea because it was harsh and that is how you get things done. The issue was that the public could not see the masked problems with fascism such as racism and regimenting almost all industries. The country could benefit financially and grow its military. The government (and often one man) would have complete control over the economy, meaning they could create strict plans industrializing the country and investing in its economy. The country could grow to become so powerful that foreign nations could come to fear it. This all came with a price. All this power and stability meant almost no privacy or freedom of any sort (such as speech) as well as forms of racism which could lead up to killings like the Holocaust. Hitler Implements Fascism Adolf Hitler was the German dictator who implemented all of the fascist ideas into Germany in the 1930s as the leader of the Nazi party. He was an Austrian-born German who came into power in 1933 as the chancellor and worked his way up through the reputation he had with the German public. He promised to be a man of change, a man of actions and indeed he was. Germans were unemployed and in the desperate need of survival. Hitler saw this as an opportunity to persuade the public. He promised that him and the Nazi party would rebuild and industrialize Germany, and employ every single German, one way or another. There were massive posters and advertisements everywhere to gain votes for the Nazi party, and as soon as Hitler came into power, he expected to be, and was, treated as a sort of Hero. There were posters everywhere of Hitler due to the fascist tendency to think of the state before the individual. This meant Hitler had the public on his side at all times which let him build up the country and get the revenge Germany deserved. Hitler was one of the biggest, if not the biggest reason international peace collapsed by 1939. Adolf Hitler was the German dictator who implemented all of the fascist ideas into Germany in the 1930s as the leader of the Nazi party. He was an Austrian-born German who came into power in 1933 as the chancellor and worked his way up through the reputation he had with the German public. He promised to be a man of change, a man of actions and indeed he was. Germans were unemployed and in the desperate need of survival. Hitler saw this as an opportunity to persuade the public. He promised that him and the Nazi party would rebuild and industrialize Germany, and employ every single German, one way or another. There were massive posters and advertisements everywhere to gain votes for the Nazi party, and as soon as Hitler came into power, he expected to be, and was, treated as a sort of Hero. There were posters everywhere of Hitler due to the fascist tendency to think of the state before the individual. This meant Hitler had the public on his side at all times which let him build up the country and get the revenge Germany deserved. Hitler was one of the biggest, if not the biggest reason international peace collapsed by 1939. In conclusion, I believe there were three main reasons for the world to start another World War. World War one ended in a very unfair way for some countries, leaving them revenge-thirsty. The world altogether did not recover from the First World War well enough to the point of peace. Every single country knew this was coming and prepared for it. It is hard to decide whether the League of Nations didn’t try hard enough, or their attempts were simply ineffective. In fact, ineffective is the perfect way to word the league’s role in peace keeping after World War one, keeping in mind that a Second World War did occur. The League of Nations was created exactly at the end of World War one as part of the treaty of Versailles, although not every country was added to it at first. When the Manchurian crisis rose, the League of Nations seemed to address it, but not take part completely, and at the disarmament conference, not enough regulation was formed to prevent the rules from being broken. For this and countless other reasons, the League of Nations did not keep peace, only helped country build up to its collapse in 1939. The world went through its biggest global economic depression in history and literally everyone was desperate. There is no way to sugar-coat what happened; war makes money. When the stock market crashed, it had a global domino effect and everything fell apart economically. Unemployment rate rocketed in most parts of world such as Asia, Europe and the United States. Things such as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff (which raised taxes in all imported goods in the United States) and the Dawes Plan (rebuild Weimar Germany’s economy to repay the Allied forces and get money flowing)were good shots to boost up the trade and flow of the money on a global scale, but they backfired and softened up the people to new governmental ideas. Desperate times call for desperate measure. People were struggling to stay alive during the rebuilding stage following World War I, and they wanted change. As people felt like the current leading system was not effective enough, they tried to keep their minds open for new ideologies, which coincidentally happened to all derive to Karl Marx. Hitler came into power as the chancellor in the year of 1933 and was promoted to dictator the very next year. He was the first one to really implement the ideas of fascism (control over industries, censored media, and racism as well as absence of competition and thinking of the state before an individual need). The League of Nations once again tried to step in by limiting the military of major powers and allowing conflicts to happen only in the form of self-defense, but Hitler quickly broke the Locarno pact and remilitarized the Rhineland. Although they were not allowed to do it, the world and the League of Nations thought it was explainable, being that the First World War was majorly blamed on Germany alone. Germany continued to take advantage of the league’s tolerance until the invasion of Poland in 1939 when World War II was officially declared. Images League of Nations Symbol. Digital image. Tumblr. Tumblr, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. <http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5pglcOl491rp25fjo1_500.jpg>.
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by: Thiago Soares
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