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Stepping stones to the Beginning of WWII

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malini anand

on 11 April 2014

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Transcript of Stepping stones to the Beginning of WWII

The Stepping Stones to WWII
The Treaty of Versailles 1919
French Occupation of the Ruhr: 1923
The Great Depression: 1929-1939
Causes: All of sudden with the economy of the United States flourished, everything fell apart. The stock market crash of 1929 started a chain of events that plunged the United States into its longest economic crisis of its history.However, the crash of the stock market was not the only cause of the Great Depression. There was a structural weakness in the American economic system. Banks operated without guarantees to their customers, creating panic when times got tough. Few regulations were placed on banks and they lent money to those who invested great amounts in stocks. Agricultural prices had already been low during the 1920s, leaving farmers unable gain any profits. When the Depression spread across the Atlantic, Europeans bought fewer American products, making things worse for the United States.
Hitler Becomes Chancellor 1933
Effects: President Hoover was unable to provide the proper relief from hard times, his popularity decreased as more and more Americans lost their jobs. The economy shrank and 40% of banks collapsed. The Great Depression brought a rise in the crime rate as many unemployed workers resorted to theft to put food on the table. Suicide rates increased and cases of malnutrition.Health care in general was not a priority and a higher education remained out of reach for most Americans.Overall, the social structure and lifestyle was changed dramatically for most.
German Rearmament 1935
Causes: Hitler aspired to expand the German empire to dominate the entire european continent. He went against the Treaty of Versailles and immediately after he became chancellor, began to build up his army. After he took Germany out of the League of Nations, he became much more rigorous in the build up of his army. As he built up his forces, he began to take control of Czechoslovakia and Austria with no consequences form Britain or France; who did not want to be caught in a war with Germany.
Invasion of Ethiopia: 1935
Causes:Italy had unsuccessfully tried to conquer in the 1890s, was in 1934 one of the few independent states in a European-dominated Africa. A border incident between Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland that December gave Benito Mussolini an excuse to intervene. Rejecting alloffers, the Italians invaded Ethiopia on October 3, 1935.
Japan Occupies Manchuria 1931
Effects: These strikes of the factory workers and the coal miners led to more hyperinflation and the deterioration of the already hopeless economic situation. As the economy fell into shambles, the german people became more and more desperate for any sign of hope. The job market now became even more difficult, a huge number of factories and other jobs were lost to the Germans due to the loss of the Rhur. This led them to be more susceptible to the rule of Hitler, and the ability for him to take control of so many people. When Hitler promised to bring Germany back to its former glory, the german people could not do anything except believe him.
Effects: When Germany did invade Poland, the U.S.S.R just stayed true to the pact and did not act on either side. But when World War Two officially began, the U.S.S.R entered Poland only to stake claims on some land, and did not fight against Germany. Nazi Germany was able to avoid having to fight a two front war. The pact was broken two years later when Germany planned a suprise attack on the U.S.S.R. and invaded.
Causes: This agreement between Nazi Germany and the U.S.S.R brought neutrality between the two countries. Hitler wanted to take over Poland and did not want to fight a two-front war, so signing this treaty with the U.S.S.R guaranteed this. After Hitler saw what a failure the first world war was to Germany, he was determined to prevent any of the same mistakes. The Non-Aggression pact was a way for him to plan ahead. All the pact stated was that if Germany attempted to take over Poland, the U.S.S.R would not help Poland in any way. This pact while supposed to last ten years, barely lasted for two.

The Nazi/Soviet Non Aggression Pact
Causes:Hitler had promised to capture Poland in Mein Kampf (1924) and it was one of the three central aims of Hitler foreign policy.Hitler despised Chamberlain, and did not believe that he would dare to go to war;so he felt a need to pursue his aims through Poland. His second aim in his foreign policy was to overturn the Treaty of Versailles. Invading Poland would go against the treaty's proposal for Germany to stay demilitarized.When he demanded Danzig in 1939, Hitler's proposal included a joint anti-Soviet alliance against Russia. This was the third central of Hitler's foreign policy.
German Invasion of Poland/WWII: 1940
Effects: Due to Britain and France's reluctance to engage in war with Germany, Hitler continued to push his countries borders. This appeasement to Hitler by both France and Britain led to Hitler's incredibly powerful reign. Without any consequences Hitler was able to break many laws and get away with them. As Hitler continued to obtain more and more land for Germany, it caused destruction of Germany's political and economic infrastructure. This strain on the fragile German state caused people to believe in Hitler even more. This expansion of territory eventually led to the spitting of Germany.
Rome Berlin Axis 1936
Effects: Eventually, in 1940 Japan joined the alliance as well. All three powers continued their aspirations for expansion of territory and conquest. They fought many wars while adding many other nations to their alliance. In 1941 Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, dragging the United States into the conflict and starting another instigating another World War.
Causes: In 1923 the french began to occupy the Ruhr, to take advantage of their reparations payments which occurred in the aftermath of world war II. The French did this in a forceful way, to humiliate the Germans even further. The Ruhr was the symbol of German might and power as well as their military and industrial powerhouse. When the french took over, it was a major blow to their national pride. When the french occupied, the Germans began a protest of passive resistance. They stopped the French form retrieving the coal that was mined for. They also staged protests where they would stand in front of government buildings instead of doing their work. The already crumbling country was being rocked by more and more inner turmoil.


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Causes: The Spanish Civil War provided a perfect opportunity to unite Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. When Hitler entered the war on the side of the Fascists, he was able to aide the Italians and ensured victory. Thus this coalition formed between Italy and Germany. The Rome Berlin Axis was signed saying that both countries would now follow a common foreign policy. This partnership was to provide a power base for the losing side of WWII.
Effects: In response to Ethiopian oppositions, the League of Nations went against the Italian invasion in 1935 and voted to implement economic sanctions on Italy. The sanctions remained ineffective because of general lack of support. Although Mussolini’s attack was not favored by the British, , the other major powers had no real interest in opposing him.This event served as a rallying point, especially after World War II, for developing African nationalist movements.
Austrian Anschluss: 1938
CAUSES: Was a result of the Peace Conference convened in Paris amid an atmosphere of crisis. The Conference ended with arduous and bitter negotiations. Also the effects of World War I were disastrous, leaving more than fifteen million dead. This was due to the new weaponry used in World War I such as machine guns, trench warfare, and the use of chemical gases. The primary negotiators of the treaty (the "Big Four,") were Georges Clemenceau, David Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson,and Vittorio Emanuele Orlando. But the Treaty of Versailles was not the only treaty drawn up at the Paris Peace Conference. Five treaties, one for each of the Central Powers, were created. The Treaty of Versailles was used due to its harsh terms against Germany.
Causes: Hitler wanted all German-speaking nations in Europe to be a part of Germany in order to create more living space for the growing population. In order to this, he had plns on re-uniting Germany with Austria. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, however, Germany and Austria were forbidden to be unified.Hitler also wanted control of the largely German-speaking area within Czechoslovakia, called the Sudetenland. Importantly, Austria shared a border with this area.His ultimate goal was an anschluss (union) with Austria.

EFFECTS: The Treaty of Versailles sealed the defeat of Germany in World War I. The treaty represented the attempt of the winning powers (Central Powers) to regulate the radical and far-reaching social, political, and cultural changes that emerged during the last two years of the war. The most significant of these changes was the political and territorial collapse of the Russian, German, Austrian, and Ottoman Empires and their dynasties. Also the treaty realigned geographic boundaries of certain European countries. The Treaty of Versailles was ultimately more of a personal vendetta rather than a "peace" treaty. Therefore the devastating results of the treaty for Germany ultimately lead to the rise of the Nazi party and Hitler. Later leading to World War II.
Effects: The Austrian Chancellor, Dollfuss, tried to break down the Socialists and Nazis that he thought were tearing the country apart. Dollfuss banned the Nazi party.Hitler ordered the Austrian Nazis to create havoc in Austria. This turned into an attempt to overthrow the government. Chancellor Dollfuss was murdered but the attempted coup failed because the Austrian military stepped in to back up the government. Italy had an agreement with Austria that it would protect Austria from outside aggression. The Italian dictator, Mussolini, honored the agreement and moved Italian troops to the Austrian border to stop Hitler from invading.
CAUSES: Prior to Adolf Hitler Paul von Hindenburg was the president of Germany from 1925 to 1934. During the Great Depression many countries sought new political leaders to help lead them out of the depression, and the Germans were also looking to make such a change. The man who stepped forward to lead Germany into a new era was Adolf Hitler. In 1919 Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party. He was a World War I veteran and, blamed Germany’s loss in the war on the disloyalty of that country’s Jews. Within a year Hitler was leader of the party, which changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi). The party aimed to create a new nation that would encompass all Germans and rebuild Germany’s military.
EFFECTS: Hitler continued his policy of expansion, annexing part of Czechoslovakia in 1938. Great Britain and France allowed this move as long as Hitler promised only to seize the area that was ethnically German. In May 1939 Germany and Italy strengthened their alliance with the Pact of Steel. They agreed to support each other militarily in the event of war. The pact later came into play when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Great Britain and France had promised to guarantee Poland’s independence, so they declared war on Germany on September 3. World War II then begun.
Spanish Civil War 1936
CAUSES: Although Spain retained its monarchy, in 1923 the military overthrew Spain's parliament and installed Miguel Primo de Rivera as dictator. King Alfonso XIII named Rivera Prime Minister and supported him until the depression of the early 1930s and other problems brought down the government. Rivera resigned in 1930 and died two months later; forced to leave the country in 1931, Alfonso never formally abdicated. A coalition of leftist groups including communists and socialists swept into power. Manuel Azaña headed the new government.However, military leaders like Emilio Mola, Gonzalo Quiepo de Llano, and Francisco Franco planned a coup. An uprising in Spanish Morocco on July 17, 1936, was followed by strikes and risings throughout Spain.
EFFECTS: Made the new European alignment that found the Western democracies on one side and the fascist states on the other clearer. The war wound down as major gains by the Nationalists destroyed morale among the Republicans. Once the Catalonian city of Barcelona fell, other countries recognized Franco's forces as the legitimate rulers of Spain. Pockets of resistance, manned by communist troops, slowly surrendered in Madrid and Valencia, and the war ended on April 1, 1939. The new government took on a policy of moderate reform which angered landowners, the Catholic Church, nationalists, and conservatives. Yet, the demands of peasants, workers, Catalan separatists, and radicals were not satisfied.
Effects: Hitler's invasion of Poland is what eventually lead to World War II. However, when Hitler turned his gaze to Poland in 1939 and demanded Danzig and the Polish Corridor be ceded to Germany, the Western powers of France and England were ready to fight. The costs of Word War II were devastating. There were at least 40 million victims (including military and civilian deaths). Most of Europe and parts of Asia were devastated. Also many believed that another atomic war would destroy the human race; due to the destruction that resulted from the war. As the war came to an end conflicts among the victors emerged, making the possibility of peace doubtful.
By: Malini Anand, Priyanka Balakumar, Asha Prakash, and Pond-e Sadasivam
Causes: Japan hoped to gain more natural resources to support their expansion. Manchuria appealed to Japan because already fighting a civil war between nationalists, communists, and warlords. Occupying an already internally fighting country would be prefect for Japanese Expansion
Effects: China turned to the League of Nations , who in turn, dispatched a commission under the earl of Lytton. The Lytton Report criticized the Japanese force tactics and eventually Japan pulled out , ensuring the League's hold on Manchuria. If the Lytton Report hadn't taken so long to prepare, Japan wouldn't have had the time to take complete control of Manchuria.
Remilitarization of the Rhineland
Causes: The Ethiopian Affair was when Britain allowed Italian troops and munitions to reach Ethiopia through the Suez Canal. This event led Hitler to believe that the Western powers were too timid to oppose him forcefully.
Effects: This was a breach of the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Agreements. Though this was not fair to France and Britain, since this removed a crucial element of French security, they both did nothing but weakly protest to the League of Nations. If they had reacted differently history would have been very different.
The Munich Conference
Causes: The Nazi's were creating riots, disturbing the German minority in Czechoslovakia. The Czechs suppressed the riots and German newspapers portrayed this as a discrimination against the Germans. Using this as an opportunity, Hitler asked for Sudetenland at the Conference of Munich, claiming "I have no more territorial demands to make in Europe".
SO what are we doing for the last one?
Occupation of Czechoslovakia
Effects: This gave Hitler Sudetenland, inviting him to invade Czechoslovakia, ending the appeasement policy. After a few months when Germany invaded Poland, World War I had started
Causes: In the Munich Conference, Hitler asked for Sudetenland because of the German minority there. He argued that by the Treaty of Versailles, Sudetenland should rightfully belong to Germany. Sudetenland was the key to the Czech security, so this change deprived the Czechs of any chance of self-defense.
Effects: The German occupation of Czechoslovakia and Hitler's desire for the Sudetenland directly led to a heated debate between British politicians Chamberlain and Churchill. Chamberlain believed that the Germans must be appeased and territory in the Sudetenland should be given up, however Churchill disagreed, arguing that if Britain gave in to Hitler's demands he (Hitler) would not be stopped. The Occupation of Czechoslovakia eventually led to Germany's capture of other (smaller) countries all over Europe and the rise of the Nazi party.
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