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Causes of World War II

Join Miss Steinbrueck's 6th grade class as they learn about the causes of WWII.
by

Mikalyn Steinbrueck

on 19 November 2012

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Transcript of Causes of World War II

World War II The Great War But why? Why did World War II occur? Why did all of these innocent people have to die? The answer is not so simple. World War II (WWII) was a global war that lasted from 1939 until 1945. It involved many of the most powerful countries in the world and is known as the deadliest war our civilization has ever seen. The Many Complicated Causes of WWII During this war, Jewish people along with many other races were persecuted, sent to concentration camps, and killed. About 6 million Jewish people were killed, although the total estimates for victims of the Holocaust range from 11 million to 17 million. In an attempt to end the war, Americans bombed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people. This marks the only time in world history that nuclear weapons have been used in warfare. Understanding that Hitler began the Holocaust because he hated Jewish people is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more causes of WWII when we look beneath the surface. It all began at the end of World War I... When WWI ended, many countries signed a peace treaty, or a peace agreement called The Treaty of Versailles. The treaty was very harsh toward Germany. The Treaty of Versailles blamed Germany for WWI. The treaty forced Germany to pay war reparations. This meant that Germany was supposed to pay a great deal of money to help rebuild other countries that had been destroyed during the war. Germany was forced to decrease the size of their army. Germany also lost some of its land. This land was given to other countries. The Treaty of Versailles left many German people feeling angry that they were blamed for all of WWI. Because they had to pay such huge amounts of money as war reparations, the German economy began to suffer. German people found themselves poor and had no leader to look to for support. The country was thrown into chaos. Meanwhile... Hitler Enters the Picture When Adolf Hitler began to speak about his ideas, he quickly gained followers. Hitler ignored the peace treaty, refusing to pay the war reparations, reduce the German army or to give up German land. The poor and starving German people began to support Hitler and in 1933, he was made the Chancellor of Germany. in Japan... in Italy... Japan, like many other countries, was left very poor after WWI. Japan also suffered an earthquake in 1923 that destroyed Tokyo and its surrounding areas, which further hurt Tokyo's economy. The people of Japan responded by strengthening their military (armed forces, soldiers). Many military officials began to take on jobs in the government. Japan began to invade other countries and take them over in an effort to increase Japanese power. A man named Benito Mussolini rose to power in Italy in 1919. He created a "fascist" government. This type of government used violence to gain total control over its people. Italians were forced to put their country over everything else, including their family. Mussolini wanted to invade other countries to expand Italy's power. Hitler created two alliances (teams). He created one alliance with Italy and Mussolini. He created another alliance with Japan. All three of these countries supported total control over their people and promoted invasion of other countries to increase their power. Encouraged by his strong alliances with Japan and Italy, Hitler started to invade other countries, taking back land that had been taken away in the Treaty of Versailles. France and Britain realized that the treaty hadn't been totally fair to Germany and that Hitler was now starting to invade other countries. They tried to "appease" Hitler or make him happy by signing agreements. The most famous agreement was the Munich Agreement, which gave back Sudetenland to Germany as long as Hitler agreed to not invade anywhere else. Of course, Hitler was just lying and invaded Czechoslovakia, breaking the Munich Agreement. France and Britain were frightened by this and told Poland that they would protect it if Hitler threatened it. The Soviet Union (Russia), on the other hand, signed an agreement with Germany, saying they would support each other and not take each others' land. Hitler also began to speak about his feelings toward the Jewish people. Hitler was obsessed with the idea of a "pure" German race that was in total control. He called this "pure" German race "Aryan." Hitler believed that the only way the Aryan race could be in total control would be to gain more living space for them to grow. For this reason, Hitler wanted to invade and take over other countries. He began to make the army stronger and prepare Germany for war. On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, officially starting WWII. France and Britain had promised Poland that they would protect it, so they declared war on Germany. Germany had already formed alliances with Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union. vs. France Britain Germany Italy Japan Soviet Union Hitler would later invade the Soviet Union in June of 1941, breaking their agreement, which caused the Soviet Union to switch sides. United States Although the U.S. initially tried to stay out of the war, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 caused the U.S. to officially enter WWII on the side of Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. vs. Britain France Germany Italy Japan United States Soviet Union The Allies The Axis To summarize: The Axis Powers, or Germany, Italy, and Japan entered WWII in order to gain land and power throughout Europe. The Allies, or the Soviet Union, United States, France, and Britain, entered WWII for various reasons. The Soviet Union joined the Allies in order to protect itself from Hitler, while the U.S. joined in order to protect itself and strike back upon Japan. France and Britain entered WWII in order to protect other European countries and prevent Germany and Italy from gaining total control over Europe. The war cost millions of lives. Do you think it was worth it? The Treaty of Versailles was signed in June of 1919 Hitler began speaking to German crowds in 1924
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