The root causes of World War 2
We can count many causes of World War 2, political and others, but the three root causes of World War 2 were : 1. The Prussian Militarism - developed in 200 years of history, it was the force that made Germany so powerful, and made it possible for a man like Adolf Hitler to gain total control of it. 2. Adolf Hitler - a madman and political genius, Adolf Hitler re-ignited the Prussian militarism after the German defeat in World War 1, and with this great power under his total control, he started the greatest and cruelest war in history, in his planned attempt to vastly expand Germany and to dominate the entire world. 3. Appeasement - Britain and France could easily stop Hitler when Germany was still weak, but their war-traumatized pacifist desire to totally avoid violence just helped Hitler rebuild Germany's military strength more rapidly, until it was too late to stop him.
The Prussian Militarism
For many centuries, the territory of modern Germany was divided between over 300 German-speaking small and independent political units ruled by small absolute princes. Prussia, in eastern Germany, with Berlin its capital city, was one of these many countries. The Prussian militarism started with Friedrich Wilhelm I, "The soldier king" of Prussia (1713-1740), then a small kingdom around Berlin, and developed for over 200 years, making Prussia one of the most militarist countries in history, "A military that has a state". Prussia was an efficient and strictly disciplined military-oriented state, with a militarist mentality and the world's most effective army. Prussia was initially just a small agricultural state with little resources, but "The soldier king" and his successors, with an impressive combination of merciless iron will and organizational talent, converted it to a modern Sparta. Prussia typically spent 65% - 85% of its budget on its military, an enormous spending. Such a system could be sustained for so long only by a combination of : * Strict, efficient, professional, and blindly obedient civil service that ran the state for its king, and for his strict, efficient, professional, and blindly obedient army. The backbone of Prussia's civil and military services were the Junkers, (the word means young lords in old German), the conservative and militarist aristocratic land owners, who were Prussia's officer Corps and held almost all the senior and medium-level civil positions. * An education system which produced hard working obedient people, aware of their duty and willing to sacrifice. * Expansion. Prussia's formidable military strength, and its willingness to use it, enabled its rapid territorial expansion by a skilled combination of military victories and power diplomacy. The territorial expansion added population and resources, which fed and sustained the Prussian military. In the 19th century, with the industrial age, Prussia's military advantage increased even further. Prussia's successful expansionist militarism reached its peak under the leadership of Otto von
Bismarck, "The Iron Chancellor", who was its prime minister for 28 years (1862-1890). A great statesman and diplomat, Bismarck's political vision was to unify the many German states to one great country, a German Empire in Prussian domination, by a combined campaign of "Blood and iron" and diplomacy. Bismarck achieved that goal in less than a decade, with a series of wars and diplomatic maneuvers, and dedicated the rest of his long tenure to solidify his great achievement, both by helping to keep Europe in peace, and by keeping Prussia and its Junkers class in power in their new Empire, while skillfully capping calls for democracy. Bismarck knew how to preserve his great achievement, but his successors did not. In 1914 the peace in Europe collapsed into World War 1. After four years of terrible and futile carnage in both sides, the combined weight of several great powers...