To What Extent Had the World War Started Before 1939?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1528
  • Published : December 17, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
Consider to what extent was the world already at war in 1939?

Before the war in 1939, there were clearly bitter and tense international relations. We also find that many powerful countries were reluctant and unable to prevent Hitler in his policies of Lebensraum and expanding Germany’s territory in Europe. Hence, we can extrapolate that the world was already at war to a large extent in 1939, whereby the invasion of Poland was merely a catalyst and consummation of the tense international relations and Hitler’s aggressive policies.

We can even argue that the Second World War was a conflict that had merely continued from the unsettled disputes of the First World War. For example, Germany was clearly bitter from their defeat from the First World War and the ruthless settlements of the Treaty of Versailles. Because of the war, Germany was also crippled financially. In short, Germany was facing a social and political instability after the war. Although the conditions had improved under Gustav Stresemann’s leadership, the conditions further exacerbated from the Great Depression in 1929. As a result, Hitler was able to rise to power, particularly from his promises to curb unemployment and anti-Communist policies. During that point of time, the anti-Communists policies were highly appealing by capitalists alike, particularly because of Stalin’s purges and the harsh living conditions created by the Communist policies. Unsurprisingly, due to the increasing support for the Nazi party, the Weimar Republic collapsed and Hitler soon became the Fuhrer. With his given dictatorial powers in 1933, Hitler was then able to begin rearming Germany. Although France, Britain and many other countries opposed this, they were reluctant to prevent Germany from rearming itself. This is largely because they are sympathetic towards Germany’s plight and they appealed to Hitler’s anti-communist policies. Such reluctance can be seen in Britain’s policy of appeasement, the Anglo-German Naval...