World War II and the Cold War
The world was left unhappy after World War I and another war broke out, World War II. This was followed by yet another war, the Cold War.
The aggression of European and Asian dictators led to war. These dictators were totalitarian dictators. Totalitarianism is a political system in which the government exercises complete control over its citizens’ lives. One of the most infamous dictators of all time, Adolf Hitler, was the despot of Germany. Hitler created Nazism, the German brand of fascism based on extreme nationalism. He came to power in Germany in 1933. One of Hitler’s acts of aggression that led to war was his militarizing of the Rhineland. In the Treaty of Versailles after WWI, that area of Germany was required to have no army. Another tyrant of Europe before the war is Benito Mussolini, the fascist leader in Italy. He came to power in 1922. Italy invading Ethiopia in 1935 is one of Mussolini’s acts of aggression that led to war. Joseph Stalin is another totalitarian dictator of this time. Stalin focused on making the Soviet Union a communist state. In 1939, Stalin aided Hitler in the invasion of Poland. This was Stalin’s act of aggression that led to war. The final totalitarian government is in Japan. Japan was under the rule of a military regime. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, a day which will live in infamy, and brought the U.S. in to the war.
WWII started with a couple acts of aggression, but the U.S. did not start in the war, they started in neutrality. On September 1, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland. This is the official start of WWII. Another act of aggression was the Battle of Stalingrad where the Soviets stopped the German advance. The U.S. clung to isolationism following WWI. In an effort to keep the U.S. out of future wars, congress passed the Neutrality acts. The acts outlawed arms sales or loans to nations at war. Following the Neutrality Acts, Congress passed the...
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