Prior to the First World War, Europe was the world center of industry and capital. Massive death, destruction, and resentment after World War I left most countries unable to recover to a normal existence and damaged the world economy. The economic collapse and the political instability caused by World War I eventually led to the rise of fascism in Europe. Forceful dictators in Italy, Germany, and Japan took advantage of these problems to seize power by territorial expansion. These events caused a major repositioning of world power and influence. This paper traces a variety of significant factors and forces that contributed to the outbreak of World War II. The Treaty of Versailles aided in the outbreak of World War II because it left Germany weak, unstable, and open to fascist rulers taking over. It was the peace settlement signed after World War I between the Allies and the Germans. The countries that lost World War I (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey) were especially dissatisfied with the treaty. However, the treaty was received very badly within Germany. The nation had been blamed entirely for WWI and had been forced to pay compensation to the allies under the war guilt clause of the treaty. Under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was severely punished with huge war reparations, territorial losses, and strict limits on its rights to develop militarily. These unfair restrictions not only created political discontent and economic chaos in Germany, but bitter resentment towards the victors of the First World War. The German people felt that they had never been truly defeated in battle since the country had never been conquered. It helped put Germany into a huge depression. People were dissatisfied with the government and voted to power a ruler named Adolf Hitler who promised to rip up the Treaty of Versailles.
There is no doubt that the Great World Depression in 1929 devastated national economies, threw millions