Interwar Years 1

Topics: World War II, Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler Pages: 19 (655 words) Published: April 15, 2015
Causes of the
Second World War

The Interwar Years

A Brief Period of Prosperity
• Some countries, like the U.S., were
strong during the post-WWI era
• What is this time period known as in U.S.

Problems in Germany
• The punishment of Germany
goes too far and cripples their
post-war economy in 1923
• Hyperinflation occurs
• German money is worthless (when
the general price level rises, each
unit of currency buys fewer goods
and services)

Worldwide Depression
•. Stock Market Crash of 1929

Buying stock on margin
A crisis in finance that led the
Federal Reserve to raise
interest rates
Panic set in when stock prices

•. The depression in the U.S.
spread to the rest of the

Rise of Fascism & Dictatorships

Benito Mussolini

Country: Italy
Type of Government: Fascism (dictatorship)
Goals and Ideas:
• Centralized all power in himself as leader
(total control of social, economic, and
political life)
• Ambition to restore the glory of Rome
and create a vast Italian empire
• Invasion of Ethiopia
• Alliance with Hitler’s Germany

Il Duce

Joseph Stalin
Country: Soviet Union
Type of Government: Communism (dictatorship)
Goals and Ideas:
• Crushed opponents and took control after Lenin’s death • Held absolute authority; suppressed resistance
• Brought his country to world power status but imposed
upon it one of the most ruthless regimes in history
• New Economic Policies (NEP)
• Collectivization: exported seized goods and gained
enough capital to finance a massive industrialization
• Rapid industrialization: three 5-year plans
• The Great Purges: KGB = secret police killed thousands
of army officers and prominent Bolsheviks who opposed
• Feared the growing power of Nazi Germany

Adolf Hitler
Country: Germany
Type of Government: Nazism (dictatorship)
Goals and Ideas:
• Inflation and depression weakened the democratic
government in Germany and allowed an
opportunity for Hitler to rise to power
• Believed the western powers had no intention of
using force to maintain the Treaty of Versailles
• Anti-Semitism: persecution of Jews
• Extreme nationalism: National Socialism (aka
• Aggression: German occupation of nearby
• Lebensraum: unite all German speaking nations
• Anschluss: German union with Austria
• Hatred of Communism

Hideki Tojo
Country: Japan
Type of Government: Militarism
Goals and Ideas:
• Though Japan had an emperor, the military
had taken control of the government
• Emperor Hirohito could not stand up to the
powerful generals, but he was worshipped
by the people, who often fought in his
• Industrialization of Japan, lending to a
drive for raw materials – how do you get
raw materials? IMPERIALISM
• Japan conducted aggressive imperialistic
policies in Asia: invasion of Korea,
Manchuria, and the rest of China (the
League of Nations did nothing)

Hideki Tojo, Military Leader of Japan
Hirohito, Emperor of Japan

New Alliances
Allied Powers
• Great Britain
• Soviet Union
• United States
• France

Axis Powers
• Germany
• Italy
• Japan

Causes of WWII

What was WWII?

Largest war in human history

Involved countries, colonies, and
territories around the entire

By the end, over 70 mission were

It lasted from 1939 until 1945

What were the main causes?

• W – WWI and the Treaty of Versailles
• A – Appeasement
• R – Rise of Totalitarianism

How did the Treaty of Versailles
cause WWII?
• Germany lost land to
surrounding nations
• War reparations

Allies collect $ to pay back war
debts to US
Germany pays $57 trillion (modern
day equivalent)

• Desperate people turn to
desperate leaders

How did Appeasement Cause WWII?
• Giving someone something to make them happy and leave
you alone
• Hitler demanded land that wasn’t Germany’s and others just...
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