Essay Question: Assess the Origins of the Second World War
The origins of the Second World War are of key assessment. It was a global war lasting from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's nations, including all of the great powers, in turn eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the allies and the axis. However the war was fought due to the basis of three main principles. The first principle was Hitler’s expansion of Germany, the second being the role of appeasement, as well the failure of the League of Nations. Within these various principles we have both orthodox and revisionist views, with the revisionist believing an interpreted view in relation to the orthodox view which is based on facts, figures and statistics. This essay will outline how these three main principles came together to form the origins of the Second World War.
The principle of Hitler wanting more land and the expansion of Germany were of key in beginning the Second World War. It was very simple – Adolf Hitler wanted more land, especially in the east, to expand Germany according to the Nazi policy of lebensraum. Hitler used the harsh limitations that were set against Germany in the Versailles Treaty as a pretext for Germany's right to acquire land where German-speaking people lived. Germany successfully used this reasoning to envelop two entire countries without starting a war. However when Hitler’s acquisition of taking over Poland went into overdrive and Hitler was ruthless enough not to withdraw his troops, it evoked the Second World War. On one side of the argument we have the orthodox view, believing that Hitler had a fanatical will and a consistent program of aggression. Bullock believed that Hitler was an “unprincipled Opportunist constrained by internal politics…responding to the flow of events in a flexible manner”. However, most revisionists reject the idea of Hitler being an all-powerful leader in complete control of events. Broszat portrays...
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