Was Germany to Blame For World War II?
Germany is often solely blamed for the outbreak of World War. However, there are several factors which contributed to the occurrence of the war. Although the purpose of the Treaty of Versailles (1919) was to ensure Germany could never start another war, it indirectly contributed to World War Two. Germany was unhappy with the terms of the treaty, especially the War Guilt Clause and the huge amount of reparations that had to be paid to the Allies. At this time, Germany was financially insecure and unable to pay these reparations, meaning that the quality of life there during the 1920s was very poor. People had lost faith in the government and were desperate for change and strong leadership. This led to Adolf Hitler, who promised to restore Germany to its ‘former glory’ and bring about change, being voted into power, which was arguably the first step in the road to World War Two. In this respect, the Allies can be partially blamed for the war, as Hitler’s coming to power may have been avoided if Germany hadn’t been so bitter about the Treaty of Versailles and so desperate for radical change. Even Britain and France soon began to realise how harsh the Treaty was, and allowed Germany appeasements, such as lowering the rates of reparations and allowing them to rebuild their armed forces. Hitler was able to take advantage of this to build up the size of the army and take steps to ensure Germany would be prepared for a war. He also introduced conscription. The Allies did nothing to prevent this, giving Hitler the power to start another war. After his rise to power in 1933, Hitler’s was open about his actions, which he stated in his book, Mein Kampf. These actions, which included rearmament, remilitarisation of the Rhineland, and the invasion of several countries bordering Germany, were put into place after 1935. One of the reasons Hitler was able to gain so much land and power from 1933 to 1939 was that he was not prevented by the...
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