World War II: Causes, and Affects
In the history of the world there are many occurrences that have changed life and the world, as we know it. The history of conflicts in the world is just as long as the histories of man have bee recorded. From the beginning the human species survived off of conflict (between various predators and the environment) and has been nourished by the fruits of war since before the rise of the Roman Empire. World conquest has been the goal of many great generals and a great many Kings. Through the years there were many conflicts that were thought to be the worst that ever was and the worst that would ever be (World War I in particular). World war two is said to be the war to end all wars, because of the leaders, the technology, and the effects the war had on the world. World War II began in 1939. The devastation and destruction caused in this conflict will have a total global effect. The war itself will require many countries to commit all of their military and financial assets in the production of war equipment and in fighting. This was the first war that had civilian death rates that exceeded all previously set records, and from any war since. The battlefield in world war two included all of the territory in the country. The days of strictly trench and open field battles were a thing of the past. The location of battles and bombings included strictly military sites and also various other locations that were essential to the life and economy of the country involved. The reason this war was different from al of the other wars of the past was that the weaponry has changed from the conventional to the extraordinary.
The causes of World War II are linked closely to the end of World War I. The trouble began when the Treaty of Versailles was written. The Treaty of Versailles was written by the powers that won World War I (Britain, France, and US). They divided Europe up as they saw fit and reduced the territory held by Germany to less than before its series of conquests. The Germans lost all of their colonies and one eighth of its land in Europe (Encarta 98). Italy profited from the war, Italy gained land and power (but still wanted more). The French wanted to make Germany pay the maximum penalty for its four-year occupation of France that began in 1914(Strauss 14). The German Government was given orders to pay restitution to the countries involved in the war. Germany also underwent disarmament where the air force and navy were taken completely and the army cut down to 100,000 men (Johnson 22). These enforced changes began to cause a flow of resentment and hatred in the German people who felt they were getting the shaft. The major powers in Europe (Britain, France and the US) decided the treaties for all of the other countries in similar ways. The various empires, and larger countries began to break up, or were to put it more affectivity shattered by the treaties. Many new countries were recognized and Poland was reformed from the land taken from Russia, Germany, and Austria (Johnson 24). Needless to say the different countries that were broken up were not all happy with the way things had turned out.
In the post World War I world the democracy that was fought so valiantly for failed in some countries. These countries were soon became dictatorships. A dictatorship is a nationalistic, militaristic, totalitarian government. In Italy Fascism promised to meet the needs of the many and through ministering the wants of the people without falling prey to the ever-present evil of communism (Encarta 98). The other claim of fascism was that it would be more efficient in meeting the people's needs than democracy. Benito Mussolini who then became the dictator of Italy ran the fascist party and the country when the Fascist party took over the government. Meanwhile in Germany a similar occurrence was taking place. Adolph Hitler the son of a customs official in Austria was...
Cited: Grolier 's Electronic Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. New York: 1994
Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. New York: Microsoft,1998
"World War II". World Book Encyclopedia. 1996 ed.
Strauss, Martin L. Gestapo:Stories of Terror. New York: Free, 1992.
Johnson, Michelle F. The Cost of Liberty. Philadelphia: Associated Press, 1935.
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