Causes of World War II Essay

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Causes of World War II Many historians have traced the causes of World War II to problems left unsolved by World War I (1914-1918). World War I and the treaties that ended it also created new political and economic problems. Forceful leaders in several countries took advantage of these problems to seize power. The desire of dictators in Germany, Italy, and Japan to conquer additional territory brought them into conflict with the democratic nations. After World War I ended, representatives of the victorious nations met in Paris in 1919 to draw up peace treaties for the defeated countries. These treaties, known as the Peace of Paris, followed a long and bitter war. They were worked out in haste by these countries with opposing goals;…show more content…
A worldwide business slump known as The Great Depression began in the United States in 1929. By the early 1930's, it had halted Europe's economic recovery. The Great Depression caused mass unemployment, wide spread poverty and despair. It weakened democratic governments and strengthened extreme political movements that promised to end the economic problems. Two movements in particular gained strength. The forces of Communism, known as the Left, called for revolution by the workers. The forces of fascism, called the Right, favored strong national government. Throughout Europe, the forces of the Left clashed with the forces of the Right. The political extremes gained the most support in countries with the greatest economic problems and the deepest resentment of the Peace of Paris. Nationalism was an extreme form of patriotism that swept across Europe during the 1800's. Supporters of nationalism placed loyalty to the aims of their nation, above any other public loyalty. Many nationalists viewed foreigners and members of minority groups as inferior. Such beliefs helped nations justify their conquest of other lands and the poor treatment of minorities within their borders. Nationalism was a chief cause of World War I, and it grew even stronger after that war. Nationalism went hand in hand with feelings of national discontent. Many Germans felt humiliated by their country's defeat in

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