In What Ways Did the Causes of the Second World War Differ from the Causes of the First World War?

2006 Words Feb 14th, 2013 9 Pages
In what ways did the causes of the Second World War differ from the causes of the First World War?

The First World War (1914-1918) was the deadliest, most destructive war that had occurred in history up to that time; it was of a scale unknown to previous generations. Nonetheless, the Second World War (1939-1945) proved to be by far deadlier than the First One. Both World War I and World War II were total wars fought between the major industrial nations and their empires and both were wars of attrition, in which any means and weapons became justified in order to make the enemy unconditionally surrender. Understanding the differences of the causes of both wars is important to determine why two conflicts of a similar nature occurred under
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Moreover, the alliances and treaties that existed among the Great Powers in Europe were another long-term cause of World War I, while the League of Nations was a long-term cause World War II. Both the alliance system and the League of Nations formed coalitions that would later lead to war. Nonetheless, the alliances that caused World War I were defensive alliances and each country had the moral obligation to support their allies, while the League of Nations’ main objective was to prevent conflicts escalating into war. Another major difference between the existing alliances in Europe before WWI and the League of Nations is that the alliances and treaties meant that more countries would actually get in involved in the First World War. What could have been a conflict only between Serbia an Austria-Hungary turned into a total war as every nation decided to aid its allies. The League of Nations, on the other hand, led to war because it failed to control aggression of larger powers. The USA did not join the League of Nations and the USSR was a member only between 1934 and 1939; therefore, it depended on Britain and France, which were not prepared to control Germany’s, Italy’s, and Japan’s aggressions. Hence, the alliances and treaties that existed before 1914 led to WWI for the opposite reason that the League of Nations led to WWII: the treaties meant that countries would aid their allies in war, while the League was not able to aid any country that was being

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