World War II : The Causes Of World War II

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The world has experienced many wars; however, none were as horrific as World War II. Approximately 50 million people were killed during World War II, as an illustration, this is about 1 out of every 6 people that make up the United State’s population today. This tragedy is a direct consequence of the results of World War I, Hitler’s rise to power, and the expansion of Japan and Italy. By the end of World War I in 1917, the war had become a struggle of attrition. Both sides were trying to bleed the other dry of resources and soldiers, exhausting them until they were forced to surrender. At this time in the war, the British had blocked resources from reaching German ports, and it soon became clear that Germany would not triumph over the Allies. To end the war, the German government and the Allies signed an armistice, a temporary halt to the bloodbath until a peace treaty can end it permanently. Eventually, the Treaty of Versailles was signed to officially end the war. This peace treaty was negotiated with the intent of permanently crippling the German economy. The terms were extremely harsh for the Germans. The Allies made the following demands: Germany’s armed forces were to be severely restricted in terms of numbers and weapons, Germany was to lose all of its colonies to Britain and France, Germany had to admit that it was responsible for starting the war, and finally, the Germans had to reimburse the Allies for the enormous destruction that the war had caused. To make sure the Germans agreed with their terms, the Allies threatened to invade Germany, leaving them with no choice but to comply with the treaty. The terms of the treaty weakened the Germans, essentially breaking their economy. In July 1919, 1 American dollar was worth 14 German marks. By November 1923, 4 years after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, 1 American dollar was worth 2.52 trillion German marks. Comparatively to other major European nations, Germany was hit harder by the Great Depression that occurred in 1929. German companies accumulated a profit by exporting their goods, and soon had to layoff employees, making unemployment a prevalent problem in the German society. Coupled with a change in government, the economy was in

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