World War II/Causes of WWII

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Political instability and economic devastation in Europe resulting from WWI

  1. Worldwide depression
  2. High war debt owed by Germany et al from the Treaty of Versailles
  3. High intonation
  4. Massive unemployment
  5. Bitterness over Versailles treaty, rhetoric especially focused on re-militarization of The Rhineland by Germany - a direct affront to the treaty.
  6. Attack of Pearl Harbor Naval base by Japan

Rise of Facism

  1. Facism is political philosophy in which total power is given to a dictator and individual freedoms are denied and nationalism and, often, racism is emphasized.
  2. Mussolini's rise to power
  3. Fascist dictators included Adolf Hitler (Germany), Benito Mussolini (Italy), Hideki Toji (Japan).
  4. These dictators led the countries that became known as the Axis Powers.
  5. The rise of fascism threatened peace in Europe and Asia.

Threat of Communism

  • The Communist international held desires for world domination and Socialism in one country which fueled efforts to impose Comintern rule over primarily East European and North Asian States.
  • The Great Purge or "The Great Terror" was the result of insatiable paranoia on Josef Stalins part and it created large degrees of oppression and distrust amongst every state and person in the Comintern, it can be argued that whilst this degree of authoritarian control created great friction in The Soviet Union it also produced a much stronger as well as a more efficient and trustworthy state for Stalin to Control.
  • An unexpected and uneasy pact was signed between The Soviet Union and Hitlers Germany after the division of Poland (Late September 1939) between the two States. This was known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and was a very unexpected move by both parties, this caused a lot of friction throughout Europe as it essentially gave Hitler a free pass to chase his territorial and political ambitions free of imposing Soviet threat.
  • After an aggressive offensive against Finland in 1939 ( known as The Winter War) produces moderate success for Stalin, the Soviet Union soon finds itself expelled from the league of Nations mainly through the actions of a USSR friendly President Roosevelt. This expulsion was a result of Soviet aggression and led to tensions not only between the USSR and America but also in Europe as Stalin was quickly being painted as just another dictator in the powder keg.