The death and destruction of World War I was so horrible that it was called “the war to end all wars.” Yet, the agreement to end World War I did not resolve the problems of the world and lead directly to the next catastrophe: World War II: The biggest, deadliest and the most destructive war ever seen by humanity. 30 countries, 6 years and 75 Million deaths. What could have possibly caused this bloodshed? Here’s what you need to know.
There isn’t a single cause that led to the start of WWII. It could be said as a chain of causes or events that go back to the signing of the armistice in 1918.
The Treaty of Versailles left Germany utterly devastated. At the same time, it brought up hate and frustration for the harsh treatment and injustice that was thrust upon them.
When coming to the Great Depression, for those of you who might not be aware of this event, the Great Depression was an economic depression in the late 1920s during which economies shrunk, trade reduced, businesses closed, prices fell, banks failed, and unemployment rose up to 25%.
Now, Germany was worst affected as American banks had called in all of their foreign loans at very short notice. These loans had been the basis for Weimar’s economic recovery from the disaster of hyperinflation caused because of the harshness of the Treaty of Versailles. Hence, it funded the German industry and helped to pay reparations. Without these loans, German industry collapsed and depression began.
The most obvious consequence of this collapse was a huge rise in unemployment in Germany, which eventually led to Hitler’s rise and his promise to restore German wealth and power. An opportunity to seek revenge.
This followed with Germany and Japan’s Militarism, failure of appeasement between nations and the collapse of the League of Nations, which all worked for hand in hand to finally ignite the second World War.
All these were indeed causes of World War II but if we were to go back to the very beginning, the very top of these chain of events, it is the harshness and tyranny of the Treaty of Versailles that had started this bloodshed. The most significant cause that started WWII in the first place.
If it hadn’t been for the harshness of the Treaty Germany wouldn’t have been as frustrated and angry in the first place or eager to start another war. Who knew that a peace treaty to end one war would actually lead to the beginning of another.
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