The Second World War started on 3rd September1939 when France and Britain declared war on the Adolf Hitler led Germany. Most people consider Hitler as the main cause of the World War II. In addition, there were several other factors and causes that led to this war. My argument therefore is that although Hitler played a very humongous role in triggering the Second World War, there are however other causes of this war. In this essay, I will bring into light these causes; explain their relationships and their overall effects.
Formulated to officially end the First World War, the Treaty of Versailles inadvertently caused a lot of tension in Germany. This treaty was written down in Paris during a peace conference. The treaty was formulated by a variety of delegates most of them being from Britain, France and the United States. Most of the clauses that were included in the treaty were seen by most Germans nationals as being discriminatory (Crozier 56). Some of these clauses of the treaty dictated the ; Acceptance of blame from Germany for being the initiator of the First World War; payment of a hefty fine; significant disarmament ;taking of land belonging to Germany and handing it over to other countries. These terms made the Germans very unhappy indeed and they therefore started preparing for any chance to exert revenge on Britain, France and the United States. Thus when an opportunity for another world war emerged, Germany eagerly pounced on it (The History Channel).
The other cause of the World War II was appeasement failure. Appeasement generally means giving in to the demands of a person if the said demands are relatively reasonable. After the terms of the Versailles treaty were effected, including the disarmament, some politicians started to acknowledge that the restrictions placed on Germany were unfair (Department of History). Therefore, when Germany started began rearming itself in the year 1934, there was a lot of toleration from the super powers of the world. They argued that the nation had the basic right to protect itself by increasing its arsenal (Fussell 34). They also argued that an increase in the strength of Germany would curb communism spread to other parts of Europe especially the West and that listening to the demands of Germany could help prevent another war. The Munich agreement is an example of such an appeasement where some part of the land taken from Germany was to be returned. However, Germany broke the terms of the agreement by invading Czechoslovakia and therefore the appeasement and war consequently broke out.
Another factor that can be attributed as a cause of the Second World War was the League of Nations failure. This was an institution established in 1919 and charged with the role of maintaining world peace. All the nations of the world were to be part of this league and disputes between member nations were to be solved and negotiated by its executive council (Hart 78). However, the League of Nations failed miserably when it came to the Second World War because it was unable to convince the warring nations to solve their disputes amicably without engaging in war.
Apart from these causes of the Second World War, the action of Adolph Hitler a lot contributed a lot to the war. Hitler had a vision of world domination and this led him to build a massive arsenal and army. He broke almost every treaty signed by the world nations concerning the peace and independence of and nations and started invading other countries in Europe. He also ordered the massacre of Jews throughout Europe (Hart 78). This inadvertently prompted nations like France, Britain and the United States to unite so as to stop him. This was therefore another factor that led the emergence of the Second World War. Therefore, from the above discussion, it is very clear to see that apart from the heinous acts of Adolph Hitler, there are a variety of other causes that led to this World War that left a lot of destruction in its wake.
Crozier, Andrew J. The causes of the Second World War. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers, 2000. Print.
Fussell, Paul. Wartime: understanding and behavior in the Second World War. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print.
Hart, Basil Henry. History of the Second World War. New York: Putnam, 19711970. Print.
"World War II." History home. The History Channel, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.
" Department of History - WWII Asian Pacific Theater." West Point - Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.