Introduction: What Was the World War 2?
In the history of mankind, we have faced many wars and battles throughout the ages but none as gruesome and all encompassing as the world wars. There were quite a few causes and disastrous effects of World War I but all of them pales in comparison to the fact that all of that, especially the Treaty of Versailles led to World War II.
The second world war spans a period of nearly half a decade with the official beginning of world war two being heralded by the Invasion of Poland by Hitler led German forces on 1st September 1939 and after a grueling six years of combat was ended by the victory of the Allies on September 2nd, 1945.
One of the worst effects of world war 2, beyond the crippling economic situation of many countries as well as the redrawn political and global military powers, was the astounding loss of life. Over 60 million people lost their lives in this war and the Holocaust itself was responsible for the deaths of 6 million European Jews.
So what caused ww2? And how did the League of Nations fail to stop yet another World War?
What Were the Causes of World War II ?
Well while there are quite a few reasons as to what caused ww2, today we are going to discuss the three main driving factors that led to it. In fact, we can even narrow it down to one main factor that ultimately is the best answer to the question how did world war 2 start.
1. The Rise of Nazism and Fascism
Two of the world leaders who were the most instrumental in bringing World War II to fruition was Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. Under Hitler, the disgruntled Germans who never took their loss and financial burden after their loss in First World War well became a united front and rose as one of the strongest military forces of the time.
Nazism was accompanied by Fascism and under Mussolini, an unhappy and war mongering Italy gathered together to join forces with Hitler’s Germany to form a super aggressive war loving front. Ringing in Japan, these three formed the Axis Powers who kick started the 2nd World War.
2. The Treaty of Versailles
After the end of the first World War the losers of the war were slapped with the treaty of Versailles which severely crippled their ability to maintain a stable economy as well as develop their military might, In fact, Germany was held as the primary culprit of this war and was handed a penalty to the tune of $33 Billion.
This didn’t sit well with people of Germany and was one of the main reasons that they brought Hitler to power in whom they saw hope for a greater German future. The same can be said for most of the other countries other than the big European four-Britain, France, Russia, and Italy who came together in Paris to sign the post-WW1 peace treaty.
3. The Great Depression
As the great depression struck most of Europe and America, and the economic losses of a post WW1 economy was felt throughout the world, most countries stopped paying attention to military expansion and was mostly concerned with their own safety and well being,
As a result of this the expansion plans of Mussolini and Hitler went unchecked and after the Versailles treaty a panicked Japan also set out to expand their territories.
What Were the Effects of World War 2 ?
The course of events that describe what happened in world war 2 is one of the worst in recorded human history. Over 3% of the world’s population died in that one war and the loss of property and research reaches mind bogglingly high numbers.
The whole world also learnt the importance of restraint with Atomic weapons especially after the devastating effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
1. New Borders were Formed and Countries Gained Freedom
Many European countries had their borders entirely redrawn as Europe was the primary battleground where did world war 2 take place. Post World War 2, the Soviet Union annexed various parts of Poland, Germany, France and even Germany while Germany themselves had severe shackles placed on them.
2. New World Powers Emerged
USA and Russia emerged as the superpowers among the world war 2 countries, and thus began almost a decade of cold war where both countries were almost on the verge of conflict but kept to themselves.
In the end, World War II was without a doubt one of the worst wars humanity has ever faced and United Nations formed shortly after that have pledged to never let a repeat of it happen again.
In the words of Joe Baca, former US representative,
We learned in World War II that no single nation holds a monopoly on wisdom, morality or right to power, but that we must fight for the weak and promote democracy.