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World War II Essay

World War II started in 1939 and ended in 1945. It involved the countries of Japan, Germany, and Italy. Those three formed the Axis Powers. The countries that fought against them were Great Britain, France, the United States, and in part the Soviet Union. Notable names in the war were: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, (president of the United States); Adolf Hitler, (Nazi Party leader and German chancellor); Benito Mussolini, (Italian fascist dictator); Hideki Tojo, (Japanese military leader); and Joseph Stalin, (communist leader of Soviet Union). World War II was the most fatal war in history, resulting in between 40 and 50 million deaths.

World War II was caused by many different reasons. It was caused psychologically by: Adolf Hitler’s actions; Anti-Semitism; and totalitarianism. Politically it was caused by: the Treaty of Versailles; the failure of the League of Nations; and failure of appeasement. Finally it was caused geographically by: imperialistic Japan; the Treaty of Versailles; and the positioning of the United States. World War II was caused psychologically by the actions of Hitler, the influence of Anti-Semitism, and the influence of totalitarianism all over Europe.

Adolf Hitler was a powerful speaker. He influenced many people to support himself and the Nazi party. “All great world shaking events have been brought about not by written matter, but by the spoken word. ” (“Adolf Hitler Quotes”). On the contrary, he published a book, Mein Kampf (my struggle). In this book he described the Nazi party. The consumer and the common man read the book. They began to believe what Hitler had preached in Mein Kampf. “Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live. (Hitler and Manheim).

Hitler promoted the beliefs of German expansion; that Germans were the “master race” and all others are inferior; and Anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism caused World War II in part psychologically by making people think that Jews were the cause of all their problems, and that they shouldn’t exist within the “Third Reich” or Third German Empire. During World War II between 4,869,360 and 5,894,716 Jewish were exterminated. (Holocaust Memorial Museum). This mass killing was called the Holocaust. The people that killed all of these innocents were who?

People influenced by Anti-Semitism, mostly members of the Nazi Party. Anti-Semitism caused the Holocaust. “The personification of the devil as the symbol of evil assumes the living shape of the Jew. ” (“Adolf Hitler Quotes”). The Holocaust was one reason for war. So in turn, Anti-Semitism was one psychological cause of World War II. Most of the Anti-Semitism was present in the Nazi Party, which was the German fascism. Totalitarianism was when a government has total control, and individual people have no civil rights. Before and during World War II, there were many different types of totalitarianism.

There was fascism, communism, the Nazi Party, and militarism in Japan. Psychologically all of these different brands of totalitarianism influenced an abundance of the nations involved in World War II. In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin took total control by transforming his nation into an industrial communist state. People who disobeyed him were killed. In Italy, Benito Mussolini rose to power through winning the support of many discontent Italians and by fascism. “Italy wants peace, work, and calm. I will give these things with love if possible, with force if necessary. (Danzer, Klor de Alva, Krieger, Wilson, and Woloch).

In Germany, Adolf Hitler influenced Germany with the German brand of fascism, the Nazi party. “The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it. ”(“Adolf Hitler Quotes”). Finally in Japan, Hideki Tojo used the military to take control and use notes of fascism in his leadership. All of these dictators used totalitarianism to influence the people of their nations. In doing this, they create a psychologically influenced mass of people who believe and conform to totalitarianism.

From three quarters of these nations, the Axis Powers were born. World War II was caused politically by: the Treaty of Versailles; failure of the League of Nations; and failure of appeasement. The Treaty of Versailles was a post World War I peace agreement that established new borders, nations, and war reparations. In this treaty, Germany was to take all the blame and sole responsibility for the war. They were stripped of their colonies. The Germans were angry and resentful. The Treaty of Versailles destroyed the German economy and also banned them from maintaining an army.

All of these angered people. This political move aided to moving towards World War II. Some people, like Herbert Hoover, thought it not a good idea. “The economic consequences alone will pull down all Europe, and thus injure the United States. ” (Danzer, Klor de Alva, Krieger, Wilson, and Woloch). The League of Nations was meant to keep world peace. Yet another world peace agreement after World War I, it was meant to settle conflicts between nations with words over fighting. However it failed because not all nations participated in the League and some countries eventually left too.

Other countries still traded with the countries that withdrew. This made the League’s rules pointless. Also the League had no force behind it. They had no army. “It is a commonplace that the League of Nations is not yet what its most enthusiastic protagonists intended it to be. ” (Branting). All of these reasons created a weakness within the League, causing it to fail, making it easier to start a war. Appeasement is giving in. Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier met with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Munich in 1938. The four signed the Munich Agreement.

This entailed that the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia would be turned over to Germany and that this would be the “last territorial demand”. “His Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom and the French Government have entered into the above agreement on the basis that they stand by the offer, contained in paragraph 6 of the Anglo-French proposals of the 19th September, relating to an international guarantee of the new boundaries of the Czechoslovak State against unprovoked aggression. ” (Hitler, Daldier, Chamberlain, and Mussolini. ) Daladier and Chamberlain believed Hitler, falling victim to his lie.

Obviously this was not Hitler’s last territorial demand. “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. ” (Hitler). Appeasement failed, making Britain and France look weaker and Germany stronger for free basically. Germany becoming stronger was caused by failure of appeasement, in turn causing World War II. World War II was caused geographically by different factors: Japan exercising imperialism; the Treaty of Versailles’ land stripping-condition; and finally the positioning of the United States compared to Europe and Asia.

Japan wanted to expand its empire. Examples would be when they invaded Manchuria and French Indochina. Another would be when Pearl Harbor was attacked, an attempt to destroy the US Naval base, in order to later take over the Hawaiian Islands and expand its imperial influence in the Pacific. “When reflecting back on it today, that the Pearl Harbor attack succeeded in achieving surprise seems [like] a blessing from heaven. ” (Tojo). After Japan invaded French Indochina in 1941, the US stopped trading with them. This angered Japan military leaders.

The result was then a loss of oil from the US, forcing Japan to make the decision to take over the Dutch East Indie oil fields. This contributed to the anger that started World War II. The Treaty of Versailles geographically fueled World War II because it stripped Germany of all its colonies and outlying territories. “It lost land to a number of other countries. Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France, Eupen and Malmedy were given to Belgium; North Schleswig was given to Denmark. Land was also taken from Germany and given to Czechoslovakia and Poland.

The League of Nations took control of Germany’s colonies. ” (Wheeler). Losing all of these weakened Germany’s imperial power and created anger within the people. “In territory outside her European frontiers as fixed by the present Treaty, Germany renounces all rights, titles and privileges whatever in or over territory which belonged to her or to her allies, and all rights, titles and privileges whatever their origin which she held as against the Allied and Associated Powers. ” (Treaty of Versailles: Article 118). This contributed to the start of World War II.

The US is approximately 10,000 miles from Europe across the Atlantic Ocean. Japan is across the Pacific Ocean. The US is in the middle. The US didn’t get involved in the war earlier because they didn’t want to fight a war on two fronts. This lack of involvement from the US caused the Axis Powers to gain strength and leverage against the Allies with the amount of land that was taken over before the US got in the war. World War II is similar to the current conflict in North Korea. After World War I was over, time went by with tension still in Germany, as stated earlier about the Treaty of Versailles.

The Korean War ended in 1953, but there is still anger present in North Korea. The anger is resulting in North Korea threatening to develop nuclear weapons. The development and potential use of those would result in worldwide damage and chaos. Tension was developed both by North Korea and Germany both after major wars, (World War I and the Korean War). Germany’s tension resulted in World War II; hopefully North Korea’s won’t result in anything similar. Another similarity between these two conflicts is the inhumane treatment and labor camps. During World War II there was concentration camps.

People were tortured, overworked, malnourished, and eventually killed or died from the previous conditions. There were 24 major concentration camps spread around the “Third Reich”. Oddly enough, there are 25 active major prison camps in North Korea. In these camps, people die from disease, torture, starvation, and execution. “So far 400,000 people have died within these camps” (One Free Korea). Like the German concentration camps, there have been reports of gas chamber use and human experimentation in Korean camps. “In Auschwitz, there were a total of 1. 1 million people who entered” (One Free Korea).

In Camp 14, a Korean slave labor camp, there are almost 200,00 people and it is growing. These numbers have a large difference, but in terms of the amount, they are both very high numbers. “Fundamentally, it is the same as Hitler’s Auschwitz. ”(Kang, Korean War). After World War II, psychoanalyst Walter Langer studied Adolf Hitler. Recently, other scientists used his research and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is the American Psychiatric Association’s standard for official psychiatric diagnoses. They came up with an evaluation of Hitler.

His consensus profile said he was very paranoid, antisocial, narcissistic, and sadistic. Hitler was predicted to be schizophrenic. The same scientists also studied Saddam Hussein. They studied Kim Jong Il too. Kim Jong Il was North Korea’s dictator from 1994 till his death in 2011. In Il’s consensus profile, he came up with the same traits as Hitler: paranoid; antisocial; narcissistic; and sadistic. (Coolidge and Segal). This proves that both of these dictators are similar in the psyche. If they are similar in their traits, then most likely their actions are similar.

In conclusion World War II was caused by many factors. It was caused psychologically by Hitler’s words and actions; the idea of Anti-Semitism and its influences; and the rise in totalitarianism all over Europe. Politically: World War II was caused by the Treaty of Versailles and what it entailed; the weakness and eventual failure of the League of Nations, and appeasement not working. Geographically: it was caused by Japan’s imperialistic ideals and actions; the geographical part of the Treaty of Versailles; and the United States placement on the globe. Today, World War II is oddly similar to the conflict in North Korea.

Reasons to support this would be the similarity of growing tensions over time after an initial conflict; concentration and labor camps in both conflicts; and the two dictators psychoanalysis results conforming to each other. World War II was an awful tear on the world’s pristine but painted canvas, and it has influenced a grand amount of ways, customs, and policies today. It has resulted in the creation of so many organizations, world peace efforts, and preservations of history. World War II is and always will be remembered as one of the globes greatest wars.


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