The reason for the outbreak of World War II is not certain. It is no debate that there are many different perspectives on the main cause of the Second World War. Some believe the war may have broke out because of the weakness of the League of Nations. While others believe it was the unnecessary Munich Agreement, or act of appeasement, that led to war. (D-7) While many people think the war began simply because of strong nationalism in some countries.
Before the start of World War I many people hoped for world peace from the League of Nations. For a short period of time, the league was helping to create a more peaceful world. This all ended when militarism began to be encouraged by dictatorships in the 1930’s. (Text. Pg.698) Since Britain was weekend by the results of WWI, they tried to avoid war that would further weaken their economy at all costs. The League was weak for many different reasons. One being that the three countries that were the biggest threats of peace were in the League- Germany, Japan, and Italy. While, the united States and the Soviet union were not members. This was a problem because The United States and the Soviet Union were the only two counties at this point, which would be able to stand up to dictators. At this point, the League of Nations was truly no help, no country could rely on them, and there response was ineffective. (D-2)
The Munich Agreement is known by many as “unnecessary”. The Czech defenses were very strong, so there was no true reason for this agreement. (D-7) At this point, there was no proof that Hitler would go through with war if he did not get what he wanted. In this agreement the Czechs basically gave right into Hitler’s demand, making him more powerful then he was before. Yet, the Czechs seamed happy about this because they did not think they would have to go to war now. (D-4) At the time Chamberlain was accused of weakness in not standing up to Hitler. It was ironic because the agreement was supposed to keep peace in Europe. Yet, by giving into all of the demands it seamed to just give Hitler more power, and create more tension in the world.
During the 1930 there were different countries that had a strong nationalistic belief, though one country stood out. This country was Germany, with such a powerful leader as Hitler, who was supported by such a large majority of the German people. (D-8) Hitler refereed to his followers as the “superior race” and he believed they were destined to rule over the “lesser people (Class notes).” Hitler wanted to dominate not only Europe, but the whole world. He believed he could do anything, and he should in order to unite all the German-speaking people. Hitler seamed to of wanted a war, as he said, that he was being held back by a “mighty sword”. (D-1) He wanted lebensraum (living space) in order to gain self-sufficiency, and would stop at nothing before he got it.
There were many different responses to the threat of war before World War II began. Though the favorable response may have been appeasement, it seams now that collective security may have been more useful. Many thought that the best way to keep peace was to hold back the aggressor. (D-6) Yet, some countries seamed to fear collective security because they were afraid to make alliances remembering World War I. The idea of appeasement turned out for the worst when each time concessions were made Hitler felt stronger. This made him want more, and not stop till he conquered everything he wanted. Appeasement is supposed to be the act of making concessions to avoid war. However, during this time, it seamed to bring the world closer to an unwanted war.
The Second World War was caused by Fascist aggression and the failure of democratic powers to stop this aggression. There were two sides of the cause, both affecting the outcome. Not one being more important than the other, but both mattering somewhat. You could blame some countries for not standing up to Hitler, and not denying him of his demands, or you could simply blame Hitler for wanting so much. It is known that the war may have been stopped by stronger democratic powers before 1939. So since there is not one set cause no one specifically knows what could have stopped the war.