The events that led to of WW2
In 1919, Lloyd George of England, Orlando of Italy, Clemenceau of France and Woodrow Wilson from the US met to discuss how Germany was to be made to pay for the damage world war one had caused Woodrow Wilson wanted a treaty based on his 14-point plan which he believed would bring peace to Europe. Georges Clemenceau wanted revenge. He wanted to be sure that Germany could never start another war again. Lloyd George personally agreed with Wilson but knew that the British public agreed with Clemenceau. He tried to find a compromise between Wilson and Clemenceau.
Germany had been expecting a treaty based on Wilson’s 14 points and were not happy with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. However, they had no choice but to sign the document.
The main terms of the Treaty of Versailles were:
War Guilt Clause – Germany should accept the blame for starting World War One
Reparations – Germany had to pay £6,600 million for the damage caused by the war
Disarmament – Germany was only allowed to have a small army and six naval ships. No tanks, no airforce and no submarines were allowed. The Rhineland area was to be de-militarised.
Territorial Clauses – Land was taken away from Germany and given to other countries. Anschluss (union with Austria) was forbidden
Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933. Almost immediately he began secretly building up Germany’s army and weapons. In 1934 he increased the size of the army, began building warships and created a German airforce. Compulsory military service was also introduced. Although Britain and France were aware of Hitler’s actions, they were also concerned about the rise of Communism and believed that a stronger Germany might help to prevent the spread of Communism to the West.
... seeking revenge in the future, Georges Clemenceau who wanted to punish Germany for Frances losses, and David Lloyd George Who himself wanted a ... greatly unfair towards Germany. The treaty was put together by Woodrow Wilson who wasnt very keen on punishing Germany too harshly, as ... also responsible for the start of the war, as they first declared war on Serbia. Other terms included limiting German ...
In 1936 Hitler ordered German troops to enter the Rhineland. At this point the German army was not very strong and could have been easily defeated. Yet neither France nor Britain was prepared to start another war.
Hitler also made two important alliances during 1936. The first was called the Rome-Berlin Axis Pact and allied Hitler’s Germany with Mussolini’s Italy. The second was called the Anti-Committer Pact and allied Germany with Japan.
Hitler’s next step was to begin taking back the land that had been taken away from Germany. In March 1938, German troops marched into Austria. The Austrian leader was forced to hold a vote asking the people whether they wanted to be part of Germany.
The results of the vote were fixed and showed that 99% of Austrian people wanted Anschluss (union with Germany).
The Austrian leader asked Britain, France and Italy for aid. Hitler promised that Anschluss was the end of his expansionist aims and not wanting to risk war, the other countries did nothing. Hitler did not keep his word and six months later demanded that the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia be handed over to Germany. Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of Britain, met with Hitler three times during September 1938 to try to reach an agreement that would prevent war. The Munich Agreement stated that Hitler could have the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia provided that he promised not to invade the rest of Czechoslovakia.
Hitler was not a man of his word and in March 1939 invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia. Despite calls for help from the Czechoslovak government, neither Britain nor France was prepared to take military action against Hitler. However, some action was now necessary and believing that Poland would be Hitler’s next target, both Britain and France promised that they would take military action against Hitler if he invaded Poland. Chamberlain believed that, faced with the prospect of war against Britain and France, Hitler would stop his aggression. Chamberlain was wrong. German troops invaded Poland on 1st September 1939.
... The policy of appeasement sought a compromise with Germany in hopes of pleasing Hitler. Britain, felt war had been averted and felt no need ... coastline - Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and France was in German hands. (Hough 11-12). To Britain, the outlook of the imminent siege of ...
In 1936, Hitler argued that because France had signed a new treaty with Russia, Germany was under threat from both countries and it was essential to German security that troops were stationed in the Rhineland. France was not strong enough to fight Germany without British help and Britain was not prepared to go to war at this point. Furthermore, many believed that since the Rhineland was a part of Germany it was reasonable that German troops should be stationed there. In May 1937, Neville Chamberlain became Prime Minister of Britain. He believed that the Treaty of Versailles had treated Germany badly and that there were a number of issues associated with the Treaty that needed to be put right. He felt that giving in to Hitler’s demands would prevent another war. This policy, adopted by Chamberlain’s government became known as the policy of Appeasement.
In conclusion, considering the matters, the idea for the League of Nations had come from Woodrow Wilson, there was a change of government in the United States before the signing of the treaty and the new Republican government refused to join. As a punishment for having started World War One, Germany was not allowed to join and Russia was also excluded due to a growing fear of Communism. Other countries decided not to join and some joined but later left. The Council of the League of Nations only met four times a year and decisions had to be agreed by all nations. When countries called for the League to intervene, the League had to set up an emergency meeting, hold discussions and gain the agreement of all members. This process meant that the League could not act quickly to stop an act of aggression.
By Jay Patel