To what extent were the dictators Hitler and Mussolini responsible for the outbreak of WW2 in Europe Dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini are largely responsible for the outbreak of WW2. This is due to the aggressive and dangerous foreign policies. It aggravated tensions between European powers and the Western Allies. Even though these two dictators played a major role in the outbreak of war, the little resistance from the Allies gave the dictators breathing room to enforce such heavy foreign policies and ultimately create fear and tensions between nations. Other influences include the League of Nations which failed the principle of collective security and the enforcements of demilitarisation.
Source W seems to take the opposite approach deeming how Germany’s aggressive actions since the turn of the century resulted in war. Source X seems to take a neutral decision and admits how it is a matter of great controversy but points towards the fact that Germany had always wanted colonial expansion, and also that there is an array of information that supports this. Therefore, I believe that the outbreak of war in Europe was due to an aggressive foreign policy which had been waged from 1900. Source W suggests that aggressive Weltpolitik was a major contributing factor leading up to the start of the First World War. After seeing the successes of the British Empire, Kaiser Wilhelm decided that he too wanted an empire and wished for one that could match and outstrip Britain.
The fact that the September Programme detailed territories in Northern France, Belgium and buffer states between them and Russia (such as Poland) very much show that Germany’s expansionist aims would cause a general European war. Fischer also found later on in Riezler’s diary entries (Bethmann Hollweg’s advisor) the word ‘Kriegswilligkeit’ which translates to willingness for war appears on several occasions. Even Source 3 that argues for shared guilt still shows that German was still heavily involved, because although James Joll argues that von Tirpitz hoped Germany’s naval forces would be so strong that ‘no British government would risk going to war’, it doesn’t mention the War Council meeting of 1912. At this meeting von Tirpitz claimed that it
This meant they let him increase Germany’s armed forces and put them in the Rhineland, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. They allowed him to take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, believing that he would ultimately decide he had enough land. The policy did not have the desired affect; when Hitler knew he could get away with anything, he wanted more. Finally France and Britain realised he could not be appeased and they would need to take action against him. Had they done this earlier, there could have been a far less
Britain, France, Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany all had a significant part play in the the outbreak of the first world war. The argument that was controversially introduced in 1961 by the historian Fritz Fischer brought forward the idea that Germany encouraged war on several levels, in particular when they urged Austria-Hungary into war with Serbia and continued to do so even when it seemed clear that such a war could not be made to happen. Source 1 makes this argument with specific reference to Fischer’s claims. By “focusing on annexation” and “offering unconditional support to Austria-Hungary” Germany seemed to push towards a war. The ultimatum given to Serbia by
Jorge Luna February 23, 2013 Period: 1 U.S Foreign Policy Change between 1920-1941 From 1920-1941 the United States foreign policy changed from being a strict isolation and neutrality policy to a more liberal policy because of the circumstances and tensions of the future world war two. This new change in the policy allowed America to help its allies and keep America safe from the totalitarian dictators of its time. In 1918 after the First World War ended, the United States created a foreign policy in which they stated that they weren’t going to help in any way any nation at war. Many of the reasons were because of the economic depression that was going on also, because the people of America didn’t want to go to war again. For a few years America tried to isolate itself from the rest of the world trying to ignore the fight leading up to World War Two.
Altogether, the idea that Weltpolitik made the First World War inevitable by August 1914 is short sighted as this is not entirely accountable for the war but was a contribution. The factors stated above combined put pressure on Europe and made war likely, but still not inevitable. It could be argued that “Wilhelmine Weltpolitik” put pressure on Europe to begin a war in August 1914, but it wasn’t inevitable, with an increasing imperialistic Germany. Geiss argues that the “Determination of the German Empire” Provided the “general framework and the basic tensions” for the Weltpolitik to cause a European war. This tension can be recognised in the Moroccan Crisis in the years 1905 – 06 were Germany’s movements towards expanding were blocked by the Act of Algeciras.
However, because of the ultimatum given to Belgium on August 2, 1914, by France, war was declared between the two countries on August 3. The ultimatum stated that German troops were to be allowed to pass through Belgian territories. This argument has no real basis to me, because although it was Germany’s troops who were being fought over, the actual disagreement was between two other countries. This author then goes on to mention that on August 4, Great Britain declares war on Germany, solely because they wanted to maintain world power
France thought the war would not only help by stopping Germany’s increase in power. It would also help Napoleon III to regain his popularity after some of his failures after the commencement of his dictatorship, such as the Mexican adventure of 1867. I will now go onto the short term reasons. Firstly, Spain needed a king and Bismarck saw his chance to send Prince Leopold to become king there. France protested because they thought that having German influence on both sides would be too much if conflict would have occured.
What were the causes of the Second World War? The causes of World War II were nationalistic tensions, unresolved issues, and resentments resulting from the First World War. The interwar period in Europe, plus the effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s and the culmination of events that led to the outbreak of war are generally understood to be the 1939 in September when Britain and France declared war on Germany following Germany's invasion of Poland. Although the outbreak of war was triggered by Germany's invasion of Poland, the causes of the war are more complex. The Treaty of Versailles was seen as particularly unfair by those Germans who accepted the myth that Germany was never defeated on the battlefield in World War I - a myth propagated by Field Marshals Hindenburg and Ludendorff, even though they were the two who told the government to seek an armistice.