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washington felt that Causes of world war 2

Out of all the wars that the world has gone through, none has been more devastating as world war II. But what caused this war? Well, world war II had six major causes: anger over the Versailles Treaty, the failure of peace efforts after world war I, the rise of Fascism, the goals of Hitler, the isolationism by America and Britain, and the re-armament of Europe. This paper will go over each of these causes individually and then draw some conclusions about world war II.

The first cause of world war II was the intense anger over the Versailles Treaty. Germany was very angry over two things and the first of which was the many territorial losses they had to endure as a result of the treaty. They lost two cities on the French-German border and as per Wilson's thirteenth point Poland was re-formed with access to the Baltic Sea, which went right through Germany. Giving Poland Sea access split Germany into two parts, the main part of Germany, and a small portion to the North of the Danzig corridor. The Danzig corridor really inflamed Germany for many years, but they really could not do anything about the situation because they lost world war I. Another country that was angry over the Versailles Treaty was Italy. They were angry because they thought that the land that they had received as a payment for their participation in the Allied effort against Germany did not offset the cost of the war, nor did it satisfy their ambitions to grow. The final country that was angry over the Versailles Treaty was Japan. They were also a victor over Germany and they wanted to gain control over China as reward for their participation in the war. This, however, did not happen and they were angry over the situation.

The second cause of world war II was the failure of the many peace efforts that occurred after world war I. The League of Nations, which was one of Wilson's fourteen points and part of the Versailles Treaty, was a forum in which nations could settle their disputes with one another. The problem was that the League did not have any real power. The only thing it could do was try to persuade the offending nation to concede and if that did not work out they could impose economic sanctions on that country. But the league had so little power that the sanctions it passed were normally ignored and it could do nothing from that point on. Another failed peace effort was the Washington Conference. At this conference the principal naval powers agreed to limit their navies according to a fixed ratio. But again none of the powers really went through with their agreement. Yet another failed peace effort was the Locarno Conference. This conference produced a treaty between France and Germany stating that the border between the two countries was guaranteed. However, we know that this treaty failed because Germany invaded France during world war II. The final failed peace effort was the Paris Peace Act. At this conference all of the major countries, excluding Russia, and many smaller countries agreed that war was not a national policy and stated that they would try to resolve problems through diplomatic means. The only way that war was acceptable in this act was by means of self-defense. These did not directly cause world war II, but they made it possible by their obvious lack of power. Countries still did not trust each other enough to follow through with the good ideas that they had.

The third cause of world war II was the rise of Fascism. Fascism was a movement that began before world war I, but did not become a serious political power until Benito Mussolini took control of the Italian government in 1922. Under Mussolini Italy became a Totalitarian government where labor unions were abolished and political opponents were killed or silenced. This caused many things to happen to Italy's social and economic problems. The first of these problems was the lowered living standard of the Italian people. The people lost their eight hour work day protection and their wages were lowered ... more

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The Cold War

Harry Truman was the 33rd President of the United States from about the end of World War 2 and from the beginning of the Cold War in 1945 until he retired in January, 1952.

Harry Truman was born in 1884, in Missouri. In April 1945 Truman assumed office as the President on the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

From the 16th of July to the 2nd of August the Potsdam conference was held in Potsdam, Berlin. Truman and Stalin and Churchill attended the conference until Churchill was beaten in an election by Atlee and replaced. Truman was worried about this encounter with Stalin as he was not very well informed on him, as Roosevelt had not involved him in political issues therefore he lacked the knowledge on how to handle Stalin.  The main issue at the conference was on Germany. They established the principle occupations, which were to de-nazify,de-militerise, de-centeralise de-industrialise and democrasise all of Germany. Germany's reparations were decided. They also established that Germany's future would be jointly worked out, no separate development without consultation of forgien ministers.

Also at Potsdam the Polish borders were defined, and Russia agreed entry to the Pacific War.

Truman distrusted the Russians before  the conference and by the end of the conference in August Truman had developed an even larger distrust towards Russia. He felt the Russians had been given too much at Yalta and he was adopting a harder attitude. He also felt that with the power he held with the Atomic bomb, USSR were under control. The relationship between the superpwers worsened considerably at Potsdam.

On the 6th of August 1945 Truman authorised an Atomic bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima, a city in Japan and another in Nagasaki, two days later, they caused horrendous damage, and many thousands of people died. After the bombs were dropped US troops occupied Japan not allowing any other forces in.

Truman had told Stalin little about the bomb, first informing him at Potsdam and when he authorised the drop, he had not consulted or warned Stalin, this angered him as he had wanted to gain some Japanese territory before the end of the war and the tension began to build.

The rise of two new "superpowers"developed after the war, the USA and the USSR, both wanting to be the more powerful nation.  There was a rising tension between Truman and Stalin, as Truman had a different attitude to the USSR and Stalin than Roosevelt had previously.

Roosevelts ideas to give USSR a large post-war reconstruction loans, were dropped by Truman as he was not going to give USSR any economic assistance, as it was a threat to communist expansion.

Tension contiued to build through the rest of 1945. When Truman spoke to Molotov the Soviet foreign minister, he did not express any agreement with USSR in having a pro-communist government in Poland. Truman failed to see how important Poland was to USSR, leaving an increasingly angered Stalin.

1945 also saw the beginning of the arms race as USA held the only atomic bombs. In 1946 the USA proposed that the United Nations should assume control of atomic energy and research, but the USSR rejected the proposal on the grounds that this would enable the USA to maintain its monopoly over atomic weapons. America's sole possesion to the atomic bomb ended in 1949 when the USSR had developed their own atomic bomb.

1947 saw the beginning of the Truman doctrine, it's main aim was to assist countries which were threatened by commuist expansion. Truman sent a message to the US congress, pledging American support for 'free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures'. (dictionary of 20th centuary...). prompted by the need to give military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey, the Truman doctrine marked a change to positive anti-communism on the part of the administration.

On the 5th of June1947 General Marshall, offered American finiancial aid for a programme of European recovery, on a condition that the European countries themselves took the first steps towards economic collaboration. The plan was supprt by the west but the Russian foreign minister,Molotov rejected it. After long consulation the Western powers organised a conference for July '47, the OEEC ... more

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