Causes of the Second World War

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Causes of the Second World War by Mind Map: Causes of the Second World War

1. Germany Invades Poland

1.1. On August 23 1939, Hitler and Joseph Stalin signed a non-aggression pact,

1.2. Stalin was leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR, or Soviet Union, a federation of countries that included Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and other eastern European countries'

1.3. Britain and France had refused an alliance with Stalin because they feared the Soviet Union planned to spread its communist system throughout Europe

1.4. Stalin then turned to Germany as an ally, hoping to prevent Germany from invading the Soviet Union

1.5. The pact enabled Germany to invade Poland on September 1 1939 without worrying about a Soviet attack from the east

1.6. The invasion of Poland ended appeasement and was the catalyst for the Second World War

2. Rise of Fascism and Nazism

2.1. By the early 1920s, Italians were tired of their country's poor economy and their weak government, which seemed unable to deal with Italy's problems

2.1.1. Looking for a leader to take control, many turned to Benito Mussolini

2.1.2. He came to power in 1922 and introduced fascism, a combination of militant nationalism and totalitarianism, in which one group strictly controls a country

2.1.3. Fascism also stresses the importance of the state over the individual

2.1.4. The facist government controlled all aspects of Italian life

2.1.5. Those who did not support him remained silent, fled, went underground, or were imprisoned or executed

2.2. Germany also longed for stronger leadership, and after the First World War Germany faced economic ruin from trying to meet the financial obligations of the Treaty of Versailles

2.2.1. Adolf Hitler was an Austrian who had served in the German army during the First World War

2.2.1.1. Calling himself "der Führer" (the leader), he demanded loyalty from his people and, like Mussolini, punished those who resisted

2.2.1.2. Nazi ideals were taught in schools, and powerful propaganda was used to convince Germans to support Hitler

2.2.1.3. Countries around the world began to watch with increasing fear as power-hungry Hitler pushed Germany down to a dangerous path

2.2.2. He was determined to restore Germany to its former glory

2.2.3. In 1921 he took control of a political party and renamed it the National Socialist German Workers' Party, later known as the Nazis

2.2.4. He promised Germany jobs, power, and a return to greatness

2.2.5. He claimed that the GErmans were a master race and should rule over all other peoples, such as Slavic and Jewish people

2.2.6. In 1933 the Nazis won Germany's election and Hitler became chancellor

3. Tension in the Pacific

3.1. Europe was not the only region in the world where countries were vying for control and power

3.1.1. In Asia, Japan continued an aggressive campaign to expand its empire

3.1.2. In 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria, a Chinese province

3.1.3. Despire China's plea for help from the League of Nations, Britain, France, and other League members refused to take action, fearing that interference might spark a larger conflict

4. The Second World War Begins

4.1. On September 3 1939 Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and France declared war on Germany

4.2. Canada did not automatically follow Britain into war as it had in 1914

4.3. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King summoned Parliament to debate the issue, and on September 10 Canada officially declared war on Germany

4.3.1. The return of war created alliances

4.3.2. Germany, Italy, Japan and the areas taken over by Germany prior to 1939 formed the Axis powers

4.3.3. In opposition were the Allied powers, which initially included Britain and its Commonwealth, France, and Poland

4.3.4. In June 1941 the US also joined

5. Failure of the League of Nations

5.1. Japan was not the only aggressor the League of Nations failed to stop

5.2. In 1935, Mussolini invaded and took control of Ethiopia, and the League of Nations again did nothing

5.3. Once in power, Hitler ignored the Treaty of Versailles by withdrawing Germany from the League of Nations, building a large, powerful military; stopping reparation payments to the Allies; and taking control of the Rhineland, an area bordering France in which the Treaty of Versailles had ordered Germany to have no military presence

5.3.1. He then took control of Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia

5.3.2. He promised that he wanted only to unify the Germanic people who had been separated by the treaty of Versailles

5.3.3. The other members of the League of Nations had neither the economic means nor the desire to fight another war, and they approached German aggression using a policy of appeasement

5.3.4. They believed that if they conceded to some of Hitler's demands, Germany's needs would be satisfied and war could be avoided

5.3.5. However, Germany;s strength grew under appeasement and the League of Nations failed to prevent war