World War II officially began with Britain and France's declaration of war on Germany
after She invaded Poland. Over six years, Adolf Hitler had rebuilt the German military by
increasing its size (by forcing young men to join) and building warships and planes. After the
first World War, the military was restricted to a small number and no arsenal allowed in
Germany. However, when other nations learned about Hitlers actions, they understood that they
needed to protect herself regardless of the laws imposed on her. The six-year long War that cost
12 million lives (half of them Jews) began in September 1939.
Germany's dissatisfaction with the treaty of Versailles
The treaty of Versailles, created by Lloyd George of England, Italian Orlando and
Frenchman Georges Clemenceau and American Woodrow Wilson in 1919 was intended to
punish Germany so severely that She did not want to ever start a war again (Ross, 2003).
However, the contents of the treaty were met with resentment and rage by the German Public
who believed it was unfair. The treaty of Versailles stated that Germany should accept
responsibility and blame for causing the First World War and pay 6,600 million pounds worth of
reparations for the damage the caused during the war. Moreover, the German military was
trimmed and denied equipment such as tanks, submarines and planes. Part of German territory
was trimmed and awarded to Austria. At that time, Germany could not afford to pay the
reparations as the globe went through the great depression. The German public, dissatisfied with
their governments (which they considered weak and ineffective) voted in Adolf Hitler (who
promised to break the treaty of Versailles).
Adolf Hitler's policy and rise of the Nazi
Immediately Hitler took power, he amerced weapons and trained the largest army he could get
(Ross, 2003). His oratory skills influenced majority of the German Public to loyalty.
Systematically, he made alliances and repossessed the land previously owned by Germany.
According to History of World War II, one crucial alliance involved the famous treaty with
Austria where the public unanimously voted for union with Germany. However, like many other
treaties he made, he did not honor it. Britain and France refrained from initiating any military
action against Hitler's troops (France did not have the advanced equipment ready and Britain was
adamant) until Hitler attacked Poland in September 1939. Both Britain and France were forced to
declare War on Germany.
British Prime minister, Neville Chamberlain's proposal to allow Germany protect herself despite
the harsh punishment of the treaty of Versailles gave Hitler and Germany the freedom to
CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR 3
repossess arsenal and build an army. Chamberlain's idea insisted that Germany's punishment was
too harsh to handle and that the restrictions should be revised. The appeasement was an
acknowledgement and understanding of Hitler's actions. However, Hitler disobeyed the policy
(famously the Munich Agreement) and broke the terms entailed when he invaded
Czechoslavakia in 1939.
failure of League of nations
effects of the war
formations of United Nations (UN)
After the League of Nation's failed to maintain peace and stability in Europe as was its
obligation, the first ever global organization, the United Nations (UN) was born in October 1945.
Among the major changes, the UN split the power and control among more (five) major
countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, China and Russia).
The rights women enjoy today are a result of the World War. It began with more women
recruited to work in factories in countries participating in the war (whose men joined the army in
great numbers). As the war persisted and the women gained experience, the also gained
confidence as they sustained themselves (Ross, 2003). After the war, they were independent
income earners and refused to give up their jobs leading to the governments to allow them to
work alongside the men. \
Hitler's Generals who survived were the first to be tried on genocide crimes. To date, their
crimes are the standard for judging other criminals with crimes of great magnitude against
CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR 4
History of World War II. (2004). New York: Marshall Cavendish Corp.
Ross, S. (2003). Causes and consequences of the Second World