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Summary - History for the IB Diploma: Causes, Practices and Effects of Wars
3.1 The Origins and the Causes of the Second World War
Was the Second World War just one war?No. The Second World War was made up of a number of linked conflicts.
What was the First Conflict within the Second World War?1937-1945: The War between China and Japan
What was the start of the European War in the Second World War?1939:
- 1st September: German attack on Poland
- 3rd September:Anglo-French declaration of War on Germany
- 1st September: German attack on Poland
When did Italy join the war and on what side?Italy joined Germany in the war in 1940.
Where did Germany invade in 1941?Germany invaded Greece, Yugoslavia and Romania, and finally Russia.
What happened in Southeast Asia in 1941 in the Second World War?1941: Japan invaded the possessions of the USA, Britain, the Netherlands and Portugal in Southeast Asia
What did Russia do in 1945?1945: Russia declared war on Japan.
3.1.1 What were the main long term causes?
IB Syllabustalks about the Breakdown of Collective Security - this is important! Can this be seen in the Failure of the League of Nations? Particularly in resolving reparations? Or in general disarmament?
The main Long Term Causes of the
WW2was the the systemic causes of WW1 were unresolvedand moreover, in some ways, the Treaty of Versailles actuallyincreased the problems which caused WW1 (ie. "Encirclement")
What quote introduces the idea that it was same issues that causes WW1 that provoked WW2?"The Second World War was, in large part, a repeat performance of the First" - A.J.P Taylor
22.214.171.124 The First World War
The Political Instability in Europe after the First World War was without precedent in European History
What examples are there of Political Instability caused by the First World War?
- Collapse of Austro-Hungarian Empire; leaving unstable smaller states
- Russian Empire had given way to new states; had also given way to new political and economic system (communism) which declared itself hostile to all others
- Britain and France who had lacked the will and means to direct European Affairs in 1914 were even more so after WW1
- USA withdrew into isolationism
Why was the 1917 revolution so crucial in the breakdown of the wartime allied alliance and confused Germany policy?Russia:
1917 revolution had profound effects;
- firstly removing Russia temporarily from diplomatic scene
- Success and imitation in Hungary (March 1919) and Bavaria (April 1919) increased fear amongst the democratic powers; and meant policy towards Germany became ambiguous
Why was worse, Germany or a Communist Russia? Might not a relatively strong conservative Germany be used as a bulwark against communism?
126.96.36.199 The Treaty of Versailles
What quote implies that it was the allies creation of unfair peace treaties that were a cause of WW2?"We arrived determined that a peace of justice and wisdom should be negotiated:we left it conscious that the treaties imposed upon our enemies were neither wise nor just' - British diplomat and historian Harold Nicolson, in Peacemaking 1919 (1967)
What quote summarises the view that the Treaty of Versailles actually was a main cause for the Second World War?"It is not a peace, it is an armistice for 20 years" - Marshal Foch (French military theorist)
By this he meant that the Treaty made the German people more angry than they would have been otherwise; furthermore that it was only a matter of time that the allies' policy of 'keeping Germany weak' would work.
What is an counter-argument to the idea that the peace-treaties caused WW2?Maurice Baumont; the Origins of the Second World War (1878):
despite the shortcomings of the peace treaties we should not ignore that 'as a whole the treaties righted age-old wrongs'
What is a quote that summarizes the idea that it was the impossible expectations preceding the Peace Treaties made them seem like they'd failed rather than the Treaties themselves?"No peace settlement could have fulfilled the millennial hopes of a new heaven and a new earth. It was thedestruction of these Utopian hopes that provoked the denunciations of the settlement." - Anthony Adamthwaite; The Making of the Second World War 1977
What were the two false assumptions that the allies based the Treaty of Versailles on?They had won a clear-cut victory:
- Perhaps true militarily; although not case in Russia
- However economic potential and political ideas that had driven recent expansion had not been addressed
Pre-existing problems before 1914 had been resolved; and ground was clear for a just and enlightened re-ordering of European Politics
- Bitter German resentment of peace-treaty; especially idea of German 'war-guilt'
What was the main reason why Germany didn't accept the Treaty of Versailles?Germany had not been totally defeated and occupied in 1918:
- Armies had been victorious in Russia: gained valuable lands in western Russia in March 1918
- Attacks on the Western Front had been some of the most successful before the Summer of 1918
- German Western forces not destroyed in massive battle
November 1918: Germany HAD NOT LOST but just felt she was UNLIKELY TO WIN:
- Allies had fresh American support
- Germany was suffering domestic unrest
- Germany had insufficient supplies (due in part to effective British military block)
What fear of German military commanders which contributed to the outbreak of the First World War, was increased by the Treaty of Versailles?The German fear of 'encirclement':
- Germany faced a well-armed and hostile France to the west; who was determined not to relive her 1870 and 1914 fate.
- Nations created by the League of Nations (like Poland) hemmed in the East
- Beyond those nations lay Communist Russia.
Why did the German government sign the Armistice if they weren't totally defeated?Although the French treated the Armistice like a surrender from the Germans, in truth it was only an agreement to stop fighting.
Why did Germany sign the Treaty of Versailles?
- German government faced many domestic problems
- The severe British naval blockade meant they were short of food
- November 1918 Armistice terms made it necessary that Germans would have to accept peace; for example withdrawal of German forces beyond Rhine and internment of fleet
It was out of desperation and internal factors that therefore led them to sign the Treaty of Versailles.
What event in the 1920s increased tension over the Treaty of Versailles?1923: The French and Belgian occupation of the Ruhr; demanding 'payment of kind' reparations
When did Germany openly explain its dissatisfaction with the Treaty of Versailles in the 1920s?1925: At Locarno, Germany agreed on its Western borders; however Germany expressed her displeasure with her Eastern Borders and it was agreed that those might change with negotiation.
What were the three methods that the Allies used in trying to enforce the Treaty of Versailles?
- Force the terms upon Germany - 1923, invasion of the Ruhr
- Persuade Germans into grudging acceptance
- Using American 'economic' diplomacy to fund German stability -1924 Dawes Plan; although this broke down after the Great Depression
It is also possible to argued that it wasn't the treaty in itself that was the cause of WW2 but instead the allies inability to enforce it.
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- He introduced public works schemes; particularly building roads and irrigating the land
- Industrial production increased by three times between 1923-1930.
Prime crops like:
- Olive Oil
Fell in price and agricultural land fell into disuse.
Spain's little industry was also badly affected; particularly iron and steel because no country had money to pay for the products. Production fell by:
- Iron - 33%
- Steel - 50%
Unemployment increased in both agriculture and industry; and those in work suffered wage cuts
- Catalonia had a strong ship-building and textile industry
- Basque produced Tungsten, Iron and steel
- 1640: Major rebellion in Catalonia, where France intervened to maintain Catalan separatism
- early 18th Century: War of Spanish Succession, Catalonia resisted accession of Bourbon dynasty in Spain, only in 1714 was it completely subjugated by Bourbon Philip V who abolished Catalan constitution and autonomy
- 19th Century: Catalan separatism re-emerged; Catalan nationalist gave support to conservative Carlists to win concessions from Alfonsists
- 1850s: resurgence began in proper as efforts made to revive the Catalan language
- Promote Junteros
- held enquires into the mismanagement of Moroccan campaign, which affected the Africanistas rather than the Juntas
- They were intensely nationalistic
- Saw themselves a Spain's 'saviours' from the unholy Republic
- Felt need to 'protect Spain' from communists, anarchists, freemasons or anticlerical liberals