Aladin Saleh

Topic: Failure of the League of Nations and other causes of WWII
Central Idea: The League of Nations, MAIN, the Treaty of Versailles, and Hitler’s actions caused WWII.

League on Nations and other Causes of WWII

A lot of historians have different ideas of what may have been the cause of WWII. Some say it’s the fault of Germany while others say it’s the League of Nations. Usually, when people think World War II, they think Hitler, so there’s another thing that could be the cause. Historians are still today searching for more causes of the war so the United Nations will be able to act more to keep it from happening again. One of the biggest causes of World War II was the failure of the League of Nations, but other than that, there were other causes such as MAIN, the Treaty of Versailles, and Hitler’s actions.
First off, the League of Nations certainly had a huge impact for two reasons. First is that when the League was originally created by Woodrow Wilson of the United States, the Congress didn’t allow them to join. This was a problem because after the war, the U.S was the only powerful and rich country in the world. So those who did join included France, Britain, Belgium, plus others, and all of these countries were in tough situations after World War I. Another reason why the League was a cause is because France and Britain were opposed to each other in most situations and they were the highest powers in the League. In the dispute between Turkey and Greece, Britain and France took opposite sides. Also, while France still hated Germany, Britain sought to redevelop trade links with them to help their own economy regardless of their relationship.
The second cause of World War II was MAIN. That stands for militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism. First is Militarism, which is when a country is focusing on making their military stronger in case of a war. This gets other countries nervous and gets them to also militarize. It can often start a cold war. Next is an alliance. This is when two or more countries formally agree to fights together in specific situations. This gets other countries worried about a group of alliances forming and begins to put together their own alliances. Next is Imperialism and that is when a country works to take over other territories. From this, other countries will be worried that they will be the next country to be annexed. Also, the allies of the annexed country could declare war on the imperialist country. Finally, Nationalism is a part of MAIN. Nationalism is when one shows how proud they are to be parts of a country. This challenges other countries because often the people will humiliate another country, which obviously angers them.
Next cause of World War II is Treaty of Versailles, which is one of the biggest causes because this leads to one of the other causes. Also, Treaty of Versailles could be considered a part of the failure of the League of Nations because they wrote it. The Treaty of Versailles is a document that pretty much punished Germany for the war. First punishment was War Reparations. They had to pay up to $33 Billion of reparations. It put Germany in a horrible situation economically and starved German people. Next punishment was war guilt. This was just a mental punishment unlike the others. Germany hated this part most of all other than the reparations because it made the country look bad. The third punishment from the Treaty was disarmament. It only allowed Germany to have a small army, six naval ships, and no air force, and no submarines. The Rhineland area was to be demilitarized. Finally, land was taken away from Germany and either given to other countries or were allowed to become an independent country again. The territories Germany annexed were taken away and Alsace-Lorraine was given back to France.
The last cause of the war was Hitler’s actions. This is what people believe was the only reason, but as you can see it wasn’t. First, Hitler took back what was lost after the treaty. For example, he began to secretly rebuild Germany’s military. He increased the size of the army, built warships, and created an air force. All of this was obviously against the Treaty of Versailles. But it didn’t matter because the League of Nations was not nearly strong enough to stop them because they had problems of their own to fix. After he rebuilt his military, he began to take back all of the land that he lost. He got revenge on some countries and even took more territory than Germany did last time. One of the invasions was what started the war, the invasion of Poland. The reason that started the war was because Poland was alliances with France and Great Britain, so they declared war on Germany. So pretty much the reason Hitler did all of this was because of the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles.
Overall, there wasn’t just one cause of World War II, and there wasn’t just three four either. If I were to talk about all the causes, I’d be here all day typing this essay. Those four were the failure of the League of Nations, MAIN, the Treaty of Versailles, and Hitler’s Actions. As I showed in this writing, some of the causes are what led to the other causes kind of like a domino effect. Now there is a new and powerful version of the League of Nations that is actually keeping the world from another World War, and that is the United Nations.

End Notes:

Cannon. 2oth Century World History: Course Companion. Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2009. Print. This source is a section of a World History reference book about the failure of the League of Nations. Cannon and others wrote it. (Pg 53).

This is from the same source as the first endnote in page (pg 58).

Goda, Norman J. “League of Nations.” World Book. N.p., 16 Nov. 2009. Web. 7 Dec. 2009. <http://www.worldbookonline.com//article>. This source is an article by Norman Goda from the World Book online website. I used this source to learn more about the League of Nations and how it was a failure. It’s reliable because it is from an online encyclopedia therefore it has to be correct information.

“Treaty of Versailles.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition. N.p., 2009. Web. 20 Oct. 2009. <http://www.school.eb.com/eb/article-9075152?query=treaty%20of%20versailles&ct=>. This source is an encyclopedia article from Britannica Online. The article does not show an author. This source tells me the names of the main people who created the Treaty of Versailles.