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Terms in this set (26)

World War 2 was a direct result of the turmoil left behind by World War 1.
The Treaty of Versailles ended World War I between Germany and the Allied Powers. Because Germany had lost the war, the treaty was very harsh against Germany. Germany was forced to "accept the responsibility" of the war damages suffered by the Allies. The treaty required that Germany pay a huge sum of money called reparations.

The problem with the treaty is that it left the German economy in ruins. People were starving and the government was in chaos.

Japanese Expansion

In the period before World War II, Japan was growing rapidly. However, as an island nation they did not have the land or the natural resources to sustain their growth. Japan began to look to grow their empire in order to gain new resources. They invaded Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937.


With the economic turmoil left behind by World War 1, some countries were taken over by dictators who formed powerful fascist governments. These dictators wanted to expand their empires and were looking for new lands to conquer. The first fascist government was Italy which was ruled by the dictator Mussolini. Italy invaded and took over Ethiopia in 1935. Adolf Hitler would later emulate Mussolini in his takeover of Germany. Another Fascist government was Spain ruled by the dictator Franco.

Hitler and the Nazi Party

In Germany, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power. The Germans were desperate for someone to turn around their economy and restore their national pride. Hitler offered them hope. In 1934, Hitler was proclaimed the "Fuhrer" (leader) and became dictator of Germany.

Hitler resented the restrictions put on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. While talking about peace, Hitler began to rearm Germany. He allied Germany with Mussolini and Italy. Then Hitler looked to restore Germany to power by expanding his empire. He first took over Austria in 1938. When the League of Nations did nothing to stop him, Hitler became bolder and took over Czechoslovakia in 1939.


After World War 1, the nations of Europe were weary and did not want another war. When countries such as Italy and Germany became aggressive and began to take over their neighbors and build up their armies, countries such as Britain and France hoped to keep peace through "appeasement." This meant that they tried to make Germany and Hitler happy rather than try to stop him. They hoped that by meeting his demands he would be satisfied and there wouldn't be any war.

Unfortunately, the policy of appeasement backfired. It only made Hitler bolder. It also gave him time to build up his army.

Great Depression

The period before World War II was a time of great economic suffering throughout the world called the Great Depression. Many people were out of work and struggling to survive. This created unstable governments and worldwide turmoil that helped lead to World War II.

The American people were greatly against "getting involved in another European war";
The American business community saw that it could make a whole lot more money out of selling (without any controls on prices or profits) stuff to people who were only going to blow it up and then come back to buy more stuff to blow up so that they could come back ...;
Running for office (in 1940) on a platform that included "sending American boys off to die in a foreign war" was an almost iron-clad way of ensuring that you wouldn't get elected; and
There was a surprisingly strong Pro-German sentiment in the United States of America at the time.
High investment led to the rise in stock prices,Average people investing hoped for short term benefits of wealth rather than long term investments,Margin buying-Buyer put down a portion (10-20%) of the stock cost, but borrowed the rest from a broker (80-90%),Banks invested money in the stock market without customers knowledge,U. S. charged high import taxes to prevent countries from selling their goods easily, but then they were unable to repay their loans to the U. S,Farmers over produced food products, but demand decreased and prices fell,Farmers were often unable to pay back loans to banks,Credit buying,Drought,Banks loaned money to foreign countries who sometimes could not repay the loans.

Stock Market Crash (October 24, 1929)
The speculative investments during the 1920's led to "theoretical wealth"

caused by:
-Margin buying
-Pumping and Dumping
-Poor leadership during the 1920's

One major cause of the Great Depression

Great Depression
Two major causes:
- Stock market crash
- Run on bank

also affected the globe due to a decreased amount of international trade

Restores confidence, relief programs, cooperative action, reconstruction finance corporation. Hoover said,"prosperity was just around the corner". The Hoover administration constructed schools and hospitals, built dams, and paved highways.

They blamed Hoover for the depression because he was doing nothing to end it. They thought the government should help them. But, Hoover believed it was up to Private individuals and institutions to offer help, and not the government.