The causes of World War II they are not simple to understand, as they are not so in general, those of any war. Although we can say that they were predictable, it was something that no one was taken by surprise.
On WWII There is a vast documentary collection, the most complete material that had been had to date on such a conflict. There are archives of ministries of foreign affairs, embassies and great figures of the moment. A graphic material so extensive that we do not have to speculate excessively to find out what were the turns that were happening for the outbreak of the worst war that History has known.
Although we will talk about other factors, of an ideological and economic nature, the truth is that, perhaps, the cornerstone revolves around the expansionist spirit of a Germany that felt outraged by the harsh conditions to which it had been plunged by its defeat in World War I (Treaty of Versailles) and that it wanted to become a great European empire.
After all, Great Britain was also a great empire that he had enriched himself by means of the conquest, the control of the maritime routes and the exploitation of other people's resources. ¿Why should Germany be less? Undoubtedly, that is what Hitler must have thought and with that spirit he took advantage of the defeatist German circumstances to attempt a new assault on Europe.
The causes of World War II are as follows:
– After the First Great War (1914-1918), the signing of the peace treaties between the different nations left a general feeling of disappointment, said treaties were unfair in many cases, the territorial distributions had left great dissatisfaction and many wished the arrival of a new conflict to claim what they “ belonged ”.
– The Treaty of Versailles it considerably reduced the territories of Germany and Austria, areas traditionally populated by the Germanic people for centuries. They were therefore historical territories, occupied by a people with common traditions, history, language and culture that had been forcibly divided by the Treaty of Versailles.
- The United States and Great Britain believed that the Treaty of Versailles may have been too harsh for Germany, so they treated her with an air of nonchalance. Also, in those days, the advance of communism in Europe was something terrifying and the fact that Germany publicly acknowledged its dislike of that model was something pleasant for them. They assumed that if Germany achieved a certain level of rearmament, it could stop the communist threat, but they did not want to see that their true plans were to expand not only to the East, but in all directions.
– The colonizing zeal: England was a true power in Europe, and it was thanks to the colonization and exploitation of all the natural resources of these territories. Hitler wanted to achieve something similar, instead of controlling the maritime routes, he would control the European land territory and with it, its resources.
– Ethnic issuesaccording to Hitler's philosophy of the purity of the "Aryan race." These ethnic problems were not newly created, since they had already existed for centuries, but they were aggravated when the border modifications created by the Treaty of Versailles were put into effect, when the German people were divided by the new territorial divisions. This fact was decisive in spreading in these peoples the feeling of superiority of the Germanic race over racial groups, mainly the Jews who controlled the capitalist economy, and who, according to the Nazi perspective, had divided the Germanic peoples and interrupted its economic development.
- While in the First World War there was only one predominant system, capitalist liberalism common to both sides, after those days two more ideological-economic models had emerged, incompatible with each other. Three opposing ideologies faced each other, capitalist liberalism, socialist system (that was seen with real horror in Europe) and the Nazi-fascist, which responded to a totalitarian court system.
Thus, we can verify that most of the problems that led to World War II were produced by those conflicts that did not had been solved in World War I or whose resolution had left great dissatisfaction.
In addition, we must bear in mind that that Germany defeated after the previous great conflict was a breeding ground for the generation of a feeling of hatred towards the rest of the European states.
Remember that the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles They were harsh and humiliating for Germany, which had to face a restructuring of its historical territory and pay considerable economic sums that prevented the recovery of its own infrastructure.
And under these conditions, he still had to endure the subsequent Crisis of 29' with dire results for Europe.
So, the Nazi political party found an excellent fertile ground to implement its ideology and provoke in its citizens a feeling of revenge that culminated in an aggressive attitude towards the rest of Europe.
The Second War broke out in 1939 and as in the previous conflict, it began in Europe, becoming an international conflict as the different states joined in one or another bloc. However, on this occasion, the conflict was larger because it included countries from other continents and indirectly influenced their political, social and economic aspects, generating certain dissonances that would degenerate decades later into their own internal conflicts.
Map image: dove on Wikimedia