The First World War and Second World War formed epical periods in the history of geopolitics. The wars significantly influenced not only the nature of international relations by creating superpower countries but also had economic impacts on the entire globe which is why they are considered world wars despite having been a struggle majorly among European powers and late involvement of the United States of America (Beevor, 2012). Various reasons are attributed to be the causes of the Second World War. However, one significant fact is that the Second World War was a progression of the First World War including the failure of interventions to broker peace such as the Versailles Treaty (Beevor, 2012). The Second World War broke up in 1939 and extended to 1945 due to Germany expansionist activities in Europe, violation of the Versailles treaty, and Failure of the League of Nations.
Under the auspices of Hitlers claim of German nationalism, he resorted to expansionist activities as a way of resolving some of the contentious issues that emanated from the outcome of the First World War. For instance, in the First World War, Germany had been gravely affected by Britain and French that were victorious in the war (Beevor, 2012). The winning countries stripped Germany not only of the power on the international sphere but also land which Hitler set out in an expansionist mission to reclaim. To facilitate his desire to expand German territorial boundaries, Hitler who was the then German president embarked on building its military might in the 1930s (Piehler & Pash, 2010). The decision to make the military was an outright violation of the Versailles treaty which provided that countries were to desist from any forms of arms race that would jeopardize world peace and stability. Germany further violated the Versailles treaty again by moving its military to Rhineland. The agreement assured each country of its territorial integrity thus the relocation of the German army to Rhineland aroused international suspicion (Beevor, 2012). In the later years, Germany continued its invasion of other territories resulting in the capture of Czechoslovakia, Austria, Poland and many different regions before Britain and France declared war against it. The declaration of war on Germany by Britain and France formed the genesis of the Second World War.
Apart from the activities of Hitler in Germany that caused the Second World War, the failure of the League of Nations was also to blame. The Versailles treaty led to the formation of the League of Nations which was espoused to be the only body that would assure world peace by amicably settling international disputes before they escalate to crisis levels (Morison, 2001). It sought to help resolve disputes through negotiation instead of confrontation. However, not all the countries joined the league, it also had no power, lacked an army, and failed to be proactive thus leaving aggressive nations such as Germany unchecked in its militaristic conquest of other sovereign states (Rothwell, 2001). Germany felt aggrieved by the terms imposed on it by the Versailles treaty, but the League of Nations failed in controlling Hitlers resentment resulting in war.
The United States of America refrained from involvement in the Second World War following its experiences in the first war. Under Roosevelt as the president, the United States of America sought to establish peace through employing isolationist policies (Piehler & Pash, 2010). The United States Congress enacted neutrality laws to deter the US from engaging in another war. However, with the German invasion of Poland, the United started drifting towards a passive involvement with France and Britain in fighting Hitlers Germany (Piehler & Pash, 2010). It imposed embargoes on trade with German allies such as Japan, supplied Britain with naval ships and other artillery without publicly declaring its involvement. In the Battle of the Atlantic, a German U-boat destroyed U.S. destroyer despite the US not declaring war on the Germany. When a Japanese aircraft damaged 18 US ships and caused several casualties of several Americans at the Pearl Harbor, the United States policy of isolation stopped, and it declared total war on Japan, followed by a similar move against it by both Germany and Japan (Morison, 2001). This move marked US active involvement in the Second World War.
Beevor, A. (2012). The Second World War. New York: Little, Brown, and Co.
Piehler, G. K., & Pash, S. (2010). The United States and the Second World War: New perspectives on diplomacy, war, and the home front. New York: Fordham University Press.
Morison, S. E. (2001). History of the United States naval operations in World War II: 1. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.
Rothwell, V. H. (2001). The origins of the Second World War. Manchester [u.a.: Manchester Univ. Press.
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