10.5 Causes Of WWII Answer Key

The Causes of World War II

World War II was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations, including all of the great powers, eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis powers. Here are some of the key causes that led to the outbreak of World War II:

  1. Rise of Fascism and Militarism in the 1930s

The rise of fascist and militarist ideologies in countries like Germany, Italy and Japan contributed to the outbreak of war. Leaders like Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Hideki Tojo promoted agendas of aggressive nationalism, racism, and anti-communism. They rapidly built up their military forces and were willing to use them to achieve their goals.

  1. Failure of Appeasement

Attempts by European powers like Britain and France to appease aggressors like Germany and Italy failed. Agreements such as the Munich Agreement of 1938 only encouraged more aggression. Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939 finally led Britain and France to declare war on Germany.

  1. Japanese Imperialism in Asia

Japan’s imperialist invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937 led to full-scale war between Japan and China in the late 1930s. This was a precursor to Japan’s involvement in World War II.

  1. The Spanish Civil War 1936-39

The civil war in Spain resulted in victory for the fascists led by General Franco. This was aided by Germany and Italy, while the Soviet Union helped the Republicans. It essentially served as battlefield preparation for the wider war to come.

  1. Failure of the League of Nations

The League of Nations, the international organization founded after World War I, was too weak to preserve peace. Its failure to stop aggression by Italy and Japan encouraged Hitler’s defiance of the Versailles Treaty.

In summary, the direct causes of World War II included Hitler’s invasion of Poland, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Axis powers’ aggression in Europe and Asia. However, many deeper causes paved the way for these events. Understanding these key factors can help explain how the most devastating conflict in human history came about.

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