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Bmc hist unit3.1_(outbreak of war in europe)


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The war in Europe was a major turning point in 20th Century history. This lecture presentation makes use of existing material on the causes of the war and also helps students analyse some of the considerations that British and French leaders were looking at carefully and which ultimately led them down towards conflict with Hitler.

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Bmc hist unit3.1_(outbreak of war in europe)

  1. 1. A Slow Descent into Mayhem UNIT 3.1: OUTBREAK OF WAR IN EUROPE
  2. 2.  By the end of the lesson, you will have learnt:  The reasons for the outbreak of war in Europe  The main powers responsible for starting the war  How the Western powers dealt with the outbreak of war LESSON AGENDA
  3. 3. Date Event Key Actors 1932 The Disarmament Conference Germany, France 1933 Germany left the League of Nations – disarm only if other countries did so Germany, LON 1934 Disarmament talks abandoned – Germany made more weapons and recruited more men Germany, LON 1935 Mussolini’s Italy attacked Abyssinia Hitler introduced conscription The Anglo-German Naval Agreement was signed between Britain and Germany Italy, Germany, Britain 1936 Hitler sent troops to Rhineland and Rhineland was demilitarized by German troops Civil war in Spain Germany, Spain 1937 German air force bombed a town in Spain Italy left the LON Germany, Spain, LON, Italy 1938 German troops invaded Austria Chamberlain held talks with Hitler, Mussolini and Daladier on the issue of Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia 1939 Hitler annexed Czechoslovakia Hitler seized Memel in Lithuania Hitler and Stalin signed the Nazi-Soviet pact Hitler invaded Poland Britain and France declared war on Germany
  5. 5.  First Cause: Failure of the League of Nations  LON failed to be the peacekeeping body that it was hoped to be.  It was ineffective when faced with challenges from Japan, Germany and Italy  Why?  Membership  Not all nations were members – US and USSR were not members  Members came and went. Countries like Germany left the LON when they could not accept the unfair treatment imposed on it during disarmament.  Attitudes  Many countries realised LON was ineffective – Took long time to make decisions  Some countries (Britain and France) did not take membership and role seriously REASONS FOR THE OUTBREAK OF WAR
  6. 6.  Failure of the League of Nations (Con’td)  Why?  Bureaucracy  Members did not agree when it came to making decisions  Consultations made decision-making slow  Enforcement  The LON was unwilling to use force and preferred a policy of appeasement  Germany used this to her advantage – It increased Nazi Germany’s confidence in its ability to do whatever it wanted  LON – helpless as Germany continually violated the Treaty of Versailles and reasserted itself in the world  Germany’s aggression was met by appeasement – by Britain until the invasion of Poland  When LON refused to allow Hitler to increase the size of his military – withdrew Germany from the League. REASONS FOR THE OUTBREAK OF WAR
  7. 7.  Failure of the League of Nations  Why?  Enforcement (Cont’d)  Rearmament was carried out in Germany with more weapons made and more people trained  Other countries slow to re-arm as they were hoping appeasement would work  Hitler attacked Sudetenland to liberate the Germans there – Chamberlain did not object to the attack but requested that Hitler not invade the rest of Czechoslovakia. Hitler agreed at first.  6 months later – broke his promise – Countries in the LON felt betrayed by the League.  LON relied on cooperation and obedience – Hitler did not obey these principles.  Did not have a peacekeeping force:  LON did not have the means to use military might to stop war & maintain peace  The countries that were part of the LON also did not want to contribute to its military strength – their citizens did not want a repeat of WW1  Countries ignored LON – E.g. Germany REASONS FOR THE OUTBREAK OF WAR
  8. 8.  Second Cause: Major powers pursued self-interests  Britain & France were more concerned about their own economic problems  They were trying to re-build their economy in the aftermath of the Great Depression.  Unwilling to spend money on weapons  Unwilling to make use of sanctions as these would hurt their economies  Britain and France chose to not stand up to aggression – e.g. they failed to stop German and Italian aggression in Spain  Hitler’s aggression went beyond regaining territories that were lost in the Treaty of Versailles. He and Mussolini actively supported other Fascists in the world.  By protecting their interests, these powers failed to stop Germany and Italy in their quest for world domination. REASONS FOR THE OUTBREAK OF WAR
  10. 10.  Third Cause: Differing opinions of the Treaty of Versailles  Some countries felt sympathy for Germany - felt that it should not have been punished so severely.  Germany was opposed to Communism – allowing Hitler to rebuild Germany’s military would also mean that there was a strong country opposed to Communism.  Britain – a major member of the LON did not ensure that Germany was adhering to the Treaty of V – instead signed treaties with Germany that went against the Treaty.  e.g. Britain signed Anglo-German Naval Agreement in 1935 – allowing Germany to re-build its Navy to 35% of the size of the British fleet! REASONS FOR THE OUTBREAK
  11. 11.  Third Cause: Differing opinions of Treaty of Versailles.  Powers felt that Germany had the right to re-occupy the Rhineland which was de-militarized after WW1 – Rhineland belonged to Germany.  Later – Britain and France also felt that the union between Germany and Austria was justified on the basis of common language  There was a large number of German speaking people in Austria  Hitler was therefore keen to unite Austria and Germany  Austria became part of Germany in 1938 REASONS FOR THE OUTBREAK OF WAR
  12. 12.  Fourth Cause: Protectionism  Instead of having a world market economy, countries were increasingly protectionist. US also imposed trade tariffs because of the Great Depression.  Foreign goods taxed so that people would buy local goods instead.  Authoritarian regimes, moved towards autarky (economic self- sufficiency)  Since there was a lack of trust among countries, trade links were only made with like-minded countries. Countries formed alliances to obtain exclusive trade links.  E.g. Nazi-Soviet Pact was a non-aggression pact that provided Germany with the rubber, oil and grain that it needed to go to war. REASONS FOR THE OUTBREAK OF WAR
  13. 13.  Fifth Cause: Hitler’s Foreign Policy  Hitler adopted an aggressive foreign policy.  Germany needed more land for its increasing population. Had to occupy more lands in Eastern Europe and the USSR.  Hitler convinced the Germans that they were the superior race and had to be united  Other races were inferior and had to be eliminated  Priority : Provide employment to Germans  Hitler had a systematic expansionist plan.  Started by withdrawing Germany from the LON  Built up military strength  Tested his weapons and his armed forces (Guernica, Spain)  Signed alliances to protect Germany’s interests  He waited for an opportunity to strike when he knew the Western powers were not be able to stop him REASONS FOR THE OUTBREAK OF WAR
  14. 14.  In your groups and looking at the causes that have been presented. Work out a presentation that explains which cause your group thinks was the most important cause of the war.  Use F,E,E,L and then weigh and link.  Can use your mobile devices to do research and elaboration. CAUSES OF THE WAR IN EUROPE