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World War II was a horrifying war that took place from September 1939 to September 1945. It was fought among the Axis power and their associates. Even though, most people argue that the war started when Britain and France opened war on Germany since it invaded Poland. The factors that led to World War II are more complex. World War II was caused by a range of factors which can be categorized into two, the long-term factors and the short-term factors (Corrigan, 13). During that time the U.S become the first country to develop a nuclear weapon which was launched in Japan marking the end of World War.
After the end of the First World War in 1918, major leaders from other countries such as Italy, U.S, France, and England felt that Germany should be punished for their participation in World War II and that they should be imposed limitations in order to prevent them from pursuing war again. Due to France urge for revenge on Germany, they made the treaty of Versailles in support of the French and did not base it on the U.S plan which was considered to create peace to the people of Europe. Thus the treaty of Versailles urged the Germans to return the French territories which they had claimed and also pay an excessive amount of money (Corrigan, 25). Some experts termed this as harsh and that it would really affect Germany's economy since they could not afford and eventually pose a problem to Europe.
When Germany learned about the Treaty of Versailles, they become angry and were influenced by the frustrations of losing the war and the high unemployment rates. In the duration, Hitler took advantage and lured the people of Germany with promises of easy solutions to Germany's problem. During this time Hitler becomes in charge of the Nazi Party and soon he becomes a dictator. Then he tried to take control of the German government initially know as Weimer government but failed and decided to use a legitimate means to become the leader which turned out to be successful(What Were the Main Causes of World War II? - WorldAtlas.Com). Hitler used strategies such as making unreasonable demands and if they were not met, he threatened to start the war. If the demands were met, he accepted them and came up with new demands. He always believed in a rightful enlargement of the homeland of the people of Germany and reigned Nazi Germany with anti-Semitic hatred. Hitler disregarded the Treaty of Versailles and significantly increased the number of German soldiers.
In order to avoid the start of another World War Italy, Britain and France made an effort to persuade Hitler not to deploy his troops by passing the Munich contract with Nazi Germany. The prime minister of Britain also tried to prevent another World War II by negotiating with Hitler about the land in Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately, all efforts were unsuccessful. The situation even got worse since Hitler was not the only Fascist leader but also Benito Mussolini who ruled since the 1920s and also was said to have invented Fascist politics. By 1936, Mussolini displayed his loyalty by agreeing to a treaty with Hitler. In the 1930s the world was hit with a shocking economic downturn, identified as the Great Depression which played a major part in triggering World War II. Poverty in Japan and unemployment in Germany ignited anger among people making them vulnerable to dictatorial governments which looted from them whenever they wanted (Corrigan, 31). Since Hitler was opportunistic who gained power by directing anger and hate towards other nations. Anger was used as a way to sway people by promises of better living.
Short-term causes of World War II included the invasion of the Japanese in Manchuria China. In fear of an international repercussion, the government of Japan framed the Mukden instance as the intention of the invasion. Though, the aim of the invasion was to seize Chinese territory. Italy also went to War with Ethiopia when they invaded Abyssinia with an aim of providing additional land and resources to starving and needy Italians. In 1939 Germany also invaded Poland and after two weeks the Soviet Union followed, this greatly ignited the war and thus Britain and France intervened and declared war against Germany. In 1941, Japan declared war against the U.S when they bombed a collection of warships at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii and thus the U.S retaliated, before long Germany and Italy joined Japan (Corrigan, 45). Since the bombing of the Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, Japan, Italy, and Germany become the adversaries of United States in World War II.
The first World nuclear weapon was developed when President Franklin Roosevelt was warned by Albert Einstein of a huge possibility of Nazi Germany creating a nuclear weapon against them and since then he formed a committee that would come up with a nuclear weapon and used Manhattan Project as a secret codename for the project. Two months before they completed the creation of the Atomic bomb, Germany was already defeated by the Allies but Japan was still in the war. Therefore in August 1945, U.S decided to invade the Japanese territory in order to make them surrender. However, President Harry S. Truman was advised that the move would cause the death of thousands of U.S Armed Forces and Japanese civilians (O'Neal, 44). But this got out of hand when Japan refused to reply to his threats of a major destruction that would result if they did not surrender unconditionally, and thus Truman authorized the bomb to be detonated. After the bombing at Hiroshima, Truman urged Japan to surrender but they still refused. On August 9, U.S dropped another bomb at Nagasaki killing a total of 210, 000 Japanese's (Williams, 33). After six days the Soviet Union confirmed war against Japan, hence Japan surrendered and War was over.
After the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki many people have questioned why other alternatives were not used, they include to blockade Japan and starve them until they surrender, but this option was not used since the rulers of Japan would not be starving and also they were unlikely to be touched by the death of millions of Japanese since they valued their personal honour more than the death of their people (O'Neal, 23). There was also an alternative to invading the Japanese territory which was what Japan expected and prepared themselves for the war in order to spare their egos from humiliation, but U.S declined to use the option since it would have caused more death to U.S military.
However, after the war, most people questioned the motives of President Truman of using the Atomic bomb against Japan and its moral consequences. Most people wonder why President Truman acted so quickly, was racism a factor. Some question why didn't the U.S detonated the nuclear bomb at the uninhabited area to demonstrate its power instead of bombing.
Corrigan, Jim. Causes of World War II. OTTN Pub., 2005.
O’Neal, Michael. President Truman and the Atomic Bomb: Opposing Viewpoints. Greenhaven Press, 1990.
What Were the Main Causes of World War II? - WorldAtlas.Com. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-were-the-main-causes-of-world-war-ii.html. Accessed 19 Oct. 2018.
Williams, A. Susan. Spies in the Congo: America’s Atomic Mission in World War II. 2016.
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