Origins of World War II and the
Unit 10
Guiding Questions
• What economic and political conditions
following World War I encouraged dictatorship?
• How did European nations try to prevent war?
Terms to Know
Rise of Dictators
• Anti-democratic governments rose in both
Europe and Asia following World War I
▫ Aided By:
 Treaty of Versailles
 Economic Depression
• Countries would soon break the various
provisions of the Treaty of Versailles
European Dictators
Benito Mussolini
Joseph Stalin
Adolph Hitler
Type of
Nazi (Fascist)
Nation more
important than
Order in society and
national greatness
comes from dictator
who led a strong
Strongly anticommunist
Took power by force
Government owns all
means of production
Family farms
combined into
Target political
enemies, artists, and
Between 15-20 million
died under Stalin’s
Called for Germany to
expand its borders and
to reject terms of Treaty
of Versailles
Anti-Semitic (AntiJewish)
Germans belong to the
master Aryan race
All Slavic peoples of
Eastern Europe were to
be made slaves
Jews to be punished for
causing world’s
Militarist Gain Control of Japan
• Depression weakened Japan’s political system
• High tariffs hurt Japanese economy
• Military leaders argued expansion was needed to get
required resources
▫ Sept. 1931- Japanese invaded Manchuria
• Japanese Prime Minister asked Minister of War
Hideki Tojo to withdraw troops from China
▫ Wanted to avoid conflict with U.S.
▫ Tojo refused and threatened to bring down
• In October 1941, Tojo took over as prime minister
Hitler Breaks Versailles Treaty
• In 1935, Hitler began breaking the provisions of the
Treaty of Versailles
▫ Began building a new air force
▫ Began a military draft to expand its army
• European leaders tried to reason with Hitler instead
of threaten war
▫ Did not want to repeat WWI
▫ Thought most of Hitler’s demands were reasonable
▫ Believed Nazis would want peace once they had taken
over more land
Anschluss and Appeasement
• Austrian Anschluss (unification)
▫ Late 1937, Hitler called for German speaking people to
be united
▫ Sent troops into Austria and announced the anschluss
of Austria and Germany
• Munich Conference
▫ Began policy of appeasement- given in to an
aggressors demands to prevent conflict
▫ September 29, 1938- Allies agreed that Czechoslovakia
must give up the Sudetenland or fight Germany itself
▫ March 1939, German troops invaded the rest of
Hitler Demands Danzig
• Hitler demanded the Polish city of Danzig be
returned to German control in Oct 1938
▫ 90% German
▫ Part of Poland since WWI
• March 31, 1939 Britain and France announced it
would defend Poland should Germany declare
war on them
• May 1939, Hitler ordered German army to
prepare to invade Poland
The Non-Aggression Pact
• Signed by Germany and Soviet Union on August
23, 1939
▫ Agreed not to fight or go to war with each other
▫ Divided Poland amongst them
• Allowed Germany to focus on a 1 front war
should it invade Poland
• Agreement stunned the world
▫ Hate towards communists by Nazis
▫ Stalin thought the best way to protect communism
was by having capitalist nations fight each other
World War II Begins
Sept. 1, 1939:
Germany invades
Sept. 3, 1939: France
and Britain Declare
War on Germany
June 4, 1940: Miracle at
Dunkirk- British and
French troops evacuate
May 10 1940: Germany
launches blitzkrieg into
Netherlands and
June 22, 1940:
France surrenders to
Aug./Sept. 1940:
Battle of Britain
Sept. 3, 1939: France
and Britain Declare
War on Germany
Oct. 5, 1939: German
blitzkrieg allows
Germany to capture
Discussion Questions
Guiding Questions
• Why did many Americans support isolationism
and why did President Roosevelt support
• How did President Roosevelt assist Britain while
maintaining U.S. neutrality?
• What led to the United States’ involvement in
World War II?
• How did the United States respond to Japanese
Terms to Know
Strategic materials
American Neutrality and Isolationism
• Many Americans supported isolationism after WWI
▫ Discouraged by rise of dictatorships and militarism in
 Felt like efforts during WWI were pointless
▫ Depression and inability of European nations to repay
U.S. war debts
▫ Nye Committee Report
 Details about huge profits made by U.S. arms
 Made it appear as if businesses influenced the decision to
go to war
Legislating Neutrality
Neutrality Act of 1935 Neutrality Act of 1936 Neutrality Act of 1937
• Made it illegal for
• Made it illegal for
Americans to sell
Americans to sell
arms to any country at
arms to any country
in a civil war
• Response to the
Spanish Civil War
• “Cash and Carry”
• All countries at war
buying nonmilitary
goods from the U.S.
had to pay in cash and
transport the goods
on their own ships
• Designed to keep U.S.
transport ships from
being attacked
Roosevelt’s Internationalism
• Roosevelt did not agree with Neutrality Acts but
did not veto the bills
▫ Believed in internationalism
 Trade between nations created wealth and helped
prevent wars
▫ Felt Neutrality Acts would actually force the U.S.
into war
• Approved sale of weapons to China after the
Japanese invasion in 1937
▫ Japan had not declared war
▫ Did not violate the Neutrality Acts
Neutrality Tested
Act of 1939
Allowed the
sale of
weapons to
nations on the
“cash-andcarry” basis
(Spring 1940)
Britain asked
for destroyers
to replace
FDR sent 50
ships to
Britain in
exchange for
right to build
bases on
Act (Dec.
Allowed the
U.S. to
arms to
countries that
important to
the defense of
the U.S.
Easily passed
Charter (Aug.
FDR and
agreed to a
by both
nations to a
postwar world
of democracy
Shoot on
fired on a U.S.
radioing the
position to
U.S. navy was
ordered to
shoot German
U-boats on
Deteriorating U.S./Japanese Relations
• In July 1940, Congress allowed Roosevelt the power
to stop the sale of strategic war materials to Japan
▫ Designed to stop Japan’s aggressive expansion in
▫ Japan signed alliance with Germany and Italy
• In 1941, Roosevelt began sending lend-lease aid to
China to help stop Japanese invasion
▫ Was not successful
• Summer 1941, FDR froze Japanese assets in U.S.,
reduced oil shipments to Japan, and sent Gen.
MacArthur to Philippines
Japan Plots Attack
• Japanese military planned to attack British and
Dutch colonies in Southeast Asia
▫ Needed resources to save war effort in China
▫ U.S. Navy would not allow this expansion
• Japan also decided to take over Philippines and
attack American fleet at Pearl Harbor
▫ Set out for Hawaii in late Nov. 1941
Japanese Sneak Attack
• Japan prepared for attack while continuing
negotiations with U.S.
▫ Thought to be in good faith
▫ U.S. intelligence decoded Japanese messages that
Japan was preparing for war
▫ U.S. military leaders could not figure out where attack
would take place
• Dec 7., 1941 – A Day Which Will Live in Infamy
▫ Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor
▫ Great casualties and military losses for U.S.
 2,403 Americans dead, 1,178 injured
 8 battleships, 3 cruisers, 4 destroyers, 6 other vessels
were sunk or damaged
U.S. Enters WWII
• Dec. 8, 1941- FDR asks Congress for declaration
of war against Japan
▫ Overwhelming support
 82-0 vote in Senate
 388-1 vote in House
• December 11, 1941- Germany and Italy declared
war on the United States
Discussion Questions
• What geographic factors might have
encouraged the United States to remain
• What is the cause-and-effect relationship
between the embargo on Japan and the
Pearl Harbor attack?
The Holocaust
Guiding Questions
• Why did many Jews remain in Nazi Germany
within Axis-controlled areas of Europe?
• How did the Nazis try to exterminate Europe’s
Jewish Population?
Terms to Know
Concentration Camp
Extermination Camp
Nuremberg Laws
• Passed in September 1935-1938
▫ Took citizenship away from Jewish Germans
▫ Banned marriage between Jews and non-Jewish
▫ Barred Jews from holding public office or voting
▫ Jews with German sounding names had to adopt
“Jewish” names
▫ Passports were marked with a red J
▫ Banned Jews from practicing medicine, law, and
running a business
• Many Jews still remained
▫ Did not want to give up lives they had built
▫ Felt conditions would get better after time
• Anit-Jewish violence that erupted in Germany and Austria on
Nov. 9, 1938
▫ “Night of broken glass”
▫ In response to a Jewish refugee killing a German diplomat in
▫ Hitler organized attacks to look like a public reaction to the news
of the murder
• Massive destruction
▫ More than 90 Jews dead
▫ 100’s more injured
▫ More than 7,500 Jewish businesses and synagogues destroyed
• Gestapo (Nazi secret police) arrested about 30,000 Jewish
men in the following days
• Took insurance payments owed to Jewish owners of destroyed
Jewish Refugees
Limits on Immigration
More than 250,000 Jews
escaped Nazi Germany
between 1933-1939
Waiting list of more than
100,000 Jewish refugees
trying to enter US
High unemployment in
US made immigration
Anti-Semitism in US
No exception for quotas
given to refugees or
victims of persecution
International Response
European countries met
in 1938 to discuss issue
Most stated regret with
their inability to take in
Hitler said he would
gladly send all German
Jews to any country who
wanted them
Many Jews left ships in
1939 with forged visas;
Were denied admittance
The St. Louis Affair
930 Jewish refugees
sailed to Havana, Cuba ;
Arrived on May 27, 1939
Were not allowed to
come ashore; Documents
were not proper
Hoped to enter the U.S.
Ship circled the coast of
Florida but was never
granted permission to
Sailed back to Europe
unloading the refugees
in France, England,
Holland, and Belgium
The Final Solution
• Wannsee Conference
▫ January 20, 1942
▫ All Jews in Nazi-controlled Europe would be taken
to detention centers
 Concentration camps
 Healthy individuals served as slave labor
 Worked until dead from exhaustion, disease, or
 Extermination Camps
 Elderly, sick, and young
 Killed in large gas chambers
Concentration Camps
• First started in 1933
▫ Served as jails for political opponents
▫ Built throughout Europe after beginning of WWII
• Buchenwald
▫ One of the largest
▫ More than 200,000 prisoners working 12 hour
▫ 100’s of prisoners died every month from
exhaustion and horrible living conditions
Extermination Camps
• Built beginning in late 1941
• Auschwitz
▫ Estimated 1,600,000 killed in Auschwitz gas
 1,300,000 Jews
▫ Bodies were burned in giant crematoriums
Holocaust Factors (How did it Occur)
Germany’s sense of injury after WWI
Severe economic problems
Hitler’s control over the German nation
Lack of strong tradition of democratic
government in Germany
• Fear of the Gestapo
• Long history of anti-Jewish prejudice and
discrimination in Europe
Discussion Questions
• Why might Jewish people have believed
that conditions would improve, not
• Why might the Great Depression have
been a deterrent to Jewish immigration
from Europe?

similar documents