Was idealism the primary cause of World War II? YES

Report
By: Emily Southey
Opposition Why they were NOT the primary cause of WWII:
Arguments
Treaty of
Versailles
The treaty itself was not the cause, it was the idealistic
allies failing to make it harsh enough that allowed
Germany to rebuild which led to the war
Additionally, the allies appeasement (idealistic) of
Germany’s violations of the treaty led to the war
Hitler’s
Germany
Hitler could have been stopped numerous times.
Hitler himself said that if they met French resistance in
the Rhineland, they would have been forced to retreat.
Military
Ambition
The other axis powers (Italy and Japan) would not have
started a war on their own, they did not have the
resources to wage war(military, industrial strength)
IDEALIST
THINKER(S)
THEIR
IDEALISTIC
POLICY
THE GOAL OF THEIR
POLICY/IDEA
HOW IT LED TO WWII
Neville
Chamberlain
Appeasement To prevent war through
negotiation
Woodrow
Wilson
The League
of Nations
To promote peace
They did not enforce it
through international co- which gave dictators
operation (e.g.
the idea that they could
collective security)
continue to expand
without facing
consequences
David Lloyd
George &
Woodrow
Wilson
The Treaty of
Versailles
To limit Germany’s
power to rebuild,
however, not fully as cooperation is important in
peace
Enabled/encouraged
Hitler to build up his
military and continue to
occupy land
Allowed Germany to
rebuild and become a
world superpower, as it
wasn’t limiting enough
on Germany
 Assumptions
of idealism related to
appeasement: War can be prevented
&
international cooperation will
promote peace.
 Definition:
the policy of acceding to the
demands of a potentially hostile nation in the
hope of maintaining peace and
preventing war.
 Hitler
violated the Treaty of Versailles by
introducing military conscription and
rebuilding his Navy (Kreigsmarine), armoured
divisons (Panzerwaffe), and Air Force
(Luftwaffe), and yet
the allies did
NOTHING
 Germany
had assembled 95 warships, 8,250
airplanes, and an army of over 1 million
soldiers.
 The
Anglo-German Naval Agreement
allowed Germany to increase
their navy to 35% of Britain’s at the time
 Britain
 Britain
believed that this cooperation with
Germany could prevent them from
expanding: Idealistic assumptions-War can
be prevented and international cooperation
will promote peace
“The forty-eight hours after the march into
the Rhineland were the most nerve-racking in my
life. If the French had then marched into the
Rhineland
we would have had
to withdraw with our
tails between our
legs, for the military
resources at our
disposal would have
been wholly
inadequate
for even a moderate
resistance.”
 "If
you French had
intervened in the
Rhineland in 1936 we
would have been sunk
and Hitler would
have fallen.”
-Heinz Guderian, German General
NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN: AN
IDEALIST
 “The
settlement of the Czechoslovakian
problem, which has now been achieved is, in
my view, only the prelude to a larger
settlement in which all Europe may
find peace.”
-Neville Chamberlain
at the Heston
Aerdome in 1938
 “My
good friends, for the second time in our
history a British Prime Minister has returned
from Germany bringing peace with honour.
I believe it is peace for our
time”.
-Neville Chamberlain,
1938
 “The
enemy did not expect my
great determination. Our enemies are
little worms, I saw them at Munich…Now
Poland is in the position I wanted”.
– Adolf Hitler,
August 22, 1939





March 1935- Hitler introduced military conscription
and began rebuilding their armed forces
March 1936- Hitler invaded the Rhineland
March 1938- Hitler annexed Austria in the Anschluss
March 1939- Hitler occupied the rest of
Czechoslovakia
September 1, 1939- Hitler invaded Poland
All of these violations, and what did France and Britain do?
NOTHING.
They idealistically believed that appeasing Hitler would
prevent war.
“By
continually giving in
to Hitler they tempted
Hitler to go further and
further, thus encouraging
him into a war”.
-British Historian A.J.P. Taylor
Allied Quotes About Hitler

"I have never met a happier people than the
Germans and Hitler is one of the
greatest men." -David Lloyd George

“One man has accomplished this miracle. He is a
born leader of men. A magnetic dynamic personality
with a single-minded purpose, a resolute will, and
a dauntless heart. He is the national Leader.”-David
Lloyd George

"Yes, Heil Hitler. I, too, say that because he is truly
a great man.”- David Lloyd George

“There is no human being living whose promise on
important matters I would trust more readily.“Viscount Rothermere, British Politician

similar documents