Hist1403E February 6, 2012
Background to World War II
A new feature; didn’t exist before World War II.
Glorification of war, and the belief that war is the only solution.
Charismatic leadership, economic control, military power, etc.
The concept of the scapegoats emerges; blaming things on the other.
2. Great Depression (End of Gold Standard)
The gold standard diminished, and currencies became doubted.
Totalitarian leaders emerged because people were drawn to the charismatic leaders
who claimed that they could solve the problems (the people were desperate for
There was a lack of trust in The Axis. Nations were very hesitant to put their trust in
the respected leaders, but they didn’t have any other choice.
3. Passive Britain and France
The rich assumed Hitler to be an outspoken joke; he was a lunatic not worth getting
concerned about. If he had been more quite, secretive, or tight-lipped, he would have
been investigated more. He constantly encouraged the people to join his movement
Actions of Hitler (1933-1938)
o In 1933, Hitler took Germany out of the League of Nations. He held a
plebacite and claimed that it was what his people wanted. This made some
members of the League of Nations question their position in the League –
Churchill didn’t oppose because he believed Hitler to be a man of peace.
o 1935 he publicly declared that he was going to rebuild Germany’s army.
o 1936 Hitler occupied the Rhine Land (major confrontation with the Treaty of
Versailles). He doesn’t care because he knows that there will be no
o 1937 he announces his plan to invade Austria. He said that he wanted to
bring the German people living there back to Germany. He said the same
thing for many other countries. The Appeasement: The