The Causes of World War 2

Matthew T
Mind Map by Matthew T, updated more than 1 year ago More Less
Matthew T
Created by Matthew T over 5 years ago


A mind-map summarising all of the key details of the causes of World War 2 for EdExcel GCSE History A Unit 1: International Relations.

Resource summary

The Causes of World War 2
1 The Great Depression
1.1 1929 Wall Street Crash led to worldwide depression
1.2 Production of manufactured goods fell by 80%
1.3 European countries dependent on US loans and trade
1.4 Helped Hitler rise to power
1.5 End of goodwill between nations
2 Manchuria 1931-33
2.1 Causes
2.1.1 Japan a rising Pacific power
2.1.2 Protectionist policies led to loss of trade
2.1.3 Needed to expand beyond Korea, Formosa, Sakhalin Island
2.2 Events
2.2.1 Attack by Chinese troops on Japanese railway
2.2.2 Manchuria invaded - natural resources + market
2.2.3 Puppet government instated in Manchukuo
2.2.4 China appealed to L of N
2.2.5 Lytton Commission sent - very slow, over a year to investigate
2.3 Results
2.3.1 L of N condemned action
2.3.2 Japan withdrew from L of N
2.3.3 B + F unwilling to support League
2.3.4 Encouraged further aggression
3 Abyssinia 1935-36
3.1 Causes
3.1.1 Mussolini wanted world prestige
3.1.2 No European influence
3.1.3 Revenge for 1896 Battle of Adowa
3.2 Events
3.2.1 Brutal invasion involving poison gas
3.2.2 Haile Selassie directly appealed to L of N
3.2.3 L of N imposed economic sanctions - no oil, Suez Canal open
3.2.4 Hoare-Laval Pact compromise to placate Mussolini - withdrawn
3.3 Results
3.3.1 Unwilling to use force
3.3.2 B + F undermining League
3.3.3 "the League is all very well when sparrows shout, but no good at all when eagles fall out" - Mussolini
4 Hitler's aims
4.1 Reverse Diktat/Treaty of Versailles
4.2 Exit League of Nations
4.3 Create Grossdeutschland
4.4 Give German people Lebensraum
4.5 Plebiscite returning Saar "first injustice to be reversed"
5 Rearmament and alliances
5.1 Disarmament Conference 1932-4 - other powers refused to disarm so Hitler began rearmament
5.2 Non-Aggression Pact with Poland 1934 - weaken alliance with France + show no threat to Poland (only USSR)
5.3 Conscription - army 550,000 by 1935, Stresa Front formed to preserve peace but collapsed due to Abyssinia and Naval Treaty
5.4 Anglo-German Naval Treaty 1935 - Britain sympathy, wanted buffer against Communism, German navy 35% of British
5.5 Remilitarisation of Rhineland 1936 - risk due to fears of French retaliation but B + F unwilling to act, key success for Hitler
5.6 Rome-Berlin Axis 1936 - informal agreement, led to working together in Spanish Civil War
5.7 Anti-Comintern Pact 1937 - Fascist Germany, Italy, Japan work to oppose Communism
5.8 Pact of Steel 1939 - formal Italo-German military alliance
6 Breaches in 1938
6.1 Anschluss 1938
6.1.1 Dollfuss 1934 had failed, but Italian support allowed German aggression
6.1.2 Schuschnigg ordered plebiscite for German union
6.1.3 Hitler threatened to make Vienna "Guernica of Austria" if Schuschnigg didn't resign
6.1.4 Seyss-Inquart invited troops into Austria Mar 1938
6.1.5 New plebiscite - 99% wanted union with Germany
6.2 Sudetenland 1938
6.2.1 Sudetenland rich in coal + defences
6.2.2 German propaganda showed Czech atrocities
6.2.3 Berchtesgaden and Godesberg meetings no result - Hitler's demands more audacious
6.2.4 Munich Agreement 29 Sep 1938 - Chamberlain, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini, NO Stalin or Benes
6.2.5 Mussolini's "compromise" gave Germany all demands
6.2.6 Chamberlain "peace in our time"
6.2.7 Czechoslovakia stripped of all defence + humiliated
7 Steps to war
7.1 Czechoslovakia Mar 1939
7.1.1 Slovak/Ruthenian separatists demand independence
7.1.2 Tiso and Hacha bullied into allowing invasion
7.1.3 Bohemia + Moravia German protectorates
7.1.4 Slovakia German puppet state
7.1.5 Ruthenia to Hungary
7.2 Poland Apr 1939
7.2.1 Hitler demanded Danzig + Polish Corridor return
7.2.2 B + F acted decisively - gave guarantees of support to Poland, Greece, Romania
7.2.3 Hitler not yet ready for war on 2 fronts
7.3 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
7.3.1 Britain sent Reginald Plunkett Ranfurly Ernle-Erle Drax to Russia by boat - slow, no urgency
7.3.2 Stalin offended + suspicious of British
7.3.3 Agreed not to fight in war
7.3.4 Carved up Eastern Europe into spheres of influence
7.3.5 Alliance between opposing political systems
7.4 Poland Sep 1939
7.4.1 Pact gave Hitler confidence
7.4.2 Guarantees of support too late
7.4.3 Appeasement backfired
7.4.4 Too far for B + F to help
8 Appeasement
8.1 Reasons for
8.1.1 First World War horrific
8.1.2 Germany treated unfairly at Versailles
8.1.3 Strong buffer against Stalinism + Communism
8.1.4 Britain unready for war
8.1.5 Preoccupied by Depression
8.1.6 Spanish Civil War shocked world
8.2 Reasons against
8.2.1 Hitler grew stronger + stronger
8.2.2 Morally wrong + cowardly
8.2.3 Chamberlain misjudged Hitler as rational
8.2.4 Key moments (e.g. Rhineland) missed
8.2.5 War was inevitable
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