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The Causes of World War 2

Historians argue that there were numerous causes of World War 2. Nonetheless, they identify some factors as the major causes of WW2. These include the failure of the League of Nations to maintain peace and the harshness of the Treaty of Versailles towards Germany. Appeasement also encouraged the war since it made Adolf Hitler believe that no country would challenge him. Finally, Hitler’s expansionist ideas made WW2 begin.

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WW2 differed from the First World War in a number of ways. WW1’s warring groups were the Central Powers and the Allied Forces. Conversely, WW2’s warring factions were the Axis and the Allies. Secondly, WW1 had approximately 10 million casualties while WW2 had about 40 million fatalities. Thirdly, WW1 took a period of four years (1914-1918) while WW2 took a period of six years (1939-1945). Moreover, WW1 was fought after the acquisition of resources and colonies while WW2 was conflict over ideologies like fascism. WW1 was triggered by the death of Archduke Ferdinand, nationalism and militarism. Conversely, Germany’s economic and social instability, the rise of Hitler and the Treaty of Versailles triggered WW2.

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Racism and ethnicity played a key role in WW2. It guided the formation of the Axis military coalition. Additionally, Adolf Hitler viewed it as a racist conflict. Racism also defined how the Japanese treated Chinese and Koreans. Moreover, African Americans perceived the war as a white man’s conflict.   

Before the war, women’s position in the society was the performance of household chores. However, during the war, they took different roles previously performed only by men. In Britain, they worked in the Women’s Auxiliary Fire and the Police Corps departments. Canadian women worked as drivers, clerks and typists, cooks in healthcare facilities, and telephone operators. Finnish women worked in defense nursing, hospitalization and air attack signaling. In Germany, they took part in combat.


WW2 ended after Germany surrendered unconditionally on May 7 1945. Britain and America had defeated Germany in the West while Russia defeated her on the east. The atomic bombing of Japan in Nagasaki and Hiroshima in August 1945 made the Japanese surrender, making the war’s end.

The war had many societal and cultural impacts on European society. Many cities were destroyed and there was the United States, French and British domination in Europe. The Red Army also dominated most of Eastern Europe. Europe was affected financially, morally and physically. Views on ideal like racism also changed progressively.

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