The End of the First World War and the Beginning of the Second World War

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Question 1

The world created between the end of the First World War in 1919 and the beginning of the Second World War in 1939 was one of the economic and social depression as well as one filled with political unpredictability which marked existence of ideologies. In this regard, I totally agree that the interwar period should be remembered as a time of deep political instability and upsetting economic and social vicissitudes that was relentlessly by the prospect of another war. During these era, people were in lookout for fundamental solution to the radical hitches, and many began to believe that the solution could only be found in various ideologies. This era can be categorized as a period of naïve idealism that was filled with failed experiments as a consequence of the ideologies. As a result, people started believing in communism, fascism, democracy such as the American promise of democracy and imperialism. As a consequence of these believes, the great depression came to existence due to effect of capitalist economy associated with democracy. In the countries which were relatively strong, their government stepped in to facilitate provision of relief to their citizens which shifted many democratic nations to become socialists. Contrary to this, military took control of the government in the weaker countries seeking to provide security. For the poor, communism seemed to work relatively well as it provided solutions to the prevalent problems they had succumbed to. This was because the core belief of the communism was that wealth was to be shared equally among all the citizens. However, the communism and equal sharing of resources is what the upper class feared the most and thus government that would protect them was formed which was against the communist revolution. This gave a rise to fascism. The whole of the “isms” was as a result of the rise various governments around the world which was opposite of what Wilson had envisioned. As highlighted below, these believes gave rise to what happened in the interwar period.


In the interwar period, various countries adopted the ideology of imperialism. Nationalism was the main concept that acted as a motive mostly for European countries to begin the imperialism. Essentially, imperialism existed in three forms; colonies, protectorates and sphere of influence. The main goal of the imperialism was to expand and extend powers of a country and influence through diplomacy and the military force. As a result, these brought about the effects of political instabilities that escalated the beginning of the Second World War. Nevertheless, imperialism had positive effects as the colonies created in African had access to improved education and sanitation.

American and the Promise of Democracy

The promise of democracy was anticipated by president Wilson with his vision of a peaceful world filled with self-determined and governments that practiced democracies. Not only in United States, people all over the world were fighting for their right to participate in decisions made by the government. However, democracy and capitalist economy were to blame the economic consequences that resulted. This economic consequences led to great depression. In essence, it can be seen that democracy and capitalist espoused economic theory that exacerbated the occurrence of the Great Depression.

Communism and Fascism

These are two main ideology that came to live during the interwar period. Essentially, the ideology of communism revolved around the aspect of equal sharing of resources among the citizens. Communism carried with some theoretical beneficial ideas which included, equal treatment of people whereby every person was treated equally regardless of their financial standing and education, every citizen was entitled to a job as well as it created an internally stable economic system. However, the rich could not withstand the ideology behind communism. As a result, they came up with an ideology that opposed communism-Fascism. The ideal nature of fascism was that it operated as antidemocratic, anti-Marxist and it was racist. However though, fascism would prioritize the welfare of the society, led to speedy decision making process as well as promoted social economic equality.

The Great Depression

The interwar period is also associated with the great depression. The great depression show the beginning of the economic crisis that was encapsulated with low business activity which begun with the stock market crash in 1929. This economic crisis is believed to have been brought about by the capital economic linked with the democracy. In conclusion, the highlighted and diverging ideas among the countries mostly in Europe caused the interwar period to be one that contained various economic crisis, political instability which consequently resulted to eruption of the Second World War

Question 2

The Second World War begun in September 1939 when both France and Britain declared war to Germany following the invasion of Poland by Germany. The cause of the Second World War was brought by many aspects that revolved around the interwar period.  However, this aspects were brought about by the fact that Germany refused to sign the outcome of the treaty of versatile. Various ideology that existed during the interwar period caused Germany to continue with their style of expanding Germany territorial land failing to honor the treaty of versatile. In this regard, I disagree with the statement that the origin of the Second World War cannot be explained by the failures of the treaty of versatile. This is because, the cause of the war was much revolving around the terms highlighted in the treaty. To begin with, France and Britain declared war with Germany due to the German’s desire to use aggressive war to turn Germany from a regional power to become a global superpower. This was also the cause of the First World WAR. The versatile treaty main purpose was to control Germany from such kind of acts after the First World War. Generally, the terms of the versatile treaties were;
  • War guilt clause that needed Germany to accept the blame of commencing the First World War.
  • Territorial Clause which indicated that some land would be taken away from Germany.
  • Disarmament that allowed Germany to have only small army and six naval ships with no tanks and submarines.
  • Reparations whereby Germany would pay 6600 million pounds to pay for the damage caused by the war.
Germany were unhappy with this and they declined the treaty claiming that it was too harsh. What followed in the interwar era saw Germany through the governance of Adolph Hitler breaking the treaty of versatile when he begun re-arming themselves. Consequently, the Prime Minister of Britain Neville Chamberlain believed that Germans had totally undergone of the limits in relation to the versatile treaty and as a result there was Munich agreement of September 1938 which Germany went further to disagree with it as they continued to expand their territorial boundaries with an aim of creating the Germany Empire. This caused both the France and Britain to feel betrayal and they formed what was called the League of Nations. However, the League of Nations was not effective in preventing Germany from accomplishing their plans. As a result, France and Britain declared war on Germany after it invaded Poland and this commenced the Second World War. In this regard, all the events that caused the outbreak of this war were linked with failure of Germany to honor the Treaty of Versatile.
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The end of the First World War and the beginning of the Second World War. (2019, Oct 10). Retrieved June 24, 2024 , from

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