The Interwar Period

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Question 1

The interwar period should be recalled only as a time of deep political instability, economic change and unsettling social, constantly overshadowed by the prospect of another war. During World War I, most of the European countries were predominantly comprised of the world war powers. It is important to note that most of these countries were under the influence of Germany in the West and Russia in the East.  Undeniably, Scandinavian countries had so far suffered a lot under the rule of the Soviet Union. Under the rule of Stalin, these countries did not have neither economic nor political freedom. Evidently, such countries like Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia would experience one of the most difficult periods regarding political dictatorship. Based on the political and economic challenges or problems they had faced, it was long overdue to cooperate in their foreign affairs on a ten-year deal. Through fascism, every country was in a bid to protect its people.

Democracy was also practiced to a small extent during the years. Poland in particular formed a democratic government in 1922. Unfortunately, dictatorship would attack the new formed democratic under the rule of Joseph Pilsudski by 1926. As much as efforts were made to revert to the previous democratic government, they proved unfruitful when immense powers were constitutionally given to the president by 1934. Another country that visibly experienced political turmoil was Hungary. Before the war, Hungary and Austria were intertwined under Hapsburg Emperor of Austria. After Hungary had broken off from Austria to form an independent, this was not to last long whereby the new National Council was overthrown by the power hungry communists. After the ongoing political uncertainties, the case was resolved by installing a monarchy form of government only for it to end being a bloody dictatorship. During this period, Hungary experienced quite a considerable level of economic hardship with land cessation a common phenomenon.

After the onset of World War I, the global population oversaw one of the most economically difficult periods. The great depression set in causing the economy to experience a nosedive. Deaths were to the tunes of millions leading to a significant loss of labor force. As a result, industrialization was at its lowest. On the same note, so much property and land were destructed making Europe an economic desert so to say. Furthermore, the period was characterized by high levels of poverty on the part of the ordinary citizenry. The quality of life took a heavy dip, and living conditions were very wanting. Agricultural production levels hit a historical low with Austria experiencing almost a 53% decline. The economic implications of the war would be felt immediately after the war when the world experienced one of the worst recorded recessions and inflation.. These strikes were geared towards achieving better working conditions and better remuneration.

The role of women cannot be understated during the interwar period. It is at this period that most women were better educated. There were therefore more job opportunities for them. Some jobs came up which were considered ‘women’s work’. After World War 1, women came out to fight for their rights as workers in various industrial sectors especially new light industries. After the disqualification of the sex act, many women entered into professions and got more job openings.

The onset of world war two was stimulated by a couple of factors. One of the causes of the war before it even started was the Italian fascism of the late 1920s and more so the political takeover of Germany in 1933 by Adolf Hitler. It should be noted that he had an aggressive foreign policy. Different ideologies were developed during the interwar period. Tensions arose due to these ideologies and some governments were dissatisfied by them. The League of Nations was also a failure on its part since it failed to protect Abyssinia from attack by Italy. The policies of appeasement were ineffective and feeble. The immediate cause was when the Nazi tried to solve the Polish corridor.

Question 2

It is true that the failures of the requirements of the Versailles treaty were not the only reasons which contributed to the start of the Second World War as there are many other factors which led to this. The signing of the Versailles treaty contributed to the ending of the First World War and this happened in 28th June 1919. This is the treaty that led to the creation of the League of Nations in the year 1919 and this was to prevent any further wars in the future then. Germany was not allowed to be a member of this treaty until the year 1926- seven years later. It was written between allies who stood for the same ideology of living peacefully and it was formulated in Paris France. The treaty also spelt the new boundaries of Germany, identifying Germany as the key contributor to the First World War there before. Some part of Germany was given to Belgium, some to Poland, Alsace Lorraine was given back to its native owner France and a number of districts in the eastern part of Germany was given to Poland. Many financial obligations were imposed on Germany and she agreed to bow down to these allegations although the Germans signed the treaty with a lot of protesting while the US government didn’t take many responsibilities for most of the treaty’s provisions. However, in the year 1939, Adolf Hitler breached the provisions of the treaty by attacking Poland which was a neutral country. This sparked the beginning of the Second World War in the year 1939 which lasted till the year 1945.

Among the other causes of the Second World War was the Japanese invasions of China in the 1930s which brought division and created a stress line by creating allies to either sides. The other cause of the war was the Italian fascism whose origin can be traced back to the 1920s and the man behind this was an Italian dictator by the name Mussolini. The other cause of the Second World War was the political takeover of Germany which took place in the year 1933 putting a very ambitious leader in power who was Adolf Hitler. He wanted to concur the world and attain the fame and glory that Germany had one time. This was majorly supported by his Nazi party and also the aggressive policy on foreign issues. Adolf Hitler felt that his country had been unfairly treated by the Versailles treaty and this dissatisfaction made him mobilize fellow Germans to spark off the Second World War. Another key cause of the Second World War was the militarism which made many countries have strong military powers due to the science inventions in the field of military such as the invention of the machine gun and development of military cars. This sparked aggression between countries since they felt they had a military back up to rise against their enemies. The Spanish civil war also was a key contributor and it led to support of Germans and Italians on the nationalists while the Soviet Union supported the government. The issue of allies led to war since enemies took different sides and fought against each other indirectly. Italian invasion of Albania also contributed to the war in 1939. One of the most immediate causes of the Second World War was the invasion of Poland by Germany and it should be noted that Poland was a neutral state that did not support either the Germany or the Soviet fronts. This sparked conflict since Britain entered into the issue by supporting Poland.

Therefore, the failure of the Versailles treaty is not the only reason for the occurrence of the Second World War.