Expository Essay on Causes of World War II: U.S Adversaries and the Use of Atomic Bombs

2022-01-18 20:21:38
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Middlebury College
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Of the wars that the world has experienced, World War II remains to be one of the devastating wars. The origins of the war remain the question in the mind of many generations that have passed and are still in existence. The generations which experienced the war are passing away, but yet many of their successors remain responsive to the echoes of the war. World War II began on 3rd September 1939 when Great Britain and France declared war on Germany (Bell 3). The battle then broke with two key opposing groups the Allies and the Axis. The Allies powers were made up of the U.S, France, Australia, India, the Soviet Union, Canada, Greece, and Great Britain. On the other hand, the Axis was made up of Germany, Italy, and Japan. Until its ending in September 1945, the shadow of the effects of the war is still on with an estimated between 40 and 50 million casualties dead left a lasting scar on the face of the world especially Europe (Bell 4). However, what caused the war remains the question in the minds of many. Also, the effect of the involvement of the United States and the decisions in using the atomic bombs on Japanese cities have several arguments against it.

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Several causes are linked to the eruption of World War II. First, the Versailles Treaty is seen as a contributing factor to the emergence of the war. It was signed in June 1919 was a necessity as it terminated the war between Germany and the Allied powers (Bell 20). However, after the treaty and the imposition of the reparations, Germany was angry with the fact that they endured many territorial losses such as the two cities on the French-Germany border. Also, Germany was not happy with Poland reforming the access to the Baltic Sea splitting Germany into the central part and the small portions. Germany was being inflamed in silence over these issues. Additionally, Italy was also angry with the Treaty of Versailles because they were not satisfied with the land given to them as compensation for their involvement in fighting against Germany. Being a winner over Germany, Japan was in quest of gaining control over China as a reward for their involvement in World War I, but due to the Treaty of Versailles, this did not occur. The ups and downs in the Treaty of Versailles did not culminate well in the peace efforts that were intended but created more hatred among nations. It therefore among other reasons like the rise of fascism, goals of Adolf Hitler wanted Germany to take control of the world, and the American and British Isolationism necessitated the break out of World War II (Taylor 100).

Consequently, as the war broke in 1939, the U.S did not enter the war until 1941. Since the war was made up of two forces, the Allies, and the Axis, the U.S was on the side of the Allies which was majorly made up of Great Britain, the Soviet Union, France, and Greece ("World War II (1939-1945)"). On the contrary, the U.S adversaries during this war were the Axis Powers made up of Germany, Italy, and Japan who are pitted as the cause of the war.

While in the war, America under the rule of President Truman Drooped nuclear bombs in August 1945 in two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The dropping of the bomb is thought to be the cause of the end of the war in September 1945. Since the making of the atomic bombs through the Manhattan Project, the United States was designing a bomb that could be used to make the Axis Power surrender. Since the making of the bomb, it was then until July 1945 that it was tested. Since Germany surrendered on May 7th, Japan had not surrendered, and the bomb was dropped to convince Japan to surrender. Another reason was to scare the Soviet Union that America had a deadly weapon (Nichols). However, despite the times and the confusion during the war, there were still few alternatives that could be used. Since Germany had surrendered, Japan remaining in the Axis was growing weak and could surrender. The first alternative could be letting Japan surrender which they could have done eventually. Secondly, the U.S could have, invaded on full-scale the Japanese homeland (Nichols). The reason for not using this alternative was that the U.S wanted to take immediate action to lure Japan to surrender.

President Truman who ordered the use of the atomic bombs received many criticisms from many parts of the world. The decision of Truman reaching on bombing the Japanese cities was based on the fact that it could bring the war to an end. However, several arguments exist against the use of bombs. First, it was seen as an act of racism ion using the bombs against only Japan. Using the bomb against Japan despite them being weak at the time was pointless. Thirdly, the action was seen to be motivated by political effect and had further to do with making the Soviet Union realize that the U.S had the weapon than the war in the Pacific (Nichols). The issue of racism to me is not valid because America could have used the bomb against Germany if they had not surrendered early since that was the first-hand motive behind the making of the bomb. On the second argument, I think it is valid because Japan had already weakened and could surrender. Finally, the issue of political effect on the Soviet is valid because the Soviet Union were starting to grow stronger and the U.S wanted to send a message.


In conclusion, World war II was an event that left unhealing scars in the hearts of the population of the world, especially Europe. The deaths realized, and the destruction of the property remains in the limelight. Most of the causes of this war came from the Treaty of Versailles. Despite the two opposite sides, the Axis and the Allied being in war for all that time, the war finally ended in 1945. The U.S dropping the bomb on Japanese cities was in the limelight as it nested on Japan surrendering. Nevertheless, the war happened, and it was a lesson of the past mistakes made, and from that countries now coexist peacefully.

Works Cited

Bell, Philip Michael Hett. The Origins of the Second World War in Europe. Routledge, 2014.

Nichols, Tom. "No Other Choice: Why Truman Dropped The Atomic Bomb On Japan". The National Interest, 2015,

Taylor, Alan John Percivale. Origin of the Second World War. Simon and Schuster, 1996.

"World War II (1939-1945)".

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