The Causes of World War II: Expository Essay

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World War II happened in 1939 between the Axis powers and the allies. Despite the measures to prevent the occurrence of the war, it finally broke out. Consequently, the war led to mass destruction and it is the disastrous war in history.

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To begin with, the treaty of Versailles caused the Second World War. Leaders from Italy, France, England, and the US had a meeting to discuss how Germany would pay the cost of the First World War. The wish of Woodrow Wilson was a treaty to be made based on his 14 points plan as he believed it would restore peace in Europe. However, Georges Clemenceau wanted payback against Germany to ensure that it never initiated another war. The expectation of Germany was an agreement that was founded on Wilson’s plan and was unhappy with the terms of the Versailles treaty, but they were forced to sign it for lack of choice. The terms of the agreement were such that Germany was to accept the blame for World War I and pay the agreed pounds for the destruction caused (Slavicek 12). Furthermore, Germany was to be disarmed, and part of its land was to be taken away. German people were unhappy with the treaty considering that there were few jobs and the cost of food was high. Consequently, when Adolf Hitler got to power, he started building an army and weapons for Germany. Later on, Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939. Therefore, the treaty of Versailles is to blame for the cause of World War II.

Secondly, the failure of the League of Nations led to World War II. The League of Nations was formed as an international organization to keep world peace (Gerstein 68). It intended to have all the countries as its members, and in case of disputes, it would help them settle the differences through negotiations rather than through force. Where the talks would fail, the countries in the conflict would stop trading with each other. In case, that too failed, states would use their armies. However, the treaty was a failure because not all states joined it and it did not have powers. Also, the league had no military, and it was unable to act quickly. Hence, the League could not respond promptly to an act of violence. Therefore, its failure led to the Second World War.

Thirdly, the great worldwide depression caused World War II. Many resources had been used to carry out World War I. It resulted in high debts. Additionally, the cost of rebuilding Western Europe escalated the indebtedness on the part of Western Europe to the United States. The Treaty of Versailles added to Germany’s obligations. The poor governance in the nations led to a slow reconstruction that exposed them to slow economic growth. The great depression occurred when the United States recalled its debts following the crash of the New York Stock Market and the Western countries were unable to repay the debts leading to the collapse of their economies (Kiprop 2). Hence, the governments became unstable and resulting in World War II.

World War II was characterized by the use of atomic bombs. The Adversaries of the USA were Japan, Italy, and Germany. The United States argued that it used the atomic bombs to convince Japan to surrender. Hence it would make it possible for the U.S to invade Japan with the aim of reducing the consequence of the war (Berkin et al., 597). The atomic bombs were thought to be less fatal as compared to what the continued resistance would have caused for both Japan and the U.S. Moreover Economist Gar Alperovitz argues that the bombs were dropped moreover to intimidate the Soviet Union than to conquer Japan. The United States could have used other alternatives like continuing with the conventional bombing, letting the Japanese keep their emperor, waiting for the Russians, or continuing with the demonstration of the Bomb. The alternatives were never in use since the U.S wanted the Japanese to surrender unconditionally.

Recently, some people have questioned the motive for using the Atomic bombs in the Second World War. Proponents argue that the weapons should not have been used. The reasons were that the bombs were made for defense only rather than for offensive purposes. Another reason is that the use of the Bombs was illegal since it is a weapon of mass destruction (Should Truman have used the Atomic Bomb?). Again, opponents of the decision to use the atomic bombs argue that the bombs were used out of racial motivation by the Anti-Japanese racist. The augments are valid since the Atomic bombs were very destructive and inhuman. Additionally, the Japanese were near surrender.


In summary, some factors led to World War II where the atomic bombs were deployed. The factors include the treaty of Versailles, the failure of the League of Nations, and the worldwide depression. The United States bombed Japan to make it surrender though there were alternatives that it could have used like continuing with the conventional bombing or letting the Japanese keep their emperor since they were almost to surrender.

Works Cited

Berkin, Carol, Miller, Christopher, Cherny, Robert, Gormly, James, and Egerton, Douglas. Making America: Since 1865. Wadsworth Pub Co, 2013.

Gerstein, Daniel M. Securing America's Future: National Strategy in the Information Age. Westport, Conn: Praeger Security International, 2005.

Kiprop, Joseph. What Was the Main Cause of World War II? World Atlas, 2017.

Should Truman Have Used the Atomic Bomb? The U.S.News, 2016.

Slavicek, Louise C. The Treaty of Versailles. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2010

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