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How did the Second World War Begin?

Directions: Read the passage below. Then, answer the questions on your separate
question sheet.

Fascism in Germany and Italy

In the years just after the end of the First World War, severe economic
problems in Italy and Germany led to the rise of Fascism and dictators like
Benito Mussolini (1922) and Adolph Hitler (1933). Fascism is a type of
nationalism that is very imperialistic and militaristic, meaning Fascist
countries build up large armies with the intention of conquering other areas
to exploit their natural resources. In the 1920s and 1930s especially, both
Hitler and Mussolini began building up their armies as fast as they could.
This presented a problem for the other countries in Europe, especially
England and France. One of the terms in the Treaty of Versailles said that
Germany was not allowed to have more than a very small army so that
Germany could not start another World War. Clearly, Germany was not
violating the Treaty of Versailles. England and France, still recovering from
WWI and in the midst of the Great Depression, did not want to start another
war to stop Germanys militarism. England and France did not have any
other clear options.
In addition to building up Germanys military, starting in 1936 Hitler
began to take over small areas of the countries around Germany. He said
these areas were populated by German-speaking people who should be part
of Germany or who needed protection from non-German governments. In
reality, these areas were mostly places that had formerly been part of
Germany, but had been split off by the Treaty of Versailles. This included
areas along the border with France such as the Saar and the Ruhr Valley,
and parts of Eastern Europe and Poland. These areas were important to
German industry and would be
useful to build up Germanys armies
and navies. In addition, Hitler (who
had been born in Austria) added the
whole country of Austria to
Each time Hitler moved to take
over a piece of a neighboring
country, it sparked a crisis. The only
real option England and France had
was to attack Germany, starting
another war. Hitler was a skilled
politician who knew that England

and France did not want to start another war, so he would promise that was
the last time.
This was called the Appeasement The Policy of England and France
letting Hitler take over new territories and become stronger in hopes of
avoiding another war. The policy of Appeasement is often associated with
the Munich Conference in 1938 where the leaders of England and France let
Hitler take over part of Czechoslovakia instead of attacking Germany.
England and France called the Munich Pact Peace in out time. Little did
they know, the largest, deadliest and costliest war in history would start less
than a year later.
Hitler Invades Poland The Second World War Begins
Hitler was very successful at taking over regions around Germany until
he tried to take over part of Poland in 1939. This time, England and France
had signed a secret treaty promising to defend Poland if it was ever
attacked by Germany. On September 1st, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland.
Poland was a new country created after WWI and was not prepared for
Germanys well-trained and powerful army. They were quickly overwhelmed
and completely taken over. In response, England and France declared war
on Germany. The Second World War had begun.
In the spring of 1940, Germany invaded France. Unlike the fighting in
WWI, Germany now had huge numbers of Tanks, Airplanes, and Trucks to
move soldiers around quickly. Germany called this style of fighting
Blitzkrieg which means Lighting War in German. This strategy was very
different from the trench warfare used in WWI. Unlike trench warfare,
Germanys Blitzkrieg was fast and effective. Using these new weapons,
Germany defeated France after only a few weeks.

April 16th, 2015 Period


World War II and The Cold War RESEARCH LOG

Unit 10

Essential Question #3: How did Appeasement lead to the start of

World War II?
Sub Questions: Review Question (1)How did the failures of the Weimar Republic
lead to the rise of Hitler in Germany in 1933? (1) Why did Germany and Italy begin
building up their armies in the 1920s and 1930s? (2) Why did the Treaty of
Versailles say that Germany could not have a military? (3) Why did England and
France not try to stop Germany from building up its military during the 1930s? (4)
What event is most associated with Appeasement? (5) Why do you think most
people in 1936-1938 liked the policy of Appeasement? (6) Why did Appeasement
lead to the Second World War? (7) What event started WWII?

Define Terms
FascismAppeasement -

Blitzkrieg Document Questions

1. How did Hitler and the Nazis convince Germany to go along with their plans
for war?
2. How did Hitler and the Nazis train young people to cooperate with their plans
for war?
Answer the essential question: How did Appeasement lead to the start of
World War II?

Essential Question #3 Extra Notes