Twenty years after the World War I the world was once again thrown into the inferno of another World War which was much more extensive than the former one? Further, in the World War II there was a much more terrible massacre of human lives and property than the World War I.
There were various causes behind the outbreak of the World War II.
(1) The Treaty of Versailles signed in 1919 ended the World War I. But it could not establish real peace in Europe.
This treaty was unjust and harsh to Germany which was sought to be crippled by the victorious Allied Powers for ever.
(2) Quite naturally the Germans could not accept the terms of the Treaty of Versailles from the depth of their hearts.
Hence when Hitler opposed the Treaty of Versailles and sought to raise Germany once again to her former position of glory, he was supported by the Germans wholeheartedly. Thus the Treaty of Versailles was responsible for the World War II.
(3) The democratic governments could not solve the varied problems which cropped up in the countries like Germany, Italy, etc. in the post-World War I period. As a consequence, in these countries developed aggressive nationalism which aimed only at establishing the supremacy of the respective nations?
(4) As a. Latter of fact, the rise of Nazism in Germany and Fascism in Italy .nay be regarded as one of the main causes of the World War II. Hitler of Germany and Mussolini of Italy believed in imperialist activities and the application of force for the realisation of their ends.
(5) After his rise to power Hitler adopted an aggressive policy which was not opposed by the powerful countries like England and France. Their policy of appeasement increased Hitler’s craving for conquest of countries and thus paved the way for the World War II.
(6) As the democratic countries of Europe were not favorably disposed to the socialist Russia they instead of combining to oppose the aggressive policy of Hitler, allowed him opportunity to increase his power against Russia. England and France thought that Russia was the sole target of German attack.
(7) Soviet Russia entered into a non- aggression pact with Germany in 1939 as a defensive measure. The Russo-German (or Nazi-Soviet) Non-aggression Pact decidedly enhanced Hitler’s power and encouraged him to declare war against England and France.
(8) The imperialist activities of Japan in the Far-East are also to be considered as one of the main causes of the World War II. Japan captured Manchuria in 1931 practically without any opposition Emboldened by this she carried on her aggressive activities in total defiance of the international rules and regulations.
(9) With the deplorable failure of the League of Nations to resist the imperialist activities of Japan, Germany and Italy the different countries lost faith in the international organization. In fact, many countries withdrew from the League and gradually the League went out of existence.
The World War II started with the German attack on Poland on 1 September, 1939. Just after two days England and France declared war against Germany. In the world War II Italy, Germany and Japan formed one bloc known as ‘Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis’, and England, France, Russia, etc. formed the other bloc known as the ‘Allies’ which was later joined by the USA.