Western Civilia Essay, Research Paper
Western Civilization Final Exam Tuesday, June 23, 1998 Question: What were the causes of the World War II? Do you believe that the war could hold been prevented? Why or Why non? After the autumn of the Weimar authorities, and the rise to power of the National Socialists headed by Adolph Hitler, Germany underwent immense transmutations. One of the largest of these was the alteration in foreign policy. Between the old ages of 1933 and 1936, while the Nazis began to consolidate their power, Hitler s foreign policy was one of calming. Germany did what of all time it could to maintain peace and tensenesss low between itself and Great Britain, Italy and the USSR. Germany used this calming to maintain peace long plenty to to the full derive control of the state. After 1936, their policy changed. Nazi Germany s foreign policy towards Great Britain was make what of all time it takes to maintain them happy. Germany wasn t ready to hold them as an enemy yet. Hitler felt that the thirster he had to fix for war the better. One of the friendly understandings was the leting of the British rearmament by Germany. This was the first clip that Germany tried to drive a cuneus between France and Great Britain. Hitler offered to profess significant rearmament to Great Britain, while besides subtly suggesting to both Italy and Great Britain to unite forces against France. Great Britain did non take up Hitler s proposals, but he did non abandon his attempts. In 1934, Germany officially began to speak with Great Britain, and they agreed on the Naval Accords in May. These agreements were a smart move by Hitler, because he gained power for Germany while, at the same clip, doing Great Britain feel more powerful. What the Navel Accords did was set up the sums of which each state could hold a navy. At that clip, the British naval forces was by far the strongest, holding twice the sum of its nearest rival, France. The British fleet controlled the Mediterranean, and Hitler was covetous of this unbelievable power. Hitler agree in May that the German naval fleet would merely construct up to 35 % of the British fleet. To Britain, this seem like a confession of lower status, because Germany was acknowledging to be merely 35 % of Great Britain. But to Germany, this was a manner to rearm themselves to the point of where they were merely somewhat behind their enemies, the Gallic. Hitler knew that German forces could get the better of the Gallic on land, but by sea, they needed to construct. But to construct a strong naval forces would anger the British. However, Hitler found a manner to make both. The treatments between Germany and Great Britain continue in 1935. In March, Hitler and Von Ribbentrop met with Simon and Eden from Great Britain. At first, Britain wanted urgently to bind down the Germans by holding them go a member of the League of Nations. The British wanted any German aggression in the hereafter to be punishable by international jurisprudence. This manner, it would be the universe s job if the Germans attached France, non merely Great Britain s and France s, like in World War I. It was evidently non in Hitler or Germany s best involvements to fall in the League of Nations, but once more Germany felt much more freedom in bilateral understandings, 1s which merely involve two states. Alternatively of rejecting the invitation, Germany utilizing really cagey diplomatic technique, replied by offering one such bilateral understanding, in which Germany would derive colonial power, along with a domain of saving. They besides used negociating power to prorogue all binding pacts. While the commissariats of the understanding were ne’er to the full carried out it is of import to understand that Germany, was non subservient to Great Britain, surely attempted to cut down tensenesss, even to the point of an confederation against France. By 1936, Hitler had successfully brought Germany closer to Great Britain utilizing many valuable diplomatic techniques. Great Britian was non the lone state to be appeased by Nazi Germany. Italy, excessively, was an of import nexus in Nazi foreign policy. Hitler knew that Germany could non last another two and perchance three front war. Hitler was forced to give up one or more of these boundary lines, and derive an back street every bit good. He chose Italy. Italy had been fascist since 1921, and had grown enormously since so. Hitler besides knew that Italy was strong plenty to keep its ain, but non strong plenty to do a difference in the coming war, if the actions of World War I were repeated. In 1936, the two leaders Hitler and Benito Mussolini, met and signed what was called the Axis Agreement. Harmonizing to the understanding, Rome and Berlin were the strongest metropoliss in Europe, and hence acted as an axis for all other powers to go around about. This pact was a loose understanding, which held the two states together until the Pact of Steel was signed in1939. Hitler, here, alleviated any possibility of there being a southern forepart. There were more than political grounds that Germany was pacifying towards Italy. The two states had a type of brotherhood, thanks to their leaders. Mussolini had been the fascist leader of Italy for 12 old ages and his system became the design for Hitler s system. The two leaders felt connected, being two fascist leaders in a universe of Communists and capitalists. Hitler learned how to efficaciously run a fascist government. An illustration of this is when Germany began to occupy Austria in 1934, and Italian military personnels marched along the Brenner Pass and pushed them back. Hitler tested his bounds and Mussolini proved Italy s power. Germany made certain non to increase tensenesss excessively much. German-Italian dealingss were really of import to Hitler because Italy was the perfect campaigner for an confederation, which explains his accent on peaceable policies. Nazi Germany was faced with the same quandary that pre-World War I leaders were, blockade. The Germans were faced with the Gallic on the West, and the Russians on the E, To relieve this job was to organize some kind of confederation with one of the two. A Fraco-German confederation was wholly out of the inquiry, the two states were excessively culturally different. Hitler was so faced with the demand to pacify the USSR. The Weimer authorities had began such a procedure in the Treaty of Rapallo. In this pact, both counties received what they needed most, for Germany it was occupations and a topographic point to sell goods, and for the USSR is was a dependable beginning of quality goods. Hitler felt that that it was wholly necessary to go on this pact for two chief grounds. The first ground was that the Germans needed a topographic point to develop their work forces. Under the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler could non develop big sums of work forces with new engineering in Germany. Hitler sent military personnels over to the USSR, where they would develop utilizing both Soviet and German engineering. In this manner, the pact would still be kept, and the German armed forces would non be outdated. The 2nd ground was caused by the confederation with Great Britain. Hitler felt that is would be impossible to at the same time seek an confederation with Great Britain while besides seeking to win settlements. Germany need new district and resources for her excess population, and without settlements, this would be impossible. Der fuhrer came up with a solution, which would give Germany her needed life infinite. Hitler proposed to seek populating infinite in the USSR. By making this, he felt, Germany would non merely have an mercantile establishment for people, soldiers, and goods, but besides it would convey the two states together. Germany was besides faced with the jobs that the Weimar Government was faced with. The biggest of these was the Treaty of Versailles. Not merely did the pact both humiliate and set to dishonor Germany, but besides it devastated them economically. One of the first things that the Nazi authorities did in 1933 was begin to liberate Germany from this pact. The pact stated that the German land ground forces could merely dwell of 100,000 work forces. This was really few compared to Germany s neighbours, which had 1000000s of military personnels at their disposal. Hitler found a manner to acquire around this, and it was by holding work forces who wanted to fall in the German ground forces, fall in the SA or the SS. These ground forcess were non technically the German ground forces, so the existent German ground forces did hold less than the sum stated. Another manner that Hitler began to invalidate the pact was to recover land lost by it. Two illustrations of this are the Saar mines and the Rhineland. After the Treaty of Versailles, Germany lost both of these country and since 1919 the German people wanted them back. The Saar mines were highly productive coalmines and the Rhineland was a fertile country used by Germany. When Hitler regained both of these countries he ( Germany ) was in direct misdemeanor of the pact. This was portion of Hitler s program to do Germany strong, his precedence was to do Germany a universe power. The pact of Versailles hurt Germany militarily, but more significantly, it hurt them economically. Germany was forced to pay for the full war, which was an unbelievable high sum, in which it could non perchance refund. The Weimer authorities struggled a great trade, holding to fight through the crisis of 1923, were the Gallic demanded payment that Germany merely did non hold. When the Nazis took control in 1933, it was a really different narrative. The Nazi had no adhering duty to the pact. Hitler did non subscribe the Treaty of Versailles, neither did any Nazi, so it was by and large felt that they should hot hold to conform their authorities to suit it. Even with the aid of the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan the debt was far excessively much for Germany to pay, so Hitler refused to pay it. He stated that the Weimar authorities signed for the debt, and that the pact died with the Weimar authorities. The authorities of Nazi Germany was non a popular one, internationally talking. In 1933, the British, Gallic and the Americans openly stated their uncomfortableness in the Nazi
seizure of power, this becomes a serious problem for Hitler. Without allies, the Nazis would surely fail. It is here that Hitler used his diplomatic skills to make other countries forget the past. Hitler began with Great Britain, encouraging British rearmament, along with fortifying Great Britain s understanding that they possessed the strongest navy in Europe. Hitler did the same with Italy, wooing them with the possibility of Germany and Italy taking over Europe. It was also clear that Hitler needed an ally to the east, and therefore began to ally with the USSR. Although his attitude changed, and many of his allies became enemies, there was one country whose fate was never in question, France. Hitler and all Germans were French-phobic due to the seizure of German lands in the Treaty of Versailles. Germany before 1936 had a one-track foreign policy that was required under the circumstance. It consisted of friendliness towards former enemies, Great Britain, the USSR, and Italy. Even though Hitler s policy was one of appeasement, it more often was a planned gamble. So many problems faced the Nazis, they were forced to take a divide and conquer attitude in both foreign and domestic policy. The new Nazi government had a tremendous amount of domestic issues to deal with up until 1936, and the foreign policy that was issued was the best time saver possible. The Nazis successfully gained control of the country and at that time, the policy became the opposite, one of complete aggression, finally leading to World War II. The foreign policy was a prelude to the aggressive, militaristic policy of the Nazis after 1936. I believe that that the war could have been prevented had Neville Chamberlin, the British Prime minister not been so afraid of war. If he had confronted Hitler earlier and stopped tying to appease him it would have stopped Hitler in his tracks. If the reparations against Germany with the Treaty of Versailles weren t so astronomical maybe the revenge that the Allies took on Germany wouldn t have came back to haunt them. A gentleman on the English Board of Trade gave Hitler a loan to try and buy peace. Yet the money when to defense building instead of war reparations. Chamberlin also didn t take Hitler s threat to attack Czechoslovakia seriously. It seemed that Chamberlin sacrificed Czechoslovakia in order to save his own country. Instead of meeting Hitler halfway on the Czech issue he practically bowed at Hitler s feet having already worked out the arrangements for the transfer of territory when they met at Godesbar. Hitler s zeal to obtain more territory could have also been squashed in the Munich Agreement. After Hitler s refusal to stop acquiring more territory Britain, France or the US could have made some arrangements to retaliate in Germany buy sanctions etc. Question: The Cold War period in European and American politics greatly influenced the development of the modern world. Describe the major events of the Cold War and its impact for both the United States and the rest of the world. The Cold War was complex and multi-faceted. There were many conflicts, many ideas, and many emotions. It was a period of East-West competition, tension, and conflict short of a full-scale war, characterized by mutual perceptions of hostile intention between military-political alliances. There were real wars, sometimes called proxy wars because they were fought by Soviet allies rather than the USSR itself along with competition for influence in the Third World, and a major superpower arms race. Arms Race: Nuclear weapons are not dangerous if there is no use for them. The Cold War invented a need for nuclear weapons. Deterrence, or the desire to show another country that yours is more powerful, has no limit. The first nuclear weapon served a purpose; it was to show Japan that the United States had the power to easily destroy their island. Its secondary and unavoidable purpose was to show the rest of the world the exact same thing. That is the true power of nuclear weapons. The decision to use the bomb on Japan was influenced more by the desire to show Japan the power of the US then to show the Soviets the potential of American technology. Roosevelt knew he was going to drop the bomb when he went to Yalta. As that point, Russia and the US were not quite in conflict. The decisions to use the bomb was in order to end the war in the Pacific. McCarthyism: Fear is the feeling of insecurity and danger found in an unfamiliar situation. When McCarthy stepped forward and claimed that a subversive force of underground communists were controlling the US, people became afraid because this politician proposed that the very sacred ground of America was tainted with unseen forces and had unknown control. The outcome of this was predictable and inevitable. McCarthy s entire claim was based on the absence of evidence. He pointed at the source of power in the US as the source of corruption against the US. It made sense. The people would never know about subversion because it is essentially subconscious and unseen. By creating its existence through ranting and accusations, McCarthy invented national fear, McCarthy had control of the nation for a while because of this fear. Finally, logic prevailed and people relized that no evidence existed to back up his claims. Space Race: The US had entered the era of the Space Race. The hope was that America would find the next frontier and conquer it before the other country. The Space Race was a political struggle with militaristic drives. Americans wanted to beat the Soviets as much as their government. The Soviets were the first to successfully get space craft up and even a monkey into space. But President Kennedy promised the US would be the first to have a man on the moon and soon the US prevailed. Berlin Wall and Airlift: Germany was rifled with turmoil. It was decided that East German forces back by the Soviet armor would seal East Berlin off from the Western sectors with a massive wall. In the 1960 s the wall was erected. The only access to West Berlin was a 20 mile wide air corridor. The Berlin Airlift was the allies getting together and moving tons of non-perishable goods to the Berlin. Diapers, food, gas, wood, all staples that could not be easily obtained. Cuban Missile Crisis: After obtaining Fidel Castro s approval, the Soviet Union worked quickly and secretly to build missile installations in Cuba. President Kennedy was shown photographs of Soviet missiles installations under construction in Cuba. After days of intense debate in the United States administration, during which Soviet diplomats denied that installations for offensive missiles were being built in Cuba, Kennedy announced the discovery of the installations and proclaimed that any nuclear missile attack from Cuba would be regarded as an attack by the Soviet Union and would be responded to. He also imposed a naval quarantine on Cuba to prevent further Soviet shipments of offensive military weapons from arriving there. During the crisis, the two sides exchanged many letters. Finally, they agreed to dismantle the installations and return them to the Soviet Union, expressing trust that the United States would not invade Cuba. Further negotiations were held to implement the agreement, including a United States demand that Soviet light bombers also be removed from Cuba, and to specify the exact form and conditions of the US assurances not to invade Cuba. Franklin Roosevelt gave Eastern Europe to the Russians in Yalta. His objectives were idealistic because of the location of World War Two. American troops were sent to Europe to fight in a major war. America was only attacked once during World War two, and that was by Japan. Americans fought the war but didn t feel it. When Roosevelt negotiated at Yalta, he did not feel the pain of a populous destroyed by fire bombing or Nazi death camps. He was not practical enough. The European nations, on the other hand, craved revenge. They wanted reparations for the damages and a guarantee that such an event could never happen again. Roosevelt did not give them what they wanted. The re-establishment of Eastern Europe was therefore controlled by the manipulative Stalin. He knew when he was signing the agreement at Yalta that democracy was not going to happen. As soon as the politicians were gone, tanks and troops took Eastern Europe and a buffer zone was created. The countries were turned into economic wastelands without value in order to protect Russia. Just like the other European courtries, Russia wanted to make sure it was never invaded again. Could the Cold War have been prevented? Yes. If Roosevelt had taken advantage of his negotiating position at Yalta, he could have prevented the Soviets from building its dangerous puppet states and buffer zones. Without these, Russia would have been much more vulnerable along its borders. Even more so, Russian would have been isolated from Europe by distance. With advancements in technology, the Soviet Union was fast becoming connected with Europe. World War Two completed that connection as Russia s reach extended half way across the continent. No more was the giant nation isolated from the world s politics. It was in the center. Had Russia not been a part of the political struggles of Europe, its power and interest in the rest of the world would have declined after World War Two. Even with its nuclear capabilities, Russia would have been much less likely to use such a device (or even build it) had the country s political involvement declined to pre-war levels. It was the iron curtain that brought Russia to the limelight and it was Roosevelt who sold Stalin the land on which he could build his buffer zones. It s almost ironic, in retrospect, that a buffer zone brought Russia closer to the West.