Western Civilia Essay Research Paper Western Civilization
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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 have been prevented? Why or Why not? After the fall of the Weimar government, and the rise to power of the National Socialists headed by Adolph Hitler, Germany underwent huge transformations. One of the largest of these was the change in foreign policy. Between the years of 1933 and 1936, while the Nazis began to consolidate their power, Hitler s foreign policy was one of appeasement. Germany did what ever it could to keep peace and tensions low between itself and Great Britain, Italy and the USSR. Germany used this appeasement to keep peace long enough to fully gain control of the country. After 1936, their policy changed. Nazi Germany s foreign policy towards Great Britain was do what ever it takes to keep them happy . Germany wasn t ready to have them as an enemy yet. Hitler felt that the longer he had to prepare for war the better. One of the friendly agreements was the allowing of the British rearmament by Germany. This was the first time that Germany tried to drive a wedge between France and Great Britain. Hitler offered to concede substantial rearmament to Great Britain, while also subtly hinting to both Italy and Great Britain to combine forces against France. Great Britain did not take up Hitler s proposals, but he did not abandon his efforts. In 1934, Germany formally began to talk with Great Britain, and they agreed on the Naval Accords in May. These accords were a smart move by Hitler, because he gained power for Germany while, at the same time, making Great Britain feel more powerful. What the Navel Accords did was set up the amounts of which each country could have a navy. At that time, the British navy was by far the strongest, having twice the amount of its nearest competitor, France. The British fleet controlled the Mediterranean, and Hitler was jealous of this incredible power. Hitler agree in May that the German naval fleet would only build up to 35% of the British fleet. To Britain, this seem like a confession of inferiority, because Germany was admitting to be only 35% of Great Britain. But to Germany, this was a way to rearm themselves to the point of where they were only slightly behind their enemies, the French. Hitler knew that German forces could defeat the French on land, but by sea, they needed to build. But to build a strong navy would anger the British. However, Hitler found a way to do both. The discussions 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 desperately to tie down the Germans by having them become a member of the League of Nations. The British wanted any German aggression in the future to be punishable by international law. This way, it would be the world s problem if the Germans attached France, not just Great Britain s and France s, like in World War I. It was obviously not in Hitler or Germany s best interests to join the League of Nations, but again Germany felt much more freedom in bilateral agreements, ones which only involve two countries. Instead of rejecting the invitation , Germany using very clever diplomatic technique, replied by offering one such bilateral agreement, in which Germany would gain colonial power, along with a sphere of preservation. They also used negotiating power to postpone all binding treaties. While the provisions of the agreement were never fully carried out it is important to understand that Germany, was not subservient to Great Britain, certainly attempted to reduce tensions, even to the point of an alliance against France. By 1936, Hitler had successfully brought Germany closer to Great Britain using many valuable diplomatic techniques. Great Britian was not the only country to be appeased by Nazi Germany.