HIST 202 Final Paper (Choose your own topic) - Baker 1 John...

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Baker -­‐ 1 John J Baker Professor Wilhelm HIST 202 – Class Number: 2960 15 December 2014 The Preventable War: A Study of the Period Between World War I and II World War I, or the “Great War,” was a war unlike any other Europe had experienced before. In the aftermath of the bloodiest European war up to its date, approximately nine million of the seventy million participating soldiers were dead. Europe itself was ravaged by war. This was especially true in France, where most of the war on the Western Front was fought. As well as the human cost, there existed a huge economic debt as a result of the war. Europe itself was redrawn due to the collapse of existing nations and creation of new ones. During the Paris Peace Conference, beginning in January 1919, some thirty nations convened in order to rebuild Europe and make sure that such a destructive war would never happen again. Of these thirty nations, four stood out. The “Big Four” consisted of the United States, France, Great Britain, and Italy. These nations attempted to fix Europe’s problems but instead only influenced the four main causes of WWII, which was the specific event that they were trying to avoid. These four main causes were the punishing terms resulting from the Treaty of Versailles, the failure to create international guarantees for peace and security after 1918, the multiple economic crises between the two wars, and the subsequent violent nationalism as a result of the previous three reasons. The events immediately following the end of World War I helped contribute, in some way, to the four main causes of World War II. Although each Allied nation wanted lasting peace at the end of WWI, the measures they implemented would prove to be unsuccessful. Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States at the time, had goals for a post-WWI society. These were outlined in his Fourteen Points. Some of his points included an end to secret diplomacy, one of the main causes of WWI, freedom of the seas, self-determination of peoples, and the reduction of national armaments. Wilson’s most prominent point, however, was the establishment of a League of Nations to settle international conflicts. A great idea in
Baker -­‐ 2 theory, this League of Nations was the first mistake of many to avoiding WWII. For starters, the League didn’t even include Germany or the newly created Soviet Union at first. These two countries saw the League of Nations as an alliance of victors against the vanquished, something Hitler would use to spur Germany’s hatred against the Allies. Plus, the United States didn’t join the League of Nations, as Congress voted against it. This would be the nail in the coffin for the League, as Wilson, the creator of this organization, would not even be included in it. Along the same lines as the League of Nations, the passing of the Kellogg-Briand Pact would result in nothing significant. This law essentially outlawed war, something that just doesn’t make sense. There were no serious repercussions to breaking this law. No law could prevent a nation from going to

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