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Introduction PowerPoint

Overview of the topic
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A VERY detailed PowerPoint that presents a good overview of the topic

Homework for 2011 class

Due Monday February 28

Due Wednesday March 9

Go to the Revision Games for Year 11 and follow the instructions.



World War One

Impact of World War One PowerPoint

The Treaty of Versailles

The German reaction to the Treaty of Versailles

The 1920s

The Great Depression

Brief summary explaining WHY the Great Depression was a cause of World War Two

The Manchurian Crisis (notes from http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/manchuria_1931.htm)

Manchuria, on China’s eastern seaboard, was attacked by Japan in 1931. The League effectively did nothing.
What was the background behind this attack and the League’s response ? Just one week before Japan invaded Manchuria, Viscount Cecil, Britain’s chief representative at the League of Nations, said in a speech to the League :

"I do not think there is the slightest prospect of any war."

Japan, the League’s strongest member in the Far East, proved him wrong.

Why did Japan invade Manchuria?
Japan was becoming increasingly crowded due to its limited size as a nation and its rapidly increasing population. Manchuria offered nearly 200,000 square kilometres which, as part of a Japanese empire, would easily accommodate any over-spilling population. The Japanese people had a very low opinion of the Chinese - a Japanese form of "untermenschen" - and, therefore, would have given no thought to the Manchurian people whatsoever. It was also believed in Japan that Manchuria was rich in minerals, forestry and rich agricultural land. With the problems that Japan was experiencing at home, Manchuria seemed an obvious solution to these problems.
By 1931, Japan had invested vast sums of money into the economy of Manchuria effectively controlled by the South Manchuria Railway Company. To guard all of its investments, Japan kept a large army in southern Manchuria.

The 1929 Depression hit Japan hard. The civilian government found that it had no solutions to the problems presented by the world-wide depression and to the army the civilian government looked weak. Many people admired the more robust response of the army. The unemployed of Japan looked to the strength of the army to assist their plight rather than to what weak politicians were doing. The voices of senior army generals were heard and they argued for a campaign to win new colonies abroad so that the industries there could be exploited for Japan. The most obvious target was a full-scale invasion of Manchuria.

An explosion on a section of the South Manchuria Railway, gave the army the excuse it needed to blame the local population of sabotage and to occupy the nearest Manchurian town of Shenyang. The League at China’s request immediately ordered the Japanese army to withdraw. Japan’s delegates at the League’s headquarters in Geneva, agreed to this demand and blamed the event on army "hot-heads".
The Japanese government in Tokyo also agreed to this demand. However, the army did not listen and it launched a full-scale invasion of Manchuria and by the end of 1931, it had occupied the whole of the province. The civilian government had clearly lost control of the army, and the League’s position was that it would deal with the government of the aggressor nation. But how could this succeed when the government had no control over the army which was the cause of the problem ?

The League could introduce three sanctions. Verbal warnings clearly did not work. However, the impact of the Depression meant that those nations that traded with Japan did not want to risk losing this trade. If a nation did give up trading with Japan, as Britain pointed out, their place would quickly be taken by another country willing to get trade started with the Far East’s most powerful nation.
Britain was also concerned about her colonies in the Far East, particularly Hong Kong and Singapore. Would Japan attack them if Britain sided with those who wanted to carry out economic sanctions on Japan ?

How did the **League** deal with this problem of aggression ?
It established a Commission of Enquiry lead by Lord Lytton of Great Britain. This Commission, after a lengthy visit to the Far East including Manchuria, reported in October 1932. Lytton concluded that Japan should leave Manchuria but that Manchuria itself should be run as a semi-independent country instead of returning to Chinese rule. The report was accepted and approved by the League in 1933. In response to the report and the League accepting it, Japan resigned from the League and occupied a region around Manchuria called Jehol, which it claimed gave the Japanese army the ability to defend Manchuria.

What did this affair prove ?
The League could not enforce its authority. A major power could get away with using force An issue so far from Europe was not likely to attract the whole-hearted support of the major European powers in the League - Britain and France. The affair had indicated that Britain was more concerned with her territories in the Far East than in the maintenance of law and order. Other powers would almost certainly see this episode as a sign that they too could get away with the use of force The League also lost its most powerful member in the Far East and ultimately Japan was to unite with the two other nations that broke League rules - Germany and Italy.[[image:fileC:/Users/AHALLI~1/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.png width="1" height="11" caption="Description: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/clear.gif"]]

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The worksheet from class

The rise of Hitler

The handout summarising the rise of the Nazis

The Rise of the Nazis

The end of World War One and ‘Stabbed in the Back”

The armistice was signed at 11am on November 11, 1918. At the time German troops had not been decisively defeated and were still occupying large areas of French and Belgian territory. When German soldiers heard that their government had signed a cease-fire many felt that the army had been betrayed. The “Stabbed In The Back” theory spread among many Germans. According to this theory the German army could have won the war but a combination of cowardly politicians, Jews and communists had signed the armistice and surrendered. As the German soldiers marched back home they discovered that many of their loved ones were starving and suffering from disease. This further fuelled their anger and resentment.

The Right Wing takes root

Bavaria is a region in Germany (like Auckland is a region in New Zealand). Most Bavarians are rural, conservative people. It was among these people that the Nazi party first found support.

Germany – a divided democracy

After the war the Big Three forced Germany to become democratic. The highest position in the nation would be President. The second most powerful position would be Chancellor. Germany in the 1920s was known as the Weimar republic because the German government met in a small town called Weimar.

In the chaos that followed World War One the streets of Germany were a battleground between radical communists and followers of right-wing groups. The most fanatical right wing group were former German soldiers known as the Freikorps. In many cases they had kept their machine guns and rifles. They used these to violently crush any communist rebellions. For example, in the German city of Munich communist groups took over the city before they were attacked and removed by the Freikorps.

Many German communist leaders were Jewish. This was mainly because centuries of prejudice against Jews made a society based upon communist ideas appealing to Jews. The association between Jews and communism was used in Nazi propaganda.

The Nazi Leaders emerge

In 1919 Ernst Rohm joined the German Workers Party. Rohm was a Freikorps leader who believed in the power of fear and violence. He met Adolf Hitler. In 1922 a former flying ace called Goring also joined the party. Himmler, a chicken farmer who would go on to run the SS (the Nazi Special Forces that ran the concentration camps) joined shortly afterwards.

Early 1920s – Troubled days in Germany.

In 1921 Hitler became the leader of the National Socialist Workers Party (known as the Nazi party). He concentrated on two simple messages:

  1. The Treaty of Versailles was a crime and should be torn up.
  2. Jews were the cause Germany’s problems.

In 1923 the French occupied the Ruhr to enforce reparations payments. The French occupation resulted in hunger, poverty and humiliation for the Germans in the region. The German government printed money to make up for the loss of valuable production in the Ruhr. This caused hyperinflation - a massive increase in prices.

The 1923 Munich Putsch (“Putsch” means armed rebellion).

In 1923 Hitler and the Nazis decided that the time was right for an uprising against the government. They planned to take over the city of Munich and then march to Berlin to throw out the Weimar government. They overestimated their support among the police and army. When the Nazis and their supporters left the Beer Hall where a meeting was being held police were waiting for them. They fired on the Nazis, killing 16. Hitler fled the scene.

Trial, Prison and Mein Kampf

Hitler was charged with treason (attempting to overthrow the government). In Germany the normal punishment for this offence was execution. In fact, many communists had been found guilty of this crime and killed. Hitler used the trial to explain his theories on Jews, Versailles and the need for a strong leader. He refused to apologise for his actions.
The judge was a supporter of Nazi ideas and sentenced Hitler to 9 months in Landsberg prison. He was allowed to have a personal secretary and sympathetic guards ensured that he was fed well and lived comfortably in jail. He used his time inside to write “Mein Kampf”, a book which explained Hitler’s world view.

1924: Adolf Who?

In 1924 the Nazis seemed to be irrelevant. The Dawes Plan (1924) had already reduced the pressure of reparations payments. American loans allowed Germany to pay off reparations and cities like Berlin and Munich had a booming nightlife. German bars, theatre and nightclubs were as sophisticated as clubs in New York or London. German musical theatres (called Cabarets) were incredibly advanced for the time and used revolving stages and film projectors to project images on stage. Shows often made fun of politicians and featured sexually provocative performances and themes.

Some groups hated the new Germany and felt that the cities were becoming sinful, moral wastelands. They found the Nazi Parties values appealing. Hitler (now known as the “Fuhrer” – Supreme Leader) had a simple programme:

  1. Strip Jews of German Citizenship
  2. Tear up Versailles
  3. Crush communists
  4. Use violence to secure power

The Nazis used a group of former soldiers called the SA (also known as the Storm Troopers and Brown Shirts) to bully opponents, disrupt opposition meetings, attack communists and the street and protect Hitler when he spoke.

The 1929 Great Depression

Hitler was a gifted speaker but a hopelessly disorganised and lazy leader. His message was clear but seemed too radical for Germans living in a time of economic and social recovery. In 1928 only 2.6% of Germans voted for the Nazis (this was down from 6.6% in 1924). The Nazis were actually losing support!

The Great Depression changed all of that. In 1929 the Wall Street Crash caused American banks to call in their loans to Germany. Germany had to pay back the money they were using to pay reparations and build the economy. By 1931 5.5 million Germans were unemployed.

In 1931 5 major German banks collapsed. 20,000 businesses closed. The support for the Nazis climbed from 2.3% to 25.8%. The extreme situation made Germans seek an extreme solution.

Communists also picked up support. The Nazis and communists fought in the streets. Often Nazi parades were deliberately scheduled at the time advertised communist parades were marching. Tensions between the two resulted in riots and battles in the street.

1932 Hitler for President

In 1932 Hitler campaigned for President. He was the first politician in the world to campaign by plane (using one to visit 20 cities in 7 days). The Nazi propaganda machine produced books about Hitler, posters and even LP records of his speeches!

He lost the election to Hindenburg. However, he had established himself as a potential leader and the Nazi Party had shown that they could organise a very effective national campaign.

By 1932 most Germans were voting for Communists OR Nazis. The one thing they had in common was their desire to end democracy in Germany.

1933: Hitler becomes Chancellor

The Chancellor is chosen by the President. President Hindenburg thought Hitler was a lunatic, a fanatic and someone who lacked the good breeding and judgement to lead Germany. BY 1933 the Nazis were the biggest party in Germany with 37% of the vote. Businesspeople approached Hindenburg and urged him to make Hitler Chancellor. They hoped he could use his position to return order to Germany’s streets (and crush communists). Hindenburg reluctantly agreed.

1934 From Chancellor to Fuhrer

In February 1933 the German Parliament (The Reichstag) was burnt down by a Dutch communist. Hitler used the arson attack as proof of a communist terrorist threat to Germany. He convinced Hindenburg to give him powers to deal with the ‘threat’ He used these powers to crush opposition and increase support for the Nazis.

In March 1933 he used his majority in the German Parliament (Reichstag) to pass the ENABLING ACT. This made him a dictator – able to create new laws without requiring a vote in the Reichstag.

In August 1934 Hindenburg died. Hitler took control of Germany and created a new position “The FUHRER” or Supreme Leader.

Why Hitler Hated Communists
  1. Followed the writings of Karl Marx who believed that all businesses exploited workers.
  2. The working class would eventually realise that they are being exploited and develop an awareness of their situation. He called this “Class Consciousness”.
  3. Marx predicted that workers would eventually win a ‘class war’ against their rulers and business owners.

An ‘ideal’ world for Communists:
  1. No private property – all property is owned by the community.
  2. No profits – people work because it benefits the community.
  3. No rulers – all people are equal.
  4. No religion – religion is used to keep people passive. Instead of praying for a better world in the next life communists believed in fighting for one now.
  5. No separate nations – borders are used to divide working people from each other. Communism will eventually turn the globe into a single, working class community.

Key terms:

Proletariat – The working class (factory workers etc)
Bourgeoisie – The Middle Classes and property owners (accountants, factory owners etc)

The documentary shown in class.

Germany rearms

These notes are taken from the excellent website: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/germany_and_rearmament.htm

When Nazi Germany openly started re-armament in 1935, few should have been surprised as Hitler had made it very clear both in his speeches and in "Mein Kampf" that he would break the "unjust" terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler had made it plain what the basis of his foreign policy would be. He had clearly stated that he would undo what had been imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles re-unite all Germans into one nation re-arm Germany"Mein Kampf" also clearly stated what he thought of east Europeans and the Jews. Both groups were the "untermenschen" - the sub-humans of Europe who had no place in the Europe Hitler dreamed of. Eastern Europe, in the mind of Hitler, would be where Germans would find the space to live - lebensraum - where they would use the land in a modern and productive manner, thus fulfilling the belief that Hitler held that all good Germans would work off the land and produce the food that the state would need.

Hitler saw Nazi Germany as being at the centre of Europe and as the great power of Europe, the nation needed a strong military. Throughout the 1920’s, Germany had been technically keeping to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles but in reality she had been bending the rules regarding training. Versialles had not stated that Germany could not train submarine crews abroad or that pilots for the banned German Air Force could train on civilian planes. Therefore, on paper Hitler inherited a weak military but this was not in reality the case. However, Hitler knew that publicly Nazi Germany was still seen within Europe as being held to the terms of Versailles and he was determined to openly break these terms and re-assert Germany’s right to control its own military.

In 1933, Hitler ordered his army generals to prepare to treble the size of the army to 300,000 men. He ordered the Air Ministry to plan to build 1,000 war planes. Military buildings such as barracks were built. He withdrew from the Geneva Disarmament Conference when the French refused to accept his plan that the French should disarm to the level of the Germans or that the Germans should re-arm to the level of the French. Either way, the two main powers of Europe would be balanced. Hitler knew that the French would not accept his plan and therefore when he withdrew from the conference, he was seen by some as the politician who had a more realistic approach to foreign policy and the French were seen as the nation that had caused Nazi Germany to withdraw.

For two years, the German military expanded in secret. By March 1935, Hitler felt strong enough to go public on Nazi Germany's military expansion - which broke the terms of the Versailles Treaty. Europe learned that the Nazis had 2,500 war planes in its Luftwaffe and an army of 300,000 men in its Wehrmacht. Hitler felt confident enough to publicly announce that there would be compulsory military conscription in Nazi Germany and that the army would be increased to 550,000 men.

How did Europe react to this flagrant violation of Versailles?

Essentially, the French and British did nothing. Britain was still recovering from the Depression which had devastated her economy. She could not afford a conflict. The French preferred a defensive policy against a potential German threat and she spent time and money building the vast Maginot Line - a series of vast forts on the French and German border. The most Britain, France and Italy did (at this time, Italy did not view German as a potential ally as the above was pre-Abyssinia) was to form the Stresa Front which issued a protest against Hitler's rearmament policy but did nothing else.

It seemed that Britain was even supporting Germany’s breaking of the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty had clearly stated what Germany’s navy should be - no submarines and only six warships over 10,000 tons. In June 1935 the Anglo-German Naval Agreement was signed. This allowed Germany to have one third of the tonnage of the British navy’s surface fleet (probably the largest in the world at this time) and an equal tonnage of submarines. Why did Britain agree that Nazi Germany could break the terms of Versailles?

This event saw the start of what was to be called appeasement. It was believed that Nazi Germany would develop her navy regardless and that an official agreement between Nazi Germany and Britain would do much to foster relations between both countries. There was also a feeling in some quarters in Britain, that the Treaty of Versailles had been too harsh on Germany and that the time was right to loosen the terms as time had moved on and Europe had to live together. It was felt that this approach would satisfy Hitler and that Europe would benefit from this approach as Nazi Germany would have no reason to be angered or feel cornered by the old terms of Versailles. Such an approach would do much to stabilise Europe and end the anger felt by Germans at the terms of Versailles. Above all else, if Nazi Germany kept the1935 Agreement, Britain would have a very good idea of the size of Germany’s navy as she would know how big her navy was and could work on a third of that figure equalling the German’s navy.

However, if this agreement served any purpose it was to confuse the British public. Only two months earlier, Britain had signed the Stresa Front which had condemned Germany’s military build up. Now, Britain was agreeing that Germany could do exactly what Britain had condemned !! It also showed Hitler that he could push Britain and get away with it. Were there other aspects of Versailles he could challenge ?

The Abyssinian Invasion

The Reoccupation of the Rhineland (1936)

Notes from the excellent:

Under the terms of Versailles, the Rhineland had been made into a demilitarised zone. Germany had political control of this area, but she was not allowed to put any troops into it. Therefore, many Germans concluded that they did not actually fully control the area despite it being in Germany itself.
In March 1936, Hitler took what for him was a huge gamble - he ordered that his troops should openly re-enter the Rhineland thus breaking the terms of Versailles once again. He did order his generals that the military should retreat out of the Rhineland if the French showed the slightest hint of making a military stand against him. This did not occur. Over 32,000 soldiers and armed policemen crossed into the Rhineland
Why didn’t the Allies (Britain and France) do anything about this violation of the Versailles Treaty ?
France was going through an internal political crisis at the time and there was no political leadership to concentrate against Nazi Germany. Britain generally supported the view that Nazi Germany was only going into her own "backyard" and that this section ofVersailles was not needed to be enforced in the mid-1930’s. It was believed that Germany was behaving in a reasonable and understandable manner.
Therefore, no action was taken against Nazi Germany, despite Hitler’s later comment that the march into the Rhineland had been the most nerve-racking 48 hours of his life.
"If France had then marched into the Rhineland, we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs." - Hitler
Hitler learned from this episode that he could all but gamble on France not doing anything. The Rhineland affected the French in that a demilitarised Rhineland was created at Versailles to act as a barrier for the French if the Germans ever got war-like again. It appeared that in 1936 that France was not even willing to fight for this. Therefore, Hitler concluded that it he turned his attentions to the east of Europe, France would be even less willing to involve herself. From the British point of view, Hitler concluded that there was room for movement with regards to Versailles as the media, in some areas, had made it clear that they believed that some of the terms of Versailles were not appropriate for the 1930’s.

What is 'appeasement' and why did Britain follow this policy?

Why did the French and British do nothing about the German reoccupation of the Rhineland?

  1. The French were in the middle of an election year. The government was already dealing with the impact of the Depression on France and knew that starting another war with Germany would be extremely unpopular.

  1. The British government at the time was led by Prime Minister Baldwin. His government was becoming more and more isolationist as the weaknesses of the League of Nations became obvious. He had no interest in starting a war with Germany over the borders of France.

The Policy of Appeasement

In Britain Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain took over from Baldwin in 1937. Chamberlain followed a policy called APPEASEMENT.

APPEASEMENT = giving into an aggressive nation in the hope that they will be reasonable and stop aggressive action.

Appeasement is like giving a bully your lunch money in the hope that he will become reasonable and leave you alone.

Why follow a policy which seems so ridiculous when dealing with the Nazi Government?

The ABCDE of Appeasement

There were five main arguments for APPEASEMENT. Not all of them applied at the same time but in combination they help us understand WHY Britain will allow Germany to violate the Treaty of Versailles, ignore Locarno and conquer much of Europe.


The horrors of World War One had changed how people saw war. Politicians were unwilling to risk another World War unless absolutely necessary.


In 1934, 1935 and 1936 the Nazi government had spent twice as much on arms as Britain had. The British needed more time to build up the military.


In the 1930s Russia was led by the communist dictator Stalin. At first, Britain was happy to have Hitler the anti-communist come to power.


British politicians found it hard to believe that they couldn’t negotiate with Hitler. They felt they could convince Hitler to see reason.


Many British felt that the Treaty of Versailles was too harsh and allowed Hitler to ‘correct’ its harshest terms.

The Spanish Civil War

Click to download the PowerPoint we saw in class:


Images from Anschluss

World War Two

Origins of the Cold War