The conditions of the Treaty of Versailles were politically humiliating to Germany and guaranteed serious economic difficulties for the country, which were made worse by the European depression following the war and the worldwide depression over the next fiteen years. Hitler rose to power on a complex platform of apparent incompatabilities. The Army and large businesses supported him despite the socialist aspects of his plans, the workers supported him for his patriotism, anti-communists supported his capitalist programs and both moderate and revolutionary rightist socialists supported his works programs and economic plans. Use of racist and religious propaganda was also apparent, but the speeches were carefully tailored to the intended audience and most people overlooked what they didn't like. The economic recovery worked well, and when people in Germany in the late 1930s looked at their quality of life in comparison with ten years earlier, most were pleased.
In Asia, the Japanese through the 1930s extended their control as much as possible in China. The puppet state of Manchukuoa was economically essential to the Japanese economy, and the Kwantung Army commanders used every pretext to agitate and intimidate the Chinese. The war begun outside Beijing in 1937 was pursued by the Army against the expressed wishes of the Japanese government, but a number of assasinations of politicians by military personnel throughout the 1930s had weakened the resisting power of the government.
The policies of Appeasement followed by Britain and France achieved nothing and gave Hitler proof of the weakness of the Western European governments of the time. He annexed Austria and then Czechoslovakia in two large bites. With these expansions and the economic recovery Hitler dominated central Europe. The economic recovery had also meant massive sucess world wide for German businesses, which were used by German intelligence units as assets. While the policies of Appeasement in Europe failed to either intimidate or bribe Hitler into moderating his plans to dominate Europe, at the same time the Japanese moved to dominate Asia. When Germany conquered France, Japan moved into the French colonies of Indo-China, today's Laos, Viet Nam and Cambodia. The seizure of Viet Nam led to the United States' freezing of Japanese assets in American banks, thus cutting the Japanese military off from necessary funds for the maintenance of naval forces. To the Japanese naval and military authorities this seemed to force the issue of war with America. This, of course, led to the Pearl Harbor raid.
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