The aftermath of World War I paved the way for the rise of dictators in Europe. The Treaty of Versailles that concluded World War I placed heavy reparations, or payments, on Germany that the country could not finance. The post-war years were marked by instability as well as humiliation in Germany, as Germany also had to accept blame for causing World War I. In addition, Germany lost land in the Treaty of Versailles, and the German people, charged with a sense of nationalism, looked for a leader who could restore their economic power and reclaim their place in the world. In 1933, they found this leader in Hitler.
Italy had entered World War I on the side of the Allies and was promised a great deal of land in return, including parts of the Ottoman Empire, islands in the Adriatic, and lands along the border of Austria-Hungary. The Allies did not deliver on these promises, making the Treaty of Versailles unpopular in Italy. As a result of these broken promises, the country harbored sentiment against England and France, helping Mussolini's rise, as he built on this sentiment to gain power.
The Treaty of Versailles also resulted in a weak League of Nations, an international peacemaking body. The United States never signed the covenant, making the League of Nations relatively weak and unable to prevent future wars.