World War II was the inevitable outcome of the aftermath of World War I.  Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement.World War II was the inevitable outcome of the aftermath of World...

World War II was the inevitable outcome of the aftermath of World War I.  Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement.

World War II was the inevitable outcome of the aftermath of World War I.  Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement.

Asked on by soman2006

7 Answers

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It is hard to know for sure if things could have happened differently than they actually did.  However, if forced to take a side on this, I would argue that WWII was not inevitable, even after the Treaty of Versailles was created with all its clauses that were so punitive towards Germany.

The major way that WWII could have been prevented would have been through more forceful action by Britain and France to hold Germany to the terms of the treaty.   Starting as early as 1935, Hitler did various things in violation of the treaty.  He believed the French and British would not do anything to stop him and he was right where his generals were wrong.  If the French and British had stepped in, for example, when Hitler put troops in the Rhineland, Hitler would have looked very foolish and might have been put out of power.

When looked at in this way, the war was not inevitable and could have been prevented by more forceful actions on the part of France and Britain.

mrs-nelson's profile pic

mrs-nelson | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

World War II was inevitable.  Anytime extreme legiation like the Treaty of Versailles is passed its like punishing a child, you punish them so bad that they feel there is no hope and nothing to loose. Some examples are the Guilt Clause and the war reparations Germany had to pay. Hitler knew that the French and British citizens were never going to let their leaders jump into another brutal war. After seeing the real true horror of World War I, nobody wanted to go there again. Hitler knew that and began testing smaller countries to take over.  He wanted to start small to make sure that France and Britian were truly not going to do anything. Anytime you pass legislation that punishes an entire nation instead of only it's leaders it's a ticking time bomb. They were put in a situtation they felt they could never recover from, which created the perfect opportunity for Hitler.
brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I agree. Not only was the Treaty of Versailles a very harsh and punishing treaty towards the Central Powers and Germany in particular, but it set the stage for economic collapses in those countries and the eventual, inevitable rise of fascist dictatorships in Italy and Germany. It didn't help that the treaty also robbed Germany of its national pride, some of its territory and its gold reserves. This is why some people say that, had Hitler not come to power, or if he had been killed in World War I, that someone else would have stepped up to power with an aim towards settling the scores of World War I. It's the old "The man didn't make the times, the times made the man" argument, and I think it has some merit.
accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think we can look at the abject failure of the League of Nations as one aspect that foreshadowed WWII. The truth is that nation states were just not willing to prevent aggressive acts until it was too late, and Germany, smarting from its defeat but with a new charismatic leader who promised a strengthened Reich was able to identify this weakness and exploit it. WWII may not have been inevitable, but countries such as France and the UK did not help prevent it.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

World War II left Europe and the world incredibly unstable. Besides the treaties and sanctions, there was also the problem of the extremely high death rate. There were simply no young men left. Almost an entire generation was wiped out, and a population that was crucial to the economy. Germany was hit hard, and the entire world was in a severe state of economic collapse. Something had to happen. If it had not been Hitler, it would have been something else.
mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Even the incompetent prime minister of England at the time, Neville Chamberlain, who had little or no experience in foreign affairs, was able to foresee that World War II would inevitably occur after the tremendous humiliation of Germany with the Treaty of Versailles.

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I would tend to agree that World War II was inevitable. As mentioned above the Treaty of Versailles left Germany very bitter. Hitler was able to take this and turn it into a reason for war.