World War II

  • Mein Kampf (1923-1925)

    Mein Kampf (1923-1925)
    Written by Adolf Hitler , leader of the Nazis, while in prison. Its purpose was to discuss how to deal with the masses, which he regarded with contempt. It combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology. It tells of his plans to eliminate the Jewish "race" and how the superior German race was to take control. It was written from 1923 to 1924 and published in 1925.
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    World War II Events

  • Stock Market Crash

    Stock Market Crash
    US corporations and banks (and millions of American individuals) had invested all of their money as well as borrowed money to invest in the stock market. They used easy credit to buy shares in popular companies, however the Federal Reserve bank tried to slow speculation by tightening available credit. Brokers had to demand that their clients immediately pay back the money they had borrowed to invest in stock. Stocks were sold and the market collapsed.
  • The Great Depression (1930s)

    The Great Depression (1930s)
    Triggered by stock market crash in 1929, rural and urban folk suffered as tens of millions lost their jobs and livelihoods. The whole world felt the depression’s impact: commerce and investment in industry fell, social life and gender roles were upset, and the birthrate dropped severely.
  • Japanese Expansion (1931-1937)

    Japanese Expansion (1931-1937)
    Nationalists encouraged leaders to pursue military success for Japan as the basis of a new world order. They wanted to expand the empire as a way to pull agriculture and small business out of economic depression. Japan claimed racial superiority and the right to take lands of inferior peoples, which linked it to Germany and Italy. Japans attacks on China upset the U.S., which Japan depended on for resources and markets.
  • Japanese Expansion (continued)

    The Japanese military saw itself as justified in its expansionism because of unfair Western domination in the East. Unequal distribution of land and resources led to war.
  • Japanese Invasion of Manchuria

    Japanese Invasion of Manchuria
    During the Depression, people lost faith in the government and turned to the army to find a solution. The army invaded Manchuria in China for its resources. China appealed to the League for help. The Japanese government was told to leave Manchuria immediately. However, the army took no notice of the government and continued its conquest of Manchuria. The League then called for countries to stop trading with Japan but because of the depression many countries did not agree. Japan left the League.
  • Hitler Comes to Power

    Hitler Comes to Power
    Great depression struck Germany in 1929 and Nazi party began to expand. Hitler attracted many young people who had faith that a better world was possible if Hitler took control. In the economic crisis (inflation wiped out savings) the Nazi party won almost 20% in Reichstag elections of 1930 and more than twice that in 1932. Hitler used modern propaganda to gain followers. The conservative politicians favored Hitler and invited him to be chancellor in January 1933, which Hitler accepted.
  • Enabling Act

    Enabling Act
    Reichstag delegates, intimidated by the SA’s political violence, passed this legislation to suspended constitutional government for four years in order to meet the crisis in the German economy. It allowed Nazi laws to take effect without parliamentary approval.
  • Nuremberg Laws

    Nuremberg Laws
    Legislation enacted by the Nazis that deprived Jewish Germans of their citizenship and imposed many hardships on them. This was the beginning of the horrific hatred towards the Jews.
  • Ethiopian War (1935-1936)

    an armed conflict that resulted in Ethiopia’s subjection to Italian rule. The war showed the ineffectiveness of the League of Nations when League decisions were not supported by the great powers, making it a preparation for WWII. Ethiopia was in 1934 one of the few independent states in a European-dominated Africa. A border incident between Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland gave Benito Mussolini an excuse to intervene. Italy rejected all arbitration offers.
  • Remilitarization of the Rhineland

    Remilitarization of the Rhineland
    At this point the German army was not very strong and could have been easily defeated. Yet neither France nor Britain was prepared to start another war. After having to demilitarize the Rhineland to follow orders of the Treaty of Versailles, HItler decided to ignore the Treaty and send his troops back.
  • Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)

    Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
    A group of army officers led by Francisco Franco staged an uprising against the republican government in Madrid. He was a right-wing military leader who successfully overthrew the democratic republic in Spain and instituted a repressive dictatorship. During the civil war, republicans held commercial and industrial areas, while right-wing rebels took the agricultural west and south. Spain became a training ground for WWII when Hitler and Mussolini sent military personel in support of Franco.
  • Appeasement (1937-1939)

    Appeasement (1937-1939)
    Appeasement means giving in to someone provided their demands are reasonable. In May 1937, Neville Chamberlain became Prime Minister of Britain. He believed that the Treaty of Versailles had treated Germany badly and that there were many issues that needed to be put right. He felt that giving in to Hitler's demands, through appeasement, would prevent another war. In 1939, Hitler broke the Munich Agreement by invading the rest of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain decided to aid Poland if necessary.
  • Rape of Nanjing

    Rape of Nanjing
    A mass murder and war rape that occurred during the six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanjing, the former capital of the Republic of China, on December 13, 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. During this period, hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers were murdered and 20,000–80,000 women were raped by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army.
  • Anschluss

    Hitler wanted to take back the land that had been taken away from Germany. In March 1938, German troops marched into Austria. The Austrian leader was forced to hold a vote, resulting in tha majority of its citizens wanting to become part of Germany. The Austrian leader asked Britain, France and Italy for aid. Hitler promised that Anschluss was the end of his expansionist aims and not wanting to risk war, the other countries did nothing.
  • Munich Conference

    Munich Conference
    The Munich Agreement, signed by the leaders of Germany, Britain, France and Italy, agreed that the Sudetenland would be returned to Germany and that no further territorial claims would be made by Germany. The Czech government was not invited to the conference and protested about the loss of the Sudetenland. They felt that they had been betrayed by both British and Fench allies. However, the Munich Agreement was a triumph and an example peace through negotiation rather than war.