'To what extent was Germany to blame for causing the Second World War?'

Essay by HamilcarCollege, Undergraduate June 2005

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There are a number of factors which could be blamed for causing the war and in order to asses to what extent Germany was to blame, we must look at all of these. Other than Germany and Hitler, causes to the war were appeasement, the Treaty of Versailles, the failure of the failure of League of Nations, international rivalry, imperialism and also the roles of Britain and France are important when looking at the causes of the war. One other major cause was economics, it was the root of many other causes therefore it is worth analysing the extent to which it caused the war.

First of all it is fitting to look at Germany's involvement in causing the war. The most important question to ask when looking at Germany is 'would there have been a war without Hitler?' and most would say that a war without Hitler seemed unlikely.

Those who would side with that argument have many reasons to do so, for example Hitler's military plans clearly show that he had plans for a war, a long term war proving that he did in fact plan to fight a second world war. Further evidence to support the idea that Hitler was planning for a world war is his out line of 'the Z plan' which involved building a large navy. The only use for a large navy was fighting Britain and USA showing that he had plans for world domination not only European domination. Lebensraum is again evidence for Hitler's expansionist aims, in some ways it was a promise to the German people that he will attack Russia and they will have 'living space'. The idea of Lebensraum also links to international rivalry and imperialism, as the basis for Lebensraum was an ideological and racial struggle between...