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DBQ 21: Causes of World War II Essay

In 1939 the world was plunged into another World War. In Europe, there was an accumulation of events that brought about the war. During this time many of the people of the “Big Four,” had different views on how to deal with aggression. The war was brought about finally because of the Munich Agreement, and the best response to aggression was collective security.
In 1939 the world was plunged into World War II because of the Munich Agreement.

The Munich Agreement was an agreement regarding the Sudetenland Crisis between the major powers of Europe after a conference held in Munich in Germany in 1938. The Sudetenland was an important region of Czechoslovakia that had many german speaking people, and according to the Treaty of Versailles’s rule of National Self Determination, it should be under German leadership because of this. The Treaty of Versailles was the peace treaty created at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 which ended World War I. The Munich Agreement caused many disagreements between European countries.

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Collective Security was an effective response to aggression. Winston Churchill, George F. Kennan, A.J.P. Taylor, and Keith Eubank did not agree to this. Churchill disagreed with the decision because “keeping peace depends on holding back the aggressor.” He thought that Europe needed to restrain Germany and that Britain and France together should have guaranteed the security of Czechoslovakia.

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George F. Kennan, an American Secretary of State during the Cold War, spoke in America’s point of view and also disagreed. Kennan stated that the Munich Agreement was a “desperate act of appeasement at the cost of the Czechoslovak state.” A.J.P. Taylor wrote in The Origins of the Second World War that other countries should have become involved by armed force in 1933 “to overthrow Hitler when he had come to power by constitutional means and was apparently supported by a large majority of the German people.” He also believed the German people were the only ones who could “turn him out,” because they were the ones that put him in power. He also stated that “the ‘appeasers’ feared that the defeat of Germany would be followed by a Russian domination over much of Europe,” which many people did not want.

Keith Eubank argued in Origins of World War II that stopping Hitler prior to 1939 was not an issue for several reasons. One reason is that the people and the government of Britain and France were not “conditioned to the idea of war before September 1, 1939” and that Hitler had not done anything to threaten Europe’s peaceful future.

Appeasement was a less effective response to aggression because fewer countries agreed with the Munich Agreement. Some of Adolf Hitler’s ideas were that he needed colonies to enter colonial politics and that countries were crushed to nothing by stronger military force and not protests. Haile Selassie asked the League of Nations for help in stopping the invasion after Italy attacked Ethiopia. When the League of Nations’ response was ineffective, Selassie stated “God and history will remember your judgment… It is us today. It will be you tomorrow.”

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This statement is like karma; because the League of Nations did not help Ethiopia, it would be attacked and be denied help. “It is us today. It will be you tomorrow.” The British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, favoured a policy of appeasement in dealing with Hitler at the Munich Conference in 1938. The main reason Chamberlain agreed to a policy of appeasement because he wanted to avoid war. Primer Minister Neville Chamberlain wanted a peaceful Europe and didn’t want conflict between European countries.

In conclusion, collective security was the most effective response to aggression because more countries disagreed and were against Germany because it was threatening the peace of Europe. England, Britain, and America were against Germany acquiring land from Czechoslovakia while the Primer Minister Neville Chamberlain favoured it in order to avoid war. Hitler influenced people to make him and his Reich stronger. The world plunged into World War II in 1939 because of Germany, Hitler, and the Munich Agreement.

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DBQ 21: Causes of World War II Essay. (2021, Feb 18). Retrieved February 7, 2023, from