Week 6 Discussion 2: World War II

Hist Hello Professor and Class!

For this week’s discussion, I selected the Treaty of Versailles and the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party as a pathway way leading the U.S. into WWII. 

To settle WWI, President Wilson began the process to have peace without a declared victory. It was the Treaty of Versailles that concluded the war.  Over 13% of the German territory was lost, it required massive payments of reparation and required the Germans to accept total guilt for the war.   The German people were thrust into economic and political crises post-war and no government leadership was ever resolved.  (United States Holocaust Museum). 

The punitive nature of the Treaty did not sit well with the Germans and gave way for a charismatic, ex-solider, Adolf Hitler, to stand out by wanting to restore Germany to power and supremacy. It seemed Germany wanted revenge and Hitler was beginning to rise onto the political scene.  He wanted to clean Germany from the ethnic races, the Jews, and restore military power.  Wanting to control his political influence he was invited into the government cabinet in hopes of controlling his power, but now giving him even more political clout.  He began active invasions and wanted to take back the territory from France. (Corbett et. al. 2014)

Japan too, sought to be a world empire, and the government was considered militaristic.  The country was concerned about the rise in communists and waged in mutual assistance with Germany against Russia and China.   They began to successfully invade China. (Embargo of Japan. Under the embargo by America, their resources were stretched, they were in need of an oil and so they began to negotiate with the U.S. and when it was felt that no solution could be arrived at, they declared war on America and attacked. This leading to the use of the first nuclear bomb.  America knew the veracity of the Japanese warrior and harbored resentment against the attack in Hawaii. It was felt that it is was the only answer to peace. (DiPalo, 2007)

Before the war, America had adapted a noninterventionist policy and President Harding even reduced the U.S. Military.  Roosevelt turned a blind eye to what the Nazi and Japanese aggression.  He did not aid any of the people feeling Germany, but he did pull the American Ambassador. He traveled to Canada to meet Churchill to draft the Atlantic Charter in the hope to avoid war. This Charter said all counties should have the right to self-determination and self-government. But this quickly changed when there was concern that Britain was not able to protect itself and the U.S. government gave them access to weapons. America had been engaged in aggressive diplomacy with Japan and was denying them access to goods and much-needed fuel. This aggressive stance and the belief that Japan did not have the resource to reach the U.S. led to the attack of Pearl Harbor and leading the U. S. right into war.  (Corbett et al. 2014.)      

DiPaolo, B. (2007). Pearl Harbor attack. In Pearl Harbor Attack. New York: Facts On File. Retrieved October 5, 2020, from online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=239824&itemid=WE52&articleId=592484.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Treaty of Versailles. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/treaty-of-versailles

Corbett, P.S., Janssen, V., Lund V., Pfannestiel, T., Waskiew, S, V., (2014) U.S. History.


In 1928 Hoover was elected President. The times were prosperous and with this election, Americans began to put money into the stock market, some for the first time.

At his inauguration, he told the nation the future was hopeful, and that prosperity would continue. The stock market crashed on October 10/29 due to both manmade and natural catastrophes.

Multiple factors led to the crash of the stock market leading us into the Great Depression. Federal Reserve set interest rates very low to encourage consumerism. With money plentiful, some Americans invested in riskier investing and it was named: Ponzi Scheme. People were investing in speculation which was risky schemes and high returns.

In Florida, residents took the opportunity to gain access to real estate due to the easy credit. Investors were buying up land with money they did not have and then selling it at even a higher price. There was a hurricane, IRS investigation, and limited access to building supplies due to a railroad embargo which lead to many developers going bankrupt.

Investors were buying stock on the “margin” which meant they were buying the stock with a small amount of down payment and the rest on a loan in the hopes to quickly turn it around for a higher price to recoup the financed amount.

When prices started to fall, investors started selling off at a fast pace. Banks conspired to purchase a large number of stocks to keep the prices artificially high. On October 29th, stockholders lost over $14 Billion dollars in one day.

Banks began to fail, and it came to light the weakness in the banking system. (Corbett, 2014) notes three reasons for the Crash of the market were unstable international markets, poor income distribution, and the confidence in the public on the booming economy allowing them to make more risker decisions which lead to panic when the markets began to fail.

As banks ran out of money, the business was affected and did not have the manufacturing supplies they needed, people were storing money at home instead of the bank and no longer wanted to consume goods. Factories and businesses began to close down. (Robin, 2006)

By 1932, children and the poor were starving and saw little help from the government, instead of charitable organizations, such as the American Red Cross stepped in to help the poor.

Corbett, P.S., Janssen, V., Lund V., Pfannestiel, T., Waskiew, S, V., (2014) U.S. History.


Robin. (2006) The Great Depression. “Struggling to Become American. Chelsea House. American

online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=239824&itemid=WE52&articleId=466512. Accessed 7 Oct. 2020

 Your summary on the Treaty of Versailles was very good.  I also chose to describe the treaty and furthering onto that topic, Great Britain led the charge that resulted in Germany agreeing to pay reparations in excess of $33 billion to the Allies (O., 2014, 23.4).  US President Woodrow Wilson was opposed to such harsh terms but he was outmaneuvered by the French Prime Minister. France was the only Allied power to share a border with Germany, and therefore suffered the bulk of the devastation and casualties from the German war machine and aimed to weaken the Germans as much as possible (Khan Academy, n.d.).  Unfortunately, as you mentioned, this lead to the rise to  Adolf Hitler’s anti-Communist National Socialist Party, the Nazis (O., 2014, 27-1).  Also when researching about the reign of Hitler and the Nazi party I found that Hitler’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, triggered the European phase of World War II (T., 2017).  The results from the Treaty of Versailles destabilized the German economy, producing ruinous, runaway inflation and by September 1923, four billion German marks had the equal value of one American dollar (T., 2017).  The Nazi military forces executed 11 million victims they deemed inferior or undesirable such as Jews, Slavs, homosexuals, and Jehova’s witnesses (T., 2017).  Great post. 


Khan Academy. (n.d.). The Treaty of Versailles (article). Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/us-history/rise-to-world-power/us-in-wwi/a/the-treaty-of-versaillesLinks to an external site.

O. (2014). 23.4 From War to Peace – U.S. History. Retrieved October 08, 2020, from https://openstax.org/books/us-history/pages/23-4-from-war-to-peaceLinks to an external site.

https://openstax.org/books/us-history/pages/27-1-the-origins-of-war-europe-asia-and-the-united-statesLinks to an external site.Links to an external site.

T. (2017, June 22). How Did Hitler Happen?: The National WWII Museum: New Orleans. Retrieved October 10, 2020, from https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/how-did-hitler-happen

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