The Treaty of Versailles, The League of Nations, and Appeasement as The Causes of World War Ii

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1069 |

Page: 1|

6 min read

Published: Oct 4, 2018

Words: 1069|Page: 1|6 min read

Published: Oct 4, 2018

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Treaty of Versailles
  3. League of Nations
  4. Appeasement
  5. Conclusion


The Second World War, can be argued by many to have occurred due to various reasons, such as the economic, political, and military. Individual interpretations of historians who wrote about their encounters during or after the war, often times using various evidence, also cover a range of causes. Looking at the arguments put forward by historians based on their different perspectives, leads to an historical debate as to what was the main cause. This essay evaluates three factors that should be considered as the major causes of the World War II: the Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations, and Appeasement.

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Treaty of Versailles

The treaty of Versailles was harsh on the Germans because even though they played a factor in the war and assumingly started the war, the treaty stated that in the War Guilt Clause 231 they have to take all the blame which infuriated them. George Clemenceau was determined to achieve revenge. He wanted Germany to pay huge reparations to the victorious countries and wanted overseas colonies to be taken away. Woodrow Wilson wanted peace, no reparations and keeping key industrial areas and only limited disarmament to keep Germany secure. David Lloyd George believed that Germans would have to take the blame for starting the war but any reparations they would be forced to pay would be moderate These three combined made a harsh treaty which the Germans did not like. From the Germans point of view, this was an act of betrayal. Germany was frustrated because they thought the Treaty was going to be mostly Wilson's 14 points such as self-determination for countries, freedom of the seas to allow for all countries to trade and the creation of a world parliament known as the League of Nations and when it wasn't they got very angry with France and Britain. If the Treaty was less harsh Germany wouldn't have been annoyed at the 6.6 billion reparations or War Guilt Clause 231 where they had to take all the blame for the war. All the countries could have learnt to live with each other and concentrate on the problems in their countries, like economic and social problems. They could have harmoniously worked together to achieve world peace for example instead of banishing Germany to a corner because the Big Three had their own individual revenge schemes against Germany.

League of Nations

It could also be argued that the League of Nations played an important role in causing World War 2. For example, In the Manchurian Crisis in 1933, the League officially condemned Japan's actions and did not use military force or economic sanctions because they were afraid of Japan invading their colonies in the Far East. The League were more concerned about their welfare than getting involved in a war on behalf of the League. This failed them as it shows that they were not strong enough to stand up to countries that broke their rules. This was ignored by the Japanese and they swiftly left the League and invaded another part of China named Jehol. This shows why the League of Nations contributed to the outbreak of Worl War 2 because key countries were not members of the League such as Germany, USA and Russia so were not taken as seriously by foreign countries. For example, The Hoare-Laval pact was significant because it showed us that Britain and France were willing to weaken the League's reputation to protect their own interests and accomplishments. The League was supposed to protect smaller countries, but Italy was given the rights to Abyssinian land after its aggressive actions, therefore, going against their own rules.


Lastly, Appeasement was also an important reason in contributing towards the outbreak of World War Two in 1939. This is because In the 1930s the majority of people were horrified of starting another war after the impact of the First One and the current situation then was not good as the Depression started to hit during the Abyssinian Crisis from 1934-to 1936 causing rising unemployment and economic difficulties. People didn't like their situation but didn't want it to get any worse so gave into appeasement. Also, many times where Hitler could have been stopped by the League were missed for example during the Abyssinian Crisis in 1936 while Italy was capturing Abyssinia, Hitler had broken the Treaty of Versailles by remilitarizing the Rhineland and because Britain and France were afraid to make economic sanctions on coal, oil and steel due to the impact it could have on the Great Depression, this led to Hitler intervening and breaking the League's rules as its reputation was already in shatters. This shows why appeasement is an important reason because the absence of the USA unhinged the League, making them unable to effectively carry out their sanctions, as without America' powerful military presence the League lost the ability to create a supportable, outstanding army, and so Britain and France turned to appeasement in order not to cause conflict between countries.

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To conclude, I believe the most important reason was the League of Nations. The League of Nations was created to maintain world peace between countries after World War I. All nations were supposed to be members of the League and if any conflict occurs between countries they were meant to negotiate instead of heading straight to war as this had a lot of short and long-term disadvantages. If the League fails then the countries were to stop trading with other countries and if it continues then the countries could use their army to fight. One reason for its failure was that not all countries joined the League. Germany was not allowed to join the League because of their punishmentblame for the cause of World War I. Russia was excluded because of Communism and The Soviet Union only became a member of the League of Nations in 1934 and was suspended from the League on 14 December 1939 .and the United States didn't agree to join the league as they didn't believe in the values of the League of Nations and didn't like how harsh the treaty was and how it stripped Germans off their reputation, army, land and wealth. So without the USA mainly, the league suffered in allowing their voices to be heard as most countries could throw a tantrum and be given directly what they wanted by the League, therefore, allowing leaders like Hitler to rise to power and allow war to break out in World War Two.

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Cite this Essay

The Invasion Led by Germany and Italy During World War I. (2022, December 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from
“The Invasion Led by Germany and Italy During World War I.” GradesFixer, 09 Dec. 2022,
The Invasion Led by Germany and Italy During World War I. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 7 Dec. 2023].
The Invasion Led by Germany and Italy During World War I [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Dec 09 [cited 2023 Dec 7]. Available from:
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