Presentation on theme: "CAUSES AND LESSONS: WW2 THE BIG PICTURE"— Presentation transcript:
1 CAUSES AND LESSONS: WW2 THE BIG PICTURE The European theatre: WWI, part 2?The Asian theatre: Linked, but somewhat uniqueWhy it is studied?50 million people killed,Targeting of civilians to an unprecedented level including with nuclear weaponsThe efficacy of punishing states was raisedThe need to establish international security institutions in finance, trade, and developmentGenocide and international tribunalsPreventative Cold War: Deterrence and containment
2 WHAT SYSTEM-LEVEL ISSUES CAUSED WW2? Why did France and Britain demand such harsh reparations after WWI?Why the League of Nations’ fail to enforce “collective security” in Manchuria (1931)? The fatal flaw of requiring unanimityStatus discrepancies: Germany and especially Japan because of racismRegional balancing and the US-China alliance: Attempts to balance of power against a rising JapanSecurity dilemmas: Germany (Europe and Russia) and Japan (China, US)The lack of powerful international economic and collective security institutions
3 WHAT SOCIETAL ISSUES CAUSED WW2? EuropeThe Treaty of Versailles, economic collapse everywhere , and the rise of Hitler’s party and its public supportPolitical choices and extremism in Germany: Fascism and communismWhat role did European racism against other cultures and nationalism play in increasing the Japanese aggression? How did military victories over Russia, Korea, and China impact the sense of cultural nationalism and destiny?JapanHow did the Great Depression impact the rise of the military in Japan? How did it impact the decision to seek raw materials through the invasion of China?How did the structure and autonomy of military power in Japan’s semi-democracy impact war? How might have better civilian control impacted decision-making?What role did the US’s isolationist politics ( ) play in WWII?
4 WHAT INDIVIDUAL ISSUES CAUSED WW2? EuropeWas Hitler responsible? Would another leader have pursued the same policy?Why did the British and French pursue a policy of appeasement in 1938 (Chamberlain?)Why did the Americans work with the British when the public largely objected (FDR was critical)Why did Stalin make a deal with the devil himself? (1939): Group think and the purges of those who questioned the strategyJapanWhy didn’t the US see that Japan would see an oil embargo as a preemptive attack by the US? Any level of empathy would have caused US leaders to see that Japan wasn’t going to reverse course on expansion in its own back yard… But Roosevelt’s core beliefs made it happenProspect theory and its impact on thinking in the Japanese leadership… The US saw Japanese gains as temporary, but the Japanese didn’t see it that wayWhy in the word did the Japanese hit a power that had the potential military strength of at least 7 times its own? Over-estimating one’s own ability and the false belief that a widow existed where the US would back-down since it hadn’t yet militarized
5 WHAT LESSONS DID WE TAKE AWAY FROM WW2? American leadership: Supporting the new hegemonBipolarism: NATO and balancing the RussiansThe UN (a great power concert this time with vetos)The Non-Prolif TreatyThe Marshall Plan/World Bank, the IMF, and—over time—trade agreementsThe EUGenocide provisions and human rights