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17.1 Notes: From Appeasement to War

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1 17.1 Notes: From Appeasement to War

2 Objectives Analyze the threat to world peace posed by dictators in the 1930s and how the Western democracies responded. Describe how the Spanish Civil War was a “dress rehearsal” for World War II. Summarize the ways in which continuing Nazi aggression led Europe to war. 1

3 Dictators took aggressive action in the 1930s.
Japan Military leaders Overran Manchuria and much of eastern China Germany Hitler Rebuilt the military and invaded the Rhineland Italy Mussolini Invaded and conquered Ethiopia 2

4 Western democracies denounced these invasions but chose a policy of appeasement.
France could not take on Hitler without British support, and Britain did not want to confront him. Both countries viewed Hitler’s fascism as a defense against the spread of Soviet communism. The Great Depression exhausted Western nations. Disillusion with the previous war had led to widespread pacifism. In the United States, Congress passed a series of Neutrality Acts aimed at avoiding involvement in a European war. 3

5 4 Italy, Germany, and Japan became the Axis powers.
The Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis agreed to fight Soviet communism. They also pledged not to interfere with one another’s plans for territorial expansion. By the mid-1930s, the antidemocratic aggressive powers formed an alliance. Mussolini and Hitler 4

6 5 A civil war in Spain increased tensions.
In 1931, a rebellion ousted the king of Spain. Reformers created a republic with a liberal constitution, and took land and privileges from the Church and old ruling classes. Conservative general Francisco Franco launched a revolt against the republic in 1936. 5

7 Sides in the Spanish Civil War
Nationalists Fascists and the right wing Supported conservative Franco Loyalists Communists, socialists, and those wanting democracy Supported the republic 6

8 The Spanish Civil War became a “dress rehearsal” for a wider European war.
Hitler and Mussolini sent arms and forces to support Franco, while the Soviet Union sent soldiers to help the Loyalists. Nazi leaders used the war to test new bombers. More than 500,000 people died in the struggle. By 1939, Franco had won. He created a fascist dictatorship similar to those of Germany and Italy. 7

9 Meanwhile, Hitler took aggressive steps to bring all German-speaking people into the Third Reich.
One of Hitler’s goals was the Anschluss, or union of Austria and Germany. In 1938, German troops entered Austria. Although Hitler’s annexation of Austria violated the Treaty of Versailles, the Western democracies took no action. 8


11 Hitler next threatened to annex the Sudetenland
Hitler next threatened to annex the Sudetenland. Britain and France protested, but they were unwilling to go to war. At the Munich Conference in 1938, British and French leaders gave in to Hitler’s demands. Hitler promised that he had no further plans to expand. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced that they had achieved “peace for our time.” 9

12 10 Europe rapidly plunged toward war.
After gaining the Sudetenland, Hitler broke his promises and took the rest of Czechoslovakia. The democracies accepted that appeasement had failed. They pledged to protect Poland. In August 1939, Hitler and Stalin announced the Nazi- Soviet Pact. This was a shaky alliance, since neither Hitler nor Stalin trusted the other. 10 12

13 Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany.
On September 1, 1939, a week after the Nazi-Soviet Pact, German forces invaded Poland. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany. World War II had begun. 11 13

14 What events unfolded between Chamberlain’s declaration of “peace for our time” and the outbreak of a world war? After the horrors of World War I, Western democracies tried to preserve peace. However, Germany, Italy, and Japan were preparing to build new empires, and the world was headed to war again. 12

15 Terms and People appeasement – giving in to the demands of an aggressor to keep peace pacifism – opposition to all war Neutrality Acts – a group of laws enacted by the United States to avoid involvement in a European conflict Axis powers – Germany, Italy, and Japan

16 Terms and People (continued)
Francisco Franco – a conservative Spanish general supported by Fascists and Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War; later became dictator Anschluss – union of Austria and Germany Sudetenland – a region of Czechoslovakia Nazi-Soviet Pact – a nonaggression pact uniting Germany and the Soviet Union

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