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The Olive Branch Petition - World War II

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World War II is probably the single most important event in all of modern human history. There is much speculation about how it was started and how its effects have changes the face of our planet diplomatically, militarily, and geographically. Some of the items in the list of what is presumed started this world war include the thorough nationalism found in the countries that were part of the Axis Alliance (Germany, Japan, and Italy), the humiliation that the countries that were part of the former Central Powers during the First World War went through by part of the allied powers and the resentment this brought, and the apparent need for expansion that the three major powers of the Axis alliance had (a.k.a. Imperialism). Just as there are multiple causes for the war, many things derived from it as well. A few of the effects from World War II include things such as the development of international organizations with tighter ties of both the military and diplomatic type such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations (UN), the addition of nuclear weapons to the arsenals of the world's powers, and large additions to the list of communist states such as most of Eastern Europe, China, and the formerly Japanese-controlled nations and territories. The causes and effects mentioned above form part of a long list of each of the subjects and have many things branching out from them.

What could be regarded as the paramount cause of World War II are the extreme nationalistic ideals that the major Axis powers, Germany, Italy, and Japan, had and projected through intensive propaganda campaigns. In Germany, as soon as Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party took control, their rigorous nationalistic agenda was implemented. Not only did Adolf Hitler wish to glorify the German nation and all its territories but what he believed to be the perfect race, the Aryan race. HE made sure massive amounts of his budget were directed into massive propaganda campaigns and even set up a strong branch of his government dedicated to it. Aside from glorifying the German nation and Aryan race, the massive propaganda campaigns also aimed at discriminations and debasing other nations and races. In Italy, Benito Mussolini had similar goals. He wished to demonstrate to the world the capability of the Italian military forces and hopefully return the country to the glories of the Roman Empire. The Italian government led an extensive propaganda campaign in which Italy and its current type of government, Fascism, were showcased as superior. In Japan, a country known for its proud culture and customs, a similar situation went on. The Japanese have always been known for their sense of superiority in almost every field, in this case, military. The Japanese people and their de facto government wished nothing more but to demonstrate to the world the glories of the nation of the Rising Sun. The nationalistic ideals of these countries led their populations to believe what the massive propaganda campaigns each government led, thus gaining more support for the war efforts.

Another of the major causes of World War II, closely linked to the previous one mentioned, was the apparent need the major Axis powers had for expansion. From day one, Nazi controlled Germany seemed to express its desire of the unification of all Teutonic states into a single nation. Hitler made it known that he would do this using any of the tools at his reach, even if it required military intervention. Later on, Hitler went on to express the idea that Germany and its people were destined to control all of Europe and began and extensive campaign of domination that would eventually be part of the causes of the outbreak of World War II. The Italian Benito Mussolini had made it known that he wished to bring Italy back to the glorious days of the Roman Era in which most of North Africa and the Mediterranean was controlled. Through large scale military advances, Mussolini wished, and succeeded, to gain control of what are now Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and the rest of the North African nations as well as many of the countries in the Mediterranean surrounding the Italian Peninsula. The Japanese had a similar point of view to that of its allies. The people of the Japanese nation believed that it was their destiny to one day gain control of Asia, or at least its Eastern part. They took the steps necessary and even began large scale invasions of the countries located in this area. Later they moved on to gain control of most of the Western Pacific Islands, hoping that one day they would be able to take over the nations across the Pacific. Their "need" for expansion made the Axis powers mobilize to invade the territories it wished to gain control of, further contributing to the growing tensions.

Just like the previous causes played a major role in the decision of the most powerful of the Axis countries, Germany, so did the fact that the country was incredibly resentful of the victorious Allied powers from World War I who had humiliated them with the forcing of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and that the German government failed



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