Unit #10: World War II: Causes of World War II
  Learning Target: I can ANALYZE the causes of World War II and DESCRIBE the most important events that determined the outcome the conflict.

I know I know it when: I can ASSEMBLE the information I have learned to EXPLAIN the most significant events between 1939-1945.

I am learning this because: World War II was the biggest and deadliest war in human history, involving more than 30 countries.  It is important to EVALUATE how this conflict began and formulate how future wars can be avoided.

Class Notes: Causes of WWII Class Notes

Directions: Please follow the directions in the box below to complete the assignment.  Be sure to complete the assignment and carefully check your work before submitting your assignment for a grade. 

Part 1: True or False

1.   By the mid 1930's the aggressive totalitarian nations are on the march in Africa, Asia, and Europe!  Imperial Japan begins its brutal conquest of China and the Pacific.  Italian tanks and airplanes invade and
      slaughter brave Ethiopian forces in Africa.  Nazi Germany begins its European conquest using threats as diplomacy.  The democracies of Britain and France believed Hitler's promise for "Peace in our time." 
      In this lesson, we will go over the events that lead to the start of World War II in 1939. 

      Take a moment to download the Causes of World War II Student Assignment.  Be sure to click File > Save As Google Slides before you begin


2.   First, before reading the text, carefully Read each of the statements below.  Indicate on the line in your Causes of World War II Student Assignment whether you feel the  statement is
      true “T” or false “F”.       

      1.______  The militarists in Japan took control over the country during the Great Depression in the 1930s but chose to leave the President of Japan in charge symbol of state power.

      2. _____  In 1937 Japan invaded and conquered Russia after Japanese troops killed thousands of civilians in Nanjing. The rest of the world responded by going to war with      


      3.  ______  In 1935, Germany invaded South Africa and proclaimed an “Empire” in Africa!

      4.  ______ The leader of Ethiopia, Haile Salassie, asked for help during the invasion but the British and the French did not stop Italian arms from moving through the Suez Canal. 

3.   Next, read the information on slides #4 and #6 to find the correct statements. Rewrite each phrase correctly in your Causes of World War II Student Assignment so that all statements are now true.


Part 2: Viewing History

1.   Look at the images on slides 7 and 8 in your Causes of World War II Student Assignment.  One set of images shows Japanese aggression in Asia.  The other depicts the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.
2.   Answer the questions on each slide.

3.   Discuss your answers with the class.


Part 3: Read, Write, Discuss

 1.   Next, Read the Passages below.  Use your highlighter tool to identify the most important information in the text.  Use the text to answer the questions on the next slide.  Discuss your answers with a partner and
       with the class.

Passage #1

Hitler had long pledged to undo the Versailles Treaty. Among its provisions, the treaty limited the size of Germany’s army.  In March 1935, the Führer announced that Germany would not obey these restrictions. The League of Nations issued only a mild condemnation.   The League’s failure to stop Germany from rearming convinced Hitler to take even greater risks. The treaty had forbidden German troops to enter a 30-mile-wide zone on either side of the Rhine River. Known as the Rhineland, the zone formed a buffer between Germany and France. It was also an important industrial area. On March 7, 1936, German troops moved into the Rhineland. Stunned, the French were unwilling to risk war. The British urged appeasement, giving in to an aggressor to keep peace.   Hitler later admitted that he would have backed down if the French and British had challenged him. The German reoccupation of the Rhineland marked a turning point in the march toward war. First, it strengthened Hitler’s power and prestige within Germany. Second, the balance of power changed in Germany’s favor. France and Belgium were now open to attack from German troops. Finally, the weak response by France and Britain encouraged Hitler to speed up his expansion.   Hitler’s growing strength convinced Mussolini that he should seek an alliance with Germany. In October 1936, the two dictators reached an agreement that became known as the Rome-Berlin Axis. A month later, Germany also made an agreement with Japan. Germany, Italy, and Japan came to be called the Axis Powers.

Answer the questions below in your Causes of World War II Student Assignment.

1.Based on what you read, what steps did Hitler take that violated the terms of the Versailles Treaty?

2.  How did Hitler’s reoccupation of the Rhineland change the balance of power in Europe?

3.What were the Axis Powers?  Which nations joined the access?  In which year was the Axis formed?


Passage #2

  On November 5, 1937, Hitler announced to his advisers his plans to absorb Austria and Czechoslovakia into the Third Reich (ryk),or German Empire. The Treaty of Versailles prohibited Anschluss (AHN•SHLUS), or a union between Austria and Germany. However, many Austrians supported unity with Germany. In March 1938, Hitler sent his army into Austria and annexed it. France and Britain ignored their pledge to protect Austrian independence.  Hitler next turned to Czechoslovakia. About three million German-speaking people lived in the western border regions of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland. This heavily fortified area formed the Czechs’ main defense against Germany. The Anschluss raised pro-Nazi feelings among Sudeten Germans. In September 1938, Hitler demanded that the Sudetenland be given to Germany. The Czechs refused and asked France for help.   France and Britain were preparing for war when Mussolini proposed a meeting of Germany, France, Britain,and Italy in Munich, Germany. The Munich Conference was held on September 29, 1938. The Czechs were not  invited. British prime minister  Neville  Chamberlain believed that he could preserve peace by giving in to Hitler’s demand. Britain and France agreed that Hitler could take the Sudetenland. In exchange, Hitler pledged t o respect Czechoslovakia’s new borders.

When Chamberlain returned to London, he told cheering crowds, “I believe it is peace for our time.” Winston Churchill, then a member of the British Parliament, strongly disagreed.   Less than six months after the Munich meeting, Hitler took Czechoslovakia.  Soon after, Mussolini seized Albania. Then Hitler demanded that Poland return the former German port of Danzig. The Poles refused and turned to Britain and France for aid. But appeasement had convinced Hitler that neither nation would risk war. Britain and France asked the Soviet Union to join them in stopping Hitler’s aggression. As Stalin talked with Britain and France, he also bargained with Hitler. The two dictators reached an agreement. Once bitter enemies, Fascist Germany and Communist Russia now publicly pledged never to attack one another. On August 23, 1939, their leaders signed a nonaggression pact. As the Axis Powers moved unchecked at the end of the decade, war appeared inevitable.


Answer the questions below in your Causes of World War II Student Assignment.

1.Why was Hitler’s annexation of Austria an international crisis? 

2.  What was the SudetenlandLand? Why did Hitler feel it belonged to Germany?

3. Why do you think Britain and France chose to appease Hitler rather than stop his aggression? 

4. Why do you think Hitler and Stalin created a Non-Aggression Pact?

5.  What were the terms of the Munich Conference?

6. Predict what Hitler might do next following the Munich Conference. Explain your answer.






Part 4: Timeline and Geography

 1.   Complete slides 15 and 16 in your Causes of World War II Student Assignment using the timeline and the map provided.

 2.    Discuss your answers with the class. 

Part 5: Submit your work for a grade

 1.   Once you have completed your Causes of World War II Student Assignment., use the Google Form below to submit your work for a grade.  Be sure to check
       your answers using the Causes of World War II Student Assignment..

 2.    Carefully check your answer and submit your work for a grade.  You must have answered the questions to do well on this submission. 

      Submit Assignment

3.    Good Job!  Check out the video about this topic below.


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  World History with Mr. Gigliotti | Valley Forge High School | Parma Hts., OH | gigliottip@parmacityschools.org