Identificationof the major causes behind the eruption of the Second World War hasposed challenges to historians since it was a vast, global affair. Itis, therefore, clear that events of such nature have multiple reasonsand inputs attached to it. For easier analysis, therefore, historianshave classified the events that led to the Second World War intodifferent groupings. They have talked of proximate causes, economiccauses, and political causes.

Thefirst obvious cause of the war was the over-ambitious nature of theWestern states. It is this feature that resulted into the rise ofnationalism in these countries. Nationalism became a problem when itspread in almost every country such a country fought to make itspeople better, and could even go an extra mile to achieve thisobjective. It is this quest to acquire more power that created moreconflicts that culminated in the war.

Theexisting economic conditions in Western countries are also attributedto the Second World War. After the First World War, many countrieswere struck by debts. Those who had lost the war, found it difficultto pay for reparations on the other hand, those who had won went onborrow a lot of cash from countries, like the United States ofAmerica, which they were unable to repay (George, 249). Theseexperiences resulted in inflation rates which spread from the USA toother European countries. Due to poverty, the citizens resorted topowerful leaders whom they thought could restore their economicstatus. As the leaders struggled to secure markets and alignedthemselves in economic groups, tensions increased that climaxed tothe war.

Thoughthe war had severe impacts in Europe, it had notable significance tothe USA as a nation. The war brought to a halt the great depressionthat had been experienced before. Production industries came back tolife. The USA also stamped itself as a superpower after the war. Thehostility that existed between Germany and USA also came to an end.


TheGreat Depression is arguably the worst economic situation to have hitthe USA both domestic and external factors have been attributed tothe great depression.

Oneof the reasons behind the Great Depression was the crashing of theStock market on October 29, 1929. Two months, after the crash, thestockholders in America had lost over forty billion dollars. Thoughthe stock market regained its losses at the end of 1930, the economicdepression was inevitable (George, 251).

Thestock market crash also impacted on the purchasing curve acrossAmerica. During this period, the purchasing power of all classes inAmerica reduced. This consequently led to reduced production andmassive job losses.

TheSmoot-Hawley tariff in 1930 is also another cause the policy aimedat charging high taxes on imports from European countries in order tosafeguard American companies. However, it negatively impacted on theeconomic relationship as those countries countered economicallyagainst it.

Otherfactors include the drought conditions in the Mississippi Valley andthe failure of the banking industries throughout that 1930s, whichsaw closure over 9000 banks.

Thethen USA was at the forefront in the attempts to solve the GreatDepression problem. The initial move was the passing of the EmergencyBanking Bill of 1930, which brought stability in the banking industry(George, 260). Employment was also created through the WorksProgress Administration initiative that offered employment tomillions of men. The Agricultural Adjustment Act was also enacted toprovide loans to the farmers. These measures played a significantrole in bringing the situation to control.


George,D. “Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy”. BostonUniversity International Law Journal19 (2001): 240-271. Print.