World War II was the most devastating war ever fought. It was a total war, fought in nearly all regions of the world, with upwards of 60 million total military and civilian casualties. The causes of World War II were rooted in World War I and the political and economic events of the interwar period. The economic depression that occurred throughout the world in the 1920's and 30's paved the way for dictators to rise to power.
In this WebQuest you will be studying one of four countries that was ruled by a dictatorial leader in the interwar period and how they led the world to war in 1939. To fully understand the cause of World War II, you must look at the important events leading up to the conflict.
The outbreak of World War II came about because of many factors; the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I, the Great Depression, and a long history of imperial countries disrespecting the sovereignty of smaller nations led to a hostile international environment.
This WebQuest asks you to examine the countries of Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan in the years following World War I. You will examine the events following 1918 that led these countries, and the entire world, into World War II. You will see what political, economic and social conditions led each of these countries to be led by dictatorial leaders, and how the policies of each led to war.