The Origins of World War II

I can describe the major causes and events that led to global war in Europe and Asia in the 1930s and 1940s.

By Tuesday, you should have a good idea about the origins of World War II, especially in Europe and the Pacific.  You should hopefully have working answers to the following questions.

  • In general, how did dictators rise in Europe and Asia and lead to the creation of the Axis Powers?
  • In general, what was the early course of war in Europe and Asia (before American involvement)?
  • Why was America not involved in the war in Europe at the beginning?  How did the US get involved without declaring war?

KEY PEOPLE, TERMS AND IDEAS – failure of the Treaty of Versailles, rise of nationalism, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, German invasion of Poland, the Battle of Britain, Nazi invasion of Russia, the Lend Lease Act, Japanese aggression in the Pacific

In regards to taking notes, it’s up to you – choose any format that you would like.  If you feel you already have a great background on this content, you may not need to take many (or any) notes! The historical ball is in your court.


America in the 20th Century – World War II – The Road to War from Discovery Education (usmstudent, wildcats)

World War II history from the History Channel – read until “World War II in the Pacific”

World War II: The Background to War and World War II: The Road to War from Scholastic

World War II – Crash Course 


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