What motivated nations in the years preceding World War II? Why did some countries seek war while others sought to avoid war? During the 1930s, the Axis powers began a series of actions which eventually resulted in worldwide war. Many historians and others look back upon the decade of the 1930s and ask how the Allied nations could have allowed Germany, Italy, and Japan to gather strength and take over so many areas. What, then, was going on within each country in the decade leading up to World War II?
For each country, look at the following for the year 1938: the country’s leader, the domestic concerns of the country, and the international concerns of the country. Think about: What type of person was this leader? Did this leader’s vision reflect the hopes and aspirations of the average citizen? What was this country doing in terms of international trade and colonization?