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Introduction to World War II - Chapter Summary
Our experienced instructors provide an introduction to World War II in this helpful chapter. Some of the topics you'll study include the history of interwar conflict in Asia between the World Wars and the rise of Benito Mussolini and Italian fascism. Additional videos cover the Soviet Union under Stalin, the rise of Hitler and the collapse of the Third Reich. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
- Summarize the Spanish Civil War and the influence of foreign powers
- Outline the start of WWII
- Explain how the attack on Pearl Harbor began America's involvement in the war
- Detail the European Theater in WWII, including the Eastern and Western Fronts and the fight for North Africa
- Outline genocide and anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust
- Describe the Pacific Ocean Theater of WWII with regard to Japan and the Allies
- Discuss Nagasaki and Hiroshima and how the atomic bomb changed warfare during WWII
- Identify U.S. diplomacy and international politics during the war, including the Yalta Conference and the Potsdam Conference
The chapter makes these events and concepts easy to remember and simple to study. Work at your own pace as you watch as few or as many of the videos as needed. If you require any help along the way, feel free to reach out to one of our experts via the Dashboard.
1. Interwar Conflict in Asia Between World Wars: History & Response
In this lesson, we discuss Japan and China and the disparate fortunes of the two nations during the interwar period, including Japanese military aggression toward China.
2. The Rise of Benito Mussolini and Italian Fascism: Facts & Timeline
In this lesson, we explore the rise of fascism in interwar Italy, as led by Il Duce, Benito Mussolini. Mussolini's oppressive, totalitarian regime fell during WWII.
3. The Soviet Union Under Stalin: Five-Year Plans, Purges & Policies
In this lesson, we explore the brutal rule of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union, from 1928 to 1953. Stalin radically transformed the economy of the Soviet Union, while also terrorizing its people.
4. Hitler's Third Reich: Rise to Power, History & Collapse
In this lesson, we explore the rise of Hitler's Third Reich, its domination of German society in the 1930s, and the world war it began which eventually led to its downfall.
5. The Spanish Civil War & the Influence of Foreign Powers: Definition, Summary & Timeline
In this lesson, we explore the Spanish Civil War that broke out between nationalists and socialists in Spain in the 1930s. In the aftermath, General Francisco Franco instituted a fascist dictatorship.
6. World War II: The Start of the Second World War
Learn all about the start of World War II and why the League of Nations could not stop aggression by Italy, Germany and Japan in the 1930s, which led to the outbreak of this second global conflict.
7. The Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Beginning of American Involvement in World War II
On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack against Allied possessions in the Pacific, including the American military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After decades of conflict between the two nations, the U.S. declared war.
8. The European Theater in WWII: The Eastern Front, Western Front & Fight for North Africa
Hitler and Nazi Germany dominated the European fields of battle early in WWII. This lesson is an overview of key military operations between 1939 and 1943 in Europe on both the Eastern and Western fronts.
9. The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany
The Holocaust was the persecution and mass murder of as many as 11 million people by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. Learn about the people they targeted, the progression of events leading up to the Final Solution and the end of the genocide in this lesson.
10. The Pacific Ocean Theater of WWII: Japan vs. The Allies
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States entered WWII. Watch this video to learn about some of the key battles, as well as the general nature, of the Pacific theater of the war.
11. Hiroshima and Nagasaki: How the Atomic Bomb Changed Warfare During WWII
As America and its WWII allies considered invading Japan, the Manhattan Project successfully developed an atomic weapon. Its use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, precipitated VJ Day, the end of the Pacific war, on August 14, 1945.
12. The Yalta Conference and The Potsdam Conference: US Diplomacy & International Politics During World War II
Throughout the course of WWII, leaders of many Allied nations met many times to discuss strategy. Then, near the end of the war, two historic conferences shaped the post-war world.
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Other chapters within the Praxis World & U.S. History - Content Knowledge (5941): Practice & Study Guide course
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- The Rise & Fall of Rome
- Ancient India & Persia
- Ancient China
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- Important Events Leading to the American Revolution
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- Building the United States After the American Revolution
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- Everyday Life in Antebellum America
- Manifest Destiny & the American Civil War
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