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Also known as the Second World War, World War II was a worldwide conflict from 1939 until 1945, involving every major power in the world, and is generally considered the largest and deadliest continuous war in human history. The outbreak of the second global conflict can be attributed to the conditions created by the peace settlements (1919–1920) following World War I, the Great Depression (the 1930s), and the rise of totalitarian, militaristic regimes in Germany, Italy, and Japan (1922–1933).

The peacemaking process after World War I that opened at the Paris Peace Conference on January 18, 1919, dictated settlements that contained the seeds of the future conflict on a global scale. The Treaty of Versailles was particularly rich in articles that were both offensive to German ...

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