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America's Wars, Causes of

A guide to resources for the study of causes or origins of America's major armed conflicts.

Terminology

  • World War II or World War Two or World War 2
  • The Second World War
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • The Great Patriot War (Soviet Union/Russia)

Reference Sources

Search Suggestions

Books, Videos, etc.
For books, etc. held by Notre Dame analyzing the causes of World War II use:
  • ND Catalog
  • Advanced Search
  • Subject
  • Is (exact)
  • and enter: 
    • world war 1930-1945 causes
Articles

For scholarly articles:

  • In one or more of the recommended article databases
  • Do a "keyword" search for:
    • ("world war 1939-1945" OR "world war two" OR "world war II" OR "world war 2") AND (cause* OR origin OR origins)
  • If retrieval is too great or too small,
    • limit search terms to title, subject or abstract,
    • adjust search by adding or removing or modifying search terms, and/or
    • limiting search results to "peer reviewed" or "refereed" articles.

For contemporary, pre-war ( 1918-1939 ) opinion & analysis:

In one or more of the recommended article databases

Do a "keyword" search for:

  • names of countries and their foreign policy ("foreign relations") with each other.
    • ("united kingdom" OR "great britain" OR england OR english) AND ("foreign relations" OR foreign policy") AND german*
    • (france OR french) AND "foreign relations" OR foreign policy") AND german*
    • German* AND ("foreign relations" OR foreign policy")
    • (poland or polish) AND ("foreign relations" OR foreign policy")
    • japan* AND ("foreign relations" OR foreign policy")
  • OR
  • Specific points of friction or events.
    • "Washington Naval Conference" OR "Four-Power Treaty" OR ("Five-Power Treaty" OR "Washington Naval Treaty") OR "Nine-Power Treaty"
    • OR
    • (naval OR navy OR battleship*) AND (construct* OR supremacy OR superiority)
  • Limit results to:     
    • 1918-1939
  • If retrieval is too great or too small,
    • limit search terms to title, subject or abstract,
    • adjust search by adding or removing or modifying search terms

 For Post-World War II opinion & analysis: 

In one or more of the recommended article databases

  • Do a "keyword" search for:
    • ("world war 1939-1945" OR "world war two" OR "world war II") AND (cause* OR origin OR origins)
  • Limit results to:
    • 1945-2018
  • If retrieval is too great or too small,
    • limit search terms to title, subject or abstract,
    • adjust search by adding or removing or modifying search terms

Primary Sources

Sample Published Collections of Primary Documents

 

For other collections of primary source held by Notre Dame:

Search:

  • ND Catalog
  • Advanced Search
  • Subject
  • contains
  • and enter:
    • "world war 1939-1945" and causes and (sources OR documents)

 

See the "American Memory" project the Library of Congress Collections