Mankind is no stranger to wars. Kingdoms rise and fall, and so do civilizations. Their enduring legacies affect all aspects of life, including economics, science and technology, justice, and more. WW1&2 is the most prominent and relatable despite the struggles that punctuate our past. The technologies developed during the Second war found new uses as commercial products in many homes decades after the conflict. Likewise, medical advances and innovations started breaking new ground. This article examines the causes and effects of World War on the world’s narrative.
The Causes of World War II
WW1 started on July 28, 1914, and ended on November 11, 1918. It is also known as the great war. The origin of the conflict is complex, as it was the combination of various factors. They
include politics, armed forces alliances, and arms races between major European powers. At the end of the conflict, governments were thrown into instability. It also saw the rise of totalitarian regimes and territorial ambitions of various nations.
The Treaty of Versailles ended WW1. But it placed a significant economic burden on Germany and her allies since they were largely responsible for the conflict. The treaty created the League of Nations – a collective security organization established to prevent future skirmishes. It also reduced Germany’s armed forces, and their overseas territories were seized. Under the brunt of the harsh treaty terms, Germany became deeply humiliated and resentful. The government also experienced depression and hardship in the following years, which led to the rise of the Nazi Party, led by Adolf Hitler.
Fascism, Totalitarianism, and Territorial Ambition
Fascist governments rose between the 1920s and 1930s in Italy, Germany, and Japan. In Italy, Mussolini rose to power in 1922 and advocated an expansionist policy and a return to the glory of the Roman Empire. He wanted to establish his empire in Africa. In Germany, Adolf Hitler promoted a racially based ideology of Aryan Superiority. He wanted a Greater Germany that would include the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia, Austria, and other territories. In Japan, the militarists wanted to establish an empire in Asia and the Pacific.
The intention of all three leaders has been subject to debate for decades. College professors assign WW2 paper writing assignments in schools to help students understand the events. If you need a relevant sample on a particular subject of the conflict for your essay, SupremeStudy’s examples of World War 2 provide you with a foundational understanding of historical events. Explore a collection of examples to draft your World War 2 essay abstract or as study material for more research.
The United Kingdom, France, and other Western powers tried to appease the aggressive policies of the three fascist and totalitarian regimes without success. Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1933, signaled the start of WW2. France and Great Britain declared warfare on Germany, and many other nations soon joined, fighting beside the Allied forces and Axis powers.
The War and Its Global Impact
WW2 lasted from 1939 to 1945. Although it started with only three ambitious nations, over 60 countries participated in the conflict. Ultimately, over 70-85 million civilian and military personnel lost their lives. Below are some of the ways it impacted the globe:
Scientific and Technological Advancements
WW2 saw the rise of new weapons and technologies that altered warfare for all parties involved. It also caused greater implications for international relations and global security. Apart from this, it resulted in significant advancements in health and medical care. The sharpest minds worked around the clock to combat diseases like malaria and typhus and develop new treatments for wounded soldiers. Some famous WW2 inventions include:
- Improvements in blood transfusion, skin grafts, and trauma treatments.
- Commercial production of penicillin.
- Creation of the atomic bomb.
- The discovery of the cavity magnetron created microwaves. It also improved prewar radar technology accuracy.
- The creation of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, etc.
Political and Economic Changes
WW2 caused major shifts around the globe. In Europe, it led to the collapse of several empires and the establishment of new nation-states. For example, it played a huge role in shaping the Soviet Union, as it suffered massive casualties and devastation. It also led to the creation of the United Nations to promote peace among nations.
The outbreak of the conflict changed the operation of the Federal Reserve System in the United States. In England, Winston Churchill and his Conservative party were voted out in the July 1945 elections. It also led to the partition of India, the reborn of Israel, and the rise of communist China.
Social and Cultural Change
Two superpowers emerged from WW2 – The United States and the Soviet Union. Although the battle ended, they engaged in a decades-long struggle for dominance. The battle was known as the Cold War. The struggle led to the creation of powerful nuclear weapons and threats of warfare and deep space exploration until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The Cold War represented an ideological difference between the communist East and the capitalist West. Each country was out to outperform the other, which led to a state of mutual deterrence called “mutually assured destruction” for both parties. Although both governments strived for bragging rights, it kept them from engaging in direct armed conflict.
The Cold War has ideological and cultural implications on both sides. They used propaganda to promote their respective ideologies and divided the globe into two spheres of influence. This led to various proxy clashes between the two nations, including Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Korea conflicts. While it is true that the Union collapsed in 1991, the legacy of the Cold War continues to shape interactions between the two governments.
The Legacy of World War II Today
The legacy of WW2 is evident in various aspects of our society today. It played a vital role in shaping international relations, establishing various bodies to prevent future warfare, and promoting international cooperation. It also accelerated growth in technology, especially in aviation, computing, and electronics. The atrocities committed by various nations, especially the Holocaust, highlighted the importance of human rights. Indirectly, the conflict laid the foundation for modern human rights movements. It also saw the development of international laws to protect people’s rights.
WW2 played a significant role in shaping national cultures and identities around the globe. The catastrophic event caused the deaths and displacements of millions. But the exodus also prompted demographic and various cultural changes. Although the legacy of WW2 is complex, its effect is an offshoot of many aspects of our modern society. It gave prominence to the United States and the Soviet Union, led to the Cold War, and ultimately to the creation of new industries and technology. The events changed the geopolitical landscape and the global economy and impacted culture and society.