How did WWII Change the World?
war that began in Europe spiraled to a global war as allies rallied up. World
War 2 commenced in 1939 to 1945 with Germany and Poland as the root of the war.
Slowly, nations joined in and allied with their choice between the two. Germany,
Italy and Japan united to form the Axis powers while the Soviet Union and
America allied with Britain, France and China to form a force known as the
Allied powers. The Alliance led to the development of new technologies such as
the space race and the creation of atomic weapons aimed at defeating enemies.
The economy was at a state of depression due to World War I. Pearl Harbor also
played a significant role in American history with regards to its economic
growth. The war resulted in the downfall of European imperialism which led to
the U.S, Russia and Britain as powerhouses. When World War 2 ended, the cold
war began with the establishment of systems such as the CIA and KGB. The use of
propaganda also prevailed during the cold war. The war provoked the Communism
scare as nations witnessed the Korean war and war in Vietnam. World War II changed the world rapidly. Although
it ended in 1945, there are nations among the allies who gained power and there
are those who still endure through its crippling effects.
THE BEGINNING OF WORLD
War II is a significant historical event that influenced the current state of
global conditions and its origin plays an important role in outlining the
changes it brought. According to Harrison a war that was only between Germany and
Poland was joined by other forces who allied with each party between the two (7).
Their coalition in 1939-1945 is the result of what is known as World War II. Sharples
stated that Poland’s alliances were Britain, France, the Soviet Union, China
and America and together they are referred to as the Allied powers (10). This
coalition was influenced by the state of the Nazi-Germany led by Adolph Hitler.
Reynolds acknowledged that the Nazi
regime’s separation of nations such as the United States could have resulted in
economic isolation of the Allied powers (174). The alliance was to counter the
danger imposed by the movement and thus the interest in Europe.
Among Germany’s allies are Italy and Japan who
formed what was known as Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. The alliance meant that each
country supporting either Poland or Germany declared war on the opposition. Have
& van Haperen discussed that the Jewish group were murdered by the Nazi
regime during the war (16). The group were not participants of the war but
racism and religious alienation led to their slaughter. They were even deported
to Poland by German in 1941. The move to Poland subjugated them to starvation
and living in ghettos.
timeline of the war greatly outlines the entry of the allies in the war with
regards to the cause of war for each nation. King outlined that Britain and
France entered the war in the form of aid and avoided conflict between them and
Germany (134). The avoidance led to the period being called the phony war era.
The June 1940 Paris invasion resulted in France surrendering to the joint force
of German and Italy. Cooley noted that
after Germany drafted a plan better known as Sea Lion under the leadership of
Adolph Hitler for the invasion of Britain, America rushed in to aid it (16). Britain responded to the war following German
air forces that bombarded its territories and this was referred to as Blitzkreig.
According to Fuller during the Battle of Britain, Somaliland, Eritria and the
Sudan were occupied by Italy while Germany occupied major regions of North
Africa, Greece and Yugoslavia (3). The Soviet Union was the only part of Europe
that was not occupied by the Axis Power.
1945, opposition invaded the prior war free parties among the allies. Harrison
explained that the Soviet Union retaliated at the German invasion and managed
to defeat it after a major invasion which succeeded in occupying many parts of
it (3). Points out that America fully participated in the war when “Japan
bombarded the American naval base at Pearl Harbor” (80). The Axis power decided
to assist Japan to only provoke America to declare war. States that France was
liberated by the Anglo-American while the Soviet Union liberated the East of
Europe (80). The war ended on the 15th of August 1945 when Japan
During World War II
only does technology play a significant role in the present world, but it
assisted in combat. According to Mindell World War II witnessed a great deal of
technological advancement with Nazi Germany pioneering Rocketry, the V-1 now
known as Cruise Missile and V-2 presently known as Ballistic Missile
(1). The V-1 was an automatic aircraft and the V-2 was
charged to the sky prior to hitting its target, they were both launched on
London claiming the lives of thousands of citizens. Mindell noted that after
the war, the United States called in the team behind these weapon inventions to
help with building the rockets that guided American astronauts to space (1). The
invitation outlined the need to learn more and for greater technological
advanced in the form of radar used to track the attacker’s distance. Mindell
stated that the predecessor of GPS was LORAN referred to as long range
navigation which assisted airplanes in positioning their direction. The end of
the war was marked by a great use of these technologies. “Technological
innovations developed during World War II, such as radar, jet engines and
electronic aviation navigation, defined the last half of the 20th century and
were instrumental in the successful execution of the war” Barnfield (1). World
war changed the world through the realization of the contribution and the
necessity for integration.
global civilians suffered a great economic depression as one of the effects of the
war, attacks expanded. King states that economic depression was experienced by
civilians across the globe as an effect of World War I (78). According to Higgs
following numerous economic restrictions by the United States, Japan retaliated
and attacked Pearl Harbor on the 7th of December 1941 (37). The
attack is one that launched America into war. IEP states that the attack at the naval base
of Pearl Harbor took the lives of 2400 sailors (4). A nation suffering from economic
depression, the United States utilized its entry into the war. According to the
IEP the United States had a great demand for participation from civilians,
creating a great demand in weaponry and munition (9). The need for war supplies
grew rapidly and stabilized the previously crashed stock market. Such trading
united the nation and with the unemployed involved in the shipping of tanks and
changed the economy.
The war marks the end of European imperialism as the
Soviet Union, Britain and the United States become superpowers of the world.
According to Harrison the Axis power was disadvantaged with regards to weapons,
the Allied powers on the other hand dominated (6). The number of weapons in the
Allied powers exceeded the number of soldiers thus, leading to the defeat of
the Axis powers. Harrison outlined that as the Axis powers were knocked out of
the battle, their GDPs fell while the Allied Powers’ increased (5). Italy and
France were defeated and such resulted into the fall of their economy. Harrison
noted that the end of 1944 was marked by a collapse of the Japanese and German
economy (5). Guinnane stated that at the end of the war the United States’
position shifted from debtor to creditor (10). This shift was from the nation’s
aide to Germany as it provided for food, fuel and medical supplies.
was left indebted to the United States for the relief it received. Guinnane
noted that prior to entering the war, governments guaranteed their citizens
that allied parties will pay for the costs accumulated during the war (9). The
assurance left Germany indebted to France and Italy given that they entered the
war in alliance to the nation. Guinnane
reported that end of World War II marked the end of the Nazi regime and
reparations from Germany to the Jewish group for the cruelty inflicted by the
movement (5). The Jewish group was regarded as a nation by the United States. Germany
paid an amount of $ 500 million to German-Jews to appease the damage they
endured. King stated that after the war, the Soviet Union showed preference to
Jews by placing them in stolen homes of German foreigners (228). The allocation
of funds and the land was in hopes to include the Jewish group as part of
The end of the war is
marked by great division of the Allied powers. Aden noted that after World War
II, the Soviet Union had great ties with Eastern Europe and the Middle East
violating its agreement with the United States (37). The U.S was displeased and
by all means attempted to draw the nations to them. Hoping to trigger fear in
the Soviet Union, Sherwin acknowledged that the United States released an
atomic bomb on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki even with things working out on
its favor (58). The period could have been declared as an end war by the United
States President Harry Trumann but the Soviet Union’s intervention prompted the
The two continuously provoked one another with
the Soviet Union condoning Communism and the United States in favor of the
democratic Capitalism. Leffler and Painter stated that the Soviets actions such
as its delay to withdraw troops in Iran and reiteration of their desire for
bases in Turkish Straits catalyzed the Cold War (93). The World War II
coalition ended and the Communist Soviets and the Capitalist United States were
in disagreement. Leffler and Painter stated that the Cold War was never an open
one as its predecessors (17). It was a diplomatic war expressive of conflicting
ideological views and political mistrust.
The separation of the
post war allies meant that new alliances had to be formed with parties of
interest. Aden stated that tension grew between the previously Allied powers
when Soviet Union tried to spread Communism broader to Europe and Asia (62). Not
only did the Communist movement undermine democracy but it was dedicated at
spreading hate propaganda against the United States. According to Aden the
Soviet hate propaganda allowed China and North Korea to declare a biological
warfare against the U.S (62). The CIA was launched to counter the Soviet
propaganda. Aden noted that the United States developed the Campaign of Truth
and adapted a new form of new reporting shifting from “objective-sounding
news and information to hard-hitting propaganda” (63). The use of cartoons was prominent depicting communist as bloodthirsty
beings and the news sensationalized the American side.
There were great
attempts from both parties to covert propaganda. According to O’Brien the
United States had the CIA while the Soviet Union relied on KGB (Komitet Gosudartrennoi
Bezopasnoti) to advice on intelligence against the opposition (431). Aden
stated that the CIA achieved discrediting the Soviets in Italy by distributing
flyers promoting American Economic aid (66). These pamphlets worked in their favor
and it was in the 1950s that the need for greater alliance grew.
The spread of influence between the two superpowers divide Korea into
North and South. According to Becker the defeat of Japan ceased it from colonizing
Korea and this resulted in the split of the 38th parallel to form
North and South (1). Seeking to be a united communist whole, Koreans attacked
the American airbases for occupying South Korea. Aden reported that the Korean
war began in 1950 and the United States chose to support South Korea and demoralize
North Korea (60). The Korean war was suspected to be the test from communist
hegemony for the United States reaction.
Another Communist scare resulted in the
Vietnamese war. Leffler and Painter stated that the Vietnam war occurred when
the French came back after the war to recapture their power and the Americans
assisted (253). The Vietnamese troop defeated them and Vietnam was divided into
North and South. The South was the French part which was accumulated through
the help of the United States. The North was the Communist one and revolted
against the South. According to Leffler and Painter the revolution resulted in
Vietnamese war, as America released a biological bomb known as Napam (254). The
evidence of the wars indicates that the Soviet Union was at success with
forming alliances and the war between the two was experienced by Korea and
Vietnam. The fight for alliance between the two superpowers is blamed for the
Although the populations of both the United States lived in fear of a war
outbreak during the cold war, it also has a positive effect. According to
Fabian during the war both parties participated in a crucial space race (1).
Both the Soviet Union and the United States were working secretly on their own
earth orbiting satellite. The Soviet launched their satellite in October 1957
called Sputnik. Fabian stated that Sputnik travelled for 95 minutes at 18,000
miles per hour speed (1). The United States Explorer 1 was launched in January
1958 following panics from the fear of the Soviet Union attacking it with
military rocket to attack.
The fear of the potential of the Soviet Union
to creating a weapon destruction quickened the United States rocket
preparation. Fabian outlined that Sputnik also encouraged the formation of NASA
(National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and a great focus of math and
science in the United States (1) Rocket science was included as a College
course. The Space race was continuous, when more Sputniks were sent to space
Explorers 1 also followed. Fabian reported that Yuri Garagin was the first
person in space putting the Soviet Union in the lead (1). This led to the United States counteracting
with sending to the moon their first manned aircraft.
The space race intensely grew between the two
countries as the Cold War was still in progress. Fabian explained that
technology advanced following the Sputnik and Explorer 1 with spy satellites
used for spying on the opposition (1). These advancements were referred to as
the arms race continuously looking at the opposition’s territory for nuclear
weapons and missiles. In a short period of time, the war allowed the two to
acquire knowledge about space travel and since the end of the war, they have
Given a great reliance on weapon creation which reached a great peak due
to technological advancements the Cuban missile crisis occurred. Leffler and
Painter noted that the United States was a lead in weapon creation, and by all
means attempted to keep its position given that the superpowers were committed
to lead (4). Britain was among the arms race together with the Soviet Union and
other nations. Leffler and Painter stated that post-war witnessed the need to
create American military bases around Africa, Europe and Asia to avoid any
attacks from the enemy (18). The division between the Soviet-American relation
created a fear of being attacked by the Soviet Union as the need for a base in
Greenland was identified.
The Soviet-American division created a great
observation culture of each’s activities. Norris believed that the Cuban
missile crisis of 1962 was the world’s closest point to a nuclear war due to
the discovery by the United States of the secret deployment of “medium-range
ballistic missiles into Cuba” (1). It was of the United States knowledge that
Cuba received military services from the opposition. Norris states that the
provision of ballistic missiles was unsettling and the United States had
photographic proof obtained through Strategic Air Command- U2 (1). The aircraft
captured the process of preparations of bases and missiles.
The discovery promoted
great scrutiny of the Soviet Union and allowed the United States to be more
vigilant. Norris reported that President Kennedy took offence and warned the
Soviet Union that any ballistic missile launched on any nation will be regarded
as a declaration of war against the United States (2). The attack will not be
blamed on Cuba but the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union took the threat seriously
and agreed to remove the missiles reverting on its aim to train Cuban troops in
the use of nuclear weapons.
Ultimately like all wars, the Cold War came
to an end in 1991. According to Leffler and Painter the prolonged struggle
reached an end when the Soviet Union was dissolved (334). The Communist union’s
made up of Ukraine, Russia and Byelorussia desired independence and the war
ended. Carlyle outlined that although the United States is falsely labelled as
the winner of the war, Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership led to the withdrawal (1).
Military costs gradually affected the economy and the collapse was needed. Leffler
and Painter stated that the war also enabled the need for alliances for the
Soviet Union and the United States (234). Among the Soviet allies was Bulgaria,
Cuba, East Germany, Romania and others which were referred to as the Soviet
satellite states. Leffler and Painter outlined that the United States formed
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Canada, Belgium, Britain, France and
Italy (235). The alliance culture of World War II prevailed in this form
creating relationships which not only aid during war but in cases of natural
World War II has ended and there are nations
that witnessed its positivity among those who suffered a greater loss. The
American nation ‘s economic power shifted from the Pearl Harbor event and also
the German reparations bringing with it the need for. The Jewish group endured
through hardships during the Nazi regime but the end of European imperialism
stopped the torture. It is evident that the United States and the Soviet Union
saw an enemy in Germany and thus the need for alliance during the war. The
teaming up did not entail that the two were friends as the Cold War testifies
to this statement. Technologically advanced equipment during the war allowed
the creation of space rockets and institutions such as NASA. The war is also
responsible for the death of Koreans and Vietnamese although they were attained
in cold war. The alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union led to
their split, putting innocent civilians in danger.
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