Outcome of World War II – World History

Sansar LochanHistory of the World1 Comment

In this article we are mentioning few points regarding the outcome or consequences of World War II. As we all know the main theater of conflict was in Europe, hence this war had the greatest impact on this continent. However, the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused big devastation in Asia also. The economic and political repercussions were global. In fact, the world underwent a sea-change after 1945. Here we would look into in brief the impact of World War Second on the demography, economy, international relations etc.

War Losses

Europe suffered greater proportionate losses from World War II than any other continent. From England to Russia, and from Norway to Greece, almost every country had experienced the bombing of cities, the devastation of fields and factories, the death and displacement of thousands upon thousands of people. Money had woefully depreciated, and, while prices went up, the standard of living went down.

Slow Recovery

Repairing the ravages of war, and meeting its staggering cost, was a slow and painful process. It was necessary to levy very heavy taxes, and in Britain and other countries to continue a strict rationing of food. Though western Europe had abundant natural resources, it took time, under democratic procedure, to re-develop them and to restore normal production.

Fewer Great Powers

Before the war, five European countries – Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia – had ranked, along with the United States and Japan, as great powers. After the war, Germany and Italy (and Japan) were prostrate and occupied by foreign armies. Great Britain and France were greatly weakened, the former by economic distress and latter by political strife. Only Russia remained powerful in Europe and its only potential rival outside Europe was the United States.

Communism Vs. Democracy

Though the war destroyed the fascist dictatorships of Germany and Italy, it added to the prestige of the communist dictatorship of Russia. It enabled Russia to spread its sway all over east-central Europe and far into Asia. Democracy remained the rule in western Europe, where it was upheld alike by democratic Socialists and by democratic Catholics and other Christians. France established a “Fourth” Republic. Italy dethroned its king, proclaimed itself a republic, and adopted a democratic constitution. Free democratic monarchies were restored in Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Disarmament

As soon as the World War II was over, the democratic nations which had engaged in it disbanded rapidly the bulk of their armed forces. This they did in response to popular demands at home, partly in order to save money for domestic purposes and partly in expectation of general peace and disarmament. Thus France and Britain (and the United States), as well as lesser powers in western Europe, ceased to maintain any considerable army outside of a minimum required for garrison or police duty. Communist Russia alone made no drastic cut in its armed forces.

Decline of Western Imperialism

World War II served to quicken national feeling among subject peoples throughout Near East and Far East, and to arouse them against European rule. The Japanese wartime slogan of “Asia for Asians” was influential, and so too were evidences of the weakness of such colonial powers as Britain, France and the Netherlands. Influential likewise were the criticisms of western imperialism emanating from both communist Russia and democratic America.

Emergence of the United Nations

Immediately after World War II, there was high hope that permanent peace might be secured and maintained. Such hope was voiced by all the nations, including both Russia and the United States, which had been united in the war against Germany, and it was shared  by newly freed or liberated nations. In April 1945, shortly before the end of the war, representatives of fifty nations met at San Francisco to devise a peace plan which they hoped would be superior to that of League of Nations adopted at Paris in 1919. The San Francisco plan was embodied in a Charter of the United Nations.

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