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The Significance of WWII
Transcript of The Significance of WWII
What was WWII?
Also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, though related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis
The Second World War pitted two alliances against each other
The Axis powers
The Allied powers.
The leading powers of the former were Nazi Germany, the Kingdom of Italy, and the Empire of Japan, while the United Kingdom and France with their colonial empires, China, the Soviet Union and the United States made up the Allied powers.
What caused WWII?
Many of the seeds of World War II in Europe were sown by the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I.
The economic collapse, and the political instability caused by World War I led the rise of fascism in Europe to World War II.
The Nazi version of fascism was dedicated to the reversal of the Versailles Treaty and the establishment of a German Empire by means of war and conquest.
Summary of the War
The war in Europe began in earnest on September 1, 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, and concluded on September 2, 1945, with the official surrender of the last Axis nation, Japan.
The conflict spilled over into Africa, included a handful of incidents in the Americas, and a series of major naval battles.
The war ravaged civilians more severely than any previous conflict and served as a backdrop for genocidal killings by Nazi Germany as well as several other mass slaughters of civilians which, although not technically genocide, were significant.
It was the largest armed conflict in history, spanning the entire world and involving more countries than any other war, as well as introducing powerful new weapons, culminating in the first use of nuclear weapons.
Nations suffering the highest losses, military and civilian, in descending order, are:
Aftermath of the WWII
Who was involved?
Destruction caused by the war
The aftermath of World War II was the beginning of a new era. It was defined by the decline of the old great powers and the rise of two superpowers; the Soviet Union and the United States of America creating a bipolar world.
The Second World War effectively ended the era of European colonialism
African Americans who had served in the war returned to find the old discrimination against them still in place
A civil rights movements developed,with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as its best-known leader, that ended officially sanctioned segregation and Mahatma Ghandi in India paved the way for civil rights movements in the U.S. and other countries through nonviolent means
Although later replaced by men returning from homewomen went into the workplace in large numbers during the war, and demonstrated they could handle non-traditional jobs such as welding
There was a growth in economy due to the mass production of war material
Other technology, developed or improved upon for war, also became part of daily life, most notably nuclear power, which supplies energy to homes and businesses in many nations. Improved radar and sonar, microwave ovens, the expansion of chemical and plastics industries, and many other changes were part of the post-war world.