Causes of Conflicts in The Twentieth Century Essay Example

  • Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:


Causes of Conflicts in The Twentieth Century

Causes of Conflicts in the Twentieth Century


The twentieth century was characterized
by numerous conflicts making the bloodiest and expensive in the history of humanity. The two major world wars and several major revolutions globally led to significant economic, political and social crisis that marked different eras during 1901 to 2000. In addition, the wars and conflicts resulted in many deaths and human suffering. However, the causes that led to the numerous historical conflicts are still debatable to date and when extent to which the 21st century can be different and free from human conflicts (Leitenberg, 2007).

To start with, the Second World War was one of the biggest catastrophes created by humanity. Every part of the world at some stage in the 20th century experienced large-scale conflict resulting to deaths and destructions. Some of the main causes may be attributed to the need for supremacy, payback for offenses carried out by individuals and tribes, ethnic and religious conflicts, the conflict between the poor and the rich and territorial conflicts among others. The World War II resulted in Soviet deaths and extreme human suffering. Another conflict happened in China through the civil war in the period 1945 and 1949. The war was also characterized by bloodshed and deaths whereby people were subjected to extreme suffering and their social and economic lives considerably deteriorated.

The Germany expeditionary force started the initial genocide describing the conflicts of the 20th century. The war was described as a race war seeking to eliminate Herero men, children and women whereby on public alert there was increased outcry both at domestic level and worldwide. However, a considerable number of people belonging to the Herero population were murdered. Numerous atrocities were carried out, and the war was called the “war of extermination.” A similar war that duplicated this war in Germany happened in Kenya and is commonly referred to as the “Mau, Mau” rebellion, and Great Britain was involved significantly. Over 11,000 Kenyans were killed with the British detention camps. The Mau Mau rebellion formed an independent movement that sought to end colonialism by the British. However, the camps were rationalized by the British officials creating a great conflict that tried to unsettle the white settlers who were killed (Rosenberg, 2015).

Another historical conflict is the Yugoslavian war that was hugely covered primarily in Bosnia. The war lasted for four years of extreme suffering to a deadly loss of NATO credibility as well as the United Nations getting to a stake. Another nation that was characterized
as a historical genocide is Rwanda. The conflict included massive killings especially the Tutsi community. Despite several efforts to contain the war the genocide continued leaving thousands dead. Somalia is another African nation that has extended its conflicts to the 21st century characterized by conflicts between 1991 and 1992 whereby more than 350,000 people died due to great suffering such as starvation and lack of other basic needs (Stewart, 2011).

In conclusion, the 20th century can be described as the most violent historically characterized by numerous wars and human conflict from all corners of the world. These conflicts and violence led to significant loss of life, property and human suffering. Some of the causes attributed to this suffering have been linked to power struggles, political, social, and economic influences among others. Some the wars included the World War I, World War II, European wars with numerous others in Africa, Mexico, South America, as well as SouthEast Asia among others.


Leitenberg. M. (2007). Deaths in Wars and Conflicts in the 20th Century. Retrieved from

Rosenberg, J. (2015). The Major Wars and Conflicts of the 20th Century. Retrieved from

Stewart, F. (2011). Economic and Political Causes of Genocide Violence: A Comparison with Findings on the Causes of Civil War. Retrieved from