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The modern world and Australia — Did World War 2 make a better World? Essay Example

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3Did World War II Make a Better World?


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The Second World War took place between the years 1939 and 1945 in the European, Atlantic, South-East Asia, China, Northern Africa, Mediterranean and the Pacific regions (Historynet, 2017). It is perhaps the most significant event that took place in the 20th century period. The main participants were the Axis nations, Imperial Japan, the Allied nations led by Great Britain, the Socialist Republics of the Soviet Union, Fascist Italy and the United States of America. The Allies won the war which later resulted to the emergence of two super powers, the USSR and the USA (Verge, 2013). Post-war social changes like the civil rights association in America, the end of European colonialism, the women’s rights movements and innovations in technology like outer space exploration programs began with the start of World War II. These were positive ventures that were created with the intention of making people’s lives better and encourage peaceful co-relations. The question asked here is therefore whether the Second World War made the world a better or worse place.

After World War II, the better parts of Europe and Asia had been reduced to ruins. Homecomings, burials and dismissals were taking place. Borders had to be redrawn as the massive efforts to rise and rebuild begun. The world population was reduced by close to 4% by this war; when it began, the world population was almost 2 billion of which almost 80 million were killed during the war (Taylor, 2011). Those perceived to have been involved in War crimes were subjected to trials in Asia and Europe after which some were executed and others given prison sentences. Millions of Japanese and Germans were evicted forcefully from the regions they called home and the United Nations and the Allied groups made decisions that led to problems that lasted for decades to come. The main problems were as a result of the creation of new borders that led to other small conflicts and tensions like those between North and South Korea, East and West Germany and the Arab Israeli conflict to mention a few.

To the non-European world, the fight for national independence was enhanced to a great extent. The war made the two main European imperial powers, England and France very weak and gave these countries the opportunities to fight for independence for the three decades that followed (Neiberg, 2015). The non-European world took advantage of the new technology developed during the war to fight diseases and this led to very low rates of mortality and a significant growth in population. The war greatly influenced innovations and progress in technology. These gave way for farther development that essentially transformed the world after the war (Lee, 1995). The beginning of nuclear power production started with Europeans and Americans developing the atomic bomb. This also changed the nature of the prospective wars in the future.

This war posed a threat to human civilization leading to Wilson renewing the vision of an international organization to maintain peace. These efforts began while the war was still on. The United Nations was then established officially by the end of the war (Gay & Gay, 1995). It had the complete leadership and support of the United States. All the significant states of the world became members of this organization. These states were determined to avoid the mistakes that were made before and during the war which led to the great depression. The world was entering a new era of global cooperation. The war also helped stop discrimination against African Americans and support racial equality, segregation in the armed forces also eventually came to an end.

Wars can never be said to be good, but there are times when they are inevitable. The Second World War resulted in massive destruction and deaths but these were just the short term effect. Other effects are the conflicts that came as a result of the creation of new borders but these are a few regions that could be controlled if extreme measures are put in place. It can be said that in the long run, this war made the world a much better place. Women got new opportunities and privileges to show what they could do. There were many technological advancements which kept developing to date. The economy similarly rose drastically due to the production of war materials on large scale. Different races were given new opportunities and benefits as a result of the end of segregation. These are positive effects of the war that indicate that the World War II made the world a better place.

Reference List

Gay, K., & Gay, M., 1995. World War II. (4th Edn). New York: Twenty-First Century Books.

Historynet, 2011. World War II: Facts, information and articles about World War II, 1939-1945. [Online]. Available at: http://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii. [Accessed 22 Apr 2017].

Lee, B., 1995. Marching orders: the untold story of World War II. (2nd Edn). Melbourne: Penguin Books.

Neiberg, M., 2015. Potsdam: the End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe. A world history journal, 17(3), pp 122-164.

Taylor, A., 2011. World War II: After the War. [Online]. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/10/world-war-ii-after-the-war/100180/ [Accessed 22 Apr 2017].

Verge, A., 2013. World War II. Journal of World Histories, 13(4), pp 309-321.