🔥🔥🔥 Political And Economic Consequences Of World War II

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Political And Economic Consequences Of World War II



An influential view of the social effects of the Second World War argued by Arthur Marwick —29 is that total war had far-reaching effects, which went beyond the obvious negative effects of destruction, Ginger Smoothies Research Paper and dislocation. Federal Tax Credit. Source Set Political And Economic Consequences Of World War II. Research Grant for Political And Economic Consequences Of World War II. They include the impact of the Political And Economic Consequences Of World War II of Versailles following WWI, the worldwide economic depression, failure Political And Economic Consequences Of World War II appeasement, the rise of militarism in Germany charioteer of delphi Japan, Political And Economic Consequences Of World War II the failure of the League of Nations.

The Aftermath of World War II: Collaboration \u0026 Retribution

In the east, the war had led to socialist revolution in Russia and the radicalization of the working class throughout Europe. In the west, the war created the conditions for the emergence of the United States—which had suffered relatively few losses—as the dominant capitalist power. The Versailles settlement of set the stage for the eruption of new conflicts. The vindictive terms insisted upon by French imperialism did little to ensure stable relations on the European continent.

The breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire resulted in the creation of a new set of unstable national states, torn by sectional rivalries. The Versailles settlement failed to create a foundation for the restoration of the political and economic equilibrium of Europe. Rather, the world capitalist economy, as it emerged from the war, was riven by imbalances that led to the unprecedented collapse that began on Wall Street in October Another major factor in the re-emergence of international tensions that was to lead to a renewal of global war in was the new role of the United States in world affairs.

Wilson was hailed—in the aftermath of the US entry into World War I and the victory of socialist revolution in Russia—as the savior of capitalist Europe. But it soon became clear to the European bourgeoisie that the interests of the United States were in conflict with its own. The American bourgeoisie was not willing to accept European dominance in world affairs. It viewed the privileges enjoyed by Britain within the framework of its Empire as a barrier to the expansion of its own commercial interests. While the steady expansion of American power gave British diplomats sleepless nights, it thoroughly unnerved the most ruthless representatives of German imperialism.

On the basis of contemporary economic trends, Hitler predicted already in the s that the European powers had only a few more years to organize themselves against this inevitability. The years that followed the conclusion of World War I witnessed the heyday of pacifism. No one grasped the implications of the unfolding crisis of world capitalism with greater foresight and clarity than Leon Trotsky. In June , having been exiled from the Soviet Union by the reactionary bureaucratic regime led by Stalin, Trotsky wrote:. The same causes, inseparable from modern capitalism, that brought about the last imperialist war have now reached infinitely greater tension than in the middle of The fear of the consequences of a new war is the only factor that fetters the will of imperialism.

But the efficacy of this brake is limited. The stress of the inner contradictions pushes one country after another on the road to fascism, which, in its turn, cannot maintain power except by preparing international explosions. All governments fear war. But none of the governments has any freedom of choice. Without a proletarian revolution, a new world war is inevitable. With Hitler in power, liberal and reformist apologists for the imperialist bourgeoisie in Britain, France and the United States had begun to argue that a new war would be a fight against dictatorship.

This argument would eventually be adopted by the Soviet Stalinist regime. Trotsky emphatically rejected this claim. Within the context of this political perspective, Trotsky analyzed the global ambitions of the United States:. The world is divided? It must be redivided. History is bringing humanity face to face with the volcanic eruption of American imperialism. These words were to prove extraordinarily prescient. Trotsky insisted that only the revolutionary struggle of the working class, leading to the overthrow of capitalism, could prevent the eruption of a new world war, even bloodier than the first.

But the defeats of the working class in Spain and France—the product of the combined treachery of the Stalinist, social democratic and reformist bureaucracies—made war inevitable. It finally began on September 1, As in , German imperialism was the principal instigator of the conflict. But the Second World War, like the first, had more profound causes.

Trotsky wrote:. The democratic governments, who in their day hailed Hitler as a crusader against Bolshevism, now make him out to be some kind of Satan unexpectedly loosed from the depths of hell, who violates the sanctity of treaties, boundary lines, rules, and regulations. If it were not for Hitler the capitalist world would blossom like a garden. What a miserable lie! This German epileptic with a calculating machine in his skull and unlimited power in his hands did not fall from the sky or come up out of hell: he is nothing but the personification of all the destructive forces of imperialism.

Through Hitler, world capitalism, driven to desperation by its own impasse, has begun to press a razor-sharp dagger into its own bowels. Lest one think that Trotsky is here being unjust to the leaders of the wartime opponents of Hitler, it is worth recalling the words of Winston Churchill. As a result, there was strong opposition—especially in Britain—to an alliance with the Soviet Union aimed against the fascist powers. After Hitler completed the conquest of Poland within a few weeks, no further military action was taken by Nazi Germany until the spring of , when German armies swept across Western Europe.

In June , France—whose ruling class was more concerned with the revolutionary threat posed by its own working class than with the danger of a Nazi takeover of the country—surrendered. Stalin had hoped that he could avoid war with Germany through his cowardly and treacherous non-aggression pact. But the fascist regime had always viewed the destruction of the Soviet Union as the main component of its plan for domination in Europe.

Four days later, on December 11, , Germany declared war on the United States, which immediately replied with a declaration of war on Germany. For the next three-and-a-half years, the war was waged with unrelenting ferocity—though it must be stressed that the war in Western Europe, at least until the Allied invasion in June , was, in military terms, a relatively minor side show in comparison to the horrific carnage of the struggle between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The war in Asia continued for another three months, though there was never any doubt of its outcome.

There had never existed even a remote possibility that Japan—with its much smaller population, underdeveloped industrial base, and limited access to key raw materials—could prevail against the United States. The Japanese government, as the United States government knew very well, was seeking, from the spring of , acceptable terms for a surrender. But the tragedy was played out to the bloody end. In August , the United States dropped two nuclear devices on the defenseless and militarily insignificant cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The death toll from the two bombs was approximately , people. As the American historian Gabriel Jackson later observed:. In the specific circumstances of August , the use of the atom bomb showed that a psychologically very normal and democratically elected chief executive could use the weapon just as the Nazi dictator would have used it. In this way, the United States—for anyone concerned with moral distinctions in the conduct of different types of government—blurred the difference between fascism and democracy. Viewing World War I and World War II as interconnected stages in a single historical process, what can we conclude was the source and purpose of the conflict which cost approximately ninety million people their lives?

The eruption of the First World War arose out of inter-imperialist antagonisms generated by the emergence of powerful capitalist states that were dissatisfied with the existing geopolitical relations. Germany resented its inferior position in a world colonial system dominated by Britain and France, and chafed against the restraints placed on the pursuit of its interests by these powerful rivals. At the same time, the United States, whose unsurpassed economic power filled it with confidence and ambition, was unwilling to accept restrictions on the penetration of American capital into foreign markets, including those governed by the protective rules of the British Empire.

The conclusion of World War II brought to a conclusion a distinct period of global conflict that had begun with the dawn of the imperialist epoch in the late s. The British and the French emerged from the half-century of carnage desperately weakened, lacking sufficient financial resources to sustain their old empires. Whatever illusions they may have had about preserving their status as the premier imperialist powers were given their deathblow within a decade of the end of World War II. In , the French suffered a devastating military defeat in Dien Bien Phu at the hands of the Vietnamese liberation forces, which forced French withdrawal from Indochina.

As foreseen by Trotsky decades earlier, the struggle among the main imperialist powers for global dominance, the brutal redivision of the world that cost the lives of tens of millions of human beings, had ended with the victory of American imperialism. The world that emerged in from the carnage of two wars was profoundly different from that which existed in Though the United States had replaced bankrupt Britain as the pre-eminent imperialist power, it could not re-create, in its own image, the old British Empire. The age of colonial empires, at least in the form they had previously existed, had passed. In a historical fact pregnant with profound irony, Woodrow Wilson delivered his war message to Congress, in April , just as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was making his way back to revolutionary Russia.

Two great historical lines of development intersected at this critical juncture. By the time the United States achieved its victory over Germany and Japan in , hundreds of millions of people were already in revolt against imperialist oppression. The task that confronted the United States was to stem the tide of global revolutionary struggle. It is not possible within the framework of this survey to provide even an outline of post-war developments. However, in bringing this lecture to a conclusion, it is necessary to stress that the United States viewed the dissolution of the Soviet Union in as an opportunity to finally establish the unchallenged hegemony of American imperialism.

In , the US military adopted a strategic doctrine that declared that it would not permit any country to emerge as a challenger to the dominant global position of the United States. This new doctrine was directed specifically against China, which was warned against building up its own military forces. It should be pointed out that the new US military doctrine is illegal from the standpoint of international law. The legal precedents established at the Nuremberg war crimes trials held that war is not a legitimate instrument of state policy, and that preventive war is illegal. A military attack by one state upon another is legal only in the presence of a clear and immediate threat. In other words, military action is justified only as an inescapably urgent measure of national self-defense.

The attack on Iraq, which followed by only a few months the promulgation of the doctrine of preventive war, was a war crime. Had the United States been held accountable under the precedents established at Nuremberg in , Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and many others would have been placed on trial. The critical question that flows inescapably from any examination of World War I and World War II is whether such catastrophes could ever happen again. Is it possible to imagine the re-emergence of international disputes and antagonisms that would make the outbreak of World War III possible? The answer to this question does not require far-fetched speculation. The real question is less whether a new eruption of global warfare is possible, but how long do we have before such a catastrophe occurs?

And, flowing from that second question, the next and most decisive question is whether anything can be done to stop it from happening. In weighing the risk of war, bear in mind that the United States has been engaged repeatedly in major military conflicts since , when it first invaded Iraq. During the past decade, since , it has waged major wars in the Balkans, the Persian Gulf and Central Asia. In one way or another, all of these wars have been related to the effort to secure the dominant global position of the United States.

It is highly significant that the increasing use of military force by the United States takes place against the backdrop of its steadily deteriorating global economic position. The weaker the United States becomes from an economic standpoint, the more inclined it is to offset this weakness through the use of military force. There are, in this specific respect, disturbing parallels to the policies of the Nazi regime in the late s. Moreover, keeping in mind the Strategic Doctrine, the United States confronts an expanding array of powers whose economic and military development are viewed by State Department and Pentagon strategists as significant threats.

As the balance of economic power shifts away from the United States to various global competitors—a process that has been accelerated by an economic crisis that erupted in and which continues to unfold—there is an ever greater temptation to employ military force to reverse the unfavorable economic trend. Finally, if we recall that World Wars I and II arose out of the destabilization of the old imperialist order dominated by Britain and France as a result of the emergence of new competitors, it is not unlikely that the present international order—in which the dominant power, the United States, is already riven with internal crisis and hard-pressed to maintain global dominance—will break down beneath the pressure exerted by emerging powers such as China, India, Russia, Brazil, the EU which are dissatisfied with existing arrangements.

Add to that the growing intra-regional tensions that threaten at any moment to erupt into military confrontations that could trigger interventions from extra-regional forces and lead to a global conflagration. One need only recall the tense situation which arose in the summer of as a result of the conflict between Georgia and Russia. The world is a powder keg. It is not necessarily the case that the ruling classes want war. But they are not necessarily able to stop it. As Trotsky wrote on the eve of World War II, the capitalist regimes toboggan to disaster with their eyes closed. The insane logic of imperialism and the capitalist nation-state system, of the drive to secure access to markets, raw materials and cheap labor, of the relentless pursuit of profit and personal riches, leads inexorably in the direction of war.

What, then, can stop it? There is no means of stopping imperialist war except through international socialist revolution. In , Lenin, opposing the betrayal of the Second International, declared that the imperialist epoch is the epoch of wars and revolution. That is, the global economic, social and political contradictions that gave rise to imperialist war also create the objective foundations for international socialist revolution. In this sense, imperialist war and world socialist revolution are the responses of different and opposed social classes to the historical impasse of capitalism. For all the changes that have occurred since the beginning of World War I ninety-five years ago and World War II seventy years ago, we still live in the imperialist epoch.

Thus, the great questions that confront mankind today are: Will the development of political consciousness in the international working class counteract the accumulating destructive tendencies of imperialism? Will the working class develop sufficient political consciousness in time, before capitalism and the imperialist nation-state system lead mankind into the abyss? These are not questions merely for academic consideration. The very posing of these questions demands an active response. The answers will be provided not in a classroom, but in the real conflict of social forces. Struggle will decide the matter.

And the outcome of this struggle will be influenced, to a decisive degree, by the development of revolutionary, that is, socialist consciousness. The struggle against imperialist war finds its highest expression in the fight to develop a new political leadership of the working class. Only a few months after the outbreak of World War II—a catastrophe made possible by the betrayals of the reactionary Stalinist, social democratic and reformist labor bureaucracies—Trotsky, the supreme political realist, wrote:. The capitalist world has no way out, unless a prolonged death agony is so considered.

It is necessary to prepare for long years, if not decades, of war, uprisings, brief interludes of truce, new wars, and new uprisings. A young revolutionary party must base itself on this perspective. History will provide it with enough opportunities and possibilities to test itself, to accumulate experience, and to mature. The swifter the ranks of the vanguard are fused the more the epoch of bloody convulsions will be shortened, the less destruction will our planet suffer. But the great historical problem will not be solved in any case until a revolutionary party stands at the head of the proletariat.

The question of tempos and time intervals is of enormous importance; but it alters neither the general historical perspective nor the direction of our policy. The conclusion is a simple one: it is necessary to carry on the work of educating and organizing the proletarian vanguard with tenfold energy. The nature of the Blitz strengthened the British resolve, having a significant social impact. Ultimately, the conflict in Europe had a significant impact on social and economic life in both England and Germany. Upon Adolf Hitler's rise to power and his National Socialist Party the Nazi Party he rearmed Germany, signed strategic treaties with Italy and Japan in order to set the stage to expand Germany's territory also known as the concept of lebensraum.

Great Britain and France declaration of war begun after Hitler's invasion of Poland in September , leading to the most devastating war in history. The war killed an estimation of 60 million people. For example, during the Blitz September to May the Luftwaffe dropped 55, tonnes of bombs on Britain with the aim to target industrial and communication centres. Due to this, the Blitz had a significant impact on British production, whereas the battle of the Atlantic was reliant on merchant's vessels.

German bombings were able to slow the exchange of war supplies. Britain's death toll over 40 civilians made industries run slower due to the lack of workers. The creation of this policy demonstrated how the Blitz caused Britain to make changes to sustain its economy in order to continue the war effort. In a blitzkrieg, troops in vehicles, such as tanks, made quick surprise strikes with support from airplanes. These tactics resulted in the swift German conquest of France in Governmental regulatory power and the impact of the Blitz had a paramount social impact on Britain. For example, historian Arthur Marwick explained that due to the war an emphasis was placed upon social equality. Marwick refereed to the hardened resolve of British citizens due to the bombings and the collective fear that citizens felt when taking refuge in bomb shelters.

Policies such as the Treacheries act resulted in the imprisonment of those considered a threat to security. This demonstrated how citizens became bound together against the possibility of security threats, as supported by the trashing of German houses. Legislative acts were instilled as a reaction to the war. German prisoners captured at Friedrichsfeld march through a town in Germany. The conflict of world war II had a significant impact on civilian social and economic lives, highlighted through the German home front.

The significant impact on Germany's home front was evident through how economic activity dispersed from cities or was placed underground;. Due to the destruction of industries, munition productions and food distribution towards the war effort and the bombings changed the social role of Nazi women within the workforce. This was evident through the The inclusion of the women within the workforce opposed Nazi ideologies, demonstrating the dire situations that the bombing raids had driven the German home front. The measures of total war in Germany placed the home front under an oppressive judicial system.

This oppressive system was highlighted through the increasing extremity of propaganda. For instance, propaganda had emphasised the links between communism and Jews were emphasised, along with war atrocities by the Russians.

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