By Student Name’s
The Second World War
The Second World War was fought between 1939 and 1945, with some ofthe causes of the war being traced back to the First World War, tothe Versailles treaty1.The Versailles treaty was a peace treaty signed by Germany and theAllied powers to end WW1. Germany was found culpable of starting WW1and was forced to pay war repatriations and forced to relinquishtheir claim on overseas territories, factors that significantly ledto their reduced military might. Further, Germany was forced todisband its military, which resulted to higher levels of fear amongits citizens2.As a result, the economic situation became worse, and the governmentlost its power due to a weak military. These factors combined to makea perfect storm as all Germans were angry. Adolf Hitler seized theopportunity he was elected as the Chancellor and capitalized onGermans anger, changing their mindset, which finally culminated intoWW2. Hitler convinced his people that their economic survival,together with restoration of German pride would only be attained ifGermans United and opposed the Versailles treaty. Hence, Germany wasrearmed and compelled to fight to secure territories, thus the startof WW23.
The war was fought between the Axis powers, made of Germany, ItalyJapan, Slovakia and Romania among others. These fought against theAllied powers comprising of the USSR, United Kingdom, France,Austria, and Poland while the US joined much later in 19414.Just was in the case of WW1, the US had opted for the isolationistpolicy, aimed at keeping the US out of the war. These sentiments wereshared by the then president, Roosevelt, who supported variousneutrality laws such as the Neutrality law of 1935. However, when thewar finally began,
Roosevelt adopted a newer strategy, proposing that the peace-lovingnations should take appropriate steps and quarantine the aggressors.He even called special congress sessions to revise the Neutrality actand allow belligerents to buy weapons to curb the raising Hitler’sdomination of the west5.When the war broke out, US were passively involved in the conflict byproviding weapons and economic support to the allies. However,active involvement of the US in WW2 started in 1941 after Japanattacked a military base in Pearl Harbor. The entry of the US intothe war changed the course of the war since the US was militarily andeconomically superior, a factor that led to victory of the Allies6.
Like all other players in the war, America was thrown into awhirlwind of new ideas and activities that changed all aspects oflife. Socially, citizens were pulled out of their farms and packed inurban centers, re-propelling urbanization, which had virtuallystooped during the Great Depression. The war led to the recognitionof the African Americans as citizens especially in the North, owingto their participation the war as soldiers and carrier-corps. It ledto establishment and development of war industries that increasedurbanization and improved the economy of the country7.The war allowed the US to prove its position as the world superpowerowing to its great influence in the course of the war. However, theseand changes were attained at the expense of massive destruction ofproperties and loss of American lives8.
Olson, Lynne. Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, andAmerica`s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941. New York: RandomHouse, 2013.
McDonough, Frank. The Origins of the Second World War AnInternational Perspective. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011.
Hatt, Christine. The Second World War: 1939-45. London: Evans,2007.
Berkin, Carol. Making America: A History of the United States.Boston, MA: WADSWORTH CENGAGE Learning, 2010.
1 Hatt, Christine. The Second World War: 1939-45 (London: Evans, 2007), p.19
2 McDonough, Frank. The Origins of the Second World War An International Perspective (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011), p. 77
3 Ibid, 81
4 Hatt, p.36
5 Berkin, Carol. Making America: A History of the United States (Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010), p. 606
6 Olson, Lynne. Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America`s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941 ( New York: Random House, 2013), 56
7 Berkin, p. 613