Research Notes (World War 2)
Research Question: Does
world war 2 affect political relationships between major countries which
participated and does this affect the economies of those countries?
Why WW2 started
The German people
were very unhappy about the Versailles Treaty (a treaty meant to punish
Germany) and thought that it was too harsh. Germany could not afford to pay the
money and during the 1920s the people in Germany were very poor. There were not
many jobs and the price of food and basic goods was high. People were
dissatisfied with the government and voted to power a man who promised to rip
up the Treaty of Versailles. His name was Adolf Hitler. The war then started on
September 1st, 1939. Events
leading up to World War II included:
the rise of Italian fascism in the 1920s, Japanese militarism and invasions of
China in the 1930s, and the political takeover in 1933 of Germany by Hitler and
his Nazi Party and its aggressive foreign policy starting in 1936.
War Two – Causes.” History, 28 Dec. 2017, www.historyonthenet.com/world-war-two-causes/.
This makes me think about how the cause
of world war 2 might have led to the effects it had after the war. What change
or difference did the cause make to the conflict?
During/After WW2 (Fascism)
beginning of the Second World War, Europe was dominated by fascism.
leaders of the Russian Revolution had been murdered and the USSR was held in
the iron grip of Stalin.
the criminal acts of Stalin, the mighty Red Army and the Soviet working class
saved Europe from fascism, and at the end of the war half of Europe was
occupied by the Red Army.
economies of the entire capitalist world outside of the USA were in a state of
disintegration and the masses of Europe and the colonial world were in
had had a devastating effect on the Soviet Union. For three and a half years
the war had been fought on its territory, and the Soviet Union fought under a
criminally incompetent leadership. 1,700 towns and 70,000 villages had been destroyed,
twenty-one million people were killed, and over a million people were deported
to the interior on Stalin’s order. Even by 1950, the USSR still had only 90 per
cent of its pre-war population and the birth rate was declining.
turn of the century, capitalism had already outgrown the confines of nation
states. Large corporations spanning across many industries, integrated and
controlled by finance capital, spanned across the entire world. These
corporations carved up markets, sources of raw material and cheap labor.
Blunden, Andy. “Fascism in World War 2.” The
Aftermath of the Second World War, www.marxists.org/subject/stalinism/origins-future/ch2-1.htm.
This goes In-depth about fascism
specifically, but makes me think how different political ways affected the war,
and thus, the future of the war.
end of World War II, huge swaths of Europe and Asia had been reduced to ruins.
were redrawn and homecomings, expulsions, and burials were under way.
war began in the late 1930s, the world’s population was approximately 2
than a decade, the war between the Axis the Allied powers had resulted in 80 million
deaths — killing off about 4 percent of the whole world.
forces now became occupiers, taking control of Germany, Japan, and much of the
territory they had formerly ruled.
were made to permanently dismantle the war-making abilities of those nations,
as factories were destroyed and former leadership was removed or prosecuted.
crimes trials took place in Europe and Asia, leading to many executions and
of Germans and Japanese were forcibly expelled from territories they called
occupations and United Nations decisions led to many long-lasting problems in
the future, including the tensions that created East and West Germany, and
divergent plans on the Korean Peninsula that led to the creation of North and
South Korea and the Korean War in 1950.
United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine paved the way for Israel to declare
its independence in 1948 and marked the start of the continuing Arab-Israeli
growing tensions between Western powers and the Eastern Soviets developed into
the Cold War, and the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons raised
the very real specter of an unimaginable World War III if common ground could
not be found.
II was the biggest story of the 20th Century, and its aftermath continues to
affect the world profoundly more than 65 years later.
Taylor, Alan. “World War II: After the
War.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 30 Oct. 2011, www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/10/world-war-ii-after-the-war/100180/.
This makes me think about what exactly all the effects of
world war 2 were, politically, economically, even socially, world war 2 had a
major impact in today’s society.
Happened to the countries involved in WW2
1945 and 1952, the U.S. occupying forces, led by General Douglas A. MacArthur,
enacted widespread military, political, economic, and social reforms.
leaders of the Allied powers of Great Britain, the Soviet Union, the Republic
of China, and the United States discussed how to disarm Japan, deal with its
colonies (especially Korea and Taiwan), stabilize the Japanese economy, and
prevent the remilitarization of the state in the future.
the Potsdam Declaration, they called for Japan’s unconditional surrender;
by August of 1945, that objective had been achieved.
1945, General Douglas
MacArthur took charge of the Supreme Command of Allied Powers
(SCAP) and began to rebuild Japan.
occupation of Japan was divided into three phases: the initial effort to punish
and reform Japan, the work to revive the Japanese economy, and the conclusion
of a formal peace treaty and alliance.
of the war in 1945 through 1947, involved the most fundamental changes for the
Japanese Government and society. The Allies punished Japan for its past
militarism and expansion by convening war crimes trials in Tokyo. At the same
time, SCAP dismantled the Japanese Army and banned former military officers
from taking roles of political leadership in the new government.
land reform, designed to benefit the majority tenant farmers and reduce the
power of rich landowners, many of whom had advocated for war and supported
Japanese expansionism in the 1930s.
Allied advisors essentially dictated a new constitution to Japan’s leaders.
Some of the most important changes in the document included downgrading the
emperor’s status to that of a figurehead without political control (like the
queen of England) and placing more power in the parliamentary system, promoting
greater rights and privileges for women, and renouncing the right to wage war,
which involved eliminating all non-defensive armed forces (and some attack
1947 and early 1948, the emergence of an economic crisis in Japan alongside
concerns about the spread of communism caused a reconsideration of occupation
UN entered the Korean War, Japan became an important supply depot for UN
forces. The conflict also placed Japan firmly within the allied areas of the
U.S. defense perimeter in Asia, assuring the Japanese leadership that whatever
the state of its military, no real threat would be made against Japanese soil.
the occupation, beginning in 1950, SCAP deemed the political and economic
future of Japan firmly established and aimed at creating a formal peace treaty
to end both the war and the occupation of Japan (by the allied forces).
perception of international threats had changed so profoundly in the years
between 1945 and 1950 that the idea of a re-armed Japan no longer alarmed U.S.
officials; instead, a greater threat appeared to be the start of communism,
particularly in Asia.
agreement allowed the United States to maintain its bases in Okinawa and
elsewhere in Japan, and the U.S. Government promised Japan a bilateral security
pact. In September of 1951, fifty-two nations met in San Francisco to discuss
the treaty, and ultimately, forty-nine of them signed it.
“Japan Reconstruction After World War 2.” U.S.
Department of State, U.S. Department of State, https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/japan-reconstruction
this information talks specifically about Japan, it still is important due to
the information it gives about constructing capitalism in post-war countries.
What Happened to Germany After the War
Agreement Divides Germany
Marshall Plan Binds Allies Together
States Present Eastern Bloc
Becomes the Focal Point of Growing Tension
Half of Berlin Is Isolated in Eastern Germany
Stalin Blockades Berlin
Soviet Union Enforces the Blockade
from the U.S are Used to Bring Goods to Berlin
Blockade Is Lifted (Fall of Berlin Wall)
This is a somewhat of a time-line that
gives exact information on post-war Germany.
still wonder if the former axis-forces feel a sign of guilt to this day. Would
this make them less patriotic?
did the U.S help Germany so much during the times of the Berlin Wall?
did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?
inspired the axis forces to start the war with Poland? Why?
Timed: 17 minutes 46 seconds
Many people believe that World War 2
had many economic and political negatives all over the world, but fact is, that
without World War 2, some countries today may still be fascist, with economies
that would barely support their own people’s needs.
Though World War 2 did have many
negative aspects in terms of political relationships, such as (for example) the
Berlin Wall and the (slight) political tensions between Germany and Poland. According
to Revesz, Rachael. ” Germany Must Pay
Poland up to $1 Trillion in Reparations, Minister Says.”Independant.co.uk,
4 Sept. 2017, www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-should-pay-poland-1-trillion-reparations-world-war-ii-government-a7929561.html the
foreign-minister of Poland named Witold Waszczykowski told local radio station
RMF that “serious talks” were needed with Germany to “find a way to deal
with the fact that German-Polish relations are overshadowed by the German
aggression of 1939 and unresolved post-war issues.” Right-wing German
politicians argue, that the second world war is an issue of the past and should
not be reflected on today. It is still important to note that after World War 2
the U.S.A assisted establishing capitalism in Japan and in the west side of
Germany (as the East was occupied by the USSR). Establishing capitalism in
Germany and Japan was necessary for both of these economies to grow to the size
they currently are with Germany ranking in the 4th largest economy in 2018,
with its main income being export of cars (according to (ICFAI), Prableen Bajpai CFA. “The World’s Top
10 Economies.” Investopedia, 10 Jan. 2018, www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/022415/worlds-top-10-economies.asp and Japan
placing 3rd who’s income from trade is slightly less than Germany’s but not to
While some argue that the destruction
and genocide it has caused Is unforgivable, and therefore makes world war 2 a
terrible part of history. Others say that its aftermath has caused many
positive things today (establishing capitalism in Japan and Germany).
There are various debates about what
World War 2 caused and changed politically and (therefore) economically.
However, it is important to know that World War 2 was an extremely important
piece of history that has helped make humanity what it is today. When humans
make decisions, World War 2 is often reflected onto, so that we as people know
not to make the same mistakes again.
An example of this may be the fact that
racism was taken very serious nowadays. However, Albert Einstein, a famous
scientist said, “As long as sovereign states possess great power, there can
never be peace.”
Acts of racism may end you up in jail.
In Germany, the Nazi salute will cause a person over 18 to go to jail. Owning
any type of Nazi propaganda will also cause a sentence. Any Nazi symbols
not used for Art, science, research or education may cause a sentence,
depending on its intent and use.
Picture from “ww2 Timeline.” Pinterest,
This is important because this
timeline helps picture world war 2 in a brief summarizing way.
· The election of the Bundestag in August 1949 marked the
victory of the Christian Democrats (CDU) over the Socialists (SPD) led by Kurt
· The CDU, led by Konrad Adenauer, confirmed its role as a return to a
free market economy in Germany.
· Adenauer, who was the preferred partner of the Americans, became the
first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
“Post-War Relations between France and
Germany.” Post-War Relations between France and Germany: The Beginnings
of Reconciliation (1945–1957) – The ‘Franco-German Duo’ and Europe as Seen in
Cartoons (1945–2013) – CVCE Website, 2018, www.cvce.eu/en/education/unit-content/-/unit/c3c5e6c5-1241-471d-9e3a-dc6e7202ca16/a8682efd-06ab-48f4-93ed-400ab9bc45db.
This talks about the transition between
Nazi Germany, and an independent, democratic Germany, it is important because
this is how Germany was and still is after the second world war.