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Economic and Political Fallout of World War I - Term Paper Example

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Economic and Political Fallout of World War I
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Download file to see previous pages The world got ‘shaped’ both geographically and historically by two global conflicts that happened in the twentieth century. It included the First World War and the Second World War, with the First World War starting in 1914 and ending in 1918 with the signing of Treaty of Versailles. Although the First World War ended officially in 1918, its aftereffects simmered for many years, leading to the political and the economic fallouts in various regions of the World, particularly in Europe as well as United States, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Europe In Europe, the political and economic fallout of First World War was mainly visible in Germany and Italy. Defeated in the First World War and with fellow European countries from Britain to Spain dominating the world scene during that period, through their imperialist policies, Germany and Italy along with Japan thought of exhibiting their imperialistic leanings. They thought of capturing many colonies, which will enable them to regain their lost glory. Germany for instance at the end of the First World War I lost some of its most economically rich territories like eastern portion of Upper Silesia, Saarland and Rhineland to its fellow European neighbors, France, Poland, etc. The loss of these territories apart from depriving Germans of economic wealth also resulted in population relocation and thereby problems with neighboring territories. These problems fueled the German ambition to regain its lost territories. Importantly by restoring the ‘rightful’ boundaries to pre-First World War Germany, its leader, Adolph Hitler wanted to form a Greater Germany. Through Greater Germany, he wanted to encapsulate all the territories where Germans lived into a Great Nation. Italy on the other hand, frustrated by the minimal territorial gains at the end of First World War indulged in expansionism. At Versailles, even though Italy was promised larger part of Austrian territory, it got only renting-Alto Adige/Sudtirol, and this resentment fueled Italy’s expansion plans. “…uncompromising message was that Italy and had not received from its allies the gains to which its gallant war had entitled it” (Henig, 2005, p.10). This reason coupled with domestic crisis lead to the rise of Benito Mussolini, and he with popular support launched the desire to capture as many colonies as possible. “Mounting resentment over what was increasingly referred to by nationalists as the 'mutilated victory', and a series of post-war social and industrial convulsions, destabilized the weak post-war Italian government” (Henig, 2005, p.10). Mussolini desired to create a New Roman Empire, basing it on the Mediterranean area. As a first step, he invaded Albania and then Greece in the early part of 1939. There were also economic reasons behind the desire of Germany, Italy, and Japan to conquer many territories. That is, these three countries were not as rich as Britain and France and also they did not have enough colonial possessions to serve as the source of raw material or markets for their finished goods. Germany was particularly affected by the Great Depression of 1929 which started first in the U.S.A and then spread to other countries, and which indirectly caused the war. That is, U.S.A had been lending capital to European countries, but to protect her own industries, America raised a Tariff wall. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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