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The Second World War - Essay Example

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 This essay discusses the importance of the Second World War between 1939 and 1945, the military conflict involving the Axis and the Allies. The War is noted to have been the world’s most widespread military conflict historically with the engagement of at least one hundred million military personnel…
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The Second World War
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The Second World War Introduction The Second World War occurred between 1939 and 1945, the military conflict involving the Axis and the Allies. The two conflicting parties together comprised the most powerful nations in the world at the time, the United States of America included. The War is noted to have been the world’s most widespread military conflict historically with the engagement of at least one hundred million military personnel1. The effects of World War Two on American history are far reaching, one of the areas most affected being the country’s foreign policy.
The events of the Second World War
In the years immediately preceding the beginning of the Second World War, the United States was focused on solving its internal problems chief of which was the great depression of the 1920s and early 1930s. Beyond its national borders however, democracy was on the decline with countries such as Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany either threatening or actually dominating neighboring countries2. France and Britain on the other hand were doing what they could to avert the occurrence of another major war in Europe. During this time, the US had a policy that forbade it from interfering with other countries that engaged in conflicts as outlined it its Neutrality Acts. This policy with time became bothersome as it clashed with the public opposition to the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939.
Change in US foreign policy
The United States under President Roosevelt lifted its non-interference foreign policy and pledged massive support to the Allied forces but itself opting not to engage directly in the war. However, with Japan’s attack of the Pearl Harbor in 1941, the country saw it necessary to take arms and engage fully in the war3. The US contributed a lot of resources during the war, some of which included ammunition, technology, food, money, petroleum, military personnel and technological innovations. As a result of this, the war, there was a massive rise in the country’s Gross Domestic Product, monumental export of supplies, and an end to unemployment. Most of those who were previously unemployed, retired or engaged in low productivity occupations at this time moved into active labor, the working hours also being significantly improved4. The amount of work to be accomplished was much and many people gave their best for the sake of patriotism. The Second World War saw the US for the first time ever use its nuclear weapons against a country - Japan.
Following the war, the country lost over 400,000 military personnel and spent a lot in terms of resources. The importance of the World War two is evident in that the US contributed a lot to the final victory of the Allies and emerged as one of the World’s superpowers. In spite of this, the country’s mainland became prosperous felling very little of the devastation that the war rocked in Asia and Europe. The war is also important in that it saw the US reconsider its foreign affairs policies and end its predominant isolation from the rest of the world.
Hart Basil. 1999. History of the Second World War. Da Capo Press.
Parker Robert. 2001. The Second World War: a short history. Oxford University Press.
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