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The Major Powers of the Second World War Essay

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Updated: Aug 20th, 2019

Before the Second World War, a number of world powers, including Britain, France, and the US had attained their war objectives. This implies that they had prepared amicably to face any enemy in the international system. Before the war, Germany had been reduced to a military cipher while the rest of European powers had been weakened economically.

In other words, France and Germany had hegemonic powers in Europe because their militaries could not be matched with those of other states in the continent. In the postwar period, Britain and France could not agree over simple issues because of mistrust and suspicion. In fact, they were unable to control major issues affecting the continent, particularly security issues. The British and French could not come with a single foreign policy that could dictate what was to be done in the continent.

Since the two major powers could not agree over issues, they adopted the policy of appeasement, which was very dangerous to other states. Britain and France came with a resolution to appease Germany to abandon its military programs, which were related to arms race. The two powers believed that appeasing Germany would pave way for negotiations and peaceful resettlement of conflicts.

European states could not pay the US its debts, which forced the US to adopt isolationist policies. The US decided to keep off from European problems. The treaty of Versailles could no longer hold because many countries had been forced to pay debts that did not belong to them. Germany had been forced to enter into compensation program, which stated that the Germany populace had to compensate other nations that had lost their resources during the First World War.

With the above factors, the Second World War was inevitable. The First World War veterans felt that their governments had not honored them in any way. They resorted to circulating new, radical ideas, which were very dangerous to global peace. For instance, fascism was circulated in Italy, which was later adopted by Hitler and his Nazi Party. After the First World War, the victors stated that they would do everything to preserve peace in the world. Germany was one of the losers, which was forced to adopt democracy.

Instead of adopting democracy, states turned to fascism, which is compared to nationalism. A number of states observed that they were being forced to obey some of the rules and regulations that were inconsistent to their culture and beliefs. Germany and Italy are some of the nations that resorted to fascism (nationalism) because they believed that countries such as Britain and France were inferior to them. Benito Mussolini was the first leader to adopt fascist ideologies in 1922.

In the late 1920s, Hitler joined Mussolini in preaching racism. Hitler promised the Germany populace to create more space for them. In 10930, Germany was hit by a financial crisis, which gave Hitler and his party a chance to introduce fascism. He claimed that foreigners destabilized the economy of the country. Hitler promised Germans that he could everything to achieve their lost glory. He became aggressive to an extent of attacking other states without a valid reason.

While some countries collaborated with Germany, some opposed its move strongly. Those that opposed its mission faced severe consequences because they were badly destroyed. The countries that resisted Hitler’s ambition were referred to as the Allies of the Second World War. The Allies decided to resist Hitler’s ambitions because they were directly affected. Countries that supported Hitler’s ambitions were referred to as the Axis. The Axis decided to support Hitler because they were faced with similar threats.

As earlier noted, the Versailles Treaty affected a number of countries, which ganged up to fight for their rights. Some of the Allies of the Second World War include France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Canada, New Zealand the Soviet Union and later the United States. Italy and Japan were the only countries that collaborated with Germany during the Second World War. The collaborators shared one thing, which was the hegemonic power.

After the Second World, the Grand Alliance was formed. The alliance consisted of the United States and the Soviet Union. The US was under Franklin Roosevelt while the Soviet Union was under Joseph Stalin. Winston Churchill controlled Great Britain. After the Second World War, the Grand alliance had an ambition of controlling the affairs of the world. However, the two major partners differed over the best policy to be applied in the development of the economy. The US adopted capitalism while the Soviet Union adopted communism.

This difference led to a war referred to as the Cold War. The Cold War was fought in a number of ways. However, it was not a serious war as compared to the previous wars. The war changed the international system because it came bipolar. Before the Cold War, the international system was multipolar because there were various powers, including Germany, Britain, Japan, Russia, and China. Cold War brought about the new world order because power was distributed between two states only.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The Major Powers of the Second World War." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/second-world-war/.


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