When it comes to the topic of war, whether it is the second world war or any war for that matter, it can be hard to think of the same as having a positive effect. But truth be told, there were some positive outcomes to the Second World War which started when Germany invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939. Once the invasion was confirmed, both France and United Kingdom soon declared war on Germany and the hostilities broke out, leading to one of the most bitterly fought wars in recent human history. The cost to life was staggering as was the cost to livelihood; in one instance Britain pummeled Dresden to almost nothing and pulverized its entire population in what is critiqued today as one of the various excesses to be committed during World War Two. This is why it makes more sense to examine some of the benefits of Second World War as well as the negative effects of the same.
The positive impact of the World War 2
- Colonialism: As hostilities unfolded, the Axis and Allies both needed manpower. The solution was to enlist troops from their colonies. Britain drew a large chunk of it’s forces from British India. India was in the middle of the independence movement after Britain had reneged on their promise of independence after the First World War. After World War 2 ended, Britain was nearly bankrupted and did not have the financial means to govern its colonies. Coupled with the fact that Gandhi and Bose were exerting pressure, Britain caved. In 1947 India was given her independence, ninety years after the First War of Independence. The end of the war resulted in many other nations throwing off the yoke of oppression, becoming independent nations. Ironically, this is in large part owed to Hitler and World War Two.
- Technological innovations: World War Two led to thousands of advancements in various fields. Botany, chemistry, physics, and medicine were revolutionized during this period. This directly resulted in radar, space travel, and the device you’r reading this on today.
- Job opportunities: As the demand for supplies and for keeping their armed forces well fed and equipped increased, the US government contracted several companies to handle the logistics and this resulted in several key opportunities opening up. As a result, several young people could now get a regular job and were even offered better positions at the end of the war itself.
- Steps Towards Gender Equality: With the world’s economies mobilized for total war millions of men enlisted. At home, women stepped in and took over millions of their jobs to help with the war effort. This was an important step in women moving away from traditional domestic roles that we see today.
The negative impact of World War 2:
- Atom bomb: The US president authorized the Manhattan project, as a way to develop a weapon that would decimate Nazi Germany. By the time the weapon was developed, the allies had won and Germany had surrendered nearly a month earlier. It was decided to use the weapon on Japan and on its two cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Both the bombs were successfully deployed and this lets to the utter destruction of both cities, as well as over 226,000 fatalities. Since then, the atom bomb as it was called had been utilized more of a deterrence rather than anything else.
- Holocaust: Hitler’s hatred for Jews was one of the main reasons for the outbreak of hostilities, but it is his gruesome final solution that exacted a more severe price than any war to date, by committing genocide that resulted in the death of 6,000,000 Jews
- Poverty: With nearly half of Europe decimated, and with most of Germany in ruins, poverty soon continued to run rampant not just in Germany but in most cities across the world. As a result of the war, essential food supplies became delayed and this often resulted in the outbreak of famine as well. Both Germany and Japan continued to suffer from poverty and it would be a while before both these nations would recover.
- World economy: To say that the Second World War bankrupted the world would be an exaggeration but it came quite close to that with the US reeling from an extremely high federal deficit as a result of the war and Britain was worse off. But thankfully both the economies would recover but not before several riots broke out in the US and Britain had to give India her independence.
These are some of the positive and negative effects of world war two; to think that India and other colonies would not have obtained their freedom is enough to give anyone some pause.