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What were the similarities between WWI and WWII?

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brickboy | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 23, 2012 at 5:55 PM via web

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What were the similarities between WWI and WWII?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 23, 2012 at 6:03 PM (Answer #1)

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There are at least three major similarities.

First, both wars were caused by the efforts of some countries to change the international order and the efforts of other countries to prevent that.  For example, Germany wanted more power for itself before both wars and other countries wanted to keep it from having power.

Second, both wars were "total wars" that were won by the side that could manufacture the most weapons.

Finally, both were wars that ended with victories for the countries that had dominated the world order before the war.  In other words, the insurgent countries lost both wars.

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beardian | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted January 5, 2015 at 10:51 AM (Answer #2)

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Both WWI and WWII had some similar causes: nationalism, imperialism, alliances, and militarism.  In WWI, tensions rose between European nations over imperial territories in Africa and elsewhere in the world.  The idea of nationalism, pride or love for one's country, propelled Europeans to search for more land in order to honor their country.  Different pacts and alliances made certain that if two countries were to go to war, a bunch of other countries must join in (making it a world war as opposed to a war between two countries) and an increase in weapons from the industrial revolution made militarism a serious threat.  In WWII, German nationalism was rising after its defeat and humiliation in the wake of the Treaty of Versailles.  Germany also wanted more land for itself, and invaded surrounding territory in Czechoslovakia and Poland to obtain it.  There were more alliances formed in WWII, and militarism was increasing globally as well.  In other words, both wars saw countries trying to upset the balance of power in Europe.

Another similarity between WWI and WWII was the use of German u-boats and the use of new weapons never before used.

Additionally, both wars saw a heavy use of propaganda to support war efforts, both at home and in other countries in Europe.


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