How can wars (like World War II) help a country to progress?We have been given a task to debate "Wars can help a country to progress" and we chose that it can really help a country. We chose that...

How can wars (like World War II) help a country to progress?

We have been given a task to debate "Wars can help a country to progress" and we chose that it can really help a country. We chose that it can really help because the teritory of a certain country can increase. Got any more ideas?

Expert Answers
kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would make the argument that no one ever "wins" a war or that they make any progress in proescuting a war.  Because war involves the destruction of massive amounts of property and the basic forcing of people to kill other people, whether they agree with the principles of those making the decisions or not, even the countries that may emerge as the "victor" are doing irreperable harm to the people they ask/force to serve as soldiers and sailors and they are demonstrating that, as a nation, they resort to force when they cannot get their way through any other means.

Perhaps the one benefit of being the victor is that you get to write the history books afterwards, which can be really beneficial.  But in the end, I would argue that even this little gem is not beneficial in the long run as it gives plenty of opportunity for covering up the truth and massaging the events leading up to and post war, none of which are really good things for anyone.

geosc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Two things come to mind.  1) Compare what life was like in western Europe 10 years after the end of WW II with what if would have been like in that same place and time if the Nazi's had won the war.  So, if a by means of war, tyrrany and opression and exploitation are prevented and the people are left freer to progress, then war has benefited and facilitated that progress.

2) Under the stimulus of their need to win their war, a nation or state often makes technological advances much faster than they would be made without the stimulus.

On the other hand, war almost always produces a more authoritatian governments in the participating countries on both sides of the war.  This may reduce the economic freedom and may have a long term effect of slowing progress in the countries after peace is reestablished, because individuals are less free to innovate or to enjoy the profits of innovation.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not really think that the expansion of territory is what you should focus on.  For example, WWII really helped the US even though the US took no new territory.

For me, what modern wars can do is to improve the level of technology in a country.  For example, in WWII, airplane technology in the US improved by leaps and bounds.  This allowed the airline industry to take off in the US right after the war.  As another example, the development of radar helped allow air traffic control to be done well.  There were also advances in medicine and computers that came about because of the war.  All of these helped the US economy after the war.

At least in the case of the US, it also helped that we were the only major country that was not devastated by the war.  That let us have a huge economic advantage over all the other major countries of the world after WWII.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I guess that depends on your definition of progress.  Many of the countries involved in World War II were empires, including Germany and Japan, so in a very basic economic sense, those two countries, along with the Soviet Union and the United States, "progressed" economically from the expansion of their territory and influence.

In the United States and Germany, the war was the means with which both nations emerged from the worldwide Great Depression.  The United States was heavily industrialized during the war, and the conflict also marked the advent of nuclear technology, in both positive and negative ways.

In a less direct way, World War II led to the passage of the GI Bill, which gave millions of American veterans a college education and raised the skill level and employability of our work force and raised our standard of living.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Wars do help a country make progress, but they are a terrible price to pay. I think that pur Civil War is a great example. We were headed for disaster, and it would have happened eventually. Without the war ending the way it did, we'd be two countries and I am not sure what would have happened to the south. Slavery would not have lasted forever.
lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would agree that the most advancement a country sees from war is in technology and other inventions. If you look at every war I am sure you will find numerous inventions that were made because of the war.

krishna-agrawala | Student

The utility of war in promoting the progress of a country is highly debatable, unless we are talking about wars between countries other than the one that benefits from it.

I can think of war as being justified in the interest of progress of a country when it is the only alternative to defeat external forces that try to hurt the interest of the country to further their own interest.

Some countries believe that they can achieve better progress by forcing through war other countries and people into submission to achieve selfish objectives of the oppressing country. However, history has proved that it is not possible to keep an entire nation suppressed for long.

It is true that World War II did result in development of many new and useful technology. But war is a very costly method creating the motivation for technological development. Also it is important that the technological developments that followed the World War II are for more widespread and useful than what was achieved during the war.