How did the end of World War II shape the postwar world?  

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The end of World War II shaped the postwar world because it gave the Allies the opportunity to make decisions about Europe as a whole. Particularly important were the Allies’ decisions about Germany and its future.

To see this idea in action, take a look at the conferences at Yalta...

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The end of World War II shaped the postwar world because it gave the Allies the opportunity to make decisions about Europe as a whole. Particularly important were the Allies’ decisions about Germany and its future.

To see this idea in action, take a look at the conferences at Yalta (February 1945) and at Potsdam (July 1945). At both of these conferences, the Allies came together to decide what Europe—and Germany, in particular—would look like after the war.

At Yalta, for instance, Germany had not yet been defeated. However, the Allies decided to split Germany into four zones of occupation. This really sets the scene for later events of the Cold War, like the Berlin Blockade. Similarly, at Potsdam, Truman did not tell Stalin about his atomic bomb. Historians have argued that this was a turning point between the two men and an event which made the Cold War an inevitability.

So, by looking at the decisions made at both Yalta and Potsdam, we see how the Allies influenced the postwar world, particularly Europe. Additionally, the end of World War II shaped Japan's fate, as the US would become an imperialist power in Japan.

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The end of World War II had a dramatic impact on the postwar world. The first thing you need to be aware of is the degree to which it devastated the traditional Great Powers, creating a void which the United States took advantage of to become the most powerful economy in the world (keep in mind, the United States did not face the same material suffering that European countries faced, being that it was an ocean removed from the main theaters of the war). The end of the war resulted in the two-power bifurcation of global politics between the United States and the Soviet Union, which shaped the politics of the Cold War.

It had a significant impact in other respects as well. It's worth discussing that the Japanese invasion of China temporarily put a stop to the civil war between the Communists and the Nationalists for control of China. With the end of World War II, that civil war resumed (with the Nationalists greatly weakened in the interim), resulting in the creation of Communist China and the rise of Mao Zedong.

Finally, one should be aware of the specter of the atomic bomb, which would continue to hover over the postwar world, with all the military and political implications which the existence of that technology entailed. This particularly influenced the escalation of Cold War conflicts, as many major Cold War events centered around the creation, placement, and destructive capabilities of nuclear weapons.

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The end of WWII dramatically reshaped the political landscape. The Allies split the European and Asian world between themselves. The USSR continued to control the northern part of Korea. Germany was split at first in four sections but France and England gave their territory to the United States as they attempted to rebuild their war torn homeland.

The USSR and the United States found themselves in a bi polar world; former powers (France and England) were shaken and lost much of their influence due to the costs of two world wars within one half century.

Countries throughout the world had to then choose their ally either the United States or the Soviet Union. This split between the US and SU was spread throughout the globe and would lead to the many events that are known as the Cold War.

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The end of WWII shaped the postwar world by laying the foundations for the Cold War.

At the end of WWII, the Allies essentially split the world between them.  In Asia, the USSR was allowed to keep the northern part of Korea.  In Europe, the USSR was allowed to dominate the eastern part of Germany and the countries of Eastern Europe.  By setting up this situation where the world was split up between communist and non-communist countries, the end of WWII set the stage for the Cold War.

There were other impacts of WWII, the main one of which was the fact that the US became the dominant economic power in the world.  But this was caused by the war as a whole, not by its ending.

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