Effects Of War

What are the effects of war on people's lives?

The effects of war on people's lives include injury and death, destruction of land and property, displacement of citizens, and even post-traumatic stress disorder of the people involved, especially soldiers. War can also negatively impact a country's economy, which then hurts the country's citizens in a less direct way.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

War also has certain political and geographical effects that may disrupt people's lives. Borders shift and—as in previous wars—nations and former empires have been broken apart or erased altogether. Sometimes, these separations are positive, as in the aftermath of World War I when the former subjects of the Austro-Hungarian Empire developed autonomous states. In other instances, the redrawing of borders can lead to further unrest, as was the case when Iraq was created after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Around the same time, Poland was formed from what was formerly Prussia. It might not be a coincidence that this was the first nation that Adolf Hitler and the German army invaded on September 1, 1939. The seizure of Poland may have been an attempt to restore the borders of the old German Empire. 

Wars are often started to fight for national freedom or self-determination. They emerge from political conflicts that can begin within a country, or those posed by a foreign power, as was the case during the Second World War. The wars in Korea and Vietnam were efforts to avoid living under Communism. The southern part of Korea successfully resisted Communism with help from the United States, but the consequence was the division of a nation that had existed for many centuries. Families were permanently separated and were not permitted to see each other again, due to the rupture of communication between North and South Korea; additionally, Pyongyang, formerly the industrial center of Korea, became a backward capital and the seat of a dictatorship.

In Vietnam, the conflict between the north and the south was eventually won by the North Vietnamese, who succeeded in establishing Communism throughout the nation. In the late 1970s, those who did not wish to live under this new government fled—mostly to the United States and France, leaving behind family and the only home some of them had ever known.

War, throughout the many centuries in which it has been conducted, has always displaced people, broken apart families, and, in many instances, erased the only homes  people have ever known. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The effects of war are devastating and cut across all spheres of life be it social, economic or environmental. Whereas the most apparent effects include the destruction of environment, loss of property and displacement of people, there are numerous other effects that war has on the lives of people. The loss of human life is among the worst impacts of war. During wars, a high number of casualties from both the military and civilian population are recorded. Survivors of war suffer physical and psychological effects which could be long lasting in nature. Both civilians and belligerents may suffer physical incapacitation as a result of war. Post traumatic stress disorder is one of the most common psychological conditions diagnosed amongst post-war victims. Other mental health conditions include depression, insomnia and anxiety disorders. During wars, as a result of the economic decline, people suffer from poverty and malnutrition contributing to intense human suffering.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team