The Aftermath of World War II

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What were the short and long term effects of World War II?

World War II led to the defeat of the Axis Powers—Germany, Italy, and Japan—as well as the end of their occupying other countries, including those in Western Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia. For the US, the war ended the Great Depression, as the efforts both abroad and domestic put people back to work and solidified the country's place as a world superpower. But WWII also led to the Cold War, which put the US and the Soviet Union against each other.


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One long term effect of World War II was to reconfigure the world order. The core of the new world order was reconfigured around NATO in the west and the Soviet-led Warsaw pact countries in Eastern Europe. Britain, long in decline, finally lost its place for good as a world super power, a role taken over by the United States and the Soviet Union, who entered into a rivalry for influence and control over what we would today call Third World nations. Democracy and socialism definitively won over monarchy as governing institutions, and consumer societies in the west became firmly entrenched. Stable alliances between powerful nations such as the United States, France, Britain, and Germany insured peace in Europe over the long term. Israel was established as a state, and the age of imperialism definitively came to end, symbolized when Great Britain in 1947 handed back self governance to India, once the "jewel" in Britain's imperialist "crown."

Long term, too, the spread of nuclear capability...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 977 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 13, 2019
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