What were the similarities between WWI and WWII?

In a general sense, World War I and World War II were wars conducted on a massive scale unlike any other wars in history. They were similarly caused by nationalism, imperialism, alliances, and militarism. Both wars saw countries trying to upset the power balance in Europe for their own gain.

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While there were certainly many differences between World War I and World War II, there were also many notable similaities worth examining. This list could be very extensive, but I will mention some of the more striking similarities below.

For starters, the motives of the aggressor nations were largely based on imperialistic nationalism. Trying to conquer new territories and control more resources out of a sense of nationalistic entitlement brought major powers into direct conflict with each other.

In terms of the waging of the war itself, both conflicts are marked by their exceptionally high casualty rates. In both cases, the different militaries took advantage of and developed new technologies that resulted in never before heard of casualties. This includes the use of airpower, submarine warfare, long-range artillery, and improved rifles. World War I saw the use of poison gas, and World War II was the only time nuclear weapons were used in war.

Both wars also resulted in large amounts of...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 966 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 12, 2019
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