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.