Result and Effects of World War II

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Apart from ending the German aggression, there were many side effects of World War II. Read on to learn about post war consequences of the Allied victory.

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War Crimes

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War Crimes
Millions of Jews, gypsies, gays, and
invalids were imprisoned in
concentration camps in Europe. Many
were tortured or used in experiments,
and over twelve million were reported
murdered by the end of World War II.

Though Hitler and many of his close conspirators committed suicide, most high-ranking officials in Germany did not escape justice so easily. When the concentration camps throughout Europe were liberated, the world was shocked to see what horrors lay within. Around twelve million people had been murdered in total (half of them Jews) and this number did not include those who had been used for medical experimentation or tortured by the camp guards. Here the Allies were faced with a dilemma: since genocide had never been publicly recognized before, there were no formal laws against such mass murder. Instead, the Nuremberg Trials (November 1945), during which Hitler's remaining officials were declared guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, set a standard to judge others who would commit genocide in the future.

The United Nations

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United Nations
Having corrected many flaws from the
League of Nations, the United Nations was
meant to keep peace after World War II.

Another result of World War II was the formation of the United Nations (UN). After the first world war, the Allies had created the League of Nations (LoF), whose purpose was to keep peace and stability in Europe. This was the first global organization in history, but it had several problems, which led to World War II. When they created the United Nations on October 24, 1945, the Allies made sure to improve the UN, especially by splitting the power among five major countries (United Kingdom, France, United States, China, and USSR) instead of just two or three, as in the League of Nations.

New Superpowers

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New Superpowers
After World War II, most of
Western Europe had been destroyed
by the fighting. This left the USSR
and the US, two countries relatively
untouched by the war, to dominate
the world's economy and military.

However, though the UN had five major powers, there were only two countries that were economically powerful after World War II. The war severely injured the natural resource supply and the economy of the Western European countries, especially Britain, France, and Germany. These countries had previously dominated the world's trade market, and now two new countries who had been relatively unharmed during the war took their places -- the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States. The USSR had only been damaged on its western side; the east was completely unharmed. The U.S. had only sent its armies over to Europe; none of the fighting had taken place on American soil. The war actually boosted the American economy, ending the Great Depression and allowing the U.S. to become a superpower in the post-war global market.

Women's Rights

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Women's Rights
Women filled the job vacuum left in factories, offices, and farms when
the men had been drafted to fight during World War II. But after the
men returned, many women refused to give up their jobs.

The war also resulted in a major victory for women's rights advocates. During the war, the government of every country drafted men to serve in the army. Since men had held most of the jobs at this time, the military draft left behind a vacuum in factories, offices, and farms. This vacuum was filled by women, many of whom had never worked before. As the war progressed, these women developed their self-confidence and gained a strong sense of independence. By the time the fighting ended and the men returned, the women refused to give up their jobs; many of them enjoyed making their own living and not having to depend on their husbands or brothers or sons for money. The government was forced to allow women to work and to increase equality in pay (though pay is not completely equal even today). Women continue to fight for complete equality, but World War II helped them considerably on their way.


Books on World War II

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  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
  • The Story of World War II by Donald L. Miller
  • The Second World War: A Complete History by Martin Gilbert
  • The Historical Encyclopedia of World War II by Marcel Baudot
  • Winston's War: Churchill, 1940-1945 by Sir Max Hastings


Links to other sites on WWII

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