Home HISTORY THE SECOND WORLD WAR (1939-1945)

THE SECOND WORLD WAR (1939-1945)

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SECOND WORLD WAR

INTRODUCTION

This was the largest global military fighting of conflicts  between the Axis power (forces ) involved ; Germany, Italy, Austria and Japan and Allied powers(Democratic Forces)  including  Britain, France, U.S.A and Russia which took place from 1st  September 1939 to 1945.Second World War started on September , 1939 when German invaded Poland. On 3rd September 1923, Britain and France declared war on Germany.

 CAUSES OF SECOND WORLD WAR                        

  1. The Impact of Versailles Peace Treaty on Germany. Under this treaty the Germany lost her colonies and had to pay for war reparation to the winners. This situation made Germany to demand for the lost colonies through revenge of war hence the outbreak of Second World War.
  2. The impacts of the Great Economic Depression. In order to solve the problem of Great depression, some imperialist nation allied more and more in exploitation of their colonies like German, Italy and Japan had to for alternatives solutions. In this case Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931. Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935 to 1939 while German invaded Holland and Czechoslovakia in 1939; all those moves raised the international concern hence, the outbreak of the Second World War.
  3. Formation of Military alliances such as Axis Power and Allied Power greatly accelerated the war, the two military alliances threatened the World peace and security hence the rise of war.
  4. The rise of fascism and Nazism in Italy and Germany. There were ideologies developed in German (Nazism) and Italy (fascism). Both of them believed in the use of force against their enemies. They joined to fight the enemy nations. For example they  wanted to expand their countries through the use of wars.
  5. Failure of League of Nations to defend world peace. The organization failed to solve international conflicts peacefully. For example, when Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 the League of Nations could not take steps to solve conflict peacefully. Also failured to prevent invasion of Ethiopia by Italy in 1935, hence the outbreak of the First World War
  6. The failure of appeasement policy. This was a policy adopted by France and Britain while aimed at avoiding war with aggressive powers like Italy and Germans. The war broke because Britain and France didn’t take action to oppose Hitler and Mussolini from attacking France and Britain. Thus, when Hitler invaded Poland on 1st September 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany on 3rd September 1939, because Poland was their ally.
  7. Excessive nationalism which rose in Germany, Italy and Japan. This nationalism bred imperialism where they struggled to grab new lands which caused political tensions in the world hence the outbreak of the Second World War. For example Germany invaded Czechoslovakia and Austria; Japan invaded and occupied Manchuria, China.
  8. Spanish civil war (1936-1939). The war erupted after the overthrow of the monarch Alfonso XIII in 1931 by republicans who destroyed of the old order in Spain by spreading land to the peasants. In July, 1936 the right wing under General Francisco began to fight against the republicans to restore the Monarch government. This situation created enmity relations between German, Italy and Russia hence used the war to test their weapons and techniques.
  9. Japanese occupation of Burma and Domination of other areas in the Far East especially the South East Asian countries (Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos), threatened other powers such as Britain and USA hence they joined to fight against Japanese empire that was built in the Far East in the 1940’s.
  10. Hitler’s ambition and aggressive policies:- since 1930’s Hitler began to violet the versatile peace treat agreement which accused her to be causative of the first world war and in 1933 German withdrew from the league of Nations ad continued with her aggression of invading other nations in order to create stronger German and expansion her territories. In 1939 she occupied Czechoslovakia and Poland hence the outbreak of the Second World War.
  11. Japanese attack on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour on 6th December, 1941, the USA had very justification to enter into war. She joined the democratic forces and fought with the allies to defeat the Japanese empire

FACTORS THAT MADE THE SECOND WORLD WAR TO SPREAD WORLD WIDE.

  1. Existence of the system of military alliances of Germany, Italy and Japan (Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis) versus the Triple Entente which was retained after the First World War, led the spread of war worldwide. Colonies under those powers joined to help their masters
  2. U.S.A involvement in the war. After Japan’s attack on the US pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii made the United States bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1940’s meant that the war had now reached the territory of North America and Japan
  3. Recruitments of soldiers in African colonies spread the war to many areas. British East African soldiers were recruited to fight in Burma against the Axis powers. In Algeria, the French recruited soldiers to fight against Italians in Tunisia and Libya.
  4. Territorial desires through the use of military conquest among the big powers made them to spread the fighting in many areas of Africa and Asia.
  5. Possessions of colonies of colonies by France and Britain brought the war in their colonies

IMPACTS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR ON AFRICA

The ended in the middle of 1945 with the defeat of Axis powers. Many of its impacts in African colonies were negative:

  1. Increase of exploitation in Africa. Apart from introducing Agricultural schemes also they created marketing boards, increase of taxation, land alienation, intensive forced labor, low wages and long working hours. All these were applied by capitalist nations to revamp their economy that were badly affected by Second World War
  2. Introduction of cash production. this was implemented differently in different areas such as The Nachingwea scheme dealt with groundnuts production, Kongwa groundnuts schemes (Tanganyika) he Sukuma cotton scheme was established for producing cotton all these projects were launched by capitalists in order to compensate their loss economy led by the second world war and to pay back the debts to the United states of America.
  3. It contributed to the rise of Nationalism ideologies to Africans. Africans became politically conscious after the return of Ex-soldiers from war who acted as the catalyst on leading people to struggle for Nationalism as they had acquired many skills and tactic hence they had to apply them for the Liberation of their nations and fellow Africans
  4. It led to the rise of USA and USSR as the world economical powers. Both USA and RSSR played a significance role in the decolonization of Africa through different approaches for example USA propagated for Nationalism of Africa in order to get an access of exploiting Africa through Neo –colonialism while USSR on its side supported the Africa through Neo-colonialism. While USSR on its side supported the Africans freedom fighters morally, materially and technologically, this is because USSR under socialism policy they believe on equality
  5. Fall of African economy. This was triggered by the recruitment of Africa energetic people to war, while are the ones who were the main producers. Following the fall of African economy many African facilities collapsed and let to dependence nature economy to many African countries.
  6. Depopulation of African people. The number of African people decreased since some died on the battle while fighting as recruited soldiers, some died of hunger and starvation as there total unrest during the war as producers were recruited as soldiers hence there were no production also commutable disease like cholera, diarrhorea, influenza small pox etc killed many people.
  7. Death of African people. Africans who were recruited as soldiers in the war died and others wounded while fighting in Burma, Algeria and Tunisia.
  8. The emergence of the United Nations Organizations (U.N.O) in 1945 in U.S.A. United Nations was formed to replace the League of Nations which failed to prevent the outbreak of another War. Hence all mandate colonies were transformed into the UN’Tusteeships. UN had decolonization committee which was formed to encourage African decolonization
  9. Shortage of imported manufactured goods from Europe. Colonies could not import clothes, soft drinks, and cigarettes from Europe. Many industries were destroyed in Britain, France and Italy.
  10. Destruction of physical infrastructures such as roads harbours and railways in areas like Tunisia and Egypt.

IMPACTS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR ON EUROPE, JAPAN AND U.S.A

  1. Loss of Peoples life. Both soldiers and civilians died because of the war for example 21 million people died
  2. Destructions of the European economies. Roads, banks, farms, destructed due to war
  3. Formation of the Open Door Policy by U.S.A to champion decolonization of African nations
  4. Production and the use of the Nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan by U.S.A.

MEASURES TAKEN TO OVERCOME THE PROBLEMS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE AFRICAN COLONIES

  1. The colonial government encouraged Africans to grow cash crops. For example, the government in Kenya urged the Africans to plant cash crops such as tea, tobacco and pyrethrum for the first time.
  2. Creation of bigger plantations and many settlers farms after the war. They wanted o produce large quantities of raw materials. For example British colonial government in Tanganyika allowed settlers to occupy more land for farms in Meru to produce for export also in Kenya.
  3. The colonial government constructed more import substitution industries that produced goods for the white men in the colonies. The industries produced sugar, oil, foodstuffs, and cigarettes
  4. Heavy imposition of taxation in Africa. Africans were forced to pay taxes so as to enable the government to get money for the construction of their colonies
  5. Agricultural development schemes were introduced in the colonies. Some of these schemes included: terracing, for preventing soil erosion, de-stocking schemes and introduction of groundnuts schemes in Nachingwea, Urambo and Kongwa, also Groundnuts schemes in Gambia. These measures were taken to improve the quantity and quality of crops produced in the colonies

REVISION QUESTIONS:

  1.  Discuss the causes and effects of the First World War on East Africa.
  2. What were the causes and effects of the Second World War on East Africa?
  3. How the First World War did affected Europe Nations?
  4. Explain the effects of the World War II in European counties.
  5. Identify the causes of the Great Economic Depression of 1929/1933.
  6. What were the effects of the Great Economic Depression to East Africa?
  7. Show how Europe and USA were affected by the Great Economic depression of the 1930s.
  8. Mention the measures taken against the effect of the Great Economic Depression on Europe.
  9. Account for the rise of U.S.A. as the leading imperialist power after the Second World War.
  10. How did the Great depression affect East Africa and what were solutions to the problems?
  11. Explain the main causes of the First World War
  12. Discuss the effects of the two World wars on the East African countries
  13. Discuss the measures taken to overcome the problems of the Second World War in the African colonies

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