It is often hard to consider the positive effects of any war, since the war by definition results in large-scale destruction of human life, industries, economy and society as a whole. It often brings out the worst in us but that being said; each war needs to be judged on its own merits as each one is rooted in different events which led to hostilities breaking out in the first place. However, in the case of World War 2 where the human cost was around 75 million human lives, as both a direct and indirect result of the war, was rooted in the earlier variant, World War 1. Here’s to taking a closer look at some of the pros and cons of World War 2.
Positive effects of World War 2:
Economy: During the time as hostilities were breaking out, economies all over the world were still struggling to their feet, post the depression era. Life was hard and it was extremely difficult to land a job. However, as a result of hostilities breaking out between Germany and other nations including Poland, it set the ball rolling for conscription and the establishment of several industries to aid in war efforts. This led to an increase in employment for both men and women and several industries were established to provide troops with clothing, food, shoes, and medicine. This resulted in several economies across the world benefiting in the short term.
Transportation: As hostilities broke out both camps decided to upgrade their current transportation which included both the sides trying out new technology to provide their troops with the edge. The GPS system and its German variant were invented during this period; the American variant was largely successful and this forms the backbone of the app based location services we access, through our smartphones today. The war effort also led to the expansion of train networks across the world, from India to Europe.
Political: One of the positive effects of World War 2 was the establishment of the United Nations; although UN was built on the League of Nations, it led to the body formulating several rules and regulations to prevent any outbreaks of hostilities. It also sanctioned the use of UN to employ troops as a peacekeeping force which it does, to this day.
Negative effects of World War 2:
The negative effects of this war are just way too many to recount as it brought out the worst in all of us.
Fatalities: World War2 resulted in the death of nearly 75 million, and that’s a rough estimate though when you take into account the result of those who died as a result of indirect effects of the war, like Famine, the total number could well cross 100 million. This accounts for nearly 3 to 4% of the total estimated population during those times, which even by current standards is a staggering number.
Totalitarian regimes: One of the root causes of the outbreak of hostilities happens to be the near-totalitarian regime, in Germany. With both Japan and Italy getting into the mix, citizens were often subjected to extremes, from having their civil rights suspended to being carted off to death camps, like cattle.
Disease and famine: One of the direct impacts on world civilization was the war breaking out over Europe but rather it led to supply lines drying up. As a result, several nations across the world were subject to a severe famine which resulted in rampant inflation, to the point that citizens could no longer afford basic necessities. And to compound this further, the deterioration in living condition led to health outbreaks including cholera which already had a reputation for being a global killer.
Migration: As a result of hostilities, several communities had to migrate across vast distances, with little or no support either by their government or any agency. As a result of forced marches, and having little to no food, this resulted in the death of several people, especially the young and the elderly.
These are some of the positive and negative effects of World War 2. After a review of both, it is obvious that the negatives far outweigh the positives. This is why it is important to take all efforts to prevent the outbreak of hostilities, especially if the human cost on both sides can be staggering. This is why it is important to have open lines of communication with the other side under any condition, and that’s why most nations today, have an open hotline with many others.