World War II resulted in many far-reaching and long-term effects on the course of history, some of which included a major rearrangement of the power balance between nations, the beginning of the Atomic Age and the Cold War, the end of colonial empires and the rise of nationalism within former colonies, the creation of the United Nations and the European Union, numerous border changes and a restrengthening of the United States economy which had been previously debilitated by the Great Depression. The balance of power shifted to two major post-war alliances: NATO, which was led by the United States, and the Warsaw Pact led by the Soviet Union. This resulted in the Cold War power struggle and the eruption of several proxy wars, such as the Vietnam Conflict.
The revulsion experienced by the international community as a result of the many atrocities and human rights violations that came to light after World War II ended gave rise to a global movement focused on human rights protections. In 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or UDHR, the provisions of which set a standard for both times of conflict and peace.
In addition to the economic recovery and dominance that the U.S. saw as a result of the war, a sense of empowerment was experienced by the women, African-Americans and Mexican-Americans who contributed to the war effort both overseas and on the home front. This helped foster and support a heightened post-war movement to achieve greater equality and economic parity across racial and gender lines within the U.S., and it helped bring about significant changes to American society in the years following the war.Learn More
The main cause of World War II was the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany and its subsequent invasion of other countries. The causes can be linked back to World War I. The main effects of WWII include the Cold War, occupation of territories and the widespread destruction in Western Europe.Full Answer >
Some of the long-term effects of World War II were the division of Germany into two separate states, the destruction of numerous European and Asian cities, a major realignment of political power into Western and Soviet factions, the creation of the United Nations, a strengthening of corporate power and the beginning of a period of increased prosperity in the United States. Two key results of World War II were the formalization of post-war alliances through NATO and the Warsaw Pact, and the beginning of a nuclear arms race between the two factions. In the Middle East, the partition plan for Palestine formulated by the United Nations led to the creation of the state of Israel and a heightening of the conflict with neighboring Arab countries.Full Answer >
The most significant Allied countries in World War II were Great Britain and the Commonwealth, France, the Soviet Union, the United States and China, though, in formal terms, the Allies included all wartime members of the United Nations and all the original signatories of their declaration. The Allied coalition was united militarily against the primary Axis forces of Germany, Italy and Japan.Full Answer >
World War II ended in two stages: the total destruction of the German government in Berlin in May 1945 and the capitulation of the Japanese government four months later. In each case, the victorious Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the Axis nations' land, sea and air forces, as well as a political surrender of their civil governments.Full Answer >