World War 2

Full Name
World War Two
Event Type
Start Date
End Date

World War II was the biggest and deadliest war in history, even more devastating than World War I, it was the most destructive international conflict involving more than 30 countries. With the principal combatants were of the Axis powers such as Germany, Italy, and Japan, and their allies: France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and, to a lesser extent, China. World War II was sparked by the 1939 Nazi invasion of Poland, dragging on for six years, taking the lives of 60 to 80 million people, including million Jews murdered in Nazi concentration camps known as the Holocaust. This encompasses civilian deaths from land battles, aerial bombardment, political and racial executions, war-induced disease and famine, and the sinking of ships probably exceeded battle casualties. The war ended in 1945, when the allies defeated Nazi Germany, leaving a legacy that includes the spread of communism, and the global shift in power from Europe to two rival superpowers–the United States and the Soviet Union.

  • During the war, the citizens of the United States sacrificed with Austerity
    • Resources and production capability was re-directed toward the war effort
  • Over 1 million American soldiers were killed or wounded

WWII Impact on the American Economy

  • The government dictated what could be produced (Tanks = Yes, Cars = No)

Aftermath of World War Two

  • The United States found itself in a great position
  • Only major country that benefited economically (weapons sales, materials sales, no loss of internal industry/factories)
  • US produced 60% of worlds GDP at end of war
  • US helped put into the world system after the war (to its benefit)
  • Principle of Interdependence & Multinationalism Gained Ground on the world stage
    • It was thought that Hitler/Germany rose to its power because the rest of the world wasn't working together
    • Resulted in creation of International Organizations like NATO, IMF, World Bank, etc.
  • Marshall Plan - Help rebuild countries like Germany/France/Japan so they would be our allies (and not work with Russians)