Compare the Historical Significance of First World War with That of the Second World War

Topics: World War II, Soviet Union, Nuclear weapon Pages: 3 (776 words) Published: October 25, 2012
2. Compare the historical significance of First World War with that of the Second World War.
The First World War and the Second World War were the most large-scale wars which have been ever fought. They both have important and influential historical significance to the world. Some of their historical significance is similar while some contrasted politically, militarily, economically and in social and cultural aspects. Politically, the two world wars were both significant in leading to the decline of European supremacy, further development of nationalism and establishment of peacekeeping bodies. First, after WWI, traditional European empires collapsed while Britain and France were also weakened. After WWII, the age of European supremacy even came to an end. Secondly, based on the principle of national self-determination, the powers created new nation states like Czechoslovakia and Finland after WWI, while more and more colonial nations became independent after the WWII. Thirdly, both world wars gave birth to two peacekeeping bodies-the League of Nations and the United Nations. However, the two world wars were differently significant in the rise of totalitarianism, the rise of the two superpowers, beginning of the Cold War and global decolonization. First, the rise of totalitarianism in Europe (Germany &Italy) only occurred after WWI but did not occur after WWII. Secondly, there is other additional significance of WWII, the rise of the two superpowers and the beginning of Cold War. The US and the USSR replaced Europe to dominate world politics after WWII. Thirdly, as the Western colonial powers were greatly weakened by the WWII, they could not resist their colonies’ demands for independence. Decolonization therefore developed rapidly after WWII but not WWI. Militarily, the two world wars were both significant in changing the nature of warfare. Both of them led to the invention of new weapons and progress in science and technology. However, their military...
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