The impact of the World War II was much greater than that of World War I.Germany, Japan and Italy were destroyed but even the victorious nations like France and England also became much weaker than before and lost most of their former glory and prestige. The political impact could be seen in the rise of two super powers and the division of the world into two rival blocks, establishment of the UN, and decolonization of many African and Asian countries.
World War II spread death and devastation throughout the world to an extant never before. A large number of people lost their lives, homes and native lands. They became refugees and suffered untold miseries. Devastated lands and factories brought agricultural and industrial production to stand still. The prices of things shot up. There were huge shortages of food, clothing and shelters causing sickness, suffering and death. The war weakened the economies of most of the European countries.
The war resulted in the emergence of USA and USSR as the two Super Powers in the world. By the time of signing of the Axis treaties the two countries were moving in opposite directions. Friction over the treaties with Austria, Germany and Japan and Soviet aggressive actions in the Eastern Europe brought tension and by the end of 1948 the period saw the beginning of Cold War.
In 1950 armed conflict arose in Korea between Soviet backed Communist forces and UN forces led by the USA.
The Germany was divided into two parts – East Germany and West Germany. The USSR took control over the eastern part while England, France and the USA occupied the western part. Germany’s capital was divided into two parts. Millions of Germans perished during the war. The German army was reduced and all her war material was taken away from her. The Allies tried the war criminals and some of them were executed. The war resulted in the division of Germany and in the end of Nazism.
The impact of the war on Italy and Japan was also severe. The Japanese Emperor was deprived of his powers and prestige. The American general MacArthur was given the complete control of Japan. He set up a limited monarchy in Japan.
In Italy Mussolini was removed as early as 1943 and after the war a democratic government was established there also. Both Japan and Italy were deprived of their conquests and colonies. Their military power was reduced and they were forced to pay heavy war indemnity. The Fascism was finally met an end in Italy and Japan.
Even the allied powers like England and France had suffered a lot and they became weaker than before. The economic loss suffered by England made her a second rate power in the world. France also lost most of its former power and prestige. It also witnessed political instability after the war which further undermined her position. The world realized that peace should be maintained at all cost hence the formation of United Nations in 1945.Every nation became quite willing to extend all possible help to the UN for establishing and maintaining world peace.
World War II gave a boost to nationalism and started the process of decolonization in Asia and Africa. The European colonial empires began to crumble one by one partly because of the nationalist movements in the colonies and partly because of the inability of the colonial powers to maintain their hold over the colonies.