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WW2: The process of superpowerdom

Uploaded by HWalker825 on Jan 22, 1999

The Second World War gave rise to a multitude of new ideas which changed the course of modern society, the idea which has had the greatest impact on the world as a whole is the concept of the superpower nation. To be a superpower, a nation needs to have a strong economy, an overpowering military, immense international political power, and related to this, a strong national ideology. It was this war (WWII), and its results that spawned the formation of superpowers and lead them to experience such a preponderance of power.

To understand how the Second World War impacted birth of superpowers it is important to first understand and examine the causes of the war. The United States gained its strength in world affairs from its status as an economic power and as a heavily industrialized nation. In the years preceding the war and the Great Depression, America was the world's largest producer and arguably had the strongest and most stable economy. In the USSR at the same time, Stalin was implementing his 'five year plans' to modernize the Soviet economy. From these situations, similar foreign policies resulted from widely divergent origins.

Roosevelt's isolationism emerged from the wide and prevalent domestic desire to remain neutral in any international conflicts. It was widely believed that America entered the First World War simply in order to save its industry's capitalist investments in Europe. Whether this is the case or not, Roosevelt was forced to work with an inherently isolationist Congress, only expanding its horizons after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He signed the Neutrality Act of 1935, making it illegal for the United States to ship arms to the belligerent governments of any conflict. The act also stated that belligerent nations could buy only non-armaments from the US, and even these were only to be bought with cash. In contrast, Stalin was by necessity interested in European affairs, but only to the point of concern to the USSR. Russian foreign policy was fundamentally Leninist in its concern to keep the USSR out of war. Stalin wanted to consolidate Communist power and modernize the country's industry. The Soviet Union was committed to collective action for peace, as long as that commitment did not mean that the Soviet Union would take a brunt of a Nazi attack as a result. Examples of this can be seen in the Soviet Unions' attempts to achieve a mutual...

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Uploaded by:   HWalker825

Date:   01/22/1999

Category:   World War II

Length:   13 pages (3,004 words)

Views:   2163

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