• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In two world wars, the richer countries mobilized their economiesmore successfully than others. How may we explain this? Identify and account for the most significant deviations from this rule.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In two world wars, the richer countries mobilized their economies more successfully than others. How may we explain this? Identify and account for the most significant deviations from this rule. It is widely believed that military dominance was one of the key factors that led to the success of the allied powers in the World Wars. In both the wars, the coalition that won no doubt had a superior military strength. They fielded far greater number of soldiers and military equipment. In fact in World War I, the Allied army outnumbered the Central Powers by more than 60% and fielded almost double the amount of military equipment. In World War II the Allied armies fielded about 40% more soldiers and the military equipment advantage was similar to that of World War I .But a more in depth study of the economics of the wars would reveal that the ability of the nations to mobilize their economic resources for the purpose of war played an equally important role in the outcome of the war. The world mobilizing literally means 'The act of assembling, equipping, and preparing military and naval forces for active hostilities' i.e. to assemble and marshal economic resources for the purpose of war. ...read more.

Middle

To cover the other $167.2 billion, the Treasury Department also expanded its bond program, creating the famous "war bonds". The American economy expanded at an unprecedented rate between 1941 and 1945. The gross national product of the U.S., as measured in constant dollars, grew from $88.6 billion in 1939 to $135 billion in 1944. War-related production skyrocketed from just 2 percent of GNP to 40 percent in 1943 (Milward, 63). Table shows, output in many American manufacturing sectors increased enormously from 1939 to 1944, and the height of war production in many industries. Indices of American Manufacturing Output (1939 = 100) 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 Aircraft 245 630 1706 2842 2805 Munitions 140 423 2167 3803 2033 Shipbuilding 159 375 1091 1815 1710 Aluminium 126 189 318 561 474 Rubber 109 144 152 202 206 Steel 131 171 190 202 197 Source: Milward On the other hand countries with a low pre war level of output struggled to mobilize a high proportion of their economic resources for the war. Most of the poor countries had a large amount of their resources locked up in low productive subsistence agriculture. During war times, mobilization began to take resources away from agriculture particularly manpower. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pre 1914, economic factors were not as important as during the period of the great wars due to the inability of the government to mobilize the resources from industry and agriculture because too many people were required to work in the fields and workshops just to produce enough to feed the population, and it was economically unfeasible for the government officials to count, tax, and channel them into war. II The period between the great wars was unique. The dependence of military performance upon and pre economic development specifically holds true for this era in history. After World War II, the economic factors might have lost their significance again. This may be best summed up by the following. 'Since 1945 the economic factors in warfare may have lost significance again. This is because after the advent of nuclear weapons any rich country however small or any large country however poor could acquire devastating military force for a few billion dollars. Hence the marshalling of economic resources may have played a much more vital role in the outcome of the two world wars than was likely in any period before or since.' Source: Harrison, Mark. 2004. "Why the Rich Won: Economic Mobilization and Economic Development in Two World Wars. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Free essay

    The development of the international economy in the period 1945-2000 favoured rich countries at ...

    4 star(s)

    As such, their single-minded emphasis on this only contributed to the exclusion of aid for the LDCs for at least the first 10 years. Even as there were attempts to provide assistance to LDCs, these neo-liberal principles were unsuitable to their unstable states.

  2. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * The Soviet Union agreed not to interfere when Germany attacked Poland and also would allow Hitler a free hand in western Europe. * In return, Germany would allow the Soviet Union to occupy eastern Poland and would not interfere if Stalin occupied the Baltic States and Finland.

  1. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    29 - Stalin cable to FDR protests terms of surrender of German troops in Italy Apr. 11 - Ike stops 9th Army at Magdeburg on the Elbe Apr. 12 - death of FDR; Harry S Truman sworn in as President - images Apr.

  2. Women and social change - To what extent did World War One effect womens ...

    Women's need for work was nursed along by the media as well as the public. "A rapidly expanding war economy absorbed most of the reserve labor force," (307) yet it still was not enough, the economy demanded a larger work force.

  1. Was decline or growth more significant as a feature of Britain's inter-war economy?

    In the winter of 1921-22 two million men were unemployed, and throughout the period there was never less than 10% of the working population (one million) unemployed. The mass unemployment meant that without jobs these men could not re-start the ailing economy, but instead ate away at the governments funds in the form of unemployment benefits.

  2. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    least that conflicts could have been handled in a manner that avoided bipolarization and the rhetoric of an ideological crusade. At no time did Russia constitute a military threat to the United States. "Economically," U.S. Naval Intelligence reported in 1946, "the Soviet Union is exhausted....

  1. American History.

    The parts that were adopted essentially reasserted that the colonists had never given up the rights of British subjects, which included consent to taxation. This position was that of most colonists throughout the 1760s - they wanted some measure of independence and their rights, but not independence.

  2. China After World War II

    As a result of the "army reconstruction" program of the Kuomintang, several million soldiers will return to the villages whence they came. These peasant youth, having learned the use of force in the settlement of problems, and influenced by the strike movement in the cities, will play an important role in the coming struggle for the land.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work