• 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?

    This was ignored. 3 September 1939 Britain declared war on Germany. CONFLICT IN THE MODERN WORLD: INTERNATIONAL HISTORY 1945-63 Why did the USA and USSR become rivals in the period 1945 to 1949? Stalin's point of view * Stalin did not trust the West and was determined to build a buffer zone against further German attacks.

  1. How Significant were the Normandy landings in Defeating Germany in World War Two?

    The anniversary is a celebration of freedom and victory and 'commemoration' so for a British newspaper, the British public is not going to want to hear about D-Day's flaws. Secondly, this is secondary evidence. This means the writer wasn't there to actually see what happened- he/she is just going on the basis of what they have heard and researched.

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

    During 1946, British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill described the USSR as putting up an "Iron Curtain" across Europe . This prevented communication between the two as both sides became unaware as to what was happening on the other side. It heightened the fight for control between east and west and showed how fearful each side was of the other.

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

    age had entered the war, many women were left without families to look after and men to take to take care of them. "Most women toiled at unskilled jobs; most were young, single, and without children" (307). This lack of family and funds left women with no other place to go besides the factories.

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

    policymakers to open up Eastern Europe for trade and investment. Within such a frame of reference, it was the capitalist economic system-not Soviet commitment to world revolution-that made the Cold War unavoidable. Still a third version of the inevitability hypothesis-partly based on the first two-would insist that historical differences between

  1. Armed forces.

    in South Africa Turkey loses most of European lands; Coup D'etat in Turkey; Opening of Panama canal D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers 1914 Imperial troops assembled for war; Egypt becomes British Protectorate; Cyprus annexed; occupation of German West African colonies Emergency laws implemented World War I (1914-18); Panama canal opens

  2. American History.

    But after that a series of crises demonstrated the tensions that had been building [ethnic, racial, economic] that had been building in American society and illustrated that the accommodations reached after the Glorious Revolution were no longer adequate. - One of the earlier crises, the Stono Rebellion, occurred in South Carolina in 1739.

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