Human history is just as filled with wars as with the great achievements. Over the time through the course of social development humans have also witnessed some wars that have made us stop and rethink on our efforts made to keep the humanity intact. Although war is a disliked phenomena it does happen. Whether its for means of defense, political gains, greedy expansions or just raw barbarism humans have failed to avoid the wars and will be unlikely to avoid in future. The battles never cease to exist. Somewhere some soldier or a civilian is dying in an act of war. For some these battles are news but for some they are the life changing events that redefine their destiny.
Although there are many many battles and wars that have impacted the human history in one way or other and were responsible for countless deaths, in this post I will only mention 5 of these wars that made a lasting impact on human existence in this world and may keep doing so in the future.
1. World War I
- Period: July 1914 - November 1918
Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria
Britain, France, Russia, Italy and the United States
The World War I was the first global war and is also known as "The Great War". Although the World War II is greater and has more death toll than World War I by no means this war has a lesser impact. World War I was responsible for The great Depression and ultimately World War II. Originated from Europe this war resulted in over 17 million casualties out of which around 9 million were soldiers.
The ImprintA. The Great Depression
After the World War I was over the world suffered a worldwide economic slump originated from The United States. This was responsible for around 22 million people getting unemployed in The United States, Germany and Britain alone. This badly affected the supply and demand chain influencing reduction in production across the world causing reduction in international trades.
B. Initiated World War II
Treaty of Versailles was signed by Germany at the end of WWI under forceful circumstances. This treaty impacted German Economy severely and was the cause of the rise of fascism in Germany and other countries facing economic chaos. Ultimately, the economic collapse due to WWI, rise of fascism in Europe and worldwide political instability forced the world to undergo one of the major global war till now i.e. WWII.
C. Modernization of Warfare and Lifestyle
WW-I made countries to invest in the modern weapons and war technologies. The war weapons started to become more sophisticated and powerful. Weapon industries started to grow their roots firmly and also weapons trade became important for nations. Not only this but Social reforms happened during and after WW-I causing women to involve in business along side men. Apart from this it forced the world to invest heavily in research and development for transportation, communication.
D. Formations of nations
WW-I left the European countries deep in debt and made United States of America the most powerful country which is still impacting the worlds political platform. The borders were realigned, many small countries gained independence, new countries were formed.
2. World War II
- Period: Sep 1939 – Sep 1945
Germany, Italy and Japan
Britain, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, the Soviet Union, China and the United States of America
World War II was by far the most deadliest and bloodiest war ever happened in human history. Followed by WW-I this war has left many horrors forever printed in the history of mankind. These include the holocaust-a genocide by Nazi forces, first and the only use of Nuclear bombs till now and the death toll of around 80 million people out of which around 50 millions were civilians. Imagine how bitter were the fruits of WW-I that granted the power of using atomic bombs to United States or made Germany to invade Poland during economic collapse.
The ImprintRise of Superpowers
Strangely the countries The United States and Soviet Union who were allies during WW-II became competitors post the war with an immediate cold war between them. These countries were accepted as two superpowers in the world and other countries were directly/indirectly forced to ally with them or stay neutral reforming their international policies.
Formation of United Nations
The League of Nation formed post WW-I to maintain peace was destroyed and The United Nations was formed to mantain the international cooperation and diplomacy.
Genocide & Nuclear Attack
The horror of WW-II also showed the world of a genocide of around 6 million European Jews known as The Holocaust by Hitler's Nazi army. Wait, this doesn't end here!! The nuclear attack by The United States on Japan as an retaliation to Japans attack on Pearl Harbour resulted in around 129,000 deaths with almost 80000 killed within matter of seconds.
Decolonization & Population displacement
WW-II end resulted in many countries gaining their freedom from powerful countries and also border realignments. This resulted in massive displacement of people as they found them suddenly in hostile territory or released from captivity.
Starvation & Rapes
Sadly around 20 million people died due to starvation as an effect of WW-II. Imagine the suffering of these many people in slow, painful and horrifying death and watch the loved ones suffer too. Starvation was not only the worst thing but the rapes of around 100,000 German women also left it mark. The WW-II also resulted in many families to raise the childrens without their fathers who died or got separated during the war. This also led to many women entering and running the business and work for earning money.
3. The American Civil War
- Period: Apr 1861 – May 1865
Southern United States, Northeastern United States, Western United States, Atlantic Ocean
Although the American Civil war was fought within The United States only it comes in this list because of the aftermath and the impact of it on the world. Even though this war was not that important on a global scale it made USA what it is today. It was fought between between the Union states (Northern states) and the states of the Confederacy (Southern states). It resulted in deaths of around 750,000 people in The United States. This war was supposed to be initiated with the start of Presidency of Abraham Lincoln.
The ImprintsSlavery & Despotism
This war ended the slavery in USA and was also responsible to create great opportunities to middle class. USA still has a vast number of immigrants coming from all over the world and remains the promising land for middle class thanks to elevation of human rights as aftermath of the Civil War.
Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was amended with 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.
This war resulted in the dramatic changes in American industry. Transportation got better and railroad networks expanded nationwide. Hard labor replaced with machines which was of great importance during the followed World Wars.
4. The Wars of Alexander
- Period: 336–323 BC
King Alexander also known as "Alexander The Great" was one of the great conqueror, great war strategist of human history along with the luck of having a great army. Alexander spent his 13-year reign working to unite East and West through military force and cultural exchange.
The ImprintsThe Hellenistic Period
The Hellenistic Period was the era after Alexanders death, created due to the influence of the wars of Alexander the great in which Greek thoughts and culture became entwined with that of the indigenous populace. Due to Alexanders idea of the creation of a unified empire people from east were encouraged to marry with those of Europe and those of Europe to do likewise forming a new culture.
5. The Wars of Napolean
- Period: November 1799 - June 1815
These wars were triggered by 1789 French Revolution and were declared against Napoleon’s French Empire by opposing forces in Europe. Under Napoleon, France became a great power as a result of conquering much of Europe. But 1812 Russian invasion resulting in total disaster with a death toll of around 6.5 million lives, the war ended with France's defeat and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France and the creation of the Concert of Europe.
The ImprintsWeapons & Warfare
Weapons technology was modernized as a need and the old warfare strategies were changed to the modern warfare. By the end of the period most European armies had riflemen and the British made the first large scale use of Congreve Rockets in a European war.
Nationalism in Europe
Napoleons France expansion over most of Europe triggered the sense nationalism in the European countries making them realize what a citizen is. This caused the countries to put boundaries on who goes in and out of country. Germany expelling Jews was a result of this increased sense of nationalism causing much worse wars in future resulting in genocide of millions.