World War II and the Cold War Web Questions

Below please find some thoughtful questions about World War II and the Cold War by your classmate, Gulnaz Aglyamova.

1) Adolf Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland in 1936, and then in 1938, unified Germany with Austria and fomented unrest among German minorities in Czechoslovakia. But Western European countries, namely France and Great Britain, did not give any response to his actions despite the fact that he violated the Treaty of Versailles. What were the reasons of such inaction from these previously dominating powers?

2) As we know, World War II embraced the whole world, millions of people died, and women were drawn into the conflict in an unprecedented way. What was the role of women in this total war? Did the war conditions empower them and bolster their rights, or, on contrary, disempower them and diminish their rights?

3) After World War II, a confrontation between two global powers, the U.S. and U.S.S.R, evolved, called the Cold War. They competed in political, economic, and cultural spheres. What were the main causes of the conflict between these two powers, who had been allies in World War II?


16 Comments on “World War II and the Cold War Web Questions”

  1. Niara Calliste says:

    France and Great Britain allowed Germany to violate the Treaty of Versailles because they did not want to become involved in another war. World War I being called the Great War at the time was no coincidence because there were huge devastations, a lot of lost life and a failing economy. Other nations did not want to see this happen and they were not entirely ready for another great war. France and Britain initially tried to reason with Germany by allowing the takeover of Poland and nothing else afterwards. They only became involved when it looked like Germany was about to take over their nation as well and they could no longer turn a blind eye to Hitlers’ actions. In trying to preserve peace a lot of people suffered and I believed that had it not been for the Great Depression other nations would have paid a lot more closer attenion to Germany and stifling their expansion instead of trying to keep their country afloat.

  2. Keisha Jones-Charles says:

    Answering question #2
    During World war 2, women’s roles in the work force increased tremendously. Even more than during World war 1. Because the men were off at war, the country still needed to maintain normal duties as if they were still there. Women were readily available and took on the titles of head of the household. They worked in war industries. Making planes and All different types of weaponry needed to win the war. They also worked in factories and farms. Things previously considered “a man’s job”. They even served on the frontlines as nurses and unfortunately some were killed during combat. These jobs completed empowered them and it was during this world war that they were recognized as potential equals to men because as they did these jobs, at the end of the day, they still had to go home to take care of their children.

  3. Keisha Jones-Charles says:

    Response to question 3:

    The U.S and the U.S.S.R were both involved in the cold war. One of the causes was that the Soviet Union, who were completely communist, wanted to spreaad and aid communist governments into power. This alarmed the U.S because they were and still is a democratic government. Shortly after, the Union found out about weapons of mass destruction I.e atomic weapons, that the U.S had in possession. This scared them greatly because they didn’t want them to use it on their mainlands and destroy their country and vice versa. Another reason was their difference between the future of Eastern Europe. America also still persecuted the U.S.S.R for their actions in the part of Germany it had occupied.

  4. Lindsay Poulakos says:

    2) During WWII in the US and in Great Britain, women were being told by the government that their efforts were important and that their help was essential for victory, which was very well true, but was only half-meant. Women were only commissioned into the work force, not because they were seen as equals, but merely because all the men were gone and product needed to be produced. Women still dealt with unfair wages, which were way below a man’s pay for the same job, and were expected to give up their jobs to the returning men and resume their ‘household duties’. Women at home had just as an important role as men in the war but their efforts were barely acknowledged in terms of equal rights, which would not be recognized for another 20 years.

  5. Tabia Chu says:

    Question #2:

    Undoubtedly, manpower was greatly needed for the war. Since WWI, in order to keep the society in tact and functioning, women were needed to fill the positions that were now vacant from the absence of men. With this being said, I do not think this empowered them in a way to make men see them as “equal.” I do not disagree that their capability to hold these positions may been seen as empowering in the point of view of a woman working in conditions that were normally expected of men, however in my opinion, it did not matter whether or not they were capable of maintaining these positions, what did matter was that they were women and because of that, there was no way the men returning from the war would allow them to keep their jobs. Once the war was over, women were beginning to ease back into their “rightful” place in the household. The 1950s was considered the “Domestic Era” which later shaped the mindsets of the daughters of these affected women growing up in the 60s.

    If it were seen as an overall strengthening time for women, the need to reminiscence upon this period of independence. 

    • Tabia Chu says:

      If it were seen as an overall strengthening time for women, there (would not be any) need to reminiscence upon this period of independence.

  6. Levi McClellan says:

    2) WWII was the beginning of the empowerment of women. During this time so many men were sent overseas to fight in the war and demand for manufactured goods skyrocketed because of the need to for military supplies. This caused a high demand for labor which the women were able to fill. A lot of women began to do jobs that were usually considered to be for males. In addition to working fulltime women had to work on the domestic front. Women were suddenly the ones driving the economy and this shows empowerment. I feel that women got a psychological boost to their self esteem. When the war was over and men took jobs back the women would pass down their sense of power to the younger generations which lead to the rising of women’s rights and labor positions in the 1960s. Rosie the Riveter is a prime example of how women were starting to be perceived and how women started to think about themselves. A strong, confident looking woman who says “We can do it!” speaks to how women are more than just domestic care-takers and can do a lot more and really be the backbone of a nation. The roles that the women picked up in the 1940s sparked the beginning and paved the way for women today.

  7. Sheri Greenbaum says:

    2)During World War II, women were able to take on the roles that men held; while men were away at war, the rest of the country needed to persevere, and women were the only people who could take on the job. Many women also felt that the war was just as much their war to fight, and wanted to take part; many women joined the military service. After World War II women returned home and resumed the roles they had previously held, but during the war, being able to take part and defend their country empowered women and gave them more rights than they ever had before. Even though things returned back to normal in postwar conditions, being able to fight in war strengthened women.

  8. Aleksandr Ashurov says:

    In WW2 much like the first one, women were more involved in affairs outside of the home. Less and less women were considered to be home makers as they went out of the norm of working at textile factories and being home-makers. Many have joined the armed forces. European allied forces initiated this movement and the west followed. Over 400,000 women were in the military, but not many of them were in combatant forces due to public opinions. Most were active in anti aircraft missions. A lot of these women worked on military equipment, became nurses on the battle grounds and got their pilots licenses. Many of these things were never available to them prior to the wars. After the war the female soldiers were recognized as permanent parts of the armed forces with the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948. In my opinion this is what led to women finally being seen as equals to men.

  9. Aleksandr Ashurov says:

    When you have to great forces like the U.S. and the USSR hell bent on being the dominating empire, problems arise. The two forces were uneasy with each other, constantly suspecting the other of either, espionage or some other ridiculous idea. The U.S. for instance had a great problem with communism, its ideals and potential global spread, while USSR wasn’t too thrilled about capitalism.The U.S. developed the atomic bomb, and wouldn’t share the secrets with USSR, which also made them incredibly uneasy. There was also the great divide of Europe between the two powers. Each was against letting the other through or in their territory. Mainly this occurred because of their differences regarding politics and economy. Neither wanted to see the spread of the other’s systems. Generally, there were many things that accumulated over a short period of time and eventually exploded.

  10. Abdul Awal says:

    2) World War 2 was the beginning of the women power because during the war women roles in the work force increased enormously, even more than during World War 1. Women took strong position during war because most men went to war, and there were less people to work in business and factory. This cause a great demand for labor and women were able to fill up. Women did every different kind of men jobs; they worked in office, factory, and farms. They even make planes, and weapons which needed in war. When war was over and men took jobs back from women, women felt unimportant in society because they are the one who were driving the economy during the war. Than little by little women started sticking for equals right.

  11. Mary Fahmy says:

    Women had more roles in WWII than in WWI. In 1945, more than 2.2 million women started working in the war industries, building ships, aircraft, vehicles, and weapons. They were also forced to work in factories with hard condition, and farms. During WWII, when men were fighting in the war, women had to take over their jobs and serve as nurses. Thousands of others joined defensive militias at home and there was a great increase in the number of women serving in the military itself. The war gave them more freedom and made them feel like they contributed to the country, instead of just sitting home.

  12. Mary Fahmy says:

    The tension between these two countries started even before WWII, where both countries had different ideologies. Stalin stated that he viewed international politics as a bipolar world in which the Soviet Union would attract countries to have socialism and capitalist Their main conflict arised when both countries wanted to force their ideology and global powers across the world. The Soviet Union was trying to spread communism while the U.S was trying to stop it.

  13. Natalia Roldan says:

    The war effort during World War II definitely empowered women, at least in America. According to the History Channel, women in the workforce increased from 27% to 37% in the United States and by 1945, one out of four married women were employed. This was drastically different from the employment rates of women before World War II, although World War I had a similar affect. Aside from the women who stayed at home, more than 400,000 women were enrolled in the US Armed Forces, which is extremely impressive for the time. After World War II, women were viewed for all that they could achieve because they were given the opportunity to. With most of the men at war, it was up to the women to maintain the United States in terms of work and Europe in terms of armed force.

  14. Samantha Bryant says:

    Women played a very vital role during World War 2. While men were overseas in combat, women took on many of the traditional jobs done by them. They worked in factories built planes, tanks and trucks. Some women worked on farms, made uniforms, joined the arm force and many became nurses. I believe that this was truly a time of empowerment for women. They were now able to prove that they were capable of being more than just being a housewife or mom and most of all that the were capable of doing these jobs that were classified as a “traditional men job.” For many years women were under estimated I think that this bolstered the women sense of independence and it gave them a sense of power, that did not make feel content in just being a housewife.

  15. Sheri Greenbaum says:

    3) The United States and the U.S.S.R. were the worlds two strongest powers post World War II, and though they were allies during the war, post war responsibilities left the two countries at odds. The conflict arose because the Soviet Union wanted the world to be sympathetic to communism while the United States wanted countries to value the importance of capitalism. The Cold War takes root in ideological, political and economic issues that arise when trying convince people to support capitalism or communism; the United States didn’t think that spreading communism to other countries would be a good idea, and the Soviet Union didn’t like this.

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