Consequences of World War Two

Graves of British soldiers killed in World War Two
Graves of British soldiers killed in World War Two

World War Two created a new world:

  • It has been estimated that 50 million people died in World War Two.
  • The old empires of France and Britain were ruined. A 'wind of change' meant that by the end of the 1960s almost all the old colonies of the British Empire had gained their independence.
  • America and Russia were the new 'superpowers', and immediately started on a Cold War.
  • The dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki created a world which was terrified by the threat of atomic war.
  • Germany was divided, and remained so until 1990.
  • The League of Nations was disbanded. Instead, a new United Nations was declared.

Consequences of the war in Britain

  • In Britain, the government promised the people who had fought against Hitler a Welfare State, which would care for its people from the cradle to the grave.
  • The feeling was that 'right' had triumphed over 'evil'.
  • Rationing remained in force in Britain into the 1950s. Sugar did not come off rationing until 1953.
  • The dismantling of the British empire began.