World War 1 was referred to as the “Great War” as it had an enormous effect worldwide. The price of World War 1 was paid in casualties and fatalities, by the end of World War 1 at least 10 million soldiers had lost their lives and a further 20 million were wounded. However not only soldiers on the battlefront had paid the ultimate price, there were also many civilian casualties, equally devastating in comparison to the soldiers’ casualty toll. Civilians all throughout Europe had been hit by influenza epidemics and food shortages, this had all spread to even the neutral countries. In the mid 1920’s, with the mass death toll of World War 1 almost being a distant memory, the world enjoyed a period of peace.
During the 1921 Washington Navel Conference and the 1928 Kellogg-Briand pact, representatives from many nations agreed on a shared desire to make such large scale military aggression a thing of the past and for it to never occur again.
The Great Depression and the lead up to World War 2
In the beginning of 1929 an economic collapse occurred in the world economy, triggered by the stock market crash of October 1929, in the United States. As the American economy fell into a depression, many other countries also felt the impact, one country in particular, Germany. Unemployment levels were breaking records in countries all over the world and many countries were become destitute. Politicians and economists desperately looked for solutions to this out of control situation.
Significant political and social changes were made in many countries due to the global economic downturn. These political and economical changes positioned the world on a road that would eventually lead the to World War 2.