When the First World War was raging, there were those who were saying that it was, “the war to end all wars”. It was poetic attempt at justifying the madness and the utter waste of human life in the trenches. A whole generation of young men from Europe, America and other parts of the world was mown down before their time by artillery shells and machine gun fire.
When the war ended there were those who still hoped that it would be the last major conflict. They started out in building the League of Nations. Unfortunately, national interests were stronger than the desire for a lasting peace and they set the stage open for another war, one that would dwarf even the previous conflict.
The Period between the Wars
Germany was left emasculated and humiliated at the end of the First World War. The country entered a period of uncertainty and chaos that allowed a person like Adolf Hitler gained power. Germans saw in him and in his party an authority that they could look up to. He promised them order and dominance and above all revenge.
It was also in the period after the World War One that Japan was allowed a free hand in Manchuria. The rest of the world with the exception of Soviet Russia ignored what it was doing there. Some experts even consider World War Two to have started in Manchuria in the 1930s, because from the moment that it started its attack on Imperial China then, the world was torn in major conflicts until the Japanese surrendered in 1945.
The Last Great War
Then the world was sucked into fighting the second global war in less than thirty years. It has been justified as a just war to fight by the people in the West. It was dubbed as the fight of the free world against the enslaving fascist forces. It was rather simplistic to view it that way since the United States was fighting on the same side as Soviet Union, but distinctions like that were quickly set aside during wartime.
It was sincerely hoped that the war would prevent the future need for fighting as a means of settling national differences. Some visionaries hoped that the world has finally outgrown the need for weapons and fighting and that everyone could work on the improvement of mankind.
Failure to End Conflict
Sad to say, that all hopes of world peace went down the drain pipe. The Cold War started and the United Nations proved to be a mere shadow of what its founders hoped it would be. Even when the Soviet Union collapsed the threat of war is still like a sword hanging over our heads.
The world is just as fragmented by hate as it was more than 70 years ago. Europe might have united but other countries are now vying against each other. People are still divided and driven by hate against other people’s religion, race and nationalities. We missed our chance to finally have a wart free from war.