WWII Impact on Britain vs. United States


It goes without saying that every war has consequences. The impact of the war may result in positive or negative depending on a variety of factors surrounding it. The infamous World War II was not an exemption to this rule. It had profound impacts on the nations that took part in it and the world in general. The United States of America and Britain were among the ‘Big three’ in the Allied Powers. They both suffered the consequences in several ways; some consequences cutting across both of them while others suffered individually. From economic to social and to political impact, both nations faced the effects of the global war witnessed between 1939 and 1945.

The war had a tremendous effect on the economic arena of both Britain and the United States. To begin with, many people got employment in both America and Britain as both the countries embarked on coming up with ammunition to help them in fighting the war. The weapon manufacturing industries employed several people in both countries. Increase in employment opportunities for the citizens of the respective countries consequently led to an improvement in lives of several employees as well as the people who depended on them. The countries also gained more revenue due to the increment of its citizens employees. This move led to the improvement of the economies of both nations.

However, the war was a breakthrough to America in stumping out the Great Depression which had plagued the Super Power since 1929, an impact that was not witnessed in Britain due to the fact that she was not a victim of the Great Depression. Employment opportunities in America ended the poverty cases that were on the rise during the Great Depression (Stewart, 1986, pp. 13-15). This impact was specific to America alone. The British on the other side suffered huge debts as a result of the war. It owed the USA huge amounts of money which was mostly spent in aiding the war.

Politically, the United States of America was propelled to a World Super Power consequent of the war (Mark, 1974, pp. 134-35). Britain’s prestige, on the other hand, was undermined by its defeat between 1940 and 1942 in both Europe and Asia. It was no longer regarded as powerful as it used to be before the war. Other countries (especially the Axis Powers) lost respect for Britain due to its weak military prowess showcased during the war. They viewed the victory of the Allied Powers as more of an American-Soviet struggle rather than that of Britain. Britain’s security both at home and abroad was crippled.

The war also significantly affected the social structures and lifestyle of both nations. Women of both countries, for instance, benefited from the war as they had great opportunities to fill the job positions that were left vacant by men who went to war. As a result, both British and American women raised ranks to join the elites; the social position of women was hugely boosted as a result. In America, the African Americans were able to defy their social discrimination and rise to various employment ranks in the United States. The Blacks move to industrialized areas to look for employment opportunity as the industry was also hugely accelerated by the war. This was a great opportunity for America to redeem herself from the racial segregation that had been witnessed before; when the blacks were mistreated and segregated racially.

In conclusion, the Second World War was of profound impact on the social, economic and political structures of both America and Britain. Britain had to lose her prestige due to the defeats it succumbed to between 1940 and 1942. The United States of America, on the other hand, benefited from the war as it rose to become a World Super Power.