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Political Science
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John Haines

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Total Wars
Pol208: October 26th, 2010
Tutorial Notes
Total Wars: wars that occur on a global scale; include the mobilization of the whole population (within
working age) into a work force that is dedicated to, and driven by, the occurring war.
x WW1 and WW2 are what we know as total wars; they both originated in Europe and spread
across the world
WW1 (a.k.a. the Great War), weakened and caused the disappearance of the German, Russian, Austro-
Hungarian, and the Ottoman empires; caused emergence of USA and h^^ZÁ}}(ZÁ}o[
x Origins are still unclear; Can Germany really be blamed?
x Ended through the signing of the Treaty of Versailles (which failed because it increased
frustration in the German regime and endangered European security)
x If t}otKvÁÆ}^Z}vÁÁ_uv]}v]voµUZv
why was there a sudden need for massive mobilization?
WW2: period of development of the atomic bomb and fear of Nazi Germany
x Holocaust: Nazi attempt to eliminate the Jewish community of Europe along with Soviet
prisoners, gay people, gypsies, poles, communists and the disabled.
x Ended with the dropping of bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
x Do you think that the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a valid/acceptable way
of ending the war?
The End of Imperialism: changed world politics by no-longer defining Europe to be its centre;
introduced the idea that self-determination should be the guiding principle in international politics.
x Britain: granted 49 territories independence between 1947 and 1980. India (in 1947) was the
most dramatic withdrawal, Po}ooÇU]ÁZ]Z}(ZÁ}o[oPu}ÇXMost
withdrawals were peaceful.
x France: withdrew from Indo-China after prolonged guerrilla war and military defeat at the hands
of the Vietnamese revolutionary forces. France attempted to maintain influence in all former
French-colonies even after withdrawal. Many withdrawals, such as Indo-China and Algeria
required force and cost lives.
x Why did France feel the need to maintain influence in its former colonies while Britain was able,
in most cases, to withdraw peacefully, without the same need?
The Cold War: caused by the rising conflicts between the USA and the USSR as rising world powers.
x When and why did it begin? Who was responsible?
x Nuclear weapons played an important factor- war did not end with abolition of nuclear
weapons, but agreements on limiting and controlling the numbers were crucial to achieving
peace between the USA and the Soviet States
x Phases of the Cold War:
x 1945-1953: Onset of the Cold War - /vµ}[(]}]uouvZ]v]o
agreed at the wartime conferences in Yalta and Potsdam-the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (claimed that attack on one member will be treated as attack on all)
x 1953-1969: Conflict confrontation and compromise- Build up of American forces in
western Europe that must be handled- Khrushchev introduced policy of coexistence
among states (without interfering in the matters of others)
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