Expert GD Moderators Group Discussion

The long-term effects of World wars

The world wars that spanned from a timeline of the years 1914 to 1915 left the world in a state it was never prepared for. They changed the world, it led to the Russian revolution, the collapse of the German empire, and much more. A 100 years later and the world is still suffering the effects of the war and given below are some long term effects of the war which will be analyzed in detail:

An examination of the countries that were most affected by the war has allowed us to understand that living in a war-torn world there are increased chances of having to live with mental and physical pain for the rest of your lives. The new study investigates the long-term effects of the war on health, education, economic attainment, and marriage among people who live in continental Western Europe.  Researchers analyzed information collected from the European Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), which was conducted in 2008. The survey provides information from a representative sample of 20,000 people aged 50 and older from 12 countries — Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland. The studies later revealed that living in a war-torn country is proportional to having lesser or poorer health in life. The respondents according to the research article are found to have more diabetes and depression compared to normal people. 

The United States was promised that the world wars would end all their problems but none of them were really prepared for their effects to come in the future. The result of the war was America’s retreat from the world, a retreat to isolationism. That’s what Warren Harding meant in his inaugural address in 1921. He said we needed a return to normalcy, and so the U.S. never signed the Treaty of Versailles and never joined the League of Nations, even though it was an idea put forward by the American president.

To talk of it in a broader term the war caused huge destruction of infrastructure. It created a collapse in the city structures, healthcare systems, housing and renting, etc. people didn't have places to go to or study until everything had to be grabbed back and reformed once again. The labor force of the economy also changes with the war. There is a great shift in the population and labor force size which leads to the movement of refugees and displacement of infrastructure. Over half of the world's children that are out of school are forced to live in conflict-affected fragile states. According to the UNESCO report "The groups most negatively affected by conflict were those that suffered from multiple exclusion, for example, based on gender, area of residence, household wealth, language, and ethnicity".One predominantly damaging, effect of conflict on education is the proliferation of attacks on schools with children, teachers and school buildings become the targets of violence. During times of war teachers and students often suffer from death or displacement. Cultural assets are destroyed in the name of robbery and looting and the world wars also saw a huge loss of assets in this name. 

When we look at it from the other side, every war is crucial and has its gruesome after-effects that we often turn a blind eye to. The victims have to undergo a long life of physical and mental problems and prepare them to live with its after-effects and trauma. Society has to start from level 1 and rebuild itself all over again if it loses itself to war. These indirect consequences are often overlooked and not discussed. 

Author : Sreelakshmi

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