Source: National WWII Museum
The carnage of World War II changed the world forever. Communism would spread into Eastern Europe, Britain began to lose its supremacy in the face of two growing superpowers (USSR and the United States), Australia's international diplomacy was shifting, and many countries would be left struggling to rebuild after the devastation of war. Read through the resources below to learn more about the legacy of World War II.
This commemorative book explores the aftermath of World War II. With millions of Australians involved in and out of uniform, the war caused big social, economic and diplomatic changes. It took a while for the immediate effects of the end of the conflict to work themselves through in the post-war world. The images and stories in this book bring us closer to that changing world.
The end of the war in Europe was only the beginning of the suffering for millions of people left homeless by the fighting, released from captivity or expelled as an act of vengeance. Read through this article to learn more.
Did President Truman make fatal errors of judgment at the end of World War II that precipitated the world's slide into the Cold War? Read through this article to learn more.
World War Two convulsed the world. In its aftermath Britain's international status was reduced, two superpowers glowered at each other in a Cold War standoff, and Europe set its sights on union. How did it all happen?
The imposition of a peaceful world order was a key objective for the League of Nations, established in the aftermath of World War One. How can its successor, the United Nations, react to the challenges of the 21st century? Charles Townshend assesses its chances.
The unconditional surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945, and Japan on September 2, 1945, brought World War II to an end. Various documents and treaties placed stringent terms on Axis powers to prevent future hostilities. Read through this website to learn more.
Most Jewish survivors, who had survived concentration camps or had been in hiding, were unable or unwilling to return to eastern Europe because of postwar antisemitism and the destruction of their communities during the Holocaust. At its peak in 1947, the Jewish displaced person population reached approximately 250,000. Read through this article to learn more.
On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill gave a speech declaring that an “iron curtain” had descended across Europe, pointing to efforts by the Soviet Union to block itself and its satellite states from open contact with the West. Read through this website to learn more about global politics in the immediate aftermath of World War II.
On April 3, 1948, President Truman signed the Economic Recovery Act of 1948. It became known as the Marshall Plan, named for Secretary of State George Marshall, who in 1947 proposed that the United States provide economic assistance to restore the economic infrastructure of postwar Europe. Read through this website to learn more.
The Marshall Plan was a U.S.-sponsored program that was implemented following the end of World War II. It was intended to aid European countries that had been destroyed as a result of the war, and it was laid out by U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall during an address at Harvard University in 1947. The plan was authorized by Congress as the European Recovery Program (ERP). Read through this article to learn more.
During the Second World War, women proved that they could do "men's" work, and do it well. With men away to serve in the military and demands for war material increasing, manufacturing jobs opened up to women and upped their earning power. Yet women's employment was only encouraged as long as the war was on. Once the war was over, federal and civilian policies replaced women workers with men. Read through this website to learn more.
2014 marks one hundred years since the First World War began. For Australians, this war signified the birth of the Anzac story. The men of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) volunteered and fought, along with their New Zealand counterparts, at Gallipoli, in the Middle East and on the Western Front. The courage and sacrifice of these men has been widely commemorated, including on Anzac Day, ever since. The Anzac Centenary, however, provides an opportunity for Australians to commemorate all those who have served in the last century. The Anzac Centenary program will take place over four years and incorporate events to mark significant anniversaries associated with the First World War and other conflicts in which Australians have served. It is a time to learn about and reflect on Australia’s wartime history and the nation’s contribution to international peace. It is also hoped that Australians will take time to honour, remember and thank those who have served. This resource aims to help Australian school communities commemorate the Anzac Centenary.
Signed on 1 September 1951, the Security Treaty between Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America (ANZUS) has been in operation for more than 60 years. Undertaken to ensure peace and safety in the Pacific region, the treaty requires signatories to consult in relation to any perceived threats to involved nations and to act to meet common dangers. Read through this website to learn more.
The Liberal Party was formed during a series of conventions during and immediately after the Second World War. It was in effect a radically reorganised and rebranded version of the United Australia Party that had in recent years struggled to gain and hold government. The creation of the party was driven by Robert Menzies who led the Liberals to a landslide victory in 1949, and who became Australia’s longest serving prime minister. Read through this website to learn more.