Re: Re: 2/17 – New Episode and Members Material

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#16953

drewster81
Participant

Chris, you would love my stepfather!  Because of him, I learned so much about WWII, which he collected a ton of artifacts from.I will say, when I think of WWI and WWII, I think of them, as Jamie was saying, as one war, or maybe a better phrase like "conflict period" i.e. the Hundred Years War (25 years of peace there in the middle, along with myriad others) or the Thirty Years War.  These periods had various reasons why the wars began but they had, at their heart, the same conflict (Hundred Years War: England and France fight over territory, etc.)  So, I'd say in the larger historical context, I'm interested to see if historians do the same to WWI and II.  A common theme running throughout the two world wars is nationalism.  It's the primary motivation, expressed by the territorial overreach of these vast trans-continental empries.  They simply went from fighting proxy wars in Africa or Central Asia, to just fighting a real one outright.  I mean, the Schlieffen Plan had been around for a while because Germany wanted Alsace-Lorraigne.  The same thing happened with World War II...trying to create a German homeland which of course leads to having to occupy other countries to show how "better" your society was.  (Napolean did much the same thing to tear down the ancien regime, though you could argue the pros and cons of that for ages) that The war period feels very much to me like a climax to the 19th century...a sort of bookend to the Napoleonic wars, which first spread this nationalist fervor and began, for many, the century of European dominance over the globe, which ended with WWII.(This isn't to say that nationalism didn't exist beforehand.  Many of the westernmost European states, Britain included, had already started to develop nationalistic identities, but the real push came after the French Revolution.)The Pacific's entry, to me, had more to do with timing.  Because of the global nature of the world during European dominance (and of course, aftewards) then it make sense that what were territorial wars in the Pacific would end up interacting with other global conflicts.  The Japanese ran the British out of Singapore and bombed Darwin to hell, so it does seem that Hitler would be very amenable to them, especially if they could open another front on the Russians when they got done with China.  That last bit is pure speculation, by the way as I can't remember reading that or not. ;)I recognize all of this is very theoretical and what not and expect a vigorous response. ;)

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