- April 22, 2020
Compare and Contrast U.S. and Germany during WW1, WW2, and the Depression
Compareand Contrast U.S. and Germany during WW1, WW2, and the Depression
U.S.and Germany were key participants in both World War I and II.Therefore, as major economic powers at the time, they contributedmassively to both wars, resource wise. They also felt the full impactof the wars. However, there are stack differences in the manner thesewars affected these two countries, especially since they fought onopposing sides in both cases. This does not rule out the possibilityof there being some similarities between the countries with regard tothe two wars and the depression that came in between them. In a bidto understand the similarities and differences between the U.S. andGermany during the great depression, the World War II, and I, thisessay explores the various characteristics of the two countriesduring the said periods.
Accordingto the annals of history, Germany entered World War I much earlierthan the U.S. Immediately after Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia,Germany attacked France and later the British Empire.1In no time, up to 27 countries, including Germany, were embroiled inthe conflict by 1915.2In contrast, the U.S. stayed neutral until 1917 when it could nolonger contain Germany’s provocations.3The manner in which the two countries joined the war indicates thatthey had different motives in the war. While Germany was driven byits own ideas about the kind of Europe it desired, the U.S. joinedthe war to restore order on the continent and safeguard itssovereignty.4Thus, despite the difference in motives, each country fought to drivea specific agenda. Military wise, both countries were well endowed.Germany only lost because it stood alone against three opponents.Moreover, Germany was economically disadvantaged in comparison toAmerica. Succinctly, all odds were against Germany as opposed toAmerica in World War I.
Theaftermath of World War I was characterized by fragile political andeconomic stability across Europe, especially in Germany.5After the devastating effects of the war, Germany’s buddingdemocracy and fragile economy depended on the goodwill of America.However, this came to an abrupt halt in 1929 when the greatdepression set in. America, which had been the leading contributor toGermany’s reconstruction and recovery efforts descended into anagonizing period of economic difficulty and Germany inevitablyfollowed.6Thus, in economic terms, the depression period was more or lesssimilar for both America and Germany, but mostly harder on Germanybecause it was yet to recover from World War I. Politically, Americawas better off because its democracy had already matured up, and itsleadership was not affected by WW I.7
However,socially, the effects of the depression on both countries weresimilar, as their citizens became distraught with their governmentson the grounds that the depression was a consequence of the war,which many did not support in both cases.
Unfortunately,as soon as the depression came to an end, World War II came calling.Again, Germany and America were fully involved in the war. Like inthe First World War, Germany was out to dominate Europe, whileAmerica sought to defend its sovereignty and restore order. For bothcountries, World War II was an all-out conflict that even obscuredthe boundary between the military and civilians in terms of resourcecontribution and uses. All sectors of the economy participated intrying to deliver victory for each country. World War II had to bewon at all costs. However, once again America ended up on the winningside while Germany suffered a humiliating defeat. As such, Americaachieved its pre-war objective while Germany did not. Othersimilarities and differences exist, but the purview of this essaycannot permit their full coverage.
Inconclusion, it is arguable that although vastly different in thethree periods under consideration, the U.S. and Germany shared somesimilarities. Conclusively, it can be said that no matter howdifferent things seem to be, there is always a possibility of findinga similarity between them. Both countries fought two serious wars andwere ravaged by a devastating depression in between. Thussimilarities and differences are bound to exist between them.
Henretta,James A., Rebecca Edwards, and Robert O. Self. America:A Concise History, Volume Two: Since 1865.Vol. 2. Macmillan, 2012.
Manning,Mary J. Being German, Being American: In World War I, They FacedSuspicion, Discrimination Here at Home. n.p., 2014.https://www.archives.gov/files/publications/prologue/2014/summer/germans.pdf.
PreziInc. “The Great Depression in the U.S Compared to Germany.” 2016.Accessed November 16, 2016.https://prezi.com/-arc0vmz8oc8/the-great-depression-in-the-us-compared-to-germany/.
1 . Mary J Manning, Being German, Being American: In World War I, They Faced Suspicion, Discrimination Here at Home, (n.p., 2014),
2 . Ibid.
3 . Ibid.
4 . James A. Henretta et al., America: A Concise History, Volume 2: Since 1865, 3rd ed. (Boston: Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2005)
5 . “The Great Depression in the U.S Compared to Germany,” 2016, accessed November 16, 2016, https://prezi.com/-arc0vmz8oc8/the-great-depression-in-the-us-compared-to-germany/.
6 . Ibid.
7 . James A. Henretta et al., America: A Concise History, Volume 2: Since 1865, 3rd ed. (Boston: Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2005).