This was the second imperialist war to occur in the world history that came as a result to the crisis of capitalism.  The war took on September 1st 1939 after Germany invaded Poland and ended up in 9th August 1945 after USA dropped an atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.


The main participants in this war were Axis comprised of Britain, France, Russia and USA on one hand and Alliance made up of Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, etc. on another shard.


  1. Imperialism and its economic rivalries

This is related to the race for acquisition of colonies among the imperialist power eg. German was dispossessed her colonies in Africa after WW1.  Thus waged war to acquire colonies.

  1. The harsh terms of the Versailles of 1919

The terms of the Versailles peace treaty were harsh to Germany eg. Disarmament, loss of her colonies, payment of war reparations etc.  this led to the rise of Nazism under Hitler which led to WW2.

  1. Weakness of the League of Nations of 1919 – 1939

It failed to settle disputes which involved the major powers eg. German invasion over Czechoslovakia in 1938.  Thus the failed to check aggressive invasions led to the WW2.

  1. The rise of World dictatorship i.e. Fascism and Nazism

These dictators engaged in aggressive policies which disrupted world peace.  (They had expansionist policies which led to WW2) eg. Italy invaded Ethiopia – 1935, Japan over than China – 1931, Germany invasion over Pollard – 1939.

  1. The Appeasement policy of Britain and France

Britain and France supported everything Hitler wanted in order to avoid war.  They remained quiet during all the aggressions.  This gave Hitler confidence to conquer other nations.

  1. The Military alliance

The formation of Roma – Berlin Tokyo Axis in 1936 threatened USSR, France and Britain who decided to form an alliance.  The two groups became hostile and suspicious to each other thus leading to WW2.

  1. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil war of 1936.

It broke out when Franco – Francis (1882 – 1975) had attempted a coup against the Spanish Republic.  This Spanish Civil war became an international war as Hitler, Mussolini supported Franco – Francis while France, Britain & USA supported the Republic hence WW2.


Qn:    Discuss the effects of the World Wars on the countries of East African countries 


thousands of Africans especially male (solders) died in the war ground. Others died because of injuries, diseases and famine.

Transfer of the former League of Nations Mandate territories

to the UN as Trust territories eg. Tanganyika, Togo, Cameroun, Namibia, Rwanda, Burundi etc.

Intensification of exploitation in the colonies

This was alone in order to help the economic recovery programmes.  Eg. Expansion and consolidation of development schemes in order to increase the volume of exports.

The rise and development of Nationalism in Africa

The ex-soldiers were used as catalyst to the Nationalist movements, increased exploitation conscietized people, the colonized lost confidence to their colonial master.

Formation of the UNO

which played a significant role in the decolonization of Africa.

It led to the introduction of Neo – colonialism

due to USA open door policy of 1997.

Change in education policy

Many African children were enrolled in schools so as to increase the quality of the working force in colonial administration eg. Makerere University College was set up in 1949 for that purpose.


It led to decolonization of Africa

Formation of UNO

It led to cold war 1949 – 1989

Human loss eg. Nagasaki – 75,000

Emergence of two major powers i.e USA & USSR.


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