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Word Count: 784
The Great Depression and the WWII World War II lasted from 1939-1945 The war began in Europe on Sept 1 1939 when Germany attacked Poland and ended on Sept 2 1945 with the formal surrender of Japan aboard the US battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay The rival powers were the victorious Allies Great Britain and the Commonwealth France the United States the USSR and China The losing side consisted of Germany Italy and Japan as well as smaller nations World War II killed more people destroyed more property disrupted more lives and probably had more far-reaching consequences than any other war in history Casualties totaled about 17 million civilian deaths numbered approximately 25 million Expenditures for war materials and armaments totaled at least 1154 trillion The war brought about the downfall of Western Europe as the center of world power and led to the rise of the Soviet Union During the 1930s the Depression brought hardships to every country in the world Leaders complained in Germany Italy and Japan that their nations did not have fair access to raw materials markets and capital investment areas all of which were necessary for their economic health They argued that their nations were the victims of economic warfare--with its protective tariffs managed currencies and cutthroat competition--and that they had been left behind in the race for economic self-sufficiency and a favorable balance of trade They made it plain that they would fight if necessary for a better economic status Before the Depression began Germany had to pay huge reparations about 33 billion for World War I which crippled its economy In 1922 and 1923 the German economy was in a major crisis when inflation ruined the value of German money Then on October 29 1929 the Wall Street stock market fell and started a worldwide depression The German economy was especially vulnerable since it was built out of foreign capital Germany took most loans from America
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