November 5, 2011
Why countries went to war with each other and how it changed
It made economic sense for countries to go to war. If they won, they got stuff. A lot more than what it cost for battleships, bullets, that sort of thing. As soon as you conquered another country, you could take all their stuff, and it was mostly gold. This all changed in the twentieth century, after World War II.
If you ever wondered what Japan was thinking in 1941 in attacking a country like the USA, well, they were hoping to get our stuff. It seems strange to us now, but that's why countries went to war, especially if they thought that they would be attacking a weak opponent. This may have seen dastardly and cowardly in retrospect, but historically speaking, this is what countries did. They beat up each other and took the loser's stuff. And if you started a fight and lost, which is what Japan did, you expected to lose your stuff.
But it didn't happen that way. When the USA won, they didn't take spoils of war from Japan, or Germany, or Italy. Hey, we already had a lot of stuff! This must have really confused the old-timers back then. In fact, the USA helped out the countries that it defeated, helped rebuild cities that had been destroyed in the war, helped people who had been hurt. In fact, many people today say that the USA didn't help enough. But that they helped at all was a brand-new idea for a victorious country. No country in the history of warfare had ever done that.
It was quite an achievement.
Posted by Brad Hall