How World War II Became Global

World War II (1939-1945) began with the German invasion of Poland, and its subsequent division between the Soviets and the Germans. On the Eastern front, the war began with full-time Japanese vs. Chinese war. The Soviets then tried to invade Finland in what is known as the Winter War. They failed.

The next step was the invasion of Western Europe by Hitler and his Nazis. He invaded Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Holland and northern France. (Southern France had a government sympathetic and controlled by Hitler). The Germans also tried to takeover Britain in the Battle of Britain—an aerial battle in 1940. The Germans met with defeat in Britain. Italy then entered on the side of Hitler and took another part of France. The Germans then invaded Yugoslavia.

Throughout WWII Spain under the dictatorship of Franco remained neutral. The other countries that remained neutral throughout WWII were Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Andorra, Liechtenstein, the Vatican City and Switzerland.

The two main events that led to the globalization of WWII were the attack on Pearl Harbor and Operation Barbarossa. Continue reading

The Russian Revolution and Its Aftermath

The famous Russian Revolution began with the February Revolution of March 1917. (The reason that it’s called the February Revolution, but occurred in March, is that the West had at the time a different calendar than Russia—the West was one month “ahead.”) The February revolution began with several demonstrations about grievances the people had, and ended with the mutiny of the Petrograd Garrison. The result was forty casualties. The Czar, Nicholas II, was urged to abdicate the throne at this time, which he did.

The Provisional government was then instituted. It constituted of several different parties: classical liberal, communist, socialist, etc….

Vladimir I. Lenin, the person everybody associates with the Russian Revolution, now came into the picture. He had been expelled from college, and subsequently had spent four years reading works on radical thought. He had therefore acquainted himself with, and embraced, Marxism and communism.

In 1902 he wrote What is to be done?. In it he discussed how communism would come about. According to Karl Marx communism would inevitably come about through a proletarian (working class) revolution. However, Lenin contradicted Marx and said that the working class was not smart enough to revolt and professional revolutionaries were needed. Continue reading