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World War II: Continuation of the Trend toward Total or Pure War. Background: US enters the war to end all wars and to make the world safe for democracies: Revolutionary aims vs. European imperial system for global order and legitimacy

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World War II: Continuation of the Trend toward Total or Pure War

  • Background:

    • US enters the war to end all wars and to make the world safe for democracies: Revolutionary aims vs. European imperial system for global order and legitimacy

    • Versailles Treaty to end the war with Germany establishes the Wilsonian principle of collective security: end the balance of power


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Flaws of the Versailles Treaty and the Principle of Collective Security

  • The U.S. returns to a traditional isolationist position in European security and politics

    • President Wilson’s ideas of collective security, end of empires and self-determination, and democratic rule are rejected

    • United States refuses to join the League of Nations

  • Germany is not re-integrated into the community of states as Napoleonic France was in 1815

    • Germany is accused of starting the war and must pay burdensome reparations

    • Germany’s military forces are limited and under the control of the liberal democratic states -- but without the US


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Failures of the League of Nations and Collective Security Collective Security

  • Japanese invasion of Manchuria (1931) and war with China (1937-45)

  • Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935

  • German reoccupation of the Rheinland in 1935

  • Russian invasion of Finland in 1939-40

  • German attack on Poland in September 1939

  • World War II begins


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German Empire, 1941-42 Collective Security


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United States Enters the War Collective Security

  • Japanese Pearl Harbor attack, December 7, 1941

  • Japanese War Aims: Protect Japanese Empire against U.S.

    • Eliminate the threat to Japan from U.S. naval forces

    • Seek a sphere of influence understanding with the United States

      • Similar to German-Soviet agreement in August, 1939

      • US sphere of influence extends to Hawaii; Japan’s sphere in the western Pacific, China and Southeast Asia: Dutch Indonesia and French Indo-China; and British Hong Kong and Singapore


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United States War Aims: Total Political and Military Victory Collective Security

  • Return to Wilsonian revolutionary aims of a new global order:

    • Victory of Liberal democratic coalition

    • Destruction of the German and Japanese empires and political regimes

    • End of Europe’s empires and the global institutional principle of self-determination

    • Creation of a postwar liberal, global trading system

    • The democratic rule of a system of nation-states under United Nations auspices dedicated to a peaceful world order


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American and Allied Strategic Military Aims Collective Security

  • Destruction of the military forces of German and Japan and their allies

  • Complete political submission of the German and Japanese states, regimes, and peoples to allied rule


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Japanese Empire: 1942 Collective Security


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Total Warfare in Europe and Pacific Collective Security

  • Germany defeated in May 1945

  • Japanese surrenders in August, 1945 in the wake of atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki



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Destruction of Hiroshima, 1945 Collective Security


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World War II as Total War: Hobbes and Clausewitz Return Collective Security

  • 72 million civilian and military deaths

    • Civilian: 47 million

    • Military: 25 million



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Flaws of the Allied Coalition and the Cold War Collective Security” 1945-1991

  • Liberal Democracies vs. Soviet Union

  • United States vs. European Empires

    • France

    • United Kingdom

    • Netherlands

    • Portugal

    • Belgium


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