World War II Crash Course World History 38.en

World War II Crash Course World History 38.en - Hi I’m...

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Hi, I’m John Green. This is Crash Course World History and today we’re going to talk about World War II. Finally, a war with some color film! So, here at Crash Course we try to make history reasonably entertaining, and fortunately, World War II was hilarious… ...said no one ever. Mr. Green, Mr. Green! Is this, like, gonna be one of the unfunny ones where you build to the big melodramatic conclusion about how I have to imagine the world more complexly? Me from the Past, as long as you have that eighth rate soup-strainer, I’m not even going to acknowledge your existence. [BEST] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [intro music] [EVER] Right, so you’ve probably heard a lot about World War II from movies and books, [for better or Bay-- Pearl Harbor] The History Channel, before it decided that Swamp People were History, the incessant droning of your grandparents, etc.
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We’re not gonna try to give you a detailed synopsis of the war today. Instead, we’re going to try to give a bit of perspective on how the most destructive war in human history happened, and why it still matters globally. So one of the reasons history classes tend to be really into wars is that they’re easy to put on tests. They start on one day and they end on another day. And they’re caused by social, political, and economic conditions that can be examined in a multiple choice kind of manner. Except, not really. Like, when did World War II start? In September 1939, when the Nazis invaded Poland? I’d say no— it actually started when Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, or at the very latest when the Japanese invaded China in 1937, because they didn’t stop fighting until 1945. Then again, you could also argue 1933, when Hitler took power, or 1941, when America started fighting. It’s complicated. But anyway, in China the fighting was very brutal, as exemplified by the infamous rape of Nanking, which featured the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Chinese people
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and is still so controversial today that 1. It affects relations between Japan & China and 2. Even though I have not described it in detail, you can rest assured that there will be angry comments about my use of the word “slaughter.” But the World War II we know the most about from movies and TV is primarily the war in the European theater, the one that Adolf Hitler started. Hitler is the rare individual who really did make history—- specifically he made it worse—- and if he hadn’t existed, [read: if Evil Baby Orphanage did exist] it’s very unlikely that World War II would’ve ever happened. But he did exist, and after coming to power in 1933, with the standard revolutionary promises to return the homeland to its former glory, infused with quite a bit of paranoia and anti-Semitism, Germany saw rapid remilitarization and eventually, inevitably, war.
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