The twentieth century was filled with many wars and disputes that drastically impacted the world. The social implications are obvious, as we experienced two world wars and a potential third- the cold war- throughout the 1900s. But it takes deeper understanding and thinking to realize that there were many technological and scientific breakthroughs during this time.

Wars require lots of effort from a country, and during World War I and World War II this was displayed. In the US there was rationing of food and supplies; the manufacturing and factory industries changed their products and everyone was encouraged to buy into the war effort. In trying to win the war, the US did everything it could, including inventing new weapons that could help lead the US to victory. For example, during World War II, the allies had already defeated the Germans and the only axis power left standing were the Japanese. At this point during the war, the US was nearly the only nation left fighting. The Japanese were relentless and based on the honor code of their culture they would never surrender, as it would be a disgrace to their ancestors. So in order for the US to put an end to World War II, they had to come up with something that would force the Japanese to surrender: the atomic bomb. Before World War II, there was no need for an atomic bomb, though it would be a good asset to have, it was not necessary and in turn, it was never created. But because of World War II and the Japanese’s refusal to surrender it became necessary. So the Americans put a lot of resources and recruited the most competent engineers and physicists to work on a weapon of mass destruction. Thanks to the atomic bomb the US and allies were able to defeat the Japanese and finally win World War II.

On top of this, in the Cold War we also saw great scientific and technological achievements such as putting man on the moon. If it wasn’t for the Cold War and the space race between the United States and Soviet Union, would we have ever made it to the moon? It is a very valid question to ask because up until that point in time there had never been a need to access space. Additionally the American education system changed to conform with this new goal of reaching space. In classrooms across the country the primary goal was to have as many children as possible grow into physicists or engineers in order to help achieve the goal of entering the space race. Without the Cold War, our space program would not be as efficiently funded as it is today and our education system wouldn’t be as calculus based as it is now.

Without these wars many new technologies wouldn’t have existed, which might be one of the few positive contributions that we can take away from said war.