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Demilitarization in the Contemporary World$
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Peter Stearns

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037894

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037894.001.0001

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Demilitarization and Democratization in the Post–World War II World

Demilitarization and Democratization in the Post–World War II World

(p.157) 7 Demilitarization and Democratization in the Post–World War II World
Demilitarization in the Contemporary World

Stephanie Trombley Averill

University of Illinois Press

This chapter looks at how, in the former Axis powers of Japan and Germany, the United States occupation authorities initially pursued policies that treated democratization and demilitarization as virtually synonymous. They believed a democracy could not flourish in either Japan or the Federal Republic of Germany until the military traditions had been purged from their national character and consciousness. The former aggressors faced total disarmament. Initial plans—embodied most drastically by the Morgenthau Plan to turn Germany into a pastoral country—were severe and uncompromising. However, once the Soviet Union had successfully acquired the atomic bomb, the United States concluded that measured rearmament in both countries was essential for the defense of democracy and the free world.

Keywords:   Japan, Germany, Axis powers, United States, occupation authorities, democratization, demilitarization, Morgenthau Plan, Soviet Union, atomic bomb

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