World War II through the 1970s
1. Major Historical Turning Points between the World War II and 1970
The Second World War Ends in 1945
Before its end, more than 60 million people had lost their lives. The USA dropped two atomic bombs in august 1945 on Japan. This year remains a year which all historians will live to remember as it brought democratic institutions in Europe. The war experience highlights the difficulties of triple coalition warfare. The Axis, nominally an alliance partner of Germany and Japan achieved notable successes during the initial war campaigns. They, therefore, expanded outwardly out of these successes until 1942. These early victories almost made Japan and Germany dominate Europe and East Asia. However, these Axis powers lost their chance of possessing and retaining their strategic initiatives to defeat their enemies when the atomic bombs fell (Adams, 1994).
American Troops Invaded Vietnam in the Year 1959
This was at the heist of the Cold War. The war was between the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the communist allies (Russia and China), and the Republic of Vietnam supported by America. The communists dominated the northern part, while South Vietnam relied on US support. A conventional war waged against the US soldiers in the region. The ill-armed Vietcong used guerilla tactics to ambush the American troops who had overwhelming artillery and aircrafts. However, The USA failed to achieve its goal, and in 1975, Vietnam reunited under communist control and became the Soviet Republic of Vietnam a year later (Rowe & Berg, 1991).
2. Effects of Post-World War II and Vietnam Invasion to America
By marking the end of the Second World War, the U.S. became more stimulated economically. This is because industrial expansion took place to make use of the opportunities created by the war. This is because the war spared the country largely. The United States recognition as the world power and its world position became more obvious than ever. The human rights movement got a chance to crusade for the anti-colonialism campaigns that saw the European countries freeing their colonies (Adams, 1994). However, the atomic arms race rejuvenated and “the atomic” age begun.
The Vietnam Invasion
This war was among the most costly that America ever had. So many fighters died while scores of army men injured. The cost of treatment and compensation coupled with other expenses shook the country’s economy. The penetration of cheap drugs to America increased use of narcotics in the United States. The sympathetic civilian Americans got concerned over the usage of harmful chemical in war fronts, which led to the beginning of humanitarianism.
3. Reasons for America’s Isolation with European Affairs
Isolationism is the America’s long reluctant to get involved in European wars and alliances. It held a different worldview of America in matters of European societies. The United States assumed to have isolated itself from other nation’s affairs in the realm of security policies. The isolationism policy became a standard between the world wars. It’s said to emerge from the rejection of America’s membership in the League of Nations. This was much attributed to the geographical position of America in comparison to the other members of the league who were all in Europe.
This policy points to 1823 when President James Monroe drafted the so-called Monroe Doctrine. This statement barred America from interfering with the European matters relating to them, in power or war. The policy intended to persist the 1920’s period as the U.S. took a back seat in foreign matters. It turned its back on Europe by restriction of trade affairs and the number of immigrants (Nordlinger, 1995).
4. Role of Women in the World War II
During the Second World War, a number of people, men and women, had to abandon their occupations, their jobs in offices, factories, and plantations in order to serve in the army. This action left a notable gap in the positions they held, which made the demand for more workers to rise. Many women in the United States took the challenge and committed themselves to fill the gaps. However, the shortage was not only in the civil service but also in the military. The U.S. Congress saw a need to commit women in the military and authorized them to join the army, though they could not actively participate in combat. They thus served in the army as nurses, farmers, spies, machine operators, ironsmiths, and drivers among others auxiliary jobs. Around 200,000 women joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, The Women Airforce Service Pilots, and the Women Volunteer Emergency Services. Most of those who agreed to take up these posts were to earn a decent living to their children having in mind that more men died in the war front leaving the family under the care of women. Others had the desire to explore the world, learn new things, and achieve their cherished dreams (Litoff & Smith, 1997)..
To many, this was a difficult adjustment because most of the youths who joined the army at this time were from the interior parts of the country. Despite these challenges, the lasting effects of women who worked at the heist of the World War II dramatically changed their lives and the belief that they are inferior to men in terms of capacity and ability. From the time of World War II, women perception changed, and their view became equal to that of men.
5. Civil Rights Breakthroughs that Moved Forward the Cause of African-Americans.
It was very shameful that an African-American soldier who served the USA during the World War II could not take a meal in a restaurant in his own country. This was a pressing issue in 1954 when a spouse was ushered out of Cheyenne’s Plain Hotel by a racist manager. The racism fight begun in all political forums particularly on the Democrats and Republican parties. Along with other incidents, the Cheyenne’s Plain Hotel incident, helped mobilize support and improvement in the treatments of the Americans minority citizen. The Second Reconstruction of 1960s came because of the failures of the First Reconstruction, which followed the Civil Wars.
Pro-civil rights activists exercised significant strength after the Second World War. Before the Cold War began, America could not claim to protect freedom and democracy when it actually practiced segregation at home. Harry Truman ordered the disintegration of the forces in 1948 while the Chief Executives a commission to study racial issues. The commission provided the basis for Truman’s extensive civil right package. This became a turning point for elimination of racial segregation in American life.
In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled that the racial prejudice in schools was unconstitutional. In 1963, the civil rights movement reached a climax when the Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. The law banned discrimination on all lifestyles, may it be in schools, jobs, or public places. The right to vote also granted to the Africans in 1967. Despite the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, the African-American has made social and legal progress to improve their conditions in American life.
6. Effects of the Vietnam War to Modern American Youth
Over the last four decades, the American youths have undergone a significant change. The two decades of 1960s and 1970s, strong association with political activist and idealism took place. The youth became the ringleaders of a number of civil rights movements in the USA.
To the youth, the Vietnam War gave them a single galvanized aim on how to come together and react. There were antiwar protests in 1969, which the youth led; this became one of the major predicaments faced by President Nixon’s government. These youth problems turned more persistent, and the government had a duty to address them. Eventually, the government conceded negotiations with the young anti-war groups. However, these negotiations were only short lived because a group of youths indicted to have incited the 1968 riot, which turned to be the rallying point of the antiwar activists (Karnow, 1983).
Therefore, the war brought awareness to modern American youths on the need to fight for their civil rights. The protests forced the government to withdraw their troops from Vietnamese territory. This made the youth realize the need for unity of purpose.
7. President Johnson’s Great Society Agenda
President Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 36th president of the United States, a position he assumed from 1963 to 1969. He escalated the American involvement in Vietnam War, which stimulated a number of antiwar protests based on U.S universities and abroad. His presidency got credit as having marked the peak of modern liberalism in the U.S.
Johnson’s administration introduced the great social problem in 1965. This was a support network of community health centers for the poor and war veterans particularly in low-income areas. Medicaid and Medicare are the commonest health care programs in the United States running to date that president Johnson established. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a source of buying food to low income earners run by the local state agencies. Johnson’s government established the program as food stamps with the objective of fighting hunger to those economically unstable (Johnson& Burns, 1968).
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