MGC HIST 2112 - Essay 7- War Changes Everything

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Online US History Since 1865 Section 17Essay 7: The War(s) that changed EverythingWar is like fire, it changes everything it touches. European nations once flourished but before World war 2, or the Cold war, Europeans were still trying to cope with one of the greatest loss of blood and human life on their broken soil. The living are left behind by the end of the first world war with new realities to contend with. Many European countries became poorer, and some even ceased to exist afterthe Treaty of Versailles was created, which split up many empires and countries in Europe. Just like America after during the Great Depression or it’s rebuild after the civil war. The various European societies were trying to find identity and direction in a once familiar land, with cultures or peoples different from themselves. After war there is time for reflection, or time for healing, no matter how quickly or gradually the rebuild takes: you will be forever, changed. Some people heal, and some people are never healed, after the traumatic experiences of war. These experiences can cause desperation, and hopelessness, and cause rational people to seek a radical transformation with the promise of big change, as Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin after the Russian Revolution. Totalitarianism is not a coincidence.Neither are uprisings or riots. There is cause and effect. The Cold War and World War 2 are two of the deadliest wars in human history and they both left their mark on American life from then until the present day. America changed her self-image: more publicly religious and more religious symbols, more spending on military, and more global intervention.The most readily seen change in American life is the view of religion and it’s coalescencewith patriotism. Before the Cold war, Americans saw Christianity as default, but Americans were expected to be the right kind of Christian, whereas before, religious prejudice enabled anti-Catholicism, anti-Judaism and other divisions among religion. But after the Red Scare, which prompted McCarthyism, atheists(non-religious) were now more stigmatized than most other religious groups. The Red Scare happened after the Russian revolution in 1917. The American public was afraid of a potential uprising in America would turn America into a communist state. One persistent stereotype of those suspected to be part of the communist movement, is the suspicion that they were all atheists. This fear and panic in America, boosted public displays of patriotism and religious convictions. Symbols like state plaques, monuments, “In God We Trust” is on every dollar still in current circulation. Politicians craving public approval, and being public figures also started announcing their faith to garner the votes from the church and other Christian denominations.Another fundamental change occurred when it came to foreign policy. There were laws against war interventions, such as the Neutrality Act of 1935 which not only prohibited military intervention globally, but the law banned monetary assistance to other countries in any war effort. And in adhering to this foreign policy, the United States fought the call to arms early in World War 2, and even a little later as Hitler was marching through Europe. But they later assisted England monetarily; President Roosevelt had a Europe First Strategy—he viewed Hitler as the biggest threat among the Axis powers, and feared the fate of England if there was no intervention. The USA applied a Lend Lease policy, which would give money to England and other countries, so long as they could pay back the money in cash or pay quickly. The program ran from 1941 to 1945. After being forced into military action by the Japanesestrike on Pearl Harbor, they never demilitarized or disbanded their army. This act of maintaining a military after war was contrary to the country’s past views on military and intervention. After World War2, the US was involved in several wars. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, had a vision of America being thetop economic power in the world, but would be anticolonial, opting for free trade and self-governance of other countries. The war ended the Great Depression which had been ongoing since 1929. Minorities and women also assumed new roles as many were not allowed to join the military. Thousands of Mexican migrants were immigrated to California, to help with labor to assist the agricultural sector. This would be called the braceros program of August 4th, 1942. In the same year Japanese Americans were put into internment camps. 120,000 Japanese Americans(most of whom wereborn in the US) were put in internment camps after Pearl Harbor. Among them were other immigrant groups, but in smaller number—those of German ancestry, Italian ancestry, and Latin American ancestrywere put in jail. But regardless, many Japanese Americans and African Americans signed up to fight. These groups gained adulation for their efforts in the war, but they still had to contend with racism when they came back to America. America would go on to succeed Great Britain as the greatest economic and military power in the world; these two wars changed America

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MGC HIST 2112 - Essay 7- War Changes Everything

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