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World War II Through the 1970s - Coursework Example

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There were many important events in the time period under discussion, but two of the most impactful may be the assault on Pearl Harbor, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy…
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Download file to see previous pages Additionally, both led to significant developments in the American perspective like sympathy for the incoming president, as well as finding pride in their potent military. 2. The second World War was originally a European conflict. Americans were hesitant to become involved due to a variety of reasons that are discussed below, resulting in a high sense of tension when the country did enter formal battle after the Pearl Harbor attack (Schultz, 2009). The United States had become concerned with Japanese conquests of the Pacific during the war, and this attack proved to be the tipping point for an official American declaration and entry into WWII. Of course, this eventually led to the dropping of the first atomic bombs, and the cessation of fighting at a tremendous cost of human life. These events helped to establish the US as a freedom fighting, militarily dominant international force, and serve as a source of both pride and mourning in American culture. The clear racism displayed by the Nazis pushed American standards away from assimilation and toward tolerance, laying the ground for civil rights movements. WWII also served as an important revitalization point for many national industries as massive amounts of resources became of use. This economic boon would continue to fuel the American society for decades. JFK was an extremely popular president, displaying charisma in public (Grubbs, 2013), along with a staunch political opposition to communism. This was an especially important quality given the events of the Cold War, and the symbolism that Kennedy represented (freedom, capitalism, etc.) was attuned to the emerging American mindset. JFK's time as president was not without incident, as the Bay of Pigs proved to be an especially embarrassing mark on his career, but his successes are much more apparent. Some of Kennedy's best work includes guiding the country through the Cuban Missile Crisis, and helping to grow the civil rights movement. In November of 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated during a motorcade through Dallas, Texas. The event has become so salient in the American consciousness, that it has spawned countless conspiracy theories, pieces of art, popular culture references, and a country-wide awareness of the former president that has also spread among other countries. Kennedy was replaced by a starkly contrasting figure in Lyndon Johnson, changing the course of US politics to focus on the economy and education, but remaining influenced by JFK's legacy. 3. As wars raged in the late 1930s, the United States sought to remain uninvolved in military affairs. The government was concerned with the aggressive actions like Germany, Italy, and Japan, but did not feel it was wise to risk the losses associated with armed combat that were still fresh in the mind from WWI and instead imposed harsh embargoes where appropriate. The depression had pushed the country towards isolation, and they sought to remain this way as economic rebuilding continued. Darker reasons for staying out of the war included a misguided American respect for Hitler, who had pulled Germany out of their own depression, and the uncertainty of public opinion about antisemitism. 4. Victory in WWII would not have been possible without the efforts of American women. The vast number of men called to war left an equally large shortage in the national worker population. Women soon filled these positions as the government campaigned to sway employer attitudes toward hiring female workers, and women became determined to contribute (Capshew & Laszlo, 2010). The domestic economy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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