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The 20th Century - Essay Example

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Name Institution Course Date The Twentieth Century. While Europe was the main battleground of World War II, the ramifications of the war were felt all over the globe. The political alignments which prevailed in the 1930s were drastically altered and the post-war world was markedly different from its earlier dispensation…
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The 20th Century
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Download file to see previous pages To a great extent, the many challenges confronted by these nations were the result of doctrines and rivalries which originated in the West. The non-Western world of the twentieth century was largely shaped by the aftermath of Imperialism and by the influence of the Cold War. Imperialism was the dominant foreign policy of the European nations from the nineteenth century. Through this policy of expansion, the imperialists aimed “to get whatever was possible from the countries they controlled; whether raw materials, natural resources, or the sweat and blood of laboring native populations” (Lecture 3, 1). While economic exploitation was the chief objective of Imperialism, expansion of overseas territories also provided military and naval bases and established control over strategic locations and communication lines. Westerners justified Imperial domination through the belief that it was the “white man’s burden” to “bring the benefits of civilization to his dark-skinned brothers” (Lecture 3, 2). Again, Social Darwinism proposed that “select human groups would and should flourish and rule over those that were less fit and less capable or developed” (Lecture 3, 3). The leading colonial power was Great Britain, whose “possession grew to cover an area 40 times greater than the homeland” (Lecture 4). ...
h Africa was governed through segregationist legislation based on racial discrimination: the policy of ‘apartheid.’ Apartheid may be considered a direct reflection of Imperialism’s rationale of racial superiority and exploitation. It was the greatest challenge confronted by South Africa in the second half of the twentieth century. Bishop Desmond Tutu’s statement to the United Nations Security Council in October 1984 (Document # 5) is a scathing indictment of apartheid. Tutu condemns apartheid as “a vicious, immoral and totally evil, and unchristian system” (Page 8). The Group Areas Act, the Population Registration Act, and separate educational systems and townships for the different race groups, ensured that the coloreds, who constituted over “73 percent of the population, the Overwhelming majority in the land” (Page 7), were denied the franchise, land rights and equal opportunities. South Africa witnessed a prolonged, often violent struggle against apartheid. Finally, the release of Nelson Mandela in 1994 ushered in a new era of racial equality and reconciliation in South Africa. Imperialism, exacerbated by the post-war redrawing of national boundaries, was also the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict which was the major challenge confronted by the Middle East in the twentieth century. “More than any other region in the world it became an arena for political and military conflict and great power rivalry” (Lecture 20). The Ottoman Empire collapsed after World War I and the fragmented territory was divided between Great Britain and France by the United Nations as the Palestine Mandate. The British sowed the seeds of the Arab-Israeli conflict by making unfulfilled, contradictory promises to the Jews and the Arabs in order to advance their World ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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