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Twentieth century in America - Essay Example

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Student's Full Name: Professor's Name: Twentieth-Century in America (History and Political Science) 08 July 2013 (estimated word count = 971) Introduction The twentieth century spans the period starting from the years 1901 to 2000 and this period coincides with some of the most momentous events in human history…
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Download file to see previous pages... Its militarism snared for it various colonies such as Cuba, Mexico, Hawaii, in the Philippines, in Puerto Rico, Guam, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The main political principle used by previous administrations to justify this expansionism was the so-called Manifest Destiny, that it was inevitable for America to rule the world. Many events comprise the twentieth-century for America, but some of these events admittedly are more impactful than others, in terms of their continuing influence on the course of events for the country even today. Some events were celebratory, victorious or triumphal, but sadly also, some events were traumatic which seared the American citizen consciousness. It takes great discernment for an expert of history and political science to connect or relate the significance of these events to the current happenings all over the world. However, it is also incumbent on a student of history to detect and realize the subtle changes occurring in the country, which if these are viewed over the long term, form a distinct historical pattern. It is the purpose of this brief paper is to discuss some of these events and their perceived impacts. The most significant events are re-examined and a major theme is propounded to explain it. Discussion Some of these big events were the two world wars (First World War, 1914-1919 and the Second World War, 1939-1945), first flight by humans due to the Wright brothers (1903), the rise of free-market capitalism with the advent of big business barons (tycoons) who in turn controlled most of the American economy during the years of the Industrial Revolution such as banking, railways, manufacturing industries, the telegraph, mining, and shipping, the Great Depression (1929-1941) which destroyed a big portion of the nation's wealth and its citizens. It was preceded by the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 but one positive outcome of it all was that monetary and fiscal authorities are now better able to control economic crises than before, by lowering interest rates instead of raising the rates which worsened the depression. The Vietnam War (1959-1975) is the only modern war which America had lost but it created a new awareness among Americans about how their country conducts foreign policy. The loss has cast a long shadow over the way America now avoids any long-term involvement in military conflicts, extricating itself from Iraq and soon, from Afghanistan too. Citizens keep questioning the ethics of a preemptive war that has no clear objectives; its bitter memories are a constant reminder to how mission creep can drag a war with no hope for a victory. This lead to a growing sense of pacifism and conservatism, how the nation should use soft power in its international relations instead of relaying on regime change by overthrow (Kinzer 552). President Dwight D. Eisenhower became the foremost proponent of this change to a reliance on diplomacy rather than military power alone, by warning about the ill effects of the growing military-industrial complex which drains precious tax dollars away from important projects like education, health care, and infrastructure (Eisenhower 7). Growing involvement of the federal government in the national economy and in society as well started with Franklin D. Roosevelt in his New Deal programs but which ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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