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Historical document analysis - Essay Example

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It had an aversion to outside influence, and to influencing the area outside itself, that was long lasting and deep – indeed, this isolationism even prevented America from entering World War II for…
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Historical document analysis
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Download file to see previous pages At the close of the Second World War, America’s role in the world had changed drastically, from merely a great power to a superpower – one of the two in the world. It was also clear that there would be a long ideological, and possibly military, conflict with the other superpower. This, combined with the lessons learned from the Second World War, meant that America had to change its traditional military presence – it had to form a standing army and ensure that it was on the forefront of research and development for military techniques. The two responses for this week, one by Marshall and one by Eisenhower, show two sides of this coin. Marshall emphasizes the way warfare had fundamentally changed, essentially stating the need for a military-industrial complex. Eisenhower largely agreed with Marshall’s analysis of the lessons of the Second World War, but argued for a more cautious approach, and espoused serious concerns with the kind of social and governmental changes that could come with a large and growing military industrial complex.
Marshall’s description of the lessons learned from the Second World War make it clear that he believes that the only way to possibly maintain peace in the world is to constantly be on alert for war. An unarmed peace is unlikely to persist, he argues, because it makes the violence such a tempting option. He equates it to a society that outlaws murder, but does not introduce any mechanism to enforce the laws that it has established (211). He says that America laying down its arms, as it always had after a war would “court disaster” (211). He does not, however, envision a large standing army per se, but rather would like to see the development of a military industrial complex – a group of researchers, producers and so on that keep America at the forefront of development. He noted that “98%” of America’s war effort had been technological – it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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