The World War II through the 1970-s
The World War II was the cruelest war in the Universe history. More than 60 million soldiers and peaceful civilians including children, women, and elders were killed or died during this war. The United States did not want to take part in the war. First of all, the United States suffered from the Great Depression. Its economy was too weak to enter the war, and Americans were engaged in solving domestic problems. Some of the Americans admired how Hitler had copped with German depression. Therefore, they wanted to be neutral as for events in Europe. The next reason to maintain the neutrality was the memory of the World War I, when Americans had to struggle against Germany while defending foreign interests. Hence, Americans considered the World War I unjust and useless. Moreover, some Americans sympathized with Germany at that time. Taking into account the abovementioned reasons and considerations of Zinn (2003), the United States did not enter the World War II until Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that forced America to join the alliance against Germany, Japan, and Italy because American interests were under a serious threat. At the same time, a lot of Americans considered the World War II to be wrong. 10 million people were called up for military service to fight against Japan and Germany. 43 thousand people refused to go to war.
According to Zinn (2003), womens labor was used in the defense industry. American women made an immense contribution to defeat German Fascism and Japanese militarism. They worked at the factories and shipyards as workers, over 70 thousand of women were at the Army and Navy Nurse Corps, about 200 thousand women served in the Red Cross Nurses Aide Corps, and over 25 thousand women served in the Army Air Corps. They flew the aircraft from their works to the bases and performed auxiliary flight for the needs of the American Army. 1830 women were pilots performing dangerous military missions. 38 of them died.
After ending the World War II, the Cold War historical period started. It lasted from 1948, when the Soviet Union made the Iron curtain around West Berlin, till 1989, when the Federal Republic of Germany united with its eastern lands, which were separated after the World War II. It was the collapse of the Eastern German Communist regime. Many important historical events took place in the world during the period of the Cold War, which should be mentioned to define two major turning points that impacted American society, economy, politics, and culture. First of all, the creation of nuclear weapons in the end of the war in 1945 broke out the Nuclear Era, which sped up the scientific and technical progress in the world. The next notable event was the establishment of the United Nations Organization on October 24, 1945 by the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Soviet Union with the purpose of solving various international problems by peaceful negotiations without using military power.
The next significant event was the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on April 4, 1949 by the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherland, Norway, and Portugal to protect the Western civilization from the aggressive policy of the Soviet Communist regime, which aimed at starting the communist revolution in the world, abolishing private property and eliminating capitalism. As a matter of fact, the Soviet Union strived to establish the totalitarian regime in the world, so had done Hitler in the World War II. Together, NATO and the UNO protected the world from the Third World War. Thus, the former allies became enemies, fighting for their points of view on the future post-war evolution of the world. Of course, in the world there were wars and armed conflicts, and such countries as Korea and Vietnam were divided in the final result of such wars, but the Third World War would not have broken out in the 20th century.
The Cold War period includes the 1970-s. According to Middleton (2005), after the World War II, the golden age began. It lasted until 1970-s. The most decisive turning point is an Age of Crisis, the Watergate Scandal, which took place in 1974. Before the Watergate, there were some momentous historical events to be mentioned. First of all, it was the collapse of the Breton Woods system. It took place in 1971. This event sped up the international trade. During the period of the World War II, economy of the United States was oriented on the manufacturing machines and equipment for using in the military engineering. Thus, such industrial giants as General Motors and General Electrics manufactured electric motors, generators, electric equipment, vehicles, and other machines, which were needed for European countries that were destroyed by the war. Furthermore, American national currency became the worlds instrument of payment because of the national program supported by the Lend-Lease Act. The United States and the United Kingdom established the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development with the purpose of helping the countries that were destroyed by the war to reconstruct their economies. Therefore, American goods of the heavy industry, such as automobiles and electric equipment, favored the development of the international trade. It was the Golden Age of Capitalism until the oil crisis of 1973 broke out. Then the stock market crash of 1973-1974 happened.
On this background, the Watergate scandal took place. It was the key turning point in American history. It is considered to take place in 1974, but the scandal started in June 1972 during the presidential election company, when five strangers with special equipment for espionage broke into the office of the Democratic Committee. They were caught red-handed while copying secret documents. One of the strangers worked for Nixon in the Committee on Reelection of the President. Next year a grand jury investigated the case and it turned out that many officials together with Richard Nixon were involved in corruption and illegal activities against their opponents. Moreover, the abovementioned persons pursued anti-war activists. The Vietnam War brought a heavy toll in the amount of 55 thousand soldiers. Hence, Americans were not satisfied with activities of Government and blamed it for lies and atrocity. At the same time, Nixon with his associates lied to conceal their involvement from society. They bribed officials to win the elections, broke into offices of opposite parties, bribed accused people to keep silence quiet, and intimidated their opponents and participants of anti-war activities. Moreover, Richard Nixon spent over 10 million dollars on his houses and 576 thousand dollars for his private purposes. Moreover, the United States made massive bombardments of Cambodia during the period of 1969-1970, which were a top secret for the American society. By the end of 1973, the House of Representatives received eight resolutions to make the impeachment of Nixon. In result, Nixon resigned. It happened on August 8, 1974. It was a victory of the democratic civic society in the United States of America, which became a splendid pattern for humanity to control activities of governments in every country in the world.
In 1973, there was another most notable event in the history of the United States. David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski established the Trilateral Commission to establish a strong connection between the United States, Western Europe and Japan with an aim to protect the world from the possible threats of the Communist movement in the Third Worlds countries. The Trilateral Commission helped to establish the new multinational economy in the world. It was times, when Americans again were united with their government by national virtues, such as patriotism, democracy and complete equality of rights, which helped to overcome the Crisis Age.
American anti-war opposition decided the Vietnam War immoral, unjust and useless. Students demanded to get them rights on free speeches. They accused the United States of pursuing imperialistic aims in Vietnam. They opposed against numeral civilian deaths in Vietnam and blamed the United States military high officials in infringement into affairs of the foreign state. Students considered the war in Vietnam as the civil war, and that the United States did not have any rights to make any intervention and to kill civil people of the foreign state. American mass media stimulated the anti-war activities of students. Moreover, the development of the American television improved awareness of the people about the Vietnam War. In result, Doctor Martin Luther King blamed the United Stated for military action against revolutionary government of Vietnam on April 1967 in New York. Several movements for civil rights emerged in the United States. Freedom Summer, the Anti-War Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Womens Rights Movement opposed the Vietnam War. Moreover, these movements were supported by former soldiers of the Vietnam War. African Americans supported anti-war movements. For instance, Martin Luther King, James Bevel, the Black Panther Party were strong supporters of anti-war movements. In result, American government was forced to cease the intervention.
American civic society became an important supervisor for activities of the United States authorities. American taxpayers were the main motive power in establishing the real civic society in the United States of America.
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