The World before and after WWII
The World War II became the most tragic historical event of the last century, which defined the further development of the whole world and its policy. Thus, Hitlers Germany began to implement his claims to the world dominance, which killed more than 45 million people. After defeating Nazism, the world turned out to be divided into two political and economic systems, capitalist and communist. Their rivalry caused the Cold War. The middle of the twentieth century became an epoch of the greatest discoveries of the new nuclear energy, space flying, and the greatest economic progress of the United States. In the result, it caused the collapse of the worlds communist system. America became the most powerful worlds country; the market economic system created globalized economic and political blocs, and democracy became the major achievement of the human civilization, defining the further its development. Democracy turned into the major principle of the human civilization development.
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The World War I ended with a new repartition of the world, in which France, the United Kingdom, and the United States deprived Germany of its colonies and some territories in Europe. After the war, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, and Russia decayed and, as Foner, states new European nations emerged from the war Finland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Yugoslavia. All European countries expected that the WWI was the last in the worlds history. The Versailles Treaty restricted the German territory, its armed forces and forced the Germans to pay reparations between $33 billion and $56 billion. As Roark et al.State, Germany, Italy and Japan felt humiliated by the Versailles peace settlement and saw war as a legitimate way to increase their global power. Thus, Italy began its war in Ethiopia in 1922 then continued it in 1936. Japan occupied Chinese Manchuria in 1931, and in 1937, Japanese seized Nanjing killing 200,000 Chinese civilians. In 1936, German troops entered the Rhineland violating The Versailles Treaty. Germany and Italy gave the military support to the Fascist regime of Franco in Spain.
After the annexation of Austria, the occupation of the Sudetes in 1938, and conquering Czechoslovakia entirely in 1939, Hitler signed the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Stalin that coordinated the splitting of Poland between the two powers and promised non-aggression thereafter. The picture reveals danger, false, and stupidity of the Pact. In two years, German began the war against the Soviet Union, which killed over 20 million Soviet citizens.
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After the World War II, two political and economic systems emerged in the world, dividing it into the Communist and Capitalist Blocs. Although the Soviet Union had the greatest human losses, ruined industry, and even famine of 1947, Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Communist dictator, considered the World War II as the continuation of the so-called worlds socialist revolution. He believed all Eastern European countries, which the Soviet Union liberated from Nazism, should establish communist regimes, and forced them to do it. The United States did not cherish any illusions concerning the future aggressive Soviet policy. America understood that only free from the communist influence Western Europe would be its reliable ally in the future post-war democratic political and economic system. Therefore, Truman determined to take a firm hand if the Soviets tried to expand. It became the major reason for the emergence of the NATO in 1949 to defend democracy and liberty all over the world. Moreover, neither Great Britain nor the United States believed in the sincerity of the Soviet policy. They had solid grounds for it because Lenins government betrayed the Entente in 1917, declared preparations of the worlds socialist revolution, helped Germany reconstruct its military, and concluded the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on dividing Europe. Therefore, allies delayed in opening the second front in Europe till the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, when the Soviet troops defeated the German sixth army of Paulus in 1943. At the same time, the United States gave military, humanitarian, and financial aid to the Soviet Union during the war.
The map of the NATO, and the Warsaw Pact demonstrates how the world was divided and what European countries supported the Western democratic virtues, and what ones were communist. It gives the comprehension of the political situation in Europe at the beginning of the Cold War.
President Eisenhower went on the New Deal policy, trying not to return the economic situation of the 1920s. Therefore, Americans called his domestic policy as Middle Way because he tried to save a balance between untrammeled freedom of the individual and the demands for the welfare of the whole Nation. His policy of moderation lay in the restriction of the federal power while supporting the policy of segregation in the education and trusteeship. At the same time, Eisenhower maintained all federal programs concerning creations of highways, enhancing the minimum wage, and establishing the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare while cutting taxes, decreasing the support of education, federal insurance system. Moreover, he permitted the private business activity in generating and selling nuclear energy. Eisenhower put an end to special relations of Native Americans and the Government urbanizing Indian tribes under the idea of their real American citizenship and rights on all technical, cultural, social, and other achievements of the whole society. Therefore, the Government paid the compensation to Indians for their land and removed them to urban areas. In 1953, Eisenhower transferred all rights on settling Indian problems to local authorities, which restricted hospitals, schools, and other special arrangements devastated Indian tribes. Therefore, Indians had to move to the urban areas, where they had the sufficient support in housing, healthcare, and jobs.
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After the World War II, the American society did not eliminate racial segregation. Thus, there were many segregated schools, clubs, canteens, and other public establishments in America. The picture demonstrates bad conditions for the educating process in such a school of Arkansas in 1949.
John F. Kennedy was one of the most favorite presidents of the American people due to his honest policy concerning the poorest social levels. Thus, President Kennedy cut taxes in 1963, created new working places, and enhanced social conditions for the poor. In the result, the national economy increased, the unemployment restricted, and the whole American nation felt the better life. Moreover, John F. Kennedy prevented the Third World War when the Missile Crisis emerged in Cuba. His economic reforms enhanced human rights, as well. That is why the Americans love President John F. Kennedy naming after him the aircraft carriers CV-67 and CVN-79.
Martin Luther King and Malcolm X made a great contribution to the further development of the Civil Rights Movement for the emancipation of all Americans regardless their colors, religions, political viewpoints, genders, or ethnicities. Dr. Martin Luther King was a prominent political leader, who organized African Americans for the non-violent struggle for their human rights against racial discrimination. According to Zinn, Kings stress on love and nonviolence was powerfully effective in building a sympathetic following throughout the nation, among whites as well as blacks. As Johnson states, Martin Luther King remained writing documents explaining the importance of the non-violent resistance and calling for it and living in a powerful democratic country without racial prejudices. He named whites as brothers emphasizing that God created all human beings to be equal. It became the crucial slogan for the further successful struggle. Malcolm X insisted on the effectiveness of the violent struggle, and called for black pride and autonomy, separation from the corrupt [white] society, and self-defense against white violence.
President John F. Kennedy and his wife were as a symbol of American strength, youth, democracy, and welfare. At that time, the most of the worlds political leaders were old people, but for Kennedy, the youngest political leader in the world.
The American people believed they defended democracy and liberty fighting with Vietnam communists. The 1960s were hard international political tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. Initially, the war in Vietnam was civil, but when President Kennedy decided to support anti-communist forces of South Vietnam, the Soviet Union gave military aid to North Vietnam. The inner armed conflict turned into one of the longest wars of the twentieth century. In the result, the war killed 58 thousand young Americans, derailed domestic reform, depleted the federal budget, disrupted the economy.
Roark et al. state that President Kennedy conducted the international policy to support worlds democracy and freedom for the Third World countries. At the same time, President supported space exploration programs, the development of nuclear energy, and the whole military industrial complex. He considered America to manage to conduct local wars and armed conflicts in avoiding the spread of communism in the Third World.
The Vietnam War proved to become one of the longest wars of the twentieth century. American soldiers had to overcome inhuman hardships for the sake of avoiding the further spread of communism. At the same time, the war brought only sorrows, pains, and disappointments.
The abovementioned events changed the world, increasing risks of the Third World War with the use of nuclear weapons. There were two rival political systems in the world. They tried to prove their effectiveness. Only the collapse of the Soviet Union put an end to their political rivalry, but the Russian totalitarian regime still poses a threat to the world. Thus, numerous local armed conflicts would have never emerged without the sufficient military support of Russia and its direct participation. Moreover, Russia is still supporting the most totalitarian political regimes in the world. The world has to contend with the realities because Russia has a huge arsenal of the nuclear weapons.