Final Exam Review
Final Exam Review HIST 370
Popular in War in American Society
Popular in History
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Date Created: 12/11/15
HIST 370- Final Exam Review: A. A Dangerous New World, 1607-1689 Early European Settlement o Much of the motivation behind starting many of the European (particularly English) colonies in North America was of an economic, for-profit tendency. Companies such as the Virginia and Massachusetts Bay Company saw a “new” continent full of rich resources to exploit (i.e. the settlement of Jamestown aimed to mine for gold to make profit for the Virginia Company. o Minimal conflict occurred during these early years of European settlement between Europeans and indigenous North Americans; this was due much to the fact that the majority of settlers were single young men who needed little living space because their plans to be in North America were originally “short-term.” o Treaties were in place during these early years were legal examples of this mutual cooperation and tolerance of one another; there were still conflicts, obviously, but they grew exponentially during the next century as European settlements expanded when female Europeans came over and the European population in North America increased. European Expansion o As more and more Europeans came over to North America, the economically-motivated settlements were forced to mostly abandon their search for profit and needed to farm the land in order to feed their families and communities. o This results in the, now “colonists,” encroaching on the previously written up treaties with the Native Americans so they could expand their settlement borders to use the raw materials and resources in those Native American territories. o This European mantra of superiority over the Native Americans had to do with three aspects of indigenous societies: 1. Europeans found indigenous agricultural techniques to be disrespectful to the land, and so they wanted to take that land from them in order to show the way in which to farm “properly.” 2. The Native American gender roles dictated that men hunt for food while women do the farming; European traditional gender roles dictated that men farm while women take care of the home and children (hunting was viewed as a sport for the upper-class in Europe), thus European colonists were appalled at indigenous gender roles primarily because they viewed men as lazy and women filling an “improper” role. 3. Finally, Europeans viewed indigenous religions as the “wrong” method of worship, resulting in the motivation to Christianize the Native Americans. 4. On the whole, Europeans saw their way of life as “better” and the Natives’ way of life “inexcusable.” th o The 17 century included numerous conflicts between European colonists and Native Americans in which the Europeans at first utilized the style of warfare in which they knew (lining up in organized ranks, firing volleys from smoothbore muskets), their central aim being to eliminate all of the opposing forces’ troops. o The Native American style of fighting was quite the polar opposite, as their warriors were the hunters, traders, and artisans of their respective tribes and therefore the overall strategy of indigenous tribes was centered on keeping as many of their force as possible alive. o As a result, Native Americans adopted guerrilla tactics that aimed to disturb their belligerents, take whatever supplies they need, and hide away in the terrain. As the Europeans were used to the plains of Europe rather than the forests of North America, they were not adept to applying regimental lines of troops and volley firing to this terrain. Conversely, Native Americans had never experienced gunpowder and firearms of the Europeans. th o The responses by both parties set the stage for conflict during the 18 century with colonists, and later the 19 century against the U.S. government: 1. The Native Americans established profitable relations with more friendly Europeans, notably the French, in order to gain access to Europeans goods and technology. In the case of warfare, they got their hands on smoothbore muskets and learned to use them in the context of their guerrilla tactics. Having experience with bows and arrows, Native Americans were able to use Europeans’ own weapons against them. 2. In addition to not having access to professional soldiers back home due to the commencement of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), colonists set up colonial militias to defend their settlements. They partially applied the indigenous idea of the entire community defending their homes, yet still wanted to fight warfare in European terms and struggled to adopt to the new terrain and countering guerrilla tactics of the Native Americans. o In addition to having new weapons and new ideas about fighting one another, both Europeans and Native Americans recognized each other’s political strife with other European colonists and indigenous tribes, respectively, and used that to their advantage by forming economic and political alliances to better engage in combat with their respective enemies. B. Colonial Conflicts, 1675-1763 King Philip’s War, 1675-1676 o Metacomet, otherwise known as King Philip, despises the presence of the British colonists on Wampanoag land, and thus attempts to unite native tribes who historically dislike one another in this effort to expel the New Englanders from the land. o During the conflict, these tribes were disorganized because of the historic distrust of one another and thus perpetrated a fairly weak war effort against the English settlers. o Once the settlers caught onto this and, in addition to realizing that they would be unable to defeat hostile Native American tribes without gaining some native allies, respond by making alliances with tribes historically hostile to the Wampanoag. Thus, Metacomet lost against the colonists. Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676 o Nathaniel Bacon, a frontiersman in Virginia, shared the angered sentiment of Metacomet but against the Native Americans rather than the English and tried to convince Governor William Berkeley to use any means necessary, including forced relocation or mass extermination, to remove the Native Americans from “English land.” o Since Berkeley was uncooperative and wholly unresponsive to Bacon’s demands, Bacon ended up organizing settlers for his cause and began attacking both hostile tribes and friendly tribes. Eventually, however, Bacon’s forces attack only friendly tribes causing major distrust and loss of alliances between the Virginia settlers and the regional tribes. o On the whole, King Philip’s War and Bacon’s Rebellion had a major impact on colonial perception of Native Americans as they solidified the reputation of Native Americans in the minds of a majority of the colonists as people of brutality and savagery who lack any sense or form of civilized society. Quebec Expedition, 1711 o Having figured out the need to ally with local Native American tribes, the English colonists ended up allying with the tribes (Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, Cayuga, & Mohawk) of the Iroquois Confederation of New York, while the French settlers of present-day Canada end up allying with the Algonquin tribes. o These alliances culminate into two attempted raids by a coalition of English militiamen and Iroquois allies on Quebec in 1711 which failed due to Parliament not holding up their side of the bargain with the colonials to provide military support; this, some historians argue, planted the “seeds of intercolonial cooperation” as well as discontent with and distrust of the British. The French and Indian War, 1754-1763 o Important aspects of the French and Indian War in North America include: 1. Land- British victory in the war resulted in the massive expansion of its colonial territory in North American, conquering all former French colonial possessions east of the Mississippi including present-day Canada and Florida. 2. Money- Additionally, fighting a long-term war with France not only in North America but in Europe, Central America and India as well, Great Britain came out of the war with France in massive financial debt. 3. Public Relations- The war saw a sharp increase in Native American hostilities towards the English in North America due to shifting alliances with and betrayals of said alliances with various tribes during their war effort against the French; hostilities are also explained by the ever-encroaching on indigenous lands by the British colonists. C. The American Revolution, 1763-1783 Following the results of the war with France in North America, the British government simultaneously required the means to effectively administrate its newly expanded empire, begin paying off its war debt, and prevent any further hostilities with Native Americans in the region for the time being. Parliament bore much of the responsibility, and therefore cost, of the war with France on the colonists in North America since they fought the war in North America primarily to gain the resources in French territories for the colonists, as well as Great Britain. This mindset resulted in a series of acts by British Parliament that began building colonial frustration and anger with Great Britain that would culminate into the outbreak of war in 1775: o Navigation Acts, 17 century- series of acts that imposed regulation of colonial trade based on the economic theory of mercantilism, favoring Britain’s economy and disadvantaging the colonial American economies. o Molasses Act of 1733- tax on molasses by Parliament; loosely enforced, allowing colonial merchants to smuggle untaxed molasses into North America from the Caribbean. o Proclamation Act of 1763- imposed a temporary boundary for the colonists lining the Appalachian Mountains; attempted to be enforced with British troops; largely ignored by the colonists. o Sugar Act of 1764- despite halving the tax on molasses, Parliament implemented an extremely despised tax on sugar, a staple good of the colonies at the time; repealed within a year. o Stamp Act of 1765- in some respect a replacement for the Sugar Act that was highly protested and eventually repealed. o Quartering Act of 1765- replaced the Stamp Act which highly angered the colonists. o Tea Act of 1773- unlike past taxes imposed by Parliament on the colonies, Parliament refused to repeal the Tea Act; resulted in the “Boston Tea Party” and subsequently the blockading of Boston, MA by the British Royal Navy. Colonial outrage at Great Britain’s incessant taxation during these years culminated into colonial governments regimenting their regional militias as well as cooperating with their North American neighbors (other colonial governments) in fighting what many settlers viewed as an unjustified infringement on their way of life. This frustration brought about armed conflict in April of 1775 at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, bringing about American War for Independence. Fighting continued until a coalesced American-French victory at the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia in 1781, although official peace terms were not agreed upon until September of 1783 in Paris between the British and the colonials. The questions remains of how can the colonists’ victory be explained. It remains obvious that Great Britain was the most formidable fighting force in the world at that time, both on land and at sea. Yet the colonists had several distinct advantages that primarily played off of Britain’s disadvantages: o Military Tactics- By the mid-18 century, British military theory unanimously agreed that the guerrilla tactics of Native Americans in North America were “uncivilized” and therefore unfit, in any form, to be used by the gentlemanly British armed forces. The colonists, however, conceded that while it was necessary to have a standing army to fight the British in their European-style warfare, militiamen were useful in that they were much more open to adopting guerrilla tactics of war. Therefore, while the Continental Army fought British troops in open fields lined up side-by-side utilizing volley fire, colonial militias ambushed British supply lines in uneven forest and swamp terrain throughout both the North and the South; the Continentals charged the British head-on, while the militia poked at them with a stick. o Geography- The British were utterly unfamiliar with the terrain of their North American colonies and therefore were extremely slow at adapting their war strategy to such terrain; the colonists who fought in the war and aided the war effort had lived in North American their whole lives and identified as such (although many still held firm their English roots, they had no political or socioeconomic attachment to Great Britain); thus, the colonists managed to outdo the British in multiple instances where they did not have the advantage because they knew the geography and what advantages, if any, it provided them (the militia used the dense forests and swamps to fight guerrilla warfare against the British, while the Continentals knew not only when to retreat but the best means of retreating and what path to take when retreating). o Ideology/Morale- On the whole, the war in North American was highly unpopular among the English population basically from the get-go. Many Brits were unable to justify spending more money and sending more soldiers 3,000 miles overseas to die in what their minds was a foreign land not worth fighting long-term to hold onto. And despite the glorified idea that the Continentals and militiamen were fighting for independence and liberty and justice, many of them participated simply so they could return to what their lives were before the war and before the revolution; they wanted freedom, not necessarily freedom from Great Britain but freedom to live their lives without unwanted interference from the Crown. Still, this gave enough boost to the colonial morale and allowed enough justification in the colonists’ minds to keep on fighting until Great Britain eventually gave. Basically, George Washington figured out how the colonies would achieve independence from Great Britain rather quickly when he was named Commander- in-Chief of the Continental Army. Being fully aware of the logistical advantages that the British had over the colonists in terms of weaponry, soldiers, training and supplies, Washington knew that the goal was not to defeat Britain but to prevent Britain from claiming victory; in other words, the colonists did not have to win the war, but they needed to not lose. D. Preserving Independence & National Expansion, 1783-1860 The Army after the Revolution o Following victory over the British and gaining independence, the former colonists wanted to maintain as much decentralization of the federal government as possible to ensure the protection of American individual rights. o A major aspect of this protection revolved around keeping the national army small and decentralized, relying more heavily in local and regional militias to protect national borders and maintain peace. o Federalists and anti-Federalists, becoming known as Republicans during the Jefferson administration, have a serious dispute about whether to centralize the army to ensure national security against both foreign nations and from Native Americans west of the Appalachian Mountains. o Early on in U.S. history, popular opinion (both in the government and amongst the people) supported a decentralized military and promoted state militias as the primary line of defense and provision of security for the new nation. War of 1812 (1812-1814) o With the British fighting Napoleon’s forces in Europe and in dire need of sailors to defend its waters, the Royal Navy begins impressing American sailors (majority of whom were merchant traders). As a result, tensions began to build between Great Britain and the United States until finally Congress granted President James Madison a declaration of war in 1812. o The war lasted for two years, involving attempted American invasion of Canada and a somewhat successful British invasion of the U.S. (burning of Washington, D.C.) as well as a handful of naval conflicts along the Atlantic coast. o While neither the U.S. nor Great Britain really won the war, as pre-war conditions were established and the issue of British impressment of American sailors had already been solved, the most significant loser in the war were the Native Americans settled west of the Mississippi River. o Between the American Revolution and the War of 1812, Native Americans were able to exploit hostilities between Americans and the other European powers (i.e. British, French, Spanish) who were still in North America in order to prevent further expansion west of the Mississippi River. o But by the end of the war, the French had sold all of their territory in North America (with the exception of New Orleans) to the U.S. in 1803, Spanish territory was contained to modern-day Florida until 1819, and the British were restricted to present-day Canada by 1815. o This presented a major problem to Native Americans as they were no longer able to exploit these groups’ differences in their favor; they were left to deal only with the Americans, amongst whom a strong desire to expand westward was potent in the minds of the American people by the end of the war and became feverous by the 1830s and 1840s when the idea of “Manifest Destiny” entered popularity amongst the public as well as in government. Military Expansion Westward, 1804-1848 o The first territorial acquisition of the United States that involved the military occurred in 1803 when the Jefferson administration purchased the Louisiana Territory from France and Jefferson appointed Capt. Meriwether Lewis and 2 Lt. William Clark to lead an expedition into the newly acquired Louisiana Territory; this expedition was the first and primary activity of the newly created division of the U.S. military, the Corps of Discovery. o After the end of the War of 1812, the American military shifted its focus back to expanding westward which, in turn, continued hostilities between the U.S. Army and Native Americans. Such conflicts included the Seminole Wars (1814-1819, and 1835-1842), the Creek Wars (1813-1814, and 1836), Tecumseh’s War (1811-1813), and the Black Hawk War (1832) and were a direct result of American attempts to expand into Indian territory west of the colonial frontier; these wars and others like it occurred within a thirty-year period either prior to or after the War of 1812. o Hostilities between the U.S. government and Native Americans culminated into the Indian Removal Act of 1830 under the Andrew Jackson administration, which gave authority to the government and the army to “negotiate” with Native American tribes (Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee tribes) in the East to move west into Oklahoma Territory in exchange for their ancestral homelands; this legislation resulted in additional armed conflicts with the Native Americans and the Trail of Tears, one of the worst crimes against humanity in United States history. o Military involvement in national expansion was highlighted following the annexation of Texas by the United States that resulted in the Mexican- American War (1846-1848) which brought about the cession of much of Mexican territory in the southwestern North America, achieving “Manifest Destiny” that had motivated American expansion since the early 19 th century. o The issue of slavery continuously had reared its ugly had since the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and, regarding statehood, had played an extremely controversial and critical role since the Northwest Ordinance of the same year. o When the U.S. gained the remainder of the southwest and the Pacific coastal region of North America as a result of its war with Mexico, it became almost overwhelming and certainly was a strong case of foreshadowing for what was to come in the next decade or so. E. The American Civil War, 1861-1865 Technology & Warfare o The ways in which technology & warfare are intertwined and the way they push each other to achieve their goals more effectively & efficiently. o In the 19 century, advancements in technology had everything to do with the Industrial Revolution (began appx. in 1750). o In both the civilian and military sectors, advancements in infrastructure, energy, weaponry, and medical care were amplified during the first half of the 19 century that would play a vital role in how the Civil War would be fought in relation to 18 century European-style strategy and tactics. Technological Advancements of the Civil War o Infrastructure 1. Railroads 2. Telegrams 3. Canals o Energy 1. Steam (steamships) 2. Coal (railroads/factories) 3. Water (factories) o Weaponry 1. Rifling (muskets and artillery) 2. Percussion Cap; Minié Ball; Metallic Cartridge 3. Repeating Rifles 4. Ironclad Warships 5. Interchangeable Parts 6. Gatling Gun (1 machine gun) st 7. H.L. Hunley (1 submarine) 8. Balloon Aerial Reconnaissance o Medical Care 1. Amputations; Prosthetic Limbs 2. Anesthesia Social Forces & Political Decision o Major social and sociopolitical questions arose during the former half of th the 19 century that formulated the buildup of tensions leading up to the outbreak of the war: 1. Balance of Political Power- since the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the question of whether the federal government or the state governments held the bulk of political power; this played a major role in the build-up of tensions that led to the Civil War as many Southern state governments felt that the federal government had too much power over the states and that the states were not getting enough representation in Congress. 2. Sectionalism- this political disparity regarding power, along with other factors, invigorated the vigorously defended idea amongst many Americans that their primary civic allegiance lay with their native state or region (North or South) as opposed to identifying oneself as an American; it is not until during the Civil War that the modern concept of what being an American is comes into the public discourse and only after the Civil War does this idea start to gather majority public support. 3. Economic Disparity- as time passed from the end of the 18 th century up to the eve of the Civil War, the South became more and more dependent on cash crop agriculture (i.e. cotton, tobacco) to the point that the success and profit of their economy depended on the productivity and efficiency of southern agriculture; this resulted in power dynamics regarding economics that justified pushing for more power amongst the southern states 4. Slavery- though certainly not the only sociopolitical force that led to the Civil War, it was undoubtedly the most significant because it played into all of the others aforementioned: a) Slavery was an issue at-hand regarding representation in Congress because the Southern states fought for, and received until 1865, counting their slave population in with their census data in order to be allotted more representatives in the House (3/5 Compromise) b) Slavery played a major cultural role on sectionalist tensions leading to the Civil War; as culture plays a huge part in nationalistic identity historically, the southern culture surrounding slavery sat at the center of sectionalism in the 19 century. 5. Slavery was an essential aspect of the South’s agricultural economy as it was an inexpensive labor force to harvest its cash crops, o What is important to bear in mind when discussions of why an historical event like the American Civil War began is that all authors, including academic scholars, have bias; though not inherently negative, all authors interpret history in different ways. o When a certain narrative about history is introduced and accepted by enough people, whether or not it is relatively objective and credible, has the potential to become historical truth, at least with a portion of the population. War & Remembrance o The way in which the United States and the American people remember the wars the nation has engaged in has a lot to do with how Americans treat going to war, both at the time and retrospectively. o Regarding the Civil War, how Americans remember the events of the war imply a strong sentiment to America’s willingness to cherish the loss of life in war and never forget the destruction that occurred, mostly in the southern United States (i.e. Sherman’s March to the Sea). o Other wars in American history (i.e. Revolutionary War, Vietnam War) invoke American desire to be seen as the non-aggressor, more precisely the victim, in order to “provide for the common defense” rather than be seen as a nation desiring to protect its interests by going to war in order to protect those interests. o A significant part of remembering the Civil War is re-enacting; done for many reasons (i.e. feel connection/honor ancestors who fought in the war, educate the public about war and soldiering), re-enactment of the Civil War and other wars allows a narrative, misleading or otherwise, to be exposed to the public in order for critical thinking about war and its impact on American society. F. Reconstruction, 1865-1877 o Following the four years of death and destruction, the issue raised following the peace settlement between North and South and the abolition of slavery was how the U.S. government would go about rebuilding a nation torn by civil war. o Aspects of the rebuilding of a nation: 1. Infrastructure- the detriment of war to American infrastructure, overwhelmingly in the South, brought about the need to repair the roads, buildings, railroads and canals in order to provide the foundation for economic recovery. 2. Economy- the Reconstruction federal government aimed to reinvigorate agriculture, industry and commerce that would reconcile pre-war economic disparity between the North and South and drive overall recovery in the United States. 3. Education- following the war and the abolition of slavery, advocacy for free public education became more and more popular as former slaves fought for their children to gain access to a free education. 4. Demobilization/Military Reform- many Americans following the war desired a return to a pre-war military (small standing army & navy); however, returning to pre-war political aims of territorial expansion and settlement and a combination of other factors caused the latter 19 century to be an era of military reform, both in the army and navy, as the institution moved to both modernize technologically and progress strategically and tactically. 5. Assimilation of Freed African-Americans- arguably the most significant issue of Reconstruction was that of figuring out how to handle the sudden influx of millions of freed African-Americans into American society; this caused an increase in racial tensions as racially-motivated hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan formed in the South and the end of abolitionism caused a severe drop in support of African-American civil rights in the North. Subsequently, a period of racial strife, violence and discrimination in the form of voting laws, grandfather clauses, poll taxes and gerrymandering lasted for approximately thirty years and culminated in the Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) that institutionalized racism and segregation for over fifty years. G. Creating a National Identity, 1865-1898 A major aspect of reconciling the consequences of the Civil War by uniting North and South in common interests and motivations for forming a new national identity. This identity was centered on a combination of the ideologies behind Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine that aimed to earn international prestige and respect amongst the multiple powers of the Western world. At the heart of forming this national identity were imperialist tendencies based in primarily two concepts: 1. Fulfillment of Manifest Destiny- Almost immediately after the end of the Civil War, the U.S. Army continued its endeavors against Native American tribes in the west in order to expand into the remaining western territories dominated by Native Americans (1865-1890), solidifying the reservation system that effectively ended indigenous resistance to American expansion. 2. Economic Expansion- Utilization of the recently modernized and reformed navy and army, the United States, having successfully subdued the perceived threat of Native Americans in the west, needed a new foreign policy/national security goal: expanding the economic interests of the nation. This gradually succeeded by first opening up commercial and political relations with formerly isolationist nations such as Japan (Kanagawa Treaty- 1854) and China (Open Door Note- 1899), as well as protecting expanding merchant interests into the Carribean (Spanish- American War- 1898) and Oceania (War in the Philippines- 1898- 1902). H. Spanish-American War, 1898 The United States’ victory over Spain in the Carribean was a sign to the international community that the United States was a nation, specifically a military power, not to be meddled with. By enforcing victimization (“Remember the Maine”) at the hands of a European power, the United States was able to justify instilling a foreign policy that combined the Monroe Doctrine and an imperialist twist on Manifest Destiny in order to create an American empire overseas that included Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, Hawaii, and the Philippines. The legacy of the United States’ officially hiding behind purely humanitarian or other apolitical motivations regarding engaging in war across the globe by “playing the victim” would become an interesting paradoxical facet in how American culture approaches the nation’s history of warfare as it intersects with the economic interests of the country in other countries overseas. I. “The White Man’s Burden” o Following American territorial acquisitions in the Caribbean and the Pacific as a result of its war with Spain, the United States was facing a new cultural paradigm that would enforce the new American imperialism made up of the perceived need for economic expansion, the pseudoscientific theory of Social Darwinism, and a deeply rooted desire, based in the historical tendencies of nation-states, for American civilization to expand 1. A potent symbol of this intensifying social phenomena is the infamous poem by the British imperialist, “The White Man’s Burden” 2. Kipling’s immediate motive was to try to convince young, white American men to go to the war in the Philippines to suppress the insurrection there. 3. That being said, the poem became a political justification of both European and American governments for maintaining overseas empires; from Kipling’s perspective, they believed it their duty as white Christian men to bring European/American civilization to the “uncivilized” peoples of the world, particularly in Asia and Africa. J. America in World War One, 1917-1918 o Military Preparedness 1. Between the Spanish-American War and the commencement of war in Europe in 1914, the United States looks towards a future defined by maintaining economic interests in its newly acquired overseas colonies in the Pacific and the Caribbean. 2. This brought about a need to look out for possible threats from European conflicts that would spread to European colonies, particularly in Asia; this led to a public/open commitment to isolationism by 1914 in terms of committing to not sending troops to overseas should a major conflict arise. 3. However, this streak of neutrality was basically impossible to maintain once war broke, as the United States was determined to keep its armed forces out of Europe while openly maintaining trade interests with European nations, primarily Britain and disproportionately Germany. 4. This time period, defined by both military preparedness and preserving international neutrality, symbolizes a sort of sociocultural and political paradox; while both the U.S government and the American people wanted to stay out of European conflicts and affairs, there was still a societal desire to expand American culture (i.e. values, morals, ideas) to “uncivilized” areas of the world. This paradox made it utterly impossible for the United States to remain neutral, in any sense of the word, by the time war broke out in Europe in 1914. 5. A number of factors, including but not limited to the sinking of the Lusitania and the interception of the Zimmerman Telegram, convinced more and more Americans that going to war on the Allied side was important for keeping “the world safe for democracy.” After declaring war in April of 1917 and sending mass amounts of American troops into France by the summer of 1918, the United States, being one of the least involved nations in the war, used the chance on the world stage to prove itself as a world power. This new acquisition of hegemonic status would play a major role in the decades to come. o Paris Peace Conference, 1919 o Historical consensus asserts that the seeds of Second World War were planted in the events of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 where the heads of state of Britain, France, Italy, and the United States met nearly 150 times to lay out peace terms for the Central Powers, primarily Germany, to concede to. o However, there is significant divide amongst historians today as to whether or not the world wars were distinct events but related, or was it the modern Thirty Years’ War that stretched from 1914 to 1945 defined by turmoil in Europe and boiling/bursting hostilities between the European powers. o Each Allied country had a specific approach to how to handle the post-war world: 1. Britain- the primary aims of Prime Minister David Lloyd George going into the Peace Conference were centered on maintaining the integrity of the British Empire and eliminating the future potential threat of Germany to France and the rest of Europe. 2. France- having taken the most significant toll in WWI, both in casualties and to the country overall (economy, infrastructure), George Clemenceau’s primary goal during the Peace Conference was to demilitarize Germany to prevent the destruction of WWI from happening again in France. 3. Italy- Vittorio Orlando, Prime Minister of Italy, desired to gain the territories promised to Italy in the Treaty of London in 1915 (i.e. Trentino, Tyrol, Trieste, Istria). 4. United States- summarized in Wilson’s “Fourteen Points” that aimed to solidify world peace and prevent another war AT ALL, not just a war in comparison to scale of WWI; included freedom of trade and of the seas, self-determination for former colonial possessions of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. o These concessions, and the results (placing the war blame/reparations on Germany) support the historical argument that Europe and the world were entangled in a decades-long modern war during the early 20 century that spanned from 1914 to 1945. K. Changing American Social Constructs, 1918-1939 The sheer scale and depth of the destructiveness of WWI resulted in both the literal and psychological deterioration of the men in all societies involved, including the United States. In addition to the Spanish Flu of 1919-1920, the American male population downsized to a point unseen since the American Civil War over sixty years prior, and those who survived the war were permanently scarred, physically or psychologically or both. Thus, it became practical for women, both during and after the war, to partake in a more active role in public life. This impact was exemplified in a multitude of aspects of American society: o Art/Music- the advent of art, particularly jazz, in the United States that pinnacled in the Harlem Renaissance was arguably an outlet for creative expression of the cultural characterizations associated with the “Lost Generation.” o Literature- authors such as T.S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Erich Maria Remarque and Ernest Hemingway, who is credited with coining the phrase “Lost Generation,” were renowned for capturing the sentiment of those associated with the “Lost Generation.” o Politics/Culture- the impact of the war shaped the how the American outlook on the world around them and the subsequent divided into those who lost all respect for sociocultural norms and values of the “Old World” and those who chose to ignore the effect the war had on those who served. This shift brought about severe transformations in the social and political image and role of women (i.e. 19 Amendment/women’s suffrage, gradually liberalized gender norms). o Economy/Industry- with the demographic shift in the United States as a result of the war, more and more women were entering the work force to the point that by the peak of the Great Depression in the mid-1930s it was more common for the woman of a family unit to be working for pay than it was for the man to be earning money. L. The Great Depression, 1929-1941 The economic collapse following the Wall Street Crash of 1929 was did not produce isolated results; the interdependence of the global economy, particularly between Europe and North America, set off a chain of events that caused the collapse of virtually the entire Western economy for over a decade. The Crash affected countries like Britain, Germany and the United States fairly similarly in how they reacted, but what came about after each nation’s reaction arguably set the stage for a global conflict within the coming years: o Germany 1. Having a gradually declining economy already due to the Treaty of Versailles dictating the payment of massive war reparations to the Allies, the Crash of ’29 exacerbated Germany’s presently declining economy to the extreme (i.e. hyperinflation, 40% unemployment by 1933). 2. The sociocultural atmosphere that came about due to the Crash cemented the foundation for a charismatic WWI veteran and member of the German Socialist Workers (Nazi) Party, Adolf Hitler, to come to power in early 1933. 3. Hitler’s policies instated in Germany from 1933-1939 laid the groundwork for victimizing the “Aryan” race by blaming all of Germany’s problems on the European, but more broadly global, Jewish community and directing Germans’ efforts into creating a fascist military state that upstarted the economy by militarizing production and industry to be utilized in enacting Hitler’s imperialist tendencies during the latter 1930s. o Britain 1. Despite being well aware of the growing threat of Nazi Germany by 1935, the British government had other problems to deal with, namely maintaining their overseas empire in India and Africa, which prevented them from being actively resistant to Germany expansion that equated to Chamberlain’s appeasement at the Munich Conference in 1938. 2. While unable to isolate themselves from the situation in mainland Europe, Britain’s geopolitical significance forced their hand in doing something even though it was too little, too late. o United States 1. While having similar economic and sociocultural circumstances as in Germany following the Crash of ’29 (i.e. mass unemployment, aggravated citizenry), the United States dealt with the Great Depression in an almost entirely opposite way than what occurred in Germany. 2. In fact, an interesting parallel can be drawn between how Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and Hitler came to power in strikingly comparable circumstances yet took their countries in starkly different directions. 3. While Germany re-invigorated its industry through militarization in order to create jobs, the United States looked to expanding federal power by way of creating an economic safety net (i.e. Social Security providing livable wages for the elderly and handicapped, Works Progress Administration providing employment for public works programs) for the American public that would give people enough to live off of and hold out until the economy re-stabilized. 4. Simply put, while Germany politically traveled far-right to fascism, the United States leaned left by introducing a number of social programs in order to relieve the public of some of the hardships caused by the Great Depression. M. Rampage of Imperialism, 1931-1939 The militant fascism rampant in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s brought about expansions of the German and Italian empires, as well as the raging nationalism in Japan that culminated in an Asiatic Empire and a war with China by 1937: o Germany- serious expansion began in 1936 with the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936, followed by the conquest of Austria & the annexation of the Sudetenland (outer rim of Czechoslovakia) in 1938, and the remainder of Czechoslovakia in 1939. o Italy- by the end of the 1920s, Italians became more and more eager to expand their borders and create an empire, claiming territories in North Africa in 1932 and conquering Ethiopia through war in 1935; later, Italy invaded and conquered Albania in 1939. o Japan- since the mid-19 century, Japan had been militarizing its society (modeling its army after the Prussian model and its navy after the British model) and subsequent nationalism and imperialism fervor spread through the Japanese population; the Asian power expanded its empire with relative ease, conquering Manchuria (at the time a northern province of China) in 1931, facing minimal resistance, and engaging in outright war with China in 1937. N. The United States & Prequel to World War II, Early 1900s Pre-War o Prior to the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939, the United States had been preparing for hostilities coming from Japan in the Pacific for some time in the 20 century in the case of “War Plan ORANGE,” officially adopted by the Joint Army & Navy Board in 1924 although informal planning for war with Japan had been happening as early as 1906. o In contrast to previous plans which assumed that the United States would have allies, “ORANGE” was predicated on the possibility that the U.S. would be fighting Japan alone. o Basically, “ORANGE” entailed focusing the overwhelming majority of the Navy at its California bases to defend the West Coast of North America and the Panama Canal, simultaneously. Only after securing the West Coast would the Navy send reinforcements to its holdings overseas, namely Guam and the Philippines, to fend off Japan from the islands before going on the offensive against Japan in an attempt to blockade the Japanese mainland o Of course this changed following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, at which point the Navy adopted the contending war plan, conceived by Raymond P. Rodgers in 1911, of going on the offensive from the get-go via “island hopping,” or conquering Japanese holdings in the Pacific one by one until Japan was unable to continue fighting due to being cut off from its raw materials necessary for engaging in war. Early Years of the War o Following the outbreak of war in Europe, the U.S. government’s actions (as well as the highly positive relationship between FDR and Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Britain) suggest that the country’s priority was to stay out of the war directly, while simultaneously jump-starting the mobilization process (Selective Training and Service Act of 1940) and providing war materials to the Allied Powers, specifically Britain (Lend- Lease Act of 1941). O. Comparing Pearl Harbor to Dutch Harbor Pearl Harbor (7 December, 1941) o The original Japanese battle strategy for attacking Pearl Harbor, devised by Marshal Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, was meant to be much more devastating than the situation that was actually carried out by Japan’s Imperial Naval Air Force. o Primarily, the Navy was supposed to send a second wave of fighters to the Harbor to take out U.S. submarines and fuel depots after its first wave had taken out the aircraft carriers and battlecruisers, where in fact the second wave was not even sent out and the first wave was unable to hit most of the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carriers because most of the carriers had already left the harbor by the time the attack began. o The events of Pearl Harbor are memorialized in how the overwhelming majority of American students come to understand the significance of it, both in the short-term with bringing the United States into the war and in the long-term in how being in the war in Europe caused a drastic shift in the geopolitical role that the United States would play in the many decades to come. Dutch Harbor (3-4 June, 1942) o Only a few months following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Navy sent two aircraft carriers north to launch their invasion of Alaska, the subsequent occupation of various Aleutian Islands of Alaska would last over a year. Comparing Education of Pearl & Dutch Harbor o There are cultural reasons for why the overwhelming majority of American youth learn about Pearl Harbor while most Americans are completely unaware about Dutch Harbor and, more overtly, the Japanese campaign in the Aleutian Islands: 1. Pearl Harbor is viewed as one of the most significant events in U.S. history as it was what brought the United States into the Second World War in Europe and the Pacific and, long-term, changed the course othits approach to foreign policy for ste remainder of the 20 century (and arguably into the 21 century) 2. Historically, the United States government has tended to boost up the times when we were seen as having a positive effect on the world as opposed to times where we failed to protect ourselves; in this case, the results of Pearl Harbor regarding U.S. military action are viewed as necessary for the liberation of Europe and taking revenge against Japan, while the Japanese invasion of Alaska, the first time any foreign entity successfully invaded the United States since the British in the War of 1812, is seen as a defeat and thus showing weakness within the United States. 3. A more practical viewpoint dictates that Dutch Harbor and the Alaska front as a whole were overshadowed by the battles raging in the Pacific Theater around the same time (i.e. Midway) P. Onset of the Atomic Age U.S. Industry Turning the Tide of the War o When examining the “turning point” of the Second World War, characterized in this context with the United States entering the war on the Allied side, we tend to look at it from a very Anglo-American centric perspective as in some deem the United States entering the war as guaranteeing an Allied victory in the war. o This speaks to the fear of inevitability in studying history, as foregone conclusions made by historians can hurt academic credibility for a plethora of reasons. The Atomic Bomb (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 1945) o The atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan, one in Hiroshima on August 6 and another in Nagasaki on August 9 , were dropped for a number of reasons: 1. Militarily speaking, the United States projected that a conventional invasion of the Japanese mainland, planned as Operation: Downfall, would last approximately two years and cost more than a million American casualties and tens of millions of Japanese casualties, military and civilian alike. Therefore it seems reasonable to assert that Truman deemed it much more efficient to drop the atomic bombs on Japan, avoiding any American casualties and severely minimizing Japanese casualties. 2. Politically speaking, historical context suggests that a major motivator of the United States to drop the bombs on Japan were as a geopolitical warning to the Soviet Union, asserting American dominance in a sense, as tensions between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. had been exponentially heightening since American entered the Second World War. 3. Culturally speaking, dropping the bombs seemed to be, retrospectively at least, aligned with popular opinion. Most Americans had been affected by the war in some way, shape or form, and simply wanted it over thinking little past that. It seems that the survivors of that generation tell us now that they much prefer what happened as opposed to the American invasion of Japan that could have happened. Q. The Cold War, 1945-1991 What is the Cold War? o In some of the simplest terms, the Cold War as many Americans remember it was a period of extreme geopolitical tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union that brought about a number of proxy wars (i.e. Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan), a nuclear/conventional arms race as well as a “race to space” following the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and a world political stage dominated and motivated by the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) that forced both the East and the West to look for other solution while each of their nuclear arsenals loomed over each other as the devil on their shoulders. Yalta & Potsdam, February-July 1945 o The seeds of the Cold War were planted at the Yalta (February, 1945) and Potsdam (July, 1945) conferences in Europe between the heads of state of Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union. o Franklin Roosevelt (at Potsdam, Harry Truman) and Winston Churchill (at part of Potsdam, Clement Attlee) were largely in agreement over how to deal with post-war Europe, specifically with the division of former Nazi territory and how to punish, or not punish, Germany and for long to do so or not to do so. o Josef Stalin on the other hand was at odds with both FDR/Truman and Churchill since he felt that Russia, having suffered the most casualties of any nation involved in World War II and “liberated” most of Eastern Europe formerly controlled by the Nazis, deserved severe punishment imposed on Germany and gratuitous territorial gains in Europe once the war ended. o The results of both conferences were plentiful, including the formulating of the concept that became the United Nations (UN) in 1946, the post-war division of Europe, specifically Germany, and the establishment of the post-war power politics in Europe and worldwide that would inevitably pit the United States and the Soviet Union against one another moving forward. Division & Rebuilding of Europe o While much of Western Europe regained autonomy (i.e. France, Italy, Belgium) at the end of World War II, the Soviet invasion of Eastern Europe from 1942-1945 resulted in Stalin managing to seize much of the region (i.e. parts of Poland, Rumania and Finland, as well as Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) and turn them into satellite states controlled by the Soviet government. o Germany, and Berlin, was also divided between East (U.S.S.R.) and West (U.S., Britain and France) which would act, along with much of mainland Europe, as the opening stage of the Cold War due to the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift, economic recovery programs of the United States that sent billions of dollars over to multiple European national economies in an attempt to reinvigorate those economies and re-assert Europe
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