Monday, April 13, 2009

Chapter 26: America During the Second World War"

At first WWII was seen as something that was very distant and was a time when many political leaders and the the citizens of the United States advocated for isolationism and therefore no involvement in a war that many felt didn't directly effect them. However once the strike on Pearl Harbor occurred in 1941 the U.S. was prompted in to entering a war which arguably was a good thing on our behalf as it created many new jobs and essentially brought the U.S. out of the depression.  In addition to that, in the post war era the U.S. along with the Soviet Union became the strongest global powers in the world. "In the cause of increasing production, most industries forged close relationships with governmental bureaucracies... Greatly increased federal funding helped spawn new industries, such as electronics, and transform others, such as rubber and chemicals" (pg. 806).  One specific example of this process was a project known as the "Manhattan Project".  "The Manhattan Project provided the most dramatic example of the emergence of powerful new links between military-oriented R&D and the national government" (pg. 806).  Also domestically within the United States during this era was a massive change in the type of workforce being employed.  There was a huge increase in the amount of minorities getting jobs once used by the white male.  Many heavy industry jobs were now employing African Americans, Hispanics, and even women, however some minorities got more privleges than others.  Once the men returned from war, they wanted their old jobs back so the minority groups that filled in for them while they were gone were kicked out. Also besides many post war minority movements demanding for more rights, on an international level the U.S. and Soviet Union were dealing with issues of global power.  Something known as the sphere of influence was the United States way of containing the Soviet Union and their communist threat from the rest of the world which innately escalated tensions between the two countries and brought about the Cold War, which some may argue still exists today to some extent.  

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