Free Essays

which the “war on terrorism” has been waged threatens to undermine the international human rights framework so painstakingly built since World War II


The way in which the “war on terrorism” has been waged threatens to undermine the international human rights framework so painstakingly built since World War II. This essay argues that abandoning human rights in times of crisis is short-sighted and self-defeating. A “war on terrorism” waged without respect for the rule of law undermines the very values that it presumes to protect. A balance between liberty and security must therefore be restored by reasserting the human rights framework, which provides for legitimate and effective efforts to respond to terrorist attacks.

The United States–led “war on terrorism” is premised on the notion that the events of September 11 should be seen as a wake-up call that the world has changed. The international community necessitates new tools and strategies, perhaps a new normative structure, to deal with these dire threats to the world’s security. In the absence of international agreement about the new tools, strategies, and norms, the “war on terrorism” is being waged on its own imperatives regardless of existing norms. The way in which this “war” was waged is itself a threat to human security. Since the September 11 attacks, the United States, with the support of many governments, has waged a “war on terrorism.”This “war” places the human rights gains of the last several decades and the international human rights framework at risk. Some methods used in detaining and interrogating suspects violate international human rights and humanitarian norms in the name of security.Throughout the world, governments have used the post–September 11 antiterrorism campaign to crack down on dissidents and to suppress human rights.

Efforts to define terrorism are fraught with political consequence and disagreement. The controversy is often captured in the phrase “one person’s terrorist is another person’s

freedom fighter.” The Special Rapporteur notes that it is difficult to distinguish between

internal armed conflict and terrorism. Should state-sponsored terrorism be included in this discussionHow about sub-state terrorismIs there a difference between the terrorism of the past and the new threat of non-state-actor super-terrorism with the potential for catastrophic use of weapons of mass destruction?

There is already some agreement about prohibiting certain acts the international community condemns as terrorist acts.The definition adopted in this essay is that attacks on the World Trade Centre, in London and Madrid constitute crimes against humanity in that they are, especially taken with other attacks by the same actors, part of a widespread or systematic attack on civilian populations. This view was expressed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

Another aspect of the problem of definition is that in many of the antiterrorism measures taken since September 11, 2001, governments have used vague and overbroad definitions of terrorism. Such definitions run the risk of sweeping peaceful, expressive activity into the definition of terrorism and can be the basis for repressive regimes attacking political opponents or other pre-textual uses of antiterrorism campaigns. Such antiterrorist laws violate the principle of legality and provide a basis for governments to label political opponents or human rights defenders as “terrorists.”In addition, it can subject them to

exceptional security measures that would not be tolerated in other contexts. Below we look at how human rights has been a casualty on the war on terrorism.

At the heart of the challenge to the human rights framework is the question of whether the “war on terrorism” is a “war,” and if so, what sort of a war it is. To date, one of the characteristics of the “war on terrorism” is a refusal to accept that any body of law applies to the way this “war” is waged. Central to the human rights framework is the idea that there are no “human rights free zones” in the world, and that human beings possess fundamental

human rights by virtue of their humanity alone. In addition, there is no gap between human

rights law and humanitarian law in which a “war on terrorism” may be waged, free from the constraints of international law. The essence of the rule of law requires that executive action be constrained by law. The refusal to accept that the rule of law governs the conduct of the

“war on terrorism” has created tremendous uncertainty and has also led to the erosion of individual rights. For example, in April 2003 the United States took the position, in response to questions posed by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions about the November 2002 killing of six men in Yemen by a missile shot from an

unmanned drone, that this attack was against enemy combatants in a military operation and, thus, was beyond the competence of the Special Rapporteur and the UN Human Rights Commission.

By defining the “war on terrorism” as a “war,” the United States and cooperating governments conveniently eliminate all of the protections of human rights law, even in circumstances in which international humanitarian law does apply. It is not clear why this

precedent would not be applicable to any government seeking to target dissidents, national liberation movements, or anyone opposed to a regime as being a “terrorist” and an appropriate military threat in this global “war.” The concept of “terrorism” put forward is any act perceived as a threat by those waging the war against it. The battlefield is the entire planet, regardless of borders and sovereignty. The “war on terrorism” might continue in perpetuity, and it is unclear who is authorised to declare it over. Human rights protections simply do not exist when they conflict with the imperatives of the “war on terrorism.” One such case is that of Guantanamo.

The continuing detention of more than 600 alleged “terrorists” at a military base in Guantanamo has become the most visible symbol of the threat to the human rights framework posed by the “war on terrorism.”The Guantanamo detainees essentially have been transported to a “human rights free zone” or “legal black hole,” where only visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stands between them and the arbitrary,

unreviewable exercise of executive power. The detainees are beyond the reach of any body of law and receive the treatment that their captors deem reasonable in the circumstances. The US states the detainees are to be treated consistent with the laws of war. Yet, they are denied hearings required by Article 5 of the Third Geneva Convention before a “competent tribunal” to determine whether they are prisoners of war, as the ICRC presumptively believes them to be. In the eyes of their captors, they are conclusively determined to be “enemy combatants” or “enemy aliens,” who may be tried before military commissions and

detained indefinitely regardless of whether they are convicted by those commissions.

The Military Order authorizes the detention and trial of “terrorists” and uses a broad definition of “individuals subject to this order.”Thus, US authorities may take any person in the world they believe fits this broad definition and transport them to the “human rights free zone” in Guantanamo. There the US is not subject to judicial oversight by domestic or international authorities, and the detainees can be treated in any manner until they are tried, released, or held in these conditions indefinitely.

The Military Order applies only to noncitizens, leading to a stark double standard between the treatment of US citizens accused of being involved in terrorist activity and noncitizens, who are not entitled to the panoply of rights accused US “terrorists” will receive.

The idea that noncitizens are not entitled to international fair trial standards because they are

unworthy “terrorists” is at odds with international antidiscrimination and fair trial norms as well as the presumption of innocence. Trials before the military commissions, established pursuant to the November 2001 order, will not comply with essential international fair trial

safeguards or guarantees of an independent judiciary. Indeed, the proceedings appear to be no different from military tribunals the international community has criticized in many other settings as a violation of international human rights standards.

The availability of the death penalty in these military commissions undermines the human rights goal of eventual abolition of the death penalty; especially in light of the important strides the international community has made toward abolition of the death penalty in the Rome Statute and elsewhere, for even the most egregious crimes. These commissions

also inhibit international cooperation to combat terrorism given the strong views of many states that abolition of the death penalty is a fundamental human rights issue.

There is more to say about the conditions of confinement in Guantanamo Bay (cramped cells, lack of exercise, torture), especially after recent revelations about the widespread abuse of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere. The central challenge it presents to the human rights framework is that the detainees are left without the protection of law or judicial or international oversight. Although the ICRC is allowed to visit the detainees, the United States does not agree that the detainees are prisoners of war or even entitled to the full protections of international humanitarian or human rights law. The United States has labeled the detainees as “enemy combatants,” but this label cannot avoid the requirement of a determination of every detainee’s status by a “competent tribunal.” Humanitarian law requires that such determinations be made by tribunals and under procedures that guarantee fair treatment, protect vulnerable detainees, and restrain the detaining power. Instead, the detainees, like the six men killed in Yemen, are subject only to the discretion of an unrestrained executive authority. Fundamental human rights norms require that detentions be subject to judicial oversight. As the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

stated in December 2002, if prisoner of war status is not recognized by a competent tribunal,[T]he situation of detainees would be governed by the relevant provisions of the [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] and in particular by articles 9 and 14 thereof, the first of which guarantees that the lawfulness of a detention shall be reviewed by a competent court, and the second of which guarantees the right to a fair trial.

The United States has rejected the UN’s position and every other form of international oversight of these detentions. As a result, the identity of the detainees are secret, and there is no international or domestic oversight of the detentions. There is no way of ascertaining whether there is any basis for the continued detention of particular detainees, which includes children as young as thirteen. Over time, a number of detainees have been released, and so far the released detainees have not been charged with any criminal offense. Thus, raising substantial questions about the grounds for their detention in the first place and even more concern about the length of the detentions. Despite assurances by United States officials, there are examples of mistakes coming to light. One such discrepancy concerns refugee law and discrimination.

Almost all of the detainees have been held on minor immigration law violations, which ordinarily would not warrant detention or deportation. One commentator reports that only three of the estimated 5,000 noncitizens detained by these efforts have been charged with any offense remotely related to terrorism, indicating the ineffectiveness of such strategies.

These transgressions on immigrant communities are just a part of the “collateral damage” of the “war on terrorism.” International norms clearly prohibit discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, or religion. There is a growing recognition of the harms caused by discrimination in the social fabric of our communities. By targeting immigrant communities, the government fosters the discrimination and exclusion that human rights law has struggled so hard to eradicate, making it all the more difficult to engender understanding and cooperation between communities in the fight against terrorism. Below we evaluate the significance of a human rights framework response to terrorism.

For the most part, the international community has responded to the events of September 11 and their aftermath with an insistence that the response to terrorism must unfold within basic standards of human rights and international law. For example, the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 1456 (2003) insisted that any measure taken to combat terrorism must comply with international law obligations, “in particular international

human rights law, refugee, and humanitarian law.” The question remains whether these norms will actually govern the conduct of states and what the international community will do if they do not. The detainees in Guantanamo are in a “human rights free zone” with the active cooperation of many governments and the absence of an adequate response by the international community as a whole.

Even if one contends that the detainees are not covered by international humanitarian law, the international human rights framework still requires they be tried for a recognizable criminal offense and be granted the internationally recognized guarantees of a fair trial. The United States had no difficulty complying with these requirements in response to the first

World Trade Center bombing, showing it is possible for governments to create special procedures for handling classified or sensitive evidence in such trials in accordance with their legal systems. Many countries have experience trying alleged terrorists in ordinary courts under procedures that comply, or at least arguably comply, with international standards. There can be increased cooperation at every level of government within a human rights framework. Many human rights standards, beginning with Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, explicitly recognize limitations based on the requirements of public order or security. There is a substantial body of international, regional, and domestic jurisprudence in balancing liberty and security in a wide variety of specific contexts. These standards should be respected and enforced, not ignored. International human rights law also explicitly recognizes that there may be emergencies that justify suspension of some international human rights. If deemed prisoners of war then there is a well-defined regime of humanitarian law under which the detainees must be treated.

In conclusion this essay addressed one aspect of the ongoing debate about terrorism and

human rights. While urging adherence to existing human rights and humanitarian standards in the fight against terrorism and raising the alarm about how the “war on terrorism” is being waged, one should not ignore the challenges posed by transnational networks of persons willing to engage in acts of mass destruction. There are opportunities for cooperative, multilateral approaches to this challenge: Expanding the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court to cover a broader range of attacks on civilians would be a positive development and one fully consistent with the rule of law.


Amnesty International, Rights at Risk: Amnesty International’s Concern Regarding Security and Law enforcement Measures (2002), ACT 30/001/2001 available at

Amnesty International, United States of America: Memorandum to the US Government on the Rights of People in US Custody in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay (2002), AMR 51/053/2002, available at

Amnesty International, United States of America: Restoring the Rule of Law. The Right of Guantanamo Detainees to Judicial Review of the Lawfulness of Their Detention (2004)AMR 51/0931/2004, available at

Chinlund, C. Who Should Wear the “Terrorist” Label?, Boston Globe , 8 Sept. 2003, at A15, available at

Civil and Political Rights, Including the Question of Torture and Detention: Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Louis Joinet Chairperson-Rapporteur, Executive Summary, U.N. ESCOR, Comm’n on Hum. Rts., 59th Sess., Agenda Item 11(a), U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2003/8 (2002), available at

Cole, D. (2003) Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism at 188.

European Parliament Resolution on EU Judicial Co-operation with the United States in combating terrorism, B5-0813/2001 (11 Dec. 2001), available at

Fitzpatrick, J. (1994) The International System for Protecting Rights during States of Emergency.

Procedural Aspects of International Law Series: V. 19) 1994, p. 70-71.

Fitzpatrick, J. (2002) Sovereignty, Territoriality, and the Rule of Law, 25 Hastings International & Comparative Law Review at 303

Geneva Convention (III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Geneva III), 1949

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 124 S. Ct. 2633 (2004).

Human Rights First, Ending Secret Detentions (2004)available at

Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Watch Briefing Paer on U.S. Military Commissions (2003), available at

Jakob Kellenberger speech on 17 March 2004 to the

UN Commission on Human Rights during the 60th Annual Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights—

Statement by the President of the ICRC (17 Mar. 2004), available at


Kalliopi, K.K, U.M. Special Rapporteur. Preliminary Report: Terrorism and Human Rights, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1999/27 (1999), available at ecosoc/cn4/sub2/ 8–21.

Military Order, of November 13, 2001—Detention, Treatment and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terror, at Section 2.

Press Release, The White House, Statement by the President in His Address to the Nation (11 Sept. 2001), available at

Robinson, P, The Missing Crimes, in The Rome Statute for an International Criminal Court pp 510 – 521. (Antonio Cassese et al. eds., 2002).

S.C. Res. 1456, U.N. SCOR, 58th Sess., 4688th mtg., para 6, U.N. Doc. S/RES/1456 (2003), available at

The Queen on the Application of Abbasi and Another v. Sec’y of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, EWCA Civ 1598, para 64 (U.K.) Sup. Ct. Judicature, (C.A.) (6 Nov, 2002), available at

United States v. Yousef, 327 F.3d 56 (2d Cir. 2003).

Free Essays

World War I and World War II

The period after World War I and World War II, this was approximately during the years 1919 to 1944, and after 1946, various sentiments appeared ranging from loss, death, suffering, happy to be alive and family reunions.  Since people are still experiencing the aftermath of the war, poets and authors alike were also feeling the fever. Rupert Brooke was well known for his war poems that vividly described what he saw, relating the fear and devastation he felt while fighting in the battlefield.

Fiction novelist D.H. Laurence, poetess Edna St. Vincent Millay and Robert Frost became well known for their works that includes Women in Love, A Few Figs from Thistles and a  Pulitzer Award Winning collection of poems, respectively. However, other authors like John Hall Wheelock began publishing The Liberator, a weekly journal of criticizing the current society radically, where he soon became affiliated with the communist party.

There were some who were not contented with the result of the war and went on to protest through their writings. Filling up the people’s mind with “what if” questions, and “if this was what they want”. This somehow changed the people’s view and a mixture of reactions was raised against their current situation. For example in the aftermath of World War II, a wave of sympathy was given to the holocaust survivors, while others, still, believed in Hitler’s ideology.

From this event, numerous autobiographical accounts were published, the famous of which was The Diary of Anne Frank. Nonetheless, the conflict that arose from this era was that people became too sensitive in what was written down in journals, poems, stories or even in any articles. Such sensitivity was somehow dreadful for the literature world since authors did not have the liberty anymore to write anything out of topic and was not able to deviate from the current issues that were going on at that time.

Works Cited

Online Focus. War Poets. A Newshour with Jim Lehrer Transcript. February 17, 2003. November 5, 2007.

World Chronology(1919, 1920). Answers.Com Website. November 5, 2007.     

Between The Covers Rare Books, Inc. Website. November 5, 2007.


Free Essays

Topic: the United States Home Front During World War Ii

Topic: The United States Home Front During World War II Essential Question: “How important was the home front to the United States’ victory in World War II? National Standard for United States History: Era 8, Standard 3 The origins and course of World War II, the character of the war at home and abroad, and its reshaping of the United States role on world affairs. Instructional Objectives:

Students will be able to: 1. Explain and evaluate extensive economic and military mobilization on the home front by the United States during World War II and its impact of the success of the war effort. 2. Explain how the whole country, across all economic and social levels, was involved in a unified effort to produce the goods of war and of the common sacrifice made by every citizen through rationing, victory gardens, bond drives, etc. 3. Analyze and assess the effects of World War II on culture, family, gender roles, and technology in American society.

Background Description/Historical Significance: Although there were no military battles fought on the mainland of the United States, World War II had a profound effect on the nation as the Federal government mobilized its economic, financial, and human resources to defeat Axis aggression. This war returned the nation to economic prosperity after a decade of dismal depression, promoted the growth of big business, and enhanced a close relationship between industry and the military.

Politically, the power of the presidency and influence of the Federal government increased, and socially and economically, the war, through common sacrifice made by all, became a vehicle for improving the status of Americans. In short, the war became a catalyst for significant economic and social change whose impact extended well-beyond its duration. For example, before the war women had traditionally played a secondary role in the job market and men had dominated the industrial job sector.

However, with millions of men being drafted or joining the military, women were needed to man the factories and supply centers producing goods for the war. (Over 400,000 women also served in the military during World War II. ) They also had traditionally faced job discrimination and lower pay levels, but some of these inequities began to fade as they took on more and more responsibility in factories and production centers. Posters extolling “Rosie the Riveter” were printed, recognizing the need and importance of recruiting women for the work force.

Between 1941 and 1944, the number of women working outside the home rose by 5,000,000. By 1944, 72% of the female workforce were married women and their average age was over thirty-five. The war could not have been won without them. The war also began to create a more level playing field for minorities who had traditionally faced discrimination. All Americans were needed in the war effort and so black American, Hispanic Americans, and Japanese Americans (where in California whole families had been sent to military detention camps), were being drafted and joining the military.

In the case of African and Japanese Americans, separate and segregated military units were created… yet, they fought on the same battlefields with their fellow citizens. Changes also occurred on the home front. Factory workers were needed in the industrial north, and a migration of black workers to northern factories began and would continue until many years after the war had ended. What happened in the country during this time was really remarkable.

America’s entry into the war had brought the Nation together, united in a common and just cause, like at no other time in its history. The sacrifice being made by families and citizens was equally and fully shared. At the same time, social change was occurring which would carry over into the post-war years and ultimately result in more equal rights for everyone. What was happening on war front was linked to the home front. The combination would result at war’s end with America emerging as the world’s pre-eminent economic super power.

Instructional Activities and Primary Source/Document Excerpts: The following document excerpts, photographs, and posters can be selected, read, discussed, analyzed, and assessed by students, either individually for subsequent general class discussion, in a pair-and-share format, or in small groups with a cooperative learning activity. At the discretion of the teacher, document excerpts, photographs, and posters could grouped at designated “stations” in the classroom, and small groups of students could rotate from station to station during the instructional period.

As the groups of students examine, explain, and evaluate the pictures and texts of the following selected documents, they will begin to ascertain and assess the pivotal role that the American home front played in the Allied victory in World War II. The teacher can select (as a menu) which of the following photographs, posters, and document excerpts are most appropriate for the instructional needs of their students on this historical topic. Following these photographs, posters, and document excerpts there is a menu of thought-provoking questions to stimulate student discussion and interaction.

As a discussion prompt for either small group or whole class discussion, the teacher can present the following adage to the students: “If ‘every picture tells a story,’ describe what story about the American home front in World War II is being told by the following photographs and posters. ” The photographs and posters of women and African Americans during World War II have been selected from the following websites:www. womenshistory. about. com and www. archives. gov/research/african-americans/ww2 [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] Document “A”: Whereas it is the policy of the United States to encourage full participation in the national defense program by all citizens of the United States, regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin, in the firm belief that the democratic way of life within the Nation can be defended successfully only with the help and support of all groups within its borders, and Whereas there is evidence that available and needed workers have been barred from employment in industries engaged in defense production solely because of considerations of race, creed, color, or national origin, to the detriment workers’ morale and of national unity: Now, therefore, . . .

I do hereby reaffirm the policy of the United States that there shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or government because of race, creed, color, or national origin, and I do hereby declare that it is the duty of employers and of labor organizations . . . to provide for the full and equitable participation of all workers in defense industries, without discrimination because of race, creed, color, or national origin. . . . All contracting agencies of the Government of the United States shall include in all defense contracts hereafter negotiated by them a provision obligating the contractor not to discriminate against any worker because of race, creed, color, or national origin. ” —– Executive Order 8802, June 25, 1941 by President Franklin Roosevelt Document “B”: It is the policy of the Government of the United States to encourage full participation in the National Defense program by all citizens, regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin in the firm belief that the democratic way of life within the nation can be defended successfully only with the help and support of all groups within its borders. The policy was stated in my Executive Order signed on June 25, 1941. The order instructed all parties making contracts with the Government of the United States to include in all defense contracts thereafter a provision obligating the contractor not to discriminate against any worker because of race, creed, color, or national origin. Questions of race, creed, and color have no place in determining who are to man our ships.

The sole qualification for a worker in the maritime industry, as well as any other industry, should be his loyalty and his professional or technical ability and training. ” —– Letter from President Franklin Roosevelt to Mr. Joseph Curran, President of the National Maritime Union, January 14, 1942 Document “C”: “I welded . . . lying on the floor while another welder spattered sparks from the ceiling and chippers like giant woodpeckers shattered our eardrums. I . . . have sat at a bench welding flat and vertical plates. . . I did overhead welding, horizontal, flat, vertical. . . I made some good welds. . . I had a good taste of summer today, and I am convinced that it is going to take backbone for welders to stick to their jobs through the summer months.

It is harder on them than on any other of the workers—their leathers are so hot and heavy, they get more of the fumes, and their hoods become instruments of torture. There were times today when I’d have to stop in the middle of a tack and push my hood back just to get a breath of fresh air. It grows unbearably hot under the hood, my glasses fog and blur my vision, and the only thing to do is to stop. . . . Yet, the job confirmed my strong conviction. . . [that] what exhausts the woman welder is not the work, nor the heat, nor the demands upon physical strength. It is the apprehension that arises from inadequate skill and consequent lack of confidence, and this can be overcome by the right kind of training. I’ve mastered tacking now, so that doesn’t bother me.

I know that I can do it if my machine is correctly set, and I have learned enough of the [ways] of machines to be able to set them. And so, in spite of the discomforts of climbing, heavy equipment, and heat, I enjoyed the work today because I could do it. ” —– Augusta Clawson, a female welder in a shipyard, quoted from Augusta Clawson, Ship Diary of a Woman Welder (New York: Penguin, 1944). Document “D”: In the figure below the development of the United States labor force by gender during the war years. |Year |Total labor force (*1000) |of which Male (*1000) |of which Female (*1000) |Female share of total (%) | |1940 |56,100 |41,940 |14,160 |25. | |1941 |57,720 |43,070 |14,650 |25. 4 | |1942 |60,330 |44,200 |16,120 |26. 7 | |1943 |64,780 |45,950 |18,830 |29. 1 | |1944 |66,320 |46,930 |19,390 |29. 2 | |1945 |66,210 |46,910 |19,304 |29. | |1946 |60,520 |43,690 |16,840 |27. 8 | Source: Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States (1976), Chapter D, Labor Series D 29-41. Document “E”: “It is nearly five months since we were attacked at Pearl Harbor. . . . Since then we have dispatched strong forces of our Army and Navy, several hundred thousand of them, to bases and battlefronts thousands of miles from home. We have stepped up our war production on a scale that is testing our industrial power, and our engineering genius and our economic structure to the utmost. . . . This is a tough job—and a long one. . . To build the factories, to buy the materials, to pay the labor, to provide the transportation, to equip and feed and house the soldiers, sailors and marines, and to do all the thousands of things necessary in a war—all cost a lot of money, more money than has ever been spent by any nation at any time in the long history of the world. We are now spending, solely for war purposes the sum of about one hundred million dollars every day in the week. . . . All of this money has to be spent. . . if we are to produce within the time now available the enormous quantities of weapons of war which we need. . . . All of us are used to spending money for things that we want, things which are not absolutely essential.

We will all have to forego that kind of spending. Because we must put every dime and every dollar we can possibly spare out of our earnings into War Bonds and Stamps. Because the demands of the war effort require the rationing of goods of which there is not enough to go around. Because the stopping of purchases of non-essentials will release thousands of workers who are needed in the war effort. . . . I know the American farmer, the American workman, and the American businessman. I know that they will gladly embrace the economy and equality of sacrifice, satisfied that it is necessary for the most vial and compelling motive in all their lives—winning through to victory. . . As we here at home contemplate our own duties, our own responsibilities, let us think. . . hard of the example which is being set by our fighting men. . . . They are the United States of America. That is why they fight. We too are the United States of America. That is why we must work and sacrifice. It is for them. It is for us. It is for victory. ” —– President Franklin Roosevelt, Fireside Radio Chat, April 28, 1942 Document F “In late May 1940, with the fall of France imminent, [President] Roosevelt requested huge funds for the development of military and naval requirements. On December 20, 1940, he established the Office of Production Management with industrial leader William S. Knudsen as Director….

On December 29, 1940, in a fireside chat on the radio, he called for a national production effort that would make the United States the world’s “arsenal of democracy”. [After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941,] at the beginning of 1942 Roosevelt announced a compulsory production program: ‘Let no one say that this cannot be done, and we are committed to doing it. ’ He issued a clarion call for 60,000 planes, 45,000 tanks, 20,000 antiaircraft guns, 500,000 machine guns, and 8 million tons of merchant shipping in one year…. The entire world was amazed by the pace of American production. By 1943, the production schedule was increased to 125,000 planes, 75,000 tanks, 35,000 antiaircraft guns, and 10 million tons of merchant shipping….

During the course of the war the productive capacity of the United States gave the allied coalition more than half its armaments, 35% of those used against Nazi Germany, and 86% of those employed against Japan. While providing the United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth, the Soviet Union, and Nationalist China with arms and loans, the United States at the same time doubled its industrial output. ” Louis L. Snyder’s Historical Guide to World War II Greenwood Press: Westport, Conn: Louis Snyder: 1982 Sample Thought-provoking Questions To Develop Student Group or Whole-Class Discussion: 1. If the adage, “Every picture tells a story,” is applied to each of the above-listed photographs and posters, how did World War II affect the lives of women and African Americans? ” 2.

How did World War II affect American family life? 3. Explain the meaning of President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802, and how did this Executive Order affect African Americans? 4. To what extent did Executive Order 8802 lay the foundation for the upcoming civil rights movement in the years after World War II? 5. Describe the experiences of women who worked in factors during World War II. (Example: female welders). Why was it important for woman to work in factories during World War II? 6. How did the contributions of women on the home front contribute to the American victory in World War II? 7. How did World War II serve as a catalyst for social change in American society? Prior to discussing Question 8 provide a brief overview and background as to the role of A. Philip Randolph, the most important African American labor leader of the time, and how he threatened to organize a March on Washington if the Defense Industries were not desegregated. 8. Explain the meaning and significance of the following quotation and slogan of A. Philip Randolph, President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, in 1941, in proposing a massive March on Washington: “WE LOYAL NEGRO AMERICAN CITIZENS DEMAND THE RIGHT TO WORK AND FIGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY. ” Why did Randolph cancel the march after President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802?

Do you think that Randolph made the right decision? Explain your viewpoint. 9. How did World War II end the Great Depression and return the United States to economic prosperity? 10. Why did President Roosevelt describe the United States as an “arsenal of democracy? ” Summary: The teacher can refer the students back to the “essential question” which was posed at the start of the lesson: “How important was the home front to the United States’ victory in World War II? ” The students are directed to respond and take a position (develop a viewpoint) on this historical issue concerning the pivotal role that the home front played in the victory of the United State in World War II.

At the teacher’s discretion, the pupils’ responses can be presented orally as closure to small group and/or whole-class discussion, or in written form, such as a response to an essay prompt or a journal entry into a “learning log” to bring effective closure to the lesson. Thus, as a circular approach to teaching and learning, the lesson was “opened” with a thought-provoking “essential question” as its primary learning objective at the start of the instructional period, developed through an examination, explanation, and evaluation of primary source document excerpts through group work, cooperative learning, pair-and-share, etc. , and closed with a critical assessment through the lens of the lesson’s evaluative “essential question. ”

Application (“Transfer Task”): Students can compare the pivotal role and significant impact of the American home front to military victory in World War II to the role and impact of the American home front today as the as the United States fights wars against terrorism and to promote democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Students can also compare the roles of women and African Americans in the armed services today with the roles and opportunities that were presented to them during World War II. World War II at the Memorial: [pic] 1. Study the images of sculptor Ray Kaskey’s bas-relief panel that depict the following: • Lend-Lease/War Declared • News of Pearl Harbor Men and Women at Work/Aircraft Construction • Agriculture • West Coast Shipbuilding • War bond Parade 2. How does Kaskey’s relief panel capture the essence of the heroism of the men and women who worked on the home front in factories and on farms to secure Allied victory? Do you think Kaskey’s panels reflects what you learned in this lesson? If, so explain how. 3. Study images of the two types of ornamental wreaths used around the memorial on the fifty six pillars. The oak leaves represent American industrial strength and the wheat sheaves represent America’s agricultural ability to feed the world. Why do you think Kaskey chose these particular metaphors for the home front? 4.

Examine the image of the pillars of states and territories. Notice that they are all connected by ropes. What does this tell you about the memorial’s design based on what you have learned in this lesson? What does this design tell you about the nation and the American people from 1941-1945. 5. Read the memorial inscription by Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby. (marker stone on northeast side of the plaza, south face). How is what you have learned in this lesson reflected in Hobby’s quote? [pic] 6. Read the memorial inscription by President Franklin Roosevelt (marker stone on northeast side of the plaza, west face). How is what you have learned in this lesson reflected in Roosevelt’s quote? [pic]

Image 1: Pacific Victory Arch and State and Territory Pillars [pic] Image 2: Atlantic Victory Arch and State and Territory Pillars [pic] Image 3: Bas-relief panel “Lend-Lease/War Declared” [pic] Image 4: Bas-relief Panel “News of Pearl Harbor” [pic] Image 5: Bas-relief panel, “Men and Women at Work/Aircraft Construction” [pic] Image 6: Agriculture [pic] Image 7: Bas-relief panel “West Coast Shipbuilding” [pic] Image 8: Bas-relief panel “War Bond Parade” [pic] The Friends of the National World War II Memorial would like to thank the generous support of the AT&T Foundation, General Motors Foundation and USAA as major sponsors of our education program who helped make these lesson plans possible.

Free Essays

Rationing During World War Ii

Rationing During World War II 30 March, 2012 Rationing During World War II Rationing is defined as a fixed allowance of provisions of food, especially for soldiers or sailors or for civilians during a shortage (dictionary. com). In 1942 a rationing system began to guarantee minimum amounts of things people needed. During World War II, people couldn’t just walk into a store and buy whatever they wanted. Ration books are books that contained coupons where shopkeepers could cut out the coupon for the person to use.

War ration books and tokens were issued to each American family, controlling how much gas, tires, sugar, meat, silk, shoes, nylon and other items any person could buy (Rationing on the US Homefront). The Office of Price Administration (OPA) issued each person in a household to get a ration book, even children and babies. Ration books were organized by color: buff-colored books were mostly for adults, green ration books were for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under the age of five, and blue ration books were for children from ages six to sixteen (Rationing on the US Homefront).

On National Registration day, 29 September, 1939, every person in a household had to fill out a form explaining with details about who lived in their house. Ration stamps were only valid for a certain period of time so it would prevent hoarding of the stamps. The government issued ration books because they were worried that when items became scarce that the prices would go up, and poor people couldn’t buy the things they needed (Barrow, 2010). Rationing made sure that people got an equal amount of food every week. The government tried their hardest to make it fair for everyone.

Still, some people thought that rationing was unfair (Barrow, 2010). People were encouraged to provide their own food in their homes thus starting the ‘Dig for Victory! ’ campaign. The ‘Dig for Victory! ’ campaign was where men and women made their yards and flower-beds into gardens to grow vegetables (Dig For Victory! , 2004). A typical ration for one adult per week was: butter 50g (2oz), sugar 225g (8oz), cheese 50g (2oz), jam 450g (1lb) every two months, bacon and ham 100g, meat to the value of 1s. 2d (1 shilling and sixpence e er week, eggs 1 fresh egg a week, dried eggs 1 packet every four weeks, margarine 100g (4oz), milk 3 pints (1800 ml), tea 50g (2oz), sweets 350g (12oz) every four weeks (Barrow, 2010). With the above list of rationed items, each person was allowed sixteen points to use on whatever rationed item they wanted. Pregnant women, mothers who are nursing their children or children under the age of five were allowed to pick their choice of fruit, daily pint of milk and double eggs first (Barrow, 2010). Clothes rationing began two years after food rationing started.

During World War II, there was a shortage in material for clothing. The shortage made people to “make due and mend” so that way factory workers could make uniforms, and parachutes for the war (Giullian, 2010). The government gave each person a ration book for clothes. Just like food rationing, when people wanted to buy new clothes, all they had to do was bring their ration book to the store and then buy they clothes they wanted, then you hand over your ration book to the storekeeper and they mark off what the person got in their ration books.

The coupon system allowed people to get a new set of clothing each year. Coupons were a different color so they wouldn’t use all their coupons at once. The government told the people when they could use their other coupons. At first, each person was given 60 coupons to last them the whole year. Later on the coupon amount dropped to 48. Children were assigned an extra 10 ration coupons for their clothing in case they grow during the year. What would you buy with 60 coupons to last you the whole year?

Fourteen years of rationed food and it finally came to an end because meat and bacon restrictions were lifted. Rationing of food ended nine years after the war ended. Rationing ended on 4 July, 1954 (Barrow, 2010). Fourteen years of rationing, people could finally enjoy buying the necessities they needed for their daily life. Men, women, and children went back to a normal lifestyle they were used to. References Barrow, M.. (2010, Month. Day). In Rationing During WWWII.

Retrieved Mar. 26, 2012, from http://www. woodlands-junior. kent. sch. uk/Homework/war/rationing. htm (2004, Mar. 1 ). In Dig for Victory!. Retrieved Mar. 26, 2012, from http://h2g2. com/dna/h2g2/A2263529 Giullian, M.. (2010, May. 10). In Rationing. Retrieved Mar. 25, 2012, from http://ussslcca25. com/rationing. htm In Rationing on the US Homefront during WWII. Retrieved Mar. 25, 2012, from http://www. ameshistoricalsociety. org/exhibits/events/rationing. htm

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One of the Greatest American Sacrifices for WWII

The year is 1941 and the United States has managed to remain out of the 2nd World War. But on the morning of December 7th, history was changed for the American people. At 7:55am, Japanese militants dropped the first bombs on Pearl Harbor. This is “a date which will live in infamy. ” Whether we liked it or not, America was now involved in World War II. Americans all across the country had to make many sacrifices to help out with the war efforts. There were restrictions placed on consumer goods such as automobiles, electronics, and nylons.

Also, there were limitations placed on housing construction. But the greatest sacrifice of all was made by the Japanese Americans. In Mine Okubo’s book Citizen 13660, she describes as well as illustrates her experience as she, and approximately 110,000 other people, were evacuated from the west coast and sent to internment camps all across the country. The number 13660 in the book title comes from Okubo’s family number that was given to her when she registered for her brother and herself. It was to be used to identify their belongings and them as a family unit.

On page 26, as she waits to load the bus to be taken to the camp, Okubo says, “At that moment I recalled some of the stories told on shipboard by European refugees bound for America. ” In this quote, she is referring to the Jews who are escaping Germany. The stories that were being told are of the concentration camps that the Jews had been sent to. Okubo, along with all the other Japanese Americans, had no idea what was in store for them. Many feared that it would be something very similar to that of the concentration camps in Germany. When they arrived they soon learned that conditions were not as harsh as those the Jews were enduring.

But still their experience differed immensely from the rest of the world. They lived in the internment camps and endured the lack of privacy and long lines to get food and to use the bathrooms. In the barracks, they had no choice but to sleep on mattresses filled with hay. “What hurt most I think was seeing those hay mattresses. We were used to a regular home atmosphere, and seeing those hay mattresses—so makeshift, with hay sticking out—a barren room with nothing but those hay mattresses. It was depressing, such a primitive feeling. ”

If the men wanted to join the service to show their loyalty to the ountry, they had to serve on the frontlines along with all the other Japanese Americans who chose to serve. The frontlines were extremely harsh conditions and the chance of survival was very low. “More than 50,000—the children of immigrants from China, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines—fought in the army, mostly in all-Asian units. ” Some felt that these things were their way of helping with the war efforts and showing their loyalty to the country, and others felt that their civil rights had been stripped from them. Most of Mine Okubo’s wartime experience was spent in the internment camps.

Through her illustrations and the text she shows us the reality of these harsh wartime conditions and how the Japanese Americans managed to make the most of the situation they were placed in. They managed to come together to create their own little community with schools, and visual arts, and even their own newspaper. Okubo’s illustrations allow us to see her emotions as we read her writings. Many of her emotions in the illustrations seem to lack any sort of anger and shed somewhat of a humorous light onto the text itself. I feel like her narrations would take on a more serious tone if her drawings were not present in the book.

If I was placed in this same position as Okubo, I am not entirely sure how I would react. A part of me would love to take on the same perspective that Mine Okubo has taken, but as I read her book it is also hard for me to believe that anyone could remain so calm during such an intense time in their life. I would have such a hard time just packing up and leaving at any given moment and not knowing where I was going or what was going to happen to me. Okubo dealt with these undertakings very well and I am not sure I would be able to do the same if put in the same position.

This portion in history tells us a lot about the “limits” of freedom in American history. Although the Japanese-Americans were citizens of the United States and residences within the country, they did not have equivalent rights during this time in history. “The Constitution makes him a citizen of the United States by nativity and a citizen of California by residence. No claim is made that he is not loyal to this country. ” Many Japanese-Americans were being treated as if they had been disloyal to the US and even alienated because of how they looked.

Also, the freedom to own land was taken from them as well. “The Federal Reserve Banks took charge of property owned by evacuees, while the Farm Security Administration took over the agricultural property. ” Owning property is one of the greatest freedoms and American can uphold and as history has shown it can easily be taken away in an instant. Japanese-Americans were forced to sell everything because they were very limited in what they could take with them to the internment camps. As we can clearly see, Japanese-Americans had such limited freedom during World War II.

Mine Okubo along with Yuri Tateishi gave us an inside look of what it was like for them during this crucial time in their lives and it allows us to see the rights and freedoms that were taken from these American citizens. I was able to more clearly see the actualization of their experiences through Mine Okubo’s illustrations because it allowed me to gain a greater respect for their emotions. Okubo and Tateishi, along with countless others, made some of the greatest sacrifices for the well being of our country during the war and for that they do not get nearly enough credit.

Free Essays

Battle of Stalingrad

The battle of Stalingrad was one of the biggest, cruellest and most important battles of the World War II. The city was called in the name of Stalin, the leader of the Red Army and if the Germans captured it would be great propaganda for them and it would decrease the Russian morale, so Stalin made his army fight until death. Also if the Germans took control of Stalingrad, then the way to Moscow would be open and the Germans might win the war. The city also controlled a lot of crucial water and rail communications with the rest of Russia.After the fail of the Operation Barbarossa, Adolf Hitler began a new offensive in June 1942. General Frederich Paulus, the commander of the 6th German army got an order to invade Stalingrad. The city controlled a lot of rail and water communications. In the summer of 1942 Paulus sent an army of 250000 men, 500 tanks, 7000 artillery guns and 25000 horses. The progress was slow, because there was a lack of supplies until the 7th August 1942. By the end of the month the army killed or captured around 50000 USSR soldiers. At around 35 miles left till Stalingrad the fuel supplies stopped again.

When the supplies came the progress continued but Paulus was conserving the fuel, so he only sent his 14th Panzer corps. The Red Army was now giving more resistance and the Germans were forced to stop just outside of Stalingrad. Paulus ordered to delay the attack until the 7th September because his north flank was under attack. While he was waiting the Luftwaffe bombed the city. The USSR suffered lots of civilian casualties and most of the city was reduced to rubble. Stalin brought most of the Russian army together, even from Siberia.

Millions of soldiers were in Stalingrad now defending the most important part of Russia. More and more soldiers were needed as more and more German tanks and planes attacked. General Georgi Zhukov the Russian military that was yet not defeated in a single battle was put in charge of the Stalingrad defence. As the Germans progressed through the city the Red Army was fighting for every single building the further the advance was the more casualties each side suffered. The German tanks were not much use in street battles and most of the fighting was done with sniper rifles, machineguns and hand grenades.

Germans had problems with very well and cleverly camouflaged Russian artillery and machinegun nests. The Red Army also used sniper squads, which were based in the ruins, particularly well. On the 26th September the 6th German army was able to put their flag up over the Red Square of Stalingrad, but the street fight continued. Adolf Hitler ordered Frederich Paulus to take Stalingrad at any cost, but General Kurt Zeitzler, the Chief of General Staff was critically against continuing the attack and asked Hitler to let the German army leave Stalingrad.

Hitler denied it and said to the German people on the radio: “You can be sure, that no one will ever be able to push us out of Stalingrad”. When General Gustav von Wietersheim, the commander of the 14th Panzer division was complaining about great losses at the front, Paulus replaced him with General Hans Hube. Paulus, however, who lost 40000 men entering the city, was short on soldiers and on the 4th October 1942 begged Hitler for reinforcements. A few days later five engineer battalions and a tank division came to Stalingrad.

On the 19th October snow replaced rain as Paulus still tried to progress despite the harsh conditions. In November he controlled about 90% of the city, but he was running out of men and supplies. Despite that Paulus planned another big offensive on the 10th November. His army received great casualties in the next two days and the Red Army knowing what happened launched a counterattack and Paulus was forced back south. When he reached the Gumrak airfield Adolf Hitler ordered Paulus to slowdown and resist the Russians. He also promised that the Luftwaffe would supply his army via air.

The Paulus’ High Officers were sure that the Russian winter airspace would restrict the air supplying. All the battalion commanders were saying that a successful counterattack was the only option, but Paulus restricted his moves to Hitler’s orders. During the December the Luftwaffe dropped 70 tonnes of supplies a day, but the surrounded German army needed about 300 tonnes a day. All the soldiers only had a third of the normal food portion a day and they also started killing their horses for meat. By the 7th December the 6th army was living on one loaf of bread per five men.

The army was about to surrender because of hunger when Hitler ordered the 4th army to launch a rescue operation. The 4th army only had 30 miles until the city, when the Russians stopped them. By 27th December 1942 the 4th army was also surrounded by the Red Army. In about a month over 28000 German soldiers died. Because of the food shortage Erich von Manstein ordered to stop feeding the 12000 useless injured men. Then he wanted to make a massive breakthrough and run away, but his men were too weak to do that and the idea was scrapped.

30th January 1943 Adolf Hitler made Paulus a field marshal, and sent him a message saying that none German field marshals were captured yet and suggested to commit suicide. Paulus stood strong and preferred to surrender to the Russians. The last of the Germans surrendered on the 2d February 1943. The Battle of Stalingrad was over. More than 91000 men were captured, and 150000 men died during the siege. All the German prisoners were sent to Siberia and 45000 of them died on the way there. Only 7000 German survived the war.

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Navajo Code Talkers: the Unspoken Heroes of World War II

It’s a normal day in June 1944 and we were located on the Pacific Island of Saipan. As were walking through the lush, tangled wilderness with dense sugar-cane, steep ravines and jagged volcanic mountains, there was no such thing as a battle line for us soldiers. Danger was everywhere. The unseen enemy could be hidden by the thick tropical vegetation and the pitch black darkness of the new mooned night. Our eyes where constantly looking from the left to the right as we crossed by the walls of caves looking at the trees sprouting out of them for barrels pointing back.

When we would stop for the night, we cherished the passing day, for we know tomorrow could be our last. One morning as we woke up from our uncomfortable beds, the ground, we noticed a silence along the enemy front. Carefully we scouted the terrain. They were gone. The Japanese had abandoned the area and retreated to new ground. As we inspected the area where they once occupied, suddenly artillery shells exploded all around us. I jumped to the ground as shrapnel exploded and flew overhead striking the tree that was behind me. We were being attacked. Not by the Japanese, but from our own guns.

The radioman started shouting, “We are Americans! Stop The Artillery! ” Nothing stopped, for the artillery commanders faced a known problem. The Japanese were far more fluent in English then we were in Japanese and have been known to send out faulty reports in perfect English. They thought it was just an enemy trick. “Stop Firing! We are Americans! ” was echoed through the radio, each one more desperate then the last. Finally, a message was sent back, “Do you have a Navajo? ” I was rushed forward, almost swept off my feet. Handing over my rifle to the radioman and started talking code.

Within seconds the artillery stopped (Bruchac 2005, 135-7). This was a reenactment of an incident involving the United States marines during World War II. Sixteen-year-old Ned Begay, a Native American Navajo from Arizona, was at this fire fight on Bougainville, an area of Saipan, where U. S. troops fired on their own solders, not knowing that they were not the enemy. If it wasn’t for the Navajo code talker, more men would have died that day. This paper will cover many topics about the Navajo code talkers, including how they were formed, how the code was used to save American lives throughout the war.

Finally, I will talk about what happened to the after the war. By providing this information, I how that it will strike a new incite of what the unspoken heroes of World War II went through. During the beginning of World War II, the Japanese was able to break every code that the United States created. The Japanese had more solders that were fluent in English, making it easy to crack the codes and create false orders that would sent our solders to their death. While the U. S. military was struggling with a way to find an unbeatable code, a civilian came up with the answer.

Philip Johnston, a civil engineer for the city of Los Angles, came across a news article stating that the military had an armored division in Louisiana that was using Native American languages for secret communications. Philip Johnston, son of William and Margaret Johnston, was a Protestant missionary to the Navajo for many years. Philip had spent his childhood with the Navajo and was one of the few outsiders to be fluent in the Navajo language.

At an early age, he served as a translator for his parents and for other outsiders and by the age of nine, Philip traveled to Washington D. C. to translate for a Navajo delegation that asked President Theodore Roosevelt to look into the governments treatment of the Navajos and their neighbors (AAaseng 1992, 18). Philip knew that the Navajo language was virtually impossible for an adult to master. Every syllable in the Navajo language had to pronounce correctly. Of one was to change the tone of the syllables, the word could have a completely different meaning, causing the sentence to misunderstood. This was due to the Navajo uses of four different tones, low, high, rising, and falling (AAaseng 1992, 18).

Johnston had learned how secret codes where essential for military operation while enlisted with the French during World War I. The more he thought about it, the more convinced he was that it would work. In February of 1942, Johnston met with Lieutenant Colonel James Jones, a signal officer, and was greeted with uncertainty and misbelieves. Johnston pointed out that knowledge of other Native American languages would be of no use to the enemy in understanding the Navajo language. Navajos where so isolated from the world that the language was as foreign to other tribes as it was to outsiders.

In addition to this, the Navajo language was a spoken language and had no alphabet and there for couldn’t be reduced to a written format that can be studied afar. After many hours of arguments and demonstrations, in March 1942, he was able to present a demonstration to an audience that included Major General Vogel and Colonel Wethered Woodward from the marine headquarters in Washington D. C. Johnston was able to gain the cooperation of four Navajos living in the Las Angeles area and a Navajo who was enlisted with the marines (AAaseng 1992, 21).

He divided the four Navajos into two groups and had the sent messages back and forth, while the Navajo marine was attempting to translate the messages. After the demonstration, the Navajo Marine was unable to translate a signal word. General Vogel was so impressed that in February 1942, just two months after the booming of Pear Harbor, Philip Johnston was asked to prepare a proposal for organizing and using the Navajo code Talkers. In May 1942, the first 29 Navajo recruits attended boot camp. They were known as the “first 29. ” At Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California, this first group created the Navajo code.

They developed an elaborate dictionary and hundreds of words for military terms [ (Navajo Code Talkers: World War II Fact Sheet n. d. ) ]. The dictionary and all code words had to be memorized during training for the Navajos where not allowed to write down any of of the code. Furthermore, while enlisted, they were not allowed to write to their families for fear that the letters would be used to try to break the code. Once the Navajo code talker completed his training, he was sent to a Marine unit who was deployed in the Pacific.

The code talkers’ primary job was to talk, transmitting information on tactics and troop movements, orders and other vital battlefield communications over telephones and radios. They also acted as messengers, and performed general Marine duties. While in combat, it was rumered that for each code talker, there was an officer assigned to protect him from cabture. If for any reason that the officer felt that the code would fall into enamy hands, the officer was ordered to kill the code talker to protect the code. One of the great triumphs for the Navajo code talkers was the battle at Iwo Jima in February of 1945.

The island was so small that on most maps you couldn’t see the island at all. Although small, this island was of great importance. The new boomers that the United States were using, the B-29, was flying a 3000-mile round-trip when booming Japan. Due to the length of this trip many pilots where getting shot down. Iwo Jima was the answer. Iwo Jima would be able to be used as an emergency landing field to assist the pilot’s chances. At Iwo Jima, Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer, had six Navajo Code Talkers [ (Bingaman n. d. ) ]. The Major estimated that it would only take ten days, at the max, to win the battle.

A month later, in March, was the island declared secure. By the end of the battle, the Navajo code talkers send and received over 800 messages, all without error, 6,800 U. S. soldiers died and nearly 20,000 more where wounded. Major Connor declared, “Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima” [ (AAaseng 1992, 88-97) ]. September 2, 1945 aboard the battleship A. S. S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, the surrender from the Japanese was signed and World War II was officially over. The Navajo code was unable to be broken throughout the war.

Because of this the code was classified as Top Secret and would remain so for over twenty years after the end of the war. It wasn’t until 1968 that the code was declassified and the Navajo code talkers would be able to tell their story. In 1982, the code talkers were given a Certificate of Recognition by U. S. President Ronald Reagan, who also named August 14, 1982 “Navajo Code Talkers Day” [ (Jr. n. d. ) ]. On December 21, 2000, Bill Clinton signed Public Law 106-554, 114 Statute 2763, which awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to twenty-nine World War II Navajo code talkers.

In July 2001, U. S. President George W. Bush personally presented the Medal to four surviving code talkers at a ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC. Gold medals were presented to the families of the 24 code talkers that where no longer with us [ (Gray 2001) ]. For many the Navajo code talkers played an important role in World War II. From when Johnston realized how the Navajo language would benefit America, the formation of the code, and how long it would take for the Navajo to be recognized for their part in the war, the Navajo where truly the unspoken heroes of World War II.

Free Essays

Battle of Atlantic

In the fall of 1939, the Atlantic Ocean was the dramatic setting of a fierce battle between the British and the Germans. At the time, most people thought that the Battle of the Atlantic may have decided World War II’s outcome. This battle was the deciding factor throughout the war. The battle of the Atlantic was a violent and destructive battle. Many people lost their lives fighting in this battle. New technology was one of the major factors in helping the allies win the long and crucial Battle of the Atlantic.

The Battle of the Atlantic was a violent and destructive battle which caused chaos in the ocean. Many ships were built then blown up or sunk in sea and some may have survived. This battle was so violent and destructive that each side had its own strategy planned out exactly at when to use it. The allies mass-produced over 100 corvettes in 1943 and by 1945 the allies ships turned from 38 – 410 ship because in the spring of 1941, u-boats sunk about 500,000 tons of shipping good each month (u-boats are German submarines). May 1943 was the turning point of the allies.

The allies moved from the defensive strategy to offensive; instead of the Germans hunting us, the RCN (Royal Canadian Navy) and company hunted them. By July, the Germans were only capable to destroy/sink 20 ships per month. “The Battle of the Atlantic was the only thing that ever frightened me. ” –Winston Churchill One of the reasons that the Germans got so many kills was because they used a strategy called ‘wolf packs. ’ This strategy involves hunting in packs instead of separately; they would hunt with 3-4 ships minimum.

Everyone was devastated when this battle erupted; it caused a lot of deaths as well as nightmares for the ones who survived. Up to this day, no one can forget this horrific battle because it was the longest running battle during World War II which was also one of the most destructive ones with the thousands of ships submerged beneath the cold, dark waters of the Atlantic During the 2,075 days of the Battle of the Atlantic, there were many deaths as well as ships sunk on each of the 2 sides.

It may have seemed that Germany sunk more ships because they achieved to sink over 1000 ships in 600 months but they were the ones that lost the most. One of the reasons Canada joined the war is because the Germans sunk a passenger ship ‘SS Athenia’ on the coast of Ireland on September 3, 1939 which resulted in 4 Canadians killed. The Germans might have sunk the ship by accident or on purpose but either way, they have killed 4 Canadians and the prime minster was not pleased.

There were 95,000 uniformed men and women in the navy. After the war, 2,210 Canadians died; 6 of them were women, 24 warships and 2,900 other ships (merchants etc) sunk including 14 million tons of shipping goods. On the other hand, the Germans lost 800 u-boats, 42 enemy surface crafts and 30,000 of the 39,000 Germans never returned. Although many Canadians died in this ongoing battle, we (the navy) commemorate them for their actions during this battle every year on the first Sunday of May.

The allies (RC/RCN) struggled throughout the war because of the lack of technology. In the 1940’s a new sonar system was created to help the allies detect the enemies. In the beginning, the allies only had an early type of sonar called ‘ASDIC’ (Allied Submarine Detection Investigation Committee). ASDIC was most effective when used underwater where the allies could detect long range u-boats but on surface, the u-boats were undetectable.

As the war continued, allies were equipped with a better, more advanced sonar system which could detect u-boats underwater and even on the surface in dense fog; the allies perfected the technique ‘Radio Directional Finding’ (RDF) as they received this new enhanced technology. With the new technology in hand, the allies had a special feature; they could locate wolf packs accurately using the u-boat radio transmissions. The results of the new features and technological innovations were fantastic; the allies could hold their ground against the u-boats when escorting ships such as merchants etc.

Since we now have the advanced technology of the sonar from the battle, our sonar technology is improving every day. When the Battle of the Atlantic came to an end, World War II was close to the end. With many injured, dead and submerged under the waters of the Atlantic, they helped the allies win the battle and defeat the Germans as well as innovating the sonar and navy technology. Every year on the first Sunday of May, the navy would commemorate the ones who fought in the Battle of the Atlantic as they did some heroic actions leading the allies into victory!


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Why Did War Break Out in Europe in 1939

When Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933; he had a lot of frustration against the Treaty which he thought was unfair. For example the enormous amount of reparation, it literally got Germany bankrupt. The restriction of army had also caused a lot of anger; Hitler and the Germans felt humiliated as the army used to be Germany’s pride and symbol before the First World War. Moreover, Germany was not allowed self-determination and joining of the League of Nations. These further made the Germans feel humiliated and dishonoured.

The loss of colonies and territories had not only made Germany lost human resources, they were also important industrial areas which provide resources and markets. Therefore when Hitler came to power in 1933, he pledged that he would abolish the treaty to recover the Germany economy brings back German’s pride. Hitler also felt a strong necessity of increasing German territory, which came from the idea of ‘Lebensraum’, a German word for living space. His aimed was clearly to bring Germany back to where it was before the war, a proud and strong nation.

In the 1930s there were two incidents that really tested the League of Nations; they were the invasion of Manchuria and the Abyssinia crisis. During the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, the league had done a bad job by delaying to solve their own local problems- it took them a year to produce a report to condemn the Japanese in1933 (when Hitler came to power). However, Japan intended to invade more of China to ‘defend their selves’, thus the powerless League voted to approve it when only Japanese voted against as an insult.

Witnessing the incident, Hitler could be almost certain that League was too useless and weak to stop his future actions. In 1936 he took a huge risk by sending German troops to remilitarise Rhineland; however he was confident due to the incident happened in Manchuria, as well as the Abyssinian crisis which was happening at the exact same time. The league was too weak by then as they were distracted by the Abyssinian crisis; they only condemned Hitler’s action but had no power to do anything else. Thus Hitler won; the remilitarisation of Rhineland as well as a huge gain in confidence.

In 1936 Hitler began his policy of reclaiming lost German territory. He wanted an “Anschluss with Austria”, that is to bring the two nations together even though they were banned to ally under the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler started to manipulate the Nazis to stir up trouble, to call for democratic plebiscite and eventually he sent his own troops into Austria to “defend democracy”, when the real intention was probably to make sure people vote for Anschluss under the watchful eyes of the army. British Prime Minister, Chamberlin, had also supported the idea of uniting Austrian with the Germans.

Britain and France had both followed the policy of Appeasement in the 1930s. Britain’s leaders may have felt they had no option but to appease Hitler, even when there were obvious risks to such a policy such as it would encourage Hitler to be aggressive, allowed Germany to grow too strong, etc. France was invaded by Germany a several times and thus feeling a need to make peace. However, the main reason could be that they felt too vulnerable to go on war that they were perhaps in denial of Hitler’s potential and danger with or without their own acknowledgement.

In 1938, Hitler had successfully took over Sudetenland very much due to the leaders of Britain and France’s naivety of trusting Hitler as well as their reluctance to go on war to stop Hitler’s action. In 1939 Hitler made an agreement with Stalin not to attack one another. They signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact and announced the terms to the world. While privately they also agreed to divide Poland between them. Stalin was very worried as Hitler had openly stated his interest in conquering the Russian land.

He signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact because he was not convinced that Britain and France would be strong and reliable enough as allies against Hitler. Another advantage was that he had planned to take over the Baltic states of eastern Poland, which had been part of Russia in the Tsar’s day. Although he did not believe Hitler would keep his word anymore, but he hoped the alliance with Germany could buy him time to build up his forces against the attack he knew would come. To Hitler’s advantage, he saw Russia as a good geographical ally in a sense hat he would have helpers up in the north if a war breaks out in the west. Hitler and the Soviet forces invaded Poland in 1939; one right after another. Poland was soon taken over by the two nations. However, it was not satisfying for Hitler, he demanded even more. He was certain that Britain and France would be weak as they always had been and would not risk going on war over Poland, and thus he planned an attack on his temporary ally, the USSR. However, this time the Britain and France kept their pledge and stood up for France, declaring a war against Germany.

Hitler was caught by surprise, the war broke out sooner than he had expected and it was against the wrong opponents. Hitler would have never predicted that the invasion of Poland would lead to war in Europe and eventually turned into a World War again. Despite the fact that it was Hitler’s actions which led to war, many other factors were important in making the war happen. As I have mentioned it was the League’s incapability in settling peace that had led to frustration of the Germans to tear up the treaty.

It was Britain and France’s weakness that had gained Hitler’s confidence and encouraged him to gamble more the next time. It was the various countries’ fear and reluctance to go on war to stop Hitler that had allowed him to take a bigger step each time. After all, Hitler was just taking advantage in every situation before the war and was responding to people’s weakness and naivety by demanding for more. When Britain and France finally stood up to declare war on Germany, Hitler was already stronger than before and it in the end it turned out to be another World War.

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The Korean War started in the aftermath of World War II

The Korean War started in the aftermath of World War II.  When the Great War that ended all wars resulted in the defeat of Japan, a new power arose in the Pan Asian area, the specter of USSR.  Stalin’s tight rein on the country and its quick and vicious rise to superpower status caused Americans to fear that the Soviet Empire would attempt to spread communism throughout the world.  Eastern Europe had already been engulfed and President Truman was weary of the possibility of the rest of Asia falling into the grasp of communism.

Therefore in Korea, America made a stand for democracy (Ridgeway, 15).  The United States called this policy “containment”, to contain the spread of communism because it attempts to encroach on America’s philosophy of democracy (Ridgeway, 15).  The very policy of containment arose out of fear from Secretary of State Kissinger that the Soviet Union’s eventual plan is to dominate the politics of the Pan Asian Alliance and eventually threaten the rest of Europe.

The Korean War rose out of these circumstances as a battle against communism (Ridgeway, 15).  Northern Korea threatened Southern Korea through a series of hostile attacks, and after the South Korean Army with help from the US decimated the Northern Alliance, China’s quick intercession quickly changed the tides of war.  Korea was not an isolated two nation battle; rather it represented a political ideological struggle between westernization and communism (Ridgeway, 15).   China wanted to exert its presence following its own communist revolution as chose Korea as the testing grounds for its new army operations.  When Korea was finally split in half after indecisive battles, its role in history was forever termed as the “Forgotten War”.

Vietnam occurred under similar circumstances.  The Soviet Union’s powers were at its peak during this time, having proved that they were now a nuclear power; this is the first time that these two nations met indirectly (Moise, 130).  Vietnam became the first major war in the post nuclear weapons era and it was motivated by the continuance of the theory of containment.

Although large amounts of troop activity was already taking place during the John F. Kennedy era, President Johnson’s term saw the escalation of troops and combat within the region.  The North Koreans were constantly supplied via underground shipments from the Soviet Union and China, thus the war did not seem like it would end (Moise, 130).  The conclusive withdraw of US troops during Nixon’s presidency represented the first major victory and breakthrough for the communists in Asia.  As a result, the specter of the Cold War continued to loom over the world.

The Iraqi war placed the United States in a unique position.  Since September 11th, the war on terrorism is very much different from the war on communism in that there are no tangible enemies.  Following unsuccessful attacks on terrorism in Afghanistan, the target of Iraq represented President Bush’s strategy of First strike defense, or preemptive strike (Roberts, 23)  This theory contends that as Iraq has an obvious hatred of the United States and has shown in that past to have harbored and still harbors weapons of mass destruction.

Destroying it before it could target the United States either through direct attack or through helping terrorist cells (Roberts, 23),. This philosophy is very much motivated by a number of policies, among them was the previous attack on Iraq in Operation Desert Storm which severely weakened Saddam Hussein’s military power in the region.  However, since there was no eminent threat to the United States, there was no international consortium as large as the ones during Korea and Vietnam (Roberts, 23).

Therefore, the war on Iraq is viewed by many in the international community as illegitimate and unsanctioned.  As such the political pressures from around the world are very much negative.  Even in victory, the Iraqi war now seems to have bear consequences that has harmed the United State’s position in the world political circle.  The current negotiations with the United Nations to aid in the Iraqi effort has met with resistance as the world community repeatedly contends they will not help George Bush clean up the scene of his crime.  The political undercurrents of this war may turn negative much like the results of the Vietnam resolution (Roberts, 23).

Ridgway, Matthew B. He Korean War. Boston: Da Capo Press, 1988.

Moise, Edwin E. Tonkin Gulf and the Escalation of the Vietnam War. North

Carolina: UNC Press , 1996.
Roberts, Paul. The End Of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World. Seattle:

Mariner Books, 2005.

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Treatment of us pows by the germans in world war II

One of the significant features of World War II was a great number of prisoners of war (POW‘s) to be kept both by Allies and Axis. The way those prisoners were treated differed greatly dependently on the nation of a prisoner and the country of imprisonment.  This paper discusses the treatment of the American prisoners captured on the European theatre and compares it to the treatment of prisoners from other countries, such as Britain, Poland and Russia.

In total Some 95,000 American and 135,000 British and Commonwealth servicemen were incarcerated in prisoners of war (POW) camps in Germany during World War II. The prisoners were held in some fifty German POW camps, of several types. These included the Stalag (Stammlager, permanent camps for noncommissioned officers and enlisted men), Stalag Luft (Luftwaffestammlager, permanent camps for air force personnel), and Oflag (Offizierslager, permanent officers’ camps). American POWs were found in many of the POW camps, but the majority of camps contained only a few Americans. In some camps (Stalags II-B, III-B, IV-B, XVII-B, Luft I, Luft III, and Luft IV), however, the number of American POWs ran into the thousands.

The basic international instrument, regulating the POW‘s status at the time was the 1929 the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, signed by 47 governments. Subject to this convention, no prisoner of war could be forced to disclose to his captor any information other than his identity (i.e., his name and rank, but not his military unit, home town, or address of relatives). Every prisoner of war was entitled to adequate food and medical care and had the right to exchange correspondence and receive parcels. He was required to observe ordinary military discipline and courtesy, but he could attempt to escape at his own risk. Once recaptured, he was not to be punished for his attempt.

Officers were to receive pay either according to the pay scale of their own country or to that of their captor, whichever was less; they could not be required to work. Enlisted men might be required to work for pay, but the nature and location of their work were not to expose them to danger, and in no case could they be required to perform work directly related to military operations. Camps were to be open to inspection by authorized representatives of a neutral power.

 Germany in general followed the 1929 Geneva Convention in the treatment of American and British servicemen in POW camps, with little difference to be found in treatment with Americans and British. POW‘s were not to be individually confined, and the food served them should have been equal to that served to German troops. The ration was reduced by the end of the war, but this was related to the general situation with food in Germany. Much greater problem for the POW‘s was the warm clothing, often not provided by the Germans, however the prisoners could receive acceptable clothes from the Red Cross and from their families via the Red Cross.

The prisoners were allowed to arrange recreational activities, such as sport games by their own, also some attention was paid to the religious demands of catholic and protestant POW‘s, the largest POW camps had chapels on their territory. The prisoners, involved in work received small payment (5 to 10 marks) for their effort, though the amount of money, which a POW could possess was limited. An important right for the British and American prisoners was a right to send and receive mail, although the delivery of mail was very erratic, and a letter or a parcel required several weeks to transit.

American and British prisoners’ worst enemy was usually boredom. One of the most important activities which overcame this enemy was reading. The American and British peoples, through the various agencies which undertook the task of providing POWs with books, made it possible for prisoners to obtain books which were so necessary and useful. It helped the prisoners to occupy their time and keep their mental capacity. When the American and British POWs left the prisoners of war camps, approximately 1 million books were left behind.

One can notice, that the treatment of British and American POW‘s was tolerant enough, except for some cases of spontaneous violence, such as murder of USAF and RAF pilots by the German civilians, angry with their air raids. However, this human attitude was hardly applied to the prisoners from other countries, retained in Germany. Polish, Yugoslavian and especially Russian prisoners received the worst treatment ever imaginable.

There were several reasons for it, and the most important of them was the notorious Nazi racial doctrine, which considered the Slaves to be Untermenschen or underhumans, almost equal to Jews. The Soviet Union was also not a party to 1929 Geneva Convention, and so could not count for Red Cross assistance. Finally, Stalin, being suspicious of everyone out of his control, proclaimed all the Russian POW‘s to be traitors and deprived them with any rights or aid.

Dealing with Russian prisoners became even more complicated as the amount of captives at the first year of war reached 5 million, creating problems even with simple accommodation. Russian soldiers, captured in the great encirclements, were often left without food for weeks, causing starvation and typhus. Some categories of prisoners, such as Jews or Communist party members were usually shot immediately. The survivors were taken to the concentration camps on the territory of the Soviet Union, Poland and Germany itself.

At the later period working with Russian POW‘s became more organized. Germans point now was to use the mass of people in their disposal in the most rational way. Those of the prisoners, who conformed with the racial demands (mostly originating from the Baltic or western regions of Russia) could voluntary join the Wehrmacht. Other volunteers, mostly recent captives, were used as Hiwi Hilfswillige), or helpers in the army units.

The fate of the others to be kept in the concentration and death camps, such as Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Dachau. Forced labour of the Russian POW‘s was actively used at the German civil an military enterprises, including aircraft factories and V-2 rockets production. Another way of exploiting the Untermenschen was to use them for medical and military experiments. For example, 600 Soviet prisoners were gassed in Auschwitz on 3 September 1941 at the first experiment with Zyklon

B. Based on the overstated one can make a conclusion, that treatment of the American and British POW‘s, captured by the Germans was surely  preferable to the treatment of other POW‘s. General observance of international law towards allied prisoners by Germany along Red Cross activity, provided them with huge benefits in comparison with the Slavic, Jewish and other POW‘s.


M. R. D. Fott, “Prisoners of War,” The Oxford Companion to World War II (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995)

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.  2001.

American Prisoners of War in Germany. Prepared by Military Intelligence Service, War Department 1 Nov 1945

W. Wynne Mason, Prisoners of War (Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939–1945) (Wellington, New Zealand: War History Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, 1954)

Antony Beevor Stalingrad (Penguin Books, New York, 1999)

[1] M. R. D. Fott, “Prisoners of War,” The Oxford Companion to World War II (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 913–915;

[2] The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.  2001.
[3] American Prisoners of War in Germany. Prepared by Military Intelligence Service, War Department 1 Nov 1945

[4]W. Wynne Mason, Prisoners of War (Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939–1945) (Wellington, New Zealand: War History Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, 1954), pp. 42–43;
[5] Antony Beevor Stalingrad (Penguin Books, New York, 1999), pp.- 15, 60, 166
[6] Antony Beevor. Ibid. p.-59

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World War Ii Timeline

World War II Timeline [pic] [pic] [pic] 1933 January 1. 30. 1933- Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany, bringing ideas of Nazi Party with him June 6. 14. 1933- Nazi party outlaws all other political parties, signaling the beginning of a totalitarian regime October 10. 1933- President Roosevelt recognizes the USSR and establishes diplomatic relations 10. 14. 1933- Germany leaves the League of Nations 1934 December 12. 29. 1934- Japan denounces the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930, identifying that Japan would no longer abide by the treaties which were intended to prevent an arms race and massive navies. 935 March 3. 16. 1935- Hitler violates the Treaty of Versailles by enforcing military conscription. This signifies that Germany was re-arming itself and preparing for war. August 8. 31. 1935- President FDR signs First Neutrality Act- prohibiting arms shipments to wartime belligerents October 10. 3. 1935- Italy, under the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, invades Ethiopia. 1936 February 2. 29. 1936- President FDR passes Second Neutrality Act this act renewed the First Neutrality Act (1935), and also forbade the granting of loans to wartime belligerents March 3. 7. 1936- German troops occupy the Rhineland. Germany was forbidden to take ver more land, as per the Treaty of Versailles. July 7. 18. 1936- Civil War erupts in Spain November 11. 1. 1936- Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany come together, forming the Rome-Berlin Axis. This event holds significance because it was alliances which brought the world into WWI. 11. 25. 1936- Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact. This pact was aimed directly against the Soviet Union and the International Communist Movement. 1937 July 7. 7. 1937- Japan invades Nanking, China, killing more than 250,000, most of whom were civilians. This attack essentially begins the “War in the Pacific” September . 14. 1937- President FDR forbids US ships to carry arms to China or Japan, again signaling American Neutrality. October 10. 5. 1937- President FDR gives a speech in which he urges the ‘collective security and quarantining of aggressor nations’. This implies the fact that FDR would like the US to remain isolationist. December 12. 12. 1937- Japan sinks the gunboat, the U. S. S. Panay in the Yangtze River in China. Japan formally apologizes after the attack, and pays reparations to the US 1938 February 2. 20. 1938- Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler, formally announces that Germany will support Japan.

This further incites desire for war as now three nations (Japan, Germany and Italy) have once again entangled alliances, coupled with militarism and previous actions show a great potential for a second world war. March 3. 12. 1938- Germany launches Anschluss,(union) with Austria. 3. 13. 1938- Germany annexes Austria. May 5. 17. 1938- Naval Expansion Act is passed. This act allotted $1 billion for the US to build a “Two Ocean Navy,” or a navy which would have bases in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This act recognized the need for protection on both coasts of the country. September 9. 29. 938- Munich Pact- Britain, France, Germany and Italy sign the Munich Pact, allowing Germany to invade the Czechoslovakian territories known as the Sudetenland. Britain chose to utilize a policy of appeasement in making the decision to sign the pact. 1939 January 1. 4. 1939- US/Germany/Italy Correspondence- FDR writes to Mussolini and Hitler, requesting that they not attack any country, on a specified list, for 10 years. Hitler writes back saying that FDR has “nothing to fear. ” This statement by Hitler may be determined to be mocking FDR, as in his inaugural address, FDR stated, “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself. 1. 5. 1939- Senatorial Rejection- The Senate rejected a Presidential request for permission to offer economic assistance to Britain and/or France in case of war. This decision supports the isolationist way of thinking. March 3. 15. 1939- Hitler violates his own promise made in the Munich Pact (1938) and annexes all of Czechoslovakia. August 8. 23. 1939- Hitler (Germany) and Josef Stalin (USSR) sign a Nonaggression Pact which allowed Hitler to invade Poland, while allowing the Soviet Union to strengthen its western borders. September 9. 1. 1939- Hitler invades Poland. , as permitted by the Nonaggression Pact, 9. . 1939-England, France, Australia, and New Zealand declare war on Germany, thus beginning another world war. 9. 10. 1939- Canada declares war on Germany November 11. 3. 1939- Congress grants FDR’s request to change neutrality laws as well as repeal an arms embargo so that munitions could be sold to Britain and France, and prevent American ships from sailing into war zones. 1940 March 3. 1940- Germany utilizes its Blitzkrieg warfare, pummeling France in less than one day. April 4. 1. 1940- Germany conquers many of the “low” countries, including, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg.

May 5. 16. 1940- Increased Defense spending- FDR requests that more money be allocated for defense, public opinion supports the new defense program, signaling a shift in public feeling in regards to the conflict. June 6. 10. 1940- Mussolini and his Italian forces attack France from the South. 6. 22. 1940- France Surrenders to Germany and signs an armistice saying as such. Great Britain is now left to stand alone to the Axis powers. July Selective Training and Service Act-Congress enacts the first peacetime draft in history. This forebodes to upcoming US involvement in the war. 7. 10. 940- Battle of Britain-Germany bombs Britain, most notably the firebombing of London. 7. 26. 1940- US withholds gasoline from Japan. In an attempt to make Japan surrender, and weaker. September 9. 3. 1940- FDR agrees to give Britain 50 Destroyers in exchange for naval bases in Newfoundland, Bermuda, and sites in the Caribbean and the South Atlantic. 9. 25. 1940- Expansion of Japanese Embargo. The US now includes steel and iron to the Japanese Embargo, which already included gasoline (July 26,1940) 9. 27. 1940- Tripartite Agreement- Japan joins the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and now Japan) October 10. 1. 1940- Battle of Britain ends. German Luftwaffe bombing strategy fails to quash British morale. November 11. 20. 1940- Hungary and Romania sign the Tripartite Agreement. Becoming part of the Axis powers. (Germany, Italy, Japan, and now Hungary and Romania) December 12. 29. 1940- FDR Fireside Chat- FDR claims that the US must be an “Arsenal of Democracy. ” Similar to the reasoning for WWI, which was “To make the world safe for Democracy” 1941 March 3. 1. 1941- Bulgaria signs the Tripartite Agreement. Becoming part of the Axis powers. (Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania and now Bulgaria) 3. 11. 941-Lend-Lease Act- authority to sell, transfer, or lease war goods to the government of any Allied country. ENDED AMERICAN NEUTRALITY 3. 30. 1941- US Seizure of Ships- US seizes 65 Axis ships which have sailed into American ports. April 4. 13. 1941- USSR and Japan sign a neutrality pact. May 5. 15. 1941- American Merchant ship- Robin Moor- sunk by German torpedo in south Atlantic Ocean. FDR declares a National State of Emergency. June 6. 22. 1941- Germany invades Soviet Union. Violated nonaggression pact. US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, estimates that Germany will conquer the USSR in 3 months. . 24. 1941- US extends the Lend Lease Act to the Soviet Union. July 7. 7. 1941- FDR Announces that the US will protect Iceland for the duration of the war. Similar to Teddy Roosevelt’s “Roosevelt Corollary” to the Monroe Doctrine, which stated that the US would be the “international police force for Latin America. ” August 8. 14. 1941- Great Britain and United States sign Atlantic Charter. Joint opposition to fascism, even though US is still nominally neutral. 8. 17. 1941- US warns Japan to stop being aggressive, or else. (face the wrath of the US forces, that is) December 2. 7. 1941- “A Day Which Will Live in Infamy” Pearl Harbor- Japan launches a surprise attack on the US navy at the base in Pearl Harbor. Resulting in the death of over 2,300 service men and 68 civilians. 12. 11. 1941- War Declarations Germany and Italy- Declare war on US United States- Declares war on Germany, Italy and Japan 1942 April 4. 9. 1942- Japan captures US and Filipino forces at Manila. Bataan Death March Begins. May 5. 7. 1942- Battle of the Coral Sea- US Navy repels Japanese forces, saves Australia June 6. 4. 1942- Battle of Midway- US again defeats Japanese.

Coupled with the victory at the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 7, 1942) *****TURNING POINT FOR THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC***** 6. 18. 1942- Manhattan Project begins, design the atomic bomb. 1943 January 1. 1. 1943-Churchill and Roosevelt Plan- Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President FDR meet in Casablanca, North Africa to plan attacks on all fronts, invade Sicily and Italy, send forces to the Pacific, and to better aid the Soviet Union. 1. 31. 1943- Battle of Stalingrad over 90,000 German troops surrender to the Soviets **TURNING POINT IN WAR AGAINST GERMANY** July 7. 25. 943- Mussolini’s Fascist government in Italy is overthrown! New Italian Government begins peace talks September 9. 8. 1943- Italy officially surrenders to Allied powers December 12. 1. 1943- Cairo Declaration- Allies declare intention to establish an international organization meant to maintain world peace. 1944 June 6. 6. 1944- D-Day Invasion- Allied forces invade Normandy, France, to begin the reclaiming of Western Europe from Germany. July 7. 24. 1944- Normandy and Brittany- Allied troops force a German retreat by reclaiming large portions of Normandy and Brittany August 8. 25. 944- Paris liberated from Nazi control by US forces and the Free France Campaign. 1945 February 2. 11. 1945- Yalta Conference- the “Big Three” (Churchill, FDR, and Stalin) met to discuss Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe Results: Dual administrations in Berlin, the break up of Germany, and the prosecution of war criminals. (Nuremberg Trials) April 4. 12. 1945- President FDR dies of a Cerebral Hemorrhage. 4. 28. 1945- Italian soldiers catch Mussolini attempting to sneak out of the country and murder him. May 5. 8. 1945- V-E Day Victory in Europe is declared August 8. 6. 1945- Atomic Bomb Little Boy is dropped over Hiroshima Japan 8. . 1945- Atomic Bomb Fat Man is dropped over Nagasaki, Japan Both of these bombings resulted in severe, grave destruction 8. 14. 1945- Japan Surrenders! 8. 15. 1945- V-J Day Victory in Japan is declared September 9. 2. 1945- Japan signs formal surrender agreement aboard the U. S. S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay. ****ENDS WWII**** Works Cited “1945. ” World War II Timeline. Web. 14 Apr. 2012. . “APUSH SparkChart 1865-2004. ” Www. Sparknotes. com. Sparknotes. Web. 14 Apr. 2012. . “The History Place – World War II in Europe Timeline. ” The History Place. Web. 14 Apr. 2012. . “World War II Timeline. ” Shmoop. Web. 14 Apr. 2012. .

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Was World War One Responsible for Nicholas Ii’s Downfall?

Emily Hawkins How far do you agree that Nicholas II’s downfall was caused by World War 1? 1914 was a devastating year for many countries of the world, as world war one began to take full effect. But as world war one shook the world; it began to question Nicholas II’s ability to rule Russia. In this essay i will discuss the extent of world war one’s responsibility in Nicholas II’s downfall, and the extent of other contributing factors. I will argue that Nicholas II’s own traits as a leader were the main reason for his downfall.

On the one hand, world war one had a huge impact on the Tsar and his country. Firstly, the cost of the war was placing a huge strain on Russia’s economy. Taxes increased hugely and the cost of living rose by 300%, so in order to try and help the economy through the struggling times of world war one, the government printed more money, making all money worthless. The people of Russia were now struggling even more than they were before the war had begun. Secondly, the Germans were forcing the Russians to retreat and they were therefore losing a lot of land.

The impact of the battle of Tannenburg, where 30,000 troops were killed and 95,000 captured had a huge impact on the army’s moral, and by the end of 1916, 2 million soldiers had left the army. The commander in chief shot himself because of how bad the country and the army were doing, and soon after, the Tsar himself took on the role of commander in chief, although he lacked ability and knowledge. Also, the military had a lack of resources, in each regiment in the army; there was one gun per three people; the Tsar was blamed for many of the military downfalls, and this was one of them.

The Russian transport system was also facing serious problems, and the ammunitions being made in the factories weren’t getting to the front line. Thirdly, world war one was causing huge food shortages; in Moscow in 1914, Russia was receiving 2200 wagons of grain and by Christmas 1916, the number of carts was down to just 300. This was because of distribution problems; nobody could sort the carts out properly. They were prioritized to the front line, so that the soldiers got the first carts.

But after the front line had been sent their grain, there was nobody sorting out the rest of it; there were carts found with bread rotting away, bread that the starving Russian people were missing out on. Although world war one was not the sole reason for Nicholas’ downfall, it did act as a catalyst. It increased the severity of the existing problems that Russia was facing. It also highlighted that the Tsar and the Romanov dynasty was no longer capable of ruling the country and that they didn’t have the support and determination to rule the country through a world war.

On the other hand, there were many other reasons that the Tsar’s downfall occurred. Firstly, the strikes and demonstrations in Moscow and Petrograd were causing huge disruption, and when the Tsar tried to return to Petrograd, his train was stopped and he realised that he couldn’t control the protestors; a major sign that he had no control of Russia and its people. Secondly, the revolutionary parties were spreading their radical ideas around the country, and also highlighting the weaknesses of the Romanov dynasty.

The Tsar’s downfall was prone because of the amount of opposition that he faced and his loss of support to the other political parties. Parties such as the Bolsheviks, Social Revolutionaries, Mensheviks and Populists educated the peasants and working-class people on the need for a new type of leadership; this encouraged strikes and discontent. Many of the strikes were purely because of the appalling living and working conditions, and for a while, the people united together because of the war, but when the Russian people began to feel the true cost of the war, the protests began to re-occur and more support for the Tsar was lost.

Thirdly, because of the troops refusing to shoot at protestors on 25th of February, the army felt no longer obliged to be loyal to the Tsar. As long as the Tsar was not supported by the army, he had no chance of successfully running Russia. The Duma also refused orders to dissolve, and 12 of its members formed a committee that planned to take over Russia; the called themselves ‘The Provisional Government’. The soviets also issued ‘Order number 1’ which demanded that all officers in the army be elected by their men, proving that the Tsar had lost all of his power.

Therefore, there were many factors involved in the Tsar’s downfall, such as the political opposition, strikes and the disloyalty of the army and the Duma. Once people started to support the other political parties, they lost all loyalty for the ‘God appointed’ Tsar. The strikes highlighted the weaknesses of the Tsar’s leadership skills and proved that he couldn’t no longer control and rule Russia. The disloyalty of the army and the Duma completely removed all of his power, meaning that Nicholas could no longer be Tsar.

I personally believe that Nicholas II was responsible for his own downfall. Although there was definitely contributing factors, his naive attitude and inability to effectively rule a country caused his downfall. Nicholas failed to trust key advisors such as Witte and Stolypin and despite him issuing the October Manifesto; he preserved his own autocratic power through the fundamental laws, which the Russian people didn’t like. He failed to think and plan ahead to create a better future for Russia, he didn’t think like a leader should.

Even though the war was already a huge strain on Russia, and on Nicholas, he still felt it necessary to take over the role of commander in chief of the army; although he had no experience or knowledge of the role. He was blamed for many of the army’s failure, and people stopped believing in him. By Christmas 1916, the Russian army were struggling and with Nicholas II as an unqualified leader, poor communications and shortages of food and supplies led to problems and Nicholas was blamed for the 1. million soldiers who died, the 3. 9 million wounded and the 2. 4 million who were now prisoners. As Nicholas was busy trying to incapably run the army, he left his wife in charge of Russia, his wife that nobody liked. As she was German born, the Russian people thought that she was sympathetic to the enemy, and they deeply mistrusted her. The Russian people looked at their leadership and saw the ineffectiveness; they began to look for alternative leaders.

Also, people disliked the Tsar, as he took key advice from Rasputin, who was disliked by the population for making many ministerial changes, and they thought that he was having an affair with the Tsarina. Some radical parties began to plot the death of Rasputin as the Russian people looked for alternatives to the Romanov dynasty. Therefore Nicholas was responsible for his own downfall. People began to dislike him after he failed to listen to his key advisors and improve Russia. This was made worse by his inability to share power with the Dumas or any other political opposition.

Russian people also hated the fact that Nicholas had taken the role of commander in chief of the army. He was unable to run the country, let alone the army as well. He had almost run Russia into the ground, and then he left it in the hands of someone that none of the population liked or trusted, so that he could take up a role he knew nothing about; which he failed at miserably, letting the country and the army down. Therefore, i believe that Nicholas was responsible for his own downfall.

There were many other things to blame though, such as world war one, the disloyalty of the army, and his political opposition. As soon as world war one started, the Russian people began to see that Nicholas was incapable of running Russia and they looked towards the opposition for a way out of the autocratic state they had suffered so long. Once the loyalty of the army was lost, Nicholas had no chance of getting Russia back to how it was 100’s of years before. He knew that his time of autocracy, and the time of the Romanov dynasty was up.

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Masculinity and World War Ii

Masculinity and World War II The image of Man has changed throughout time. Dominant constructions of masculinity, which are basically attempts to stabilize gender identity, are developed within the dynamics of shifting cultures and societies. The male stereotype, which is still prevails nowadays, started rising at the end of eighteenth – beginning nineteenth century in Europe with a great concentration on the male’s body. The stereotype made the world look at man more like a type rather than an individual.

Masculinity was strengthened due to the positive stereotyping, however for those that did not conform to this label or fit in with the ideal, were negatively stereotyped. Being an outsider who was born in a different country made it especially interesting to penetrate the American culture and research about American masculinity. Truly, much of the progress of any country has been defined around the lives and accomplishments of great men. One cannot begin understanding the history of America without understanding manhood and the influence of the male. In every generation in America, manhood has been in the center of life and progress.

It constantly strives to uphold its own traditions while trying to redefine itself. I have done a lot of research about American masculinity and how it has been changed throughout the history. While going through different literature about the nature of masculinity, I came to the conclusion that for many men, the idea of masculinity is deeply tied to military prowess and adventure. One cannot but agree that war, the most violent and decisive of human acts, is the paradigmatic masculine enterprise. Military service is one of the rites of manhood; it makes men men.

Moreover, war makes nations masculine, too. This paper examines the nature of masculinity and the role of masculinity in America. My main focus is on the changes in definitions of masculinity during the WWII Era and goes on to discuss the psychological and emotional effects of the war and the subsequent readjustment efforts in the same era. In this work I will try to explore different author’s conclusions about masculinity, its changes and/or problems during the WWII and in its post-period. War, more than any other action, offers the ultimate test and demonstration of manhood.

Indeed, it has been suggested that the sole cause of war is masculinity. War requires masculine energy and communal effort. It engages man in the age-old conflict between courage cowardice, right and wrong, aggression and compassion. In his book Manhood in America: A Cultural History, Michael Kimmel concentrates his attention on a large set of questions about the importance of masculinity: “I do believe that a comprehensive historical account of the American experience can no longer ignore the importance of masculinity – and especially of men’s efforts to prove their manhood – in the making of America” (5).

For the soldier who fought during the WWII, the country conveyed upon him the gift of manhood. It was a war which redefined American masculinity. Although it led men to brutality on a very personal level, it served the hero archetype well. To embody courage under the most gruesome circumstances, the soldier has to repress his fear. To embody strength, he had to repress his feelings of vulnerability. In fact, what war required is manliness: “The men who were the best soldiers were, in effect, the best men” (Gagen 23).

Elizabeth A. Gagen in her article “Homespun Manhood and the War Against Masculinity: Community Leisure on the US home front, 1917-19,” discussing the war and its influence on masculinity, states that “military masculinity became more entrenched in myths of heroism as sacrifice as citizenship was masculinised and masculinity was militarized” (27). Even though the author’s concentration is mostly on the WW I, Ganger discusses a lot about masculinity and the effect of wars on American cultures.

Gagen locates the early-century crisis of masculinity in the loss of control men were experiencing: the authority of white, middle-class men was being threatened by the increasing presence of women in the public sphere. While on the one hand it was great opportunity for economic success, it also destabilized traditional gender and class hierarchy. All this placed a lot of pressure on the soul of American manhood. As it started happening, across America men returned to an increasingly protected wilderness in the hope that rehearsing primitive blood sports might revive in them their primal instincts.

As Ganger goes on, she brings a very interesting point of view, where she connects the image of fighter with the image of hero and explains the men’s necessity to participate in the war: While blood sports and boxing could go some way towards providing a satisfactory venue for cultivating masculinity, there was something peculiar to war that was uniquely desirable. When all around them masculinity seemed to be failing, war appeared as the last frontier of manliness: a crucible in which masculinity could be reborn. (27) A military service man was not just an aggressive heroic individual, he was a unique blend of masculinity.

Therefore, for American man the war became a great opportunity to show their aggression, strength, courage and endurance. All these are the qualities of manhood. Similar to Gagen, Christina Jarvis, a psychologist and a professor at the State University of New York, in her discourse “If He Comes Home Nervous: U. S. World War II Neuropsychiatric Casualties and Post War Masculinities,” illustrates the traditional masculinity ideology. She uses the analogy of medieval knightly chivalric code. The chivalric code was the guiding principle that highlighted the designated features of medieval warrior class as unyielding, heroic, and tough.

The chivalric code, as Jarvis notes, would in turn have a significant influence in developing the ideals of traditional masculinity in the earlier 20th Century World War years. During the same period, the perceived notion of masculinity gender superiority was prevalent in then overly patriarchal society that existed at that time. The society depicted military masculinity as invincible. The common notion was that since men are physically more capable than women are and that only the toughest got into the military, then masculinity ultimately surpassed shallow emotional vulnerability.

The United States came out of the conflict viewing itself as a masculine nation. The postwar generation of American men grew up revering a hero image, but, as it turned out, there was one major problem. The heroes too often didn’t see everything the same way as the other people did. What they brought back from the war were oppressive memories that wouldn’t go away. What they brought back from the war was emotional trauma and enormous challenges in reintegrating with domestic life. While they were recruiting in anticipation of war, American soldiers trained vigorously pledging their undying dedication to protect and defend their country.

Jarvis asserts that it was a sacred duty for all soldiers to uphold bravery, resilience and courage, which were among the core military ideals. As it turned out, the perceived masculinity resilience ideal was actually overrated. Besides sustaining bodily and physical harm in the course of the war, American servicemen apprehended severe psychiatric and emotional injury as well. These soldiers witnessed atrocities and inhumane acts of war and saw the physical torture of many as well as demise of others in the battlefield.

This in turn caused some of them to apprehend psychiatric harm in form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Similarly, the servicemen who sustained severe bodily harm that left them physically handicapped suffered from acute mental and emotional disorders. As such, physical and mental injuries are inseparable. As Christian Hoge in his work “Combat Duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mental Health Problems, and Barriers to Care” explains, the course of World War II altered the preconceived notion that masculinity was beyond emotional vulnerability.

In his discourse on mental harm during the World Wars and the Iraqi war on terror, Hoge asserts that the war shattered the spirit of American soldiers given that they had to watch their helpless colleagues die of intensive injuries, disease and starvation. Some lost close friends and relatives in the event of war. This, as a result, undermined the traditional masculinity ideals while people began to appreciate that despite their bravery, soldiers were human beings with emotions and feelings and not as invincible as everybody initially thought. Numerous soldiers came under immense stress while in the battlefield.

Some of them began to re-evaluate their dedication to defend the integrity of their country amid a situation where it seemed that everyone had forsaken them. At this point, fighting for personal survival went beyond defending the national integrity. The war exposed the emotional dimension of men as they began worrying about their families back at home and the hitherto ardent masculinity ideology began to wither. As soon as the mainstream news periodicals reported on the psychological harm imposed on soldiers by the war, literary advice in form of medical opinions on remasculinisation of war veterans began to emerge in late 1944.

In his discourse on the early years post-war scenario When Johnny Comes Marching Home, David Wecter wrote that “the rebuilding of a war neurotic, sent home for treatment, must begin by convincing him that he is not a coward or a failure, but a battle casualty just as truly as the man who lost a leg” (547). His sentiments reflected the mainstream thoughts of the American people at the time. There was a widespread public outcry concerning the psychological welfare of the soldiers who had dedicated their unrelenting efforts to preserve the integrity of America. Jarvis in her work depicts the same problem soldiers faced during and after war.

But, she states that early in the war, soldiers and sailors who “broke down” under the pressure of combat or military life were generally discharged instead of treated. According to military psychiatrists Malcolm Farrel and John Appel, as Jarvis goes on , “these early discharges stemmed from the idea that initially the military thought it was possible to contemplate an Army made up of the cream of American manhood” (100). Given the military’s initial assumptions that only servicemen with weak egos broke down, early psychiatric casualties were stigmatized – especially when soldiers were labeled as “psychoneurotic. This term associated with both the “feminine” and “insane. ” As a result the armed forces began a program of prompt treatment. The term “combat exhaustion” has been invented by psychiatrists: Despite the fact that labels such as “battle fatigue,” “combat exhaustion,” and “old sergeant syndrome” actually represented approximately one quarter of the war’s total neuropsychiatric admissions, military personnel and the public readily embraced the terms because they destigmatized psychiatric wounds by conveying a sense of masculine toughness rather than weakness. 101) Seeing as the traditional masculinity ideology had significantly shrivelled in the course of WWII, America dedicated its efforts towards a physical and psychological readjustment cause. Apart from the provision of intensive care for the psychiatric casualties, America’s special medical consultants sought to de-stigmatize psychiatric conditions. Psychiatrist George Pratt in his book Soldier to Civilian: Problems of Readjustment reassures the casualties that the term psychiatry does not necessarily connote insanity.

He says that on the contrary, the terms psychiatry and neurology as used in this post-war context implied “a departure from average personality traits or temperament … that render a soldier unsuitable for military service” (14). In bid to clarify the paradigm shift and divergence of the post war psychological discourses, Pratt explains that these psychiatric discharges resulted from what he terms ‘situational stressors’ and not due to flawed personality or ego.

Pratt’s efforts in de-stigmatizing psychiatric war injuries oversaw a rapid psychological recovery of the casualties. He notes as well that the condition was in all likelihood temporary save for a few cases of acute neuropsychiatric disturbances. Through his profound medical expertise, Pratt recommends the post war psychiatric casualties to share their war experiences with their families as well as medical experts.

He reckoned that this would help in the gradual healing process and the ultimate restoration of the traditional masculinity ideals. What we know about manhood and masculinity now gives us an extraordinary opportunity to become relevant in our own time. The old models of manhood provide a too-limiting definition for the complex sense of manliness. As we can see through examples from history, men are more than just unemotional beasts, who are ready to die for their nation and their country any time they are needed.

Man can be a soldier, man can be a warrior. No matter in what situation the society puts our men, we shouldn’t forget that they are just human beings and nothing human is alien to them. It might sound very sad but the war in some way helped a soldier to figure out what true manliness is. One of the friends of Jess, who is the main character of the book Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg, once said that everyone gets scared once there is a danger, but to be courageous means to go ahead in spite of being scared.

Men should realize that for all of us they are already heroes because they didn’t hesitate to go and fight for their country and their people. Manhood and masculinity in America are expressions of many different ideas and sentiments. This review touched the idea that there is no single definition of man. And war, as one of the most important factors, showed us how far away from the reality the society’s prospective about masculinity might be.

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How Post-World War Ii Technology Changed America

How Post-World War II Technology Changed America 5/3/2012 AMH 2020- Yellow Class Angelika Vasquez Professor Brian Milner During the post-World War II era everything in our nation seemed to change. The post-World War II era had significant technological advances that changed politics, the economy, and the way people interacted with one another. Three of the biggest technological advances during this era were the introduction of the atomic bomb, television, and space race technology. 945 to 1949, the Atomic bomb changed politics and introduced the military industrial complex. Television, in the 1950’s, changed the way people thought. During the 1960’s there were many new space race technologies introduced that changed the way Americans received information. The atomic bomb, television, and space race technology significantly changed America. Atomic Bomb Cold War- Julius and Ethel Rosenberg After Dwight D. Eisenhower left office, he warned about the growing influence of the military-industrial complex, in American government and life.

The military-industrial complex was first coined by Eisenhower, during his farewell address in 1961. This complex defines the combined effort of big business and the military to press for an ever-increasing share of national resources for the development of new weapons. Many politicians during this time believed that the military-industrial complex promoted policies that were not in the best interest for America, and that the growth of the military-industrial complex could perhaps undermine American democracy. The Cold War had created a warfare state.

Because of the atomic bomb, civil defense drills required people to crawl under their desks at work or school; high schools named their football teams “The Atoms”; and songwriters wrote about the end of the world. Movies warned of the dangers of the bomb or made grim jokes about the fate of humanity. In the late 1940’s, faced with the possibility of a nuclear war, Americans began building bomb shelters. Bomb shelters were built in either your backyard or your basement that were meant to offer substantial protection. Television

By the late 1950’s, almost ninety percent of American homes had a television set. Television transformed the way Americans did politics. During the Kennedy versus Nixon election, television played a key role in their election campaigns. During the Kennedy-Nixon debates, Kennedy had more of an appeal than Nixon. Although campaigns were already relying less on political parties and more on money before the introduction of the television, television helped accelerate this idea. John F. Kennedy emerged with a disputable national vote plurality over Richard M. Nixon by a razor’s edge of . 7 percent in popular vote (49. 72% to 49. 55%) that converted into a 303 to 219 Electoral College victory. Some historians believe that without the television, Kennedy would not have won the 1960 election. In fact, John F. Kennedy himself stated that, “we wouldn’t have had a prayer without that gadget. ” Besides affecting politics, television also transformed American culture. The average American viewer spent a little over five hours a day in front of a television screen. American television was paid for by private enterprise, unlike Europe’s government financed television.

During the mid 1950’s advertisers spent an estimate ten billion dollars to push their advertisements on the air. Television transformed American culture into a consumer culture. Television also changed the way Americans live, and the ideology which Americans lived by. Popular television series, such as Leave It To Beaver, portrayed the ideal family as a male breadwinner, a woman full-time homemaker, and three or four children. On television, married women did not have paying jobs and depended on their husbands. Americans began getting married at a younger age and the birthrate soared.

Space Race Technology Microwaves Cell Phones Home Computer Bibliography “Atomic Culture. ” Social Culture. <http://www. centennialofflight. gov/essay/Social/atomic_culture/SH23. htm> (accessed May 3, 2012). Renka, Russell. “The 1960 Kennedy v. Nixon Election. ” The Modern Presidency. cstl-cla. semo. edu/renka/ui320-75/presidents/kennedy/1960_election. asp (accessed May 3, 2012). Roark, James L.. Understanding the American promise: a brief history. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Roark, James L..

Understanding the American promise: a brief history. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. 717. [ 2 ]. “Atomic Culture. ” Social Culture. http://www. centennialofflight. gov/essay/Social/atomic_culture/SH23. htm (accessed May 3, 2012). [ 3 ]. Renka, Russell. “The 1960 Kennedy v. Nixon Election. ” The Modern Presidency. cstl-cla. semo. edu/renka/ui320-75/presidents/kennedy/1960_election. asp (accessed May 3, 2012). [ 4 ]. Roark, James L.. Understanding the American promise: a brief history. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. 765. [ 5 ]. IBID, 764.