Essay on United States History since 1865

1.   Discuss the causes of the First World War, why and how the U.S. got into the war, the general course of the war, and the war’s impact on the U.S. at home and on U.S. foreign policy.

The major cause of World War I was imperialism, as leading nations came into flashes in their struggle for the territorial expansion and the expansion of their sphere of influence. Germany and its allies grew in power and needed territorial expansion to take the lead in the world economy and politics, while Great Britain, France and their allies attempted to preserve their position as world’s leading powers. The US, in its turn, was the growing power, which attempted to play a more active role in international relations and to expand its markets developing closer economic cooperation with Europe. As the war started after the assassination of the heir of Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Bosnia, the US remained neutral. However, the US supplied goods to Great Britain and other allies, maintaining close economic relations with them. Germany attempted to enhance the blockade of Great Britain using its submarines but the US carried on supplies to Great Britain making efforts of Germany to block Great Britain and force it to surrender fruitless. Eventually, German submarines attacked and sank the fleet of six US merchant ships that provoked the involvement of the US into the war. The US mobilized the army and sent the American Expeditionary Forces, which enhanced the position of allies in the Western Front. In addition, the US sent troops to back up French army in Africa. The considerable and fast enhancement of allies’ army was unexpected to Germany and its allies that led to the misbalance of the military force of enemies and eventually resulted in the defeat of Central powers headed by Germany. World War I enhanced the position of the US in international relations making the US one of the leading powers, who interfered actively in international relations and was ready to use the military power, if necessary. At home, the US changed the mobilization strategy and granted Puerto Ricans with citizenship to mobilize them to the US army. The entire country was mobilized to the war.

2.   Discuss the causes of the Second World War, why and how the U.S. got into the war, the general course of the war, and the war’s impact on the U.S. at home and on U.S. foreign policy.

The major causes of World War II was the dissatisfaction of Germany and its allies with the result of World War I, their strong revanchist intentions, and the Great Depression that put many countries of the world in a desperate socioeconomic position leading them to radicalization and militarization. As a result, the war broke out when the expansionist ambitions of Germany could not be controlled by Great Britain, France and their allies. The involvement of the US into the war occurred after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the major military base of the US in the Pacific region. At the same time, the US could not stay aside of the war because the US had the potential and intention to play the leading part in international relations. The isolationist policy could not carry on anymore, as Japan launched the open assault against the US. Therefore, the US launched the large scale campaign focusing on the defeat of Japan above all. Therefore, the US conducted military operations in the Asia-Pacific region mainly. As the US progressed in its struggle against Japan, the US could help its allies in the West. The opening of the Western front occurred in 1944 and enhanced consistently the position of allies and eventually led to the defeat of Germany. The war was over after the nuclear bombing of Japan by the US.

3.   Discuss how Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt reacted to the Great Depression and how their policies still affect America.

The Great Depression was a profound socioeconomic crisis caused by a deep financial crisis. The US economy has started the fast downturn under the Presidency of Hoover. In response, Hoover attempted to encourage the local business activities and production raising fiscal barriers on the way of imported products, under Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Hoover attempted to maintain business activities through stimulation of bank loans through the Federal Home Loan Bank Act. In addition, the Emergency Relief and Construction Act aimed at the development of programs dealing with unemployment. However, all the programs and legal initiatives launched by Hoover had failed to prevent the ongoing deterioration of the economic situation, while the unemployment rate reached the high level of 25%. The situation had started to change for better under the Presidency of Roosevelt and his New Deal policy. Roosevelt focused on the enhancement of the role of state in economy. He developed programs funded by the government that helped to employ over 3 million Americas in terms of Civilian Conservation Corps, Works Progress Administration and others. People were employed in works which did not need many skills. The government support and the regulation of exchange market by the Securities and Exchange Commission created in 1934 after the implementation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Securities and Exchange Commission still operates in the US and regulatory policies still affect the financial market aiming at the prevention of financial crisis. In fact, the general impact of Roosevelt reforms to cope with the Great Depression resulted in the increased role and interference of state in the economy of the US.


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