Thursday, March 22, 2012

US History Research Paper

US History Research Paper

1. Great adjustments did not occur in American Society after World War I.
False. Although World War I greatly affected all countries involved and left a deep trace in history, it strengthened positions of the USA in the world and brought adjustments to American Society. It is known that World War I changed the balance of political forces on the international arena. In the course of the war and right after it, the military forces of the USA greatly improved. In such favorable conditions, the USA developed faster and produced more than other countries. It gained the reputation of a post-war leader, and took an active part in the European affairs. Although the years immediately following World War I were years of social unrest and racial tension, the USA did not suffer from mass destruction that took place in most European countries. It gave the USA a chance to advance its positions and improve life conditions of people. Besides, because the USA got involved in military affairs only in 1918, its war casualties were not as numerous as in other countries. The prosperity of Americans was the result of many technical and marketing innovations in American business and industry. As a result, the level of job loss decreased and salaries became higher. According to statistics, the average income of American workers increased twice in comparison with pre-war times. While in other countries, people suffered from deficit and lack of food, American society gradually improved its welfare. The USA entered a new stage of industrial evolution. Besides, the immigration to the USA also contributed to social prosperity. European immigrants came to the new land in search of jobs and better life, and new labor force increased the potential of the USA. Apart from this, it is known that the USA supplied other countries with weapons and ammunition, and the amount of export rapidly increased. It brought considerable profit and contributed to the welfare of American society. In such a way, all the above stated points prove that for American society post-war times were characterized by great adjustments.


2. During the Republican era (1921 to 1933) economic, political, and foreign policy was not successful at all!
False. The Republican era was a long process of economic and political changes, and we cannot say that it only aggravated the situation in the USA, as there were some positive changes as well. Republicans came to power in 1920, when the USA suffered industrial and economic crisis, caused by many factors, such as the results of the Paris Peace Conference. The Republican government introduced radical changes into the state regulation. Firstly, the introduction of “dry law” negatively affected American society. Naturally, the prohibition of alcohol production and distribution brought about criminal growth, and as a result, this amendment was abolished. Moreover, despite the economic crisis, American manufacturers were desperately looking for profit, and were ready to use any means to gain it. It led to a high level of corruption and political machinations. On the other hand, there was a positive side of Republican policy. In 1920, women gained right to vote, which was a serious reform in the political sphere. However, the post-war economic instability of 1920s not only revealed the drawbacks of capitalism, but also brought troubles to American society. Millions of people lost their jobs and became useless for society. Mass job loss caused despair, hopelessness and even anger among common people. The gap between wealthy and poor people was gradually growing. It is important to emphasize that home policy of Republicans aggravated social problems and led to workers’ strikes throughout the country.

However, the years of 1922-1929 were characterized by industrial growth in the USA. Rapid rates of economic growth can be explained by temporary political and financial stability. New plants and factories were supplied with new technological equipment. Considerable growth of car industry is a bright example of economic stability, which was accompanied by national prosperity.

Nevertheless, this period of prosperity did not last for long. Beginning with 1929, American prosperity began to rapidly decline. The stock market crashed and serious weaknesses in American economy became apparent. As a result, the United States entered a long period of economic depression. The crisis affected industry, agriculture, financial system and many other spheres. During the Great Depression, thousands of people were left with no money, no homes and no food.

Thus, the post-war development of the USA under the rule of Republicans was influenced by many factors and was rather unstable. Taking into account all the events, we cannot say that the whole period of Republican era was not successful in economy, politics and foreign policy at all. We should not forget that a medal has two sides, and although Republican era had many negative results, it was characterized by temporary political and economic growth of 1922-1929.

3. President Roosevelt’s (FDR) New Deal (economic policy) and diplomacy leading up to World War II was completely conservative, isolationist and liberal.
False. Analysis of the economic policy of President Roosevelt shows that he took effective measures in the struggle against the disastrous crisis that took place in the USA and managed to improve the welfare of the country. His New Deal was a considerable turn in the US history, and it became an example for further generations of rulers to follow. Roosevelt’s New Deal became a miracle, which the whole nation had been waiting for. However, different historians interpret Roosevelt’s policy differently. Some historians consider that it was the third American Revolution. Other historians claim that Roosevelt strengthened the fundamental principles of the US policy. His New Deal was completely isolationist and liberal, but it was not conservative. His isolationist policy is rather controvertible. On the one hand, he was the follower of Woodrow Wilson and supported his ideas of the US role in world policy. He considered that America ought to play an active part in it. On the other hand, he understood that the country tended to distance itself from world instability. Overall, Roosevelt continued the isolationist policy, without interfering to European conflicts and contradictions. He understood that it was impossible to ignore the USSR and in 1933, he established diplomatic relations with it. Another evidence of his isolationist views was Neutrality Act. According to this Act, the US President ought to lay an embargo on the export of ammunition to countries in case of a war conflict between them. In this way, he did not want the USA to take part in military affairs.

As for his liberal views, they can be illustrated by his ideas on the basic reasons for American crisis. During his ruling, he always reminded Americans his loyalty to fundamental liberal values and clearly explained their meaning. Besides, among his ideals of American liberals was Thomas Jefferson. His National Industry Recovery Act provided a number of liberal reforms in the sphere of labor relations. His aim was to achieve peaceful relations between upper and lower classes. He managed to strengthen the position of monopolies and improve the conditions of workers. Later in 1938, Roosevelt adopted Fair Labor Standards Act, which was also a liberal reform. This act prohibited child labor and established relatively fair salaries. Owing timely actions of Roosevelt, millions of Americans went back to work for the federal government on jobs such as forestry projects and building of parks, schools, airports, roads, etc.

However, the New Deal met with much criticism. Supporters of conservative policy stood up against Roosevelt’s New Deal. This opposition affected the efficiency of Roosevelt’s policy and led to elimination of several Acts. Conservative politicians disapproved Roosevelt’s attitude to workers and demanded stricter measures. Besides, conservative critics claimed that the New Deal amounted to unnecessary interference in the American economy. Other critics felt that the New Deal did not go far enough in its fight against the Great Depression. For this reason, the New Deal cannot be considered conservative.

4. World War II and its aftermath did not have the United States emerge as a developing world power.
False. The United States proved to be a developing world power during World War II and after it. Firstly, it was aware that strengthening of German fascism was a great threat to the US international position. For this reason, it began to support Britain and France in the first place. In 1939, the US congress abolished embargo on ammunition export, and stood up against fascism, taking side of victims of the aggression. It began to cooperate with European countries in their fight against fascism. The US government provided them with ammunition, weapons, various military goods and services. The Lend-Lease Act adoption proved the importance of the United States during the war. According to statistics, the USA spent 46 milliard dollars during the years of 1941-1945. Lend-Lease supplies expanded the US productions and made it a developing world power. During the early months of the war, the American economy directed its efforts to production of goods needed for the war. Women became valued members of the work force, replacing men who had joined the US army. At the end of World War II, the USA was an absolute leader of capitalist world. Even before the war, it had a great economic power and was the most prosperous state. During the years of World War II, the national income and industrial production of the USA increased twice or even more. Profit of American companies reached 70 milliard dollars. The war advanced agricultural process and allowed farmers to increase their incomes. The US economic superiority was based on its financial power. It should be mentioned that dollar became a worldwide convertible currency. After the war, the United States faced a problem of reconversion, which was successfully solved by the government. The demand for innovative equipment rapidly increased, and the country produced an enormous number of planes, tanks and ships. No other country ever made such a large quantity of war materials in such a short time. All the stated above aspects prove that the United States was a leading world power not only during World War II, but after it as well.

5. International policy (US Foreign Policy) during the Cold War was not one of containment (waiting for International Communism to collapse – economically, politically and socially). Who was George F. Kennan?
False. Although the USA won Cold War, in reality it spent so much money for armaments race that it cannot be called an absolute winner. These resources could have been spent on solving of various demographic, ecological and other global problems. In such a way, it is impossible to say that the United States did not lead a policy of containment. After WWII, countries of Western Europe and the USA united their forces against the USSR, and the world was divided into capitalist and socialist coalitions. The armaments race was the most vivid example of the US struggle against the USSR. At first, it dealt with atomic weapons. It is known that in 1945 the USA appeared to be the only country with nuclear weapons. Besides, as soon as there appeared a new sort of weapon, each of the opponent countries strived for getting it. This insane competition influenced all spheres of war industry. As a result, the USA managed to outrun its rival for weapons, and did not stop at that point. The armament race affected even the spheres of education and sports. The USA, for example, put under boycott the Olympic games of 1980 in Moscow. In return, the USSR put under boycott the following Olympic Games in Los-Angeles. The US government led an active policy in order to surpass the USSR in economic, political and social spheres. Nevertheless, it is evident that it was too expensive for the country and such policy could not last for long. As a result, the USSR gradually began to loose the battle.

Speaking about Cold War, we cannot help mentioning George Kennan, who is considered the main «architect» of the war. He created and developed the doctrine, according to which International Communism ought to be contained. At first, he led an absolutely anti-Soviet policy, considering that there could be no compromise between two world powers. At the same time, he was interested in Russian culture and tried to learn more about it.

Besides, Kennan had equally negative attitude to changes in both countries. He disapproved social protest movements of 1929, and criticized Roosevelt’s actions towards the USSR. On the other hand, Kennan was first to notice factors that would lead to the destruction of Communism. On the other hand, he did not consider that a new war would change the matter of things for the best. The war ought to be cold. It was a competition without battles, tanks or bombs. There was no destruction. Probably, for this reason he began his policy of containment. He thought that the Soviet System would destroy itself, without interference from the side of the USA. Overall, George Kennan is known as a historian and diplomatist, who predicted the course of development of the Soviet regime.

6. Great social change took place during the post-World War II era.
True. As for social changes, it is important to say that most Americans did not want to enter war again. Eventually, this war appeared to be the most destructive war in history. The cost was impossible to measure. Cities were destroyed and people were moved from their homelands. Although the USA came out of World War II as the most powerful nation in the world, it still faced many social problems. For this reason, we can see that after World War II, American society underwent constant changes, especially under the rule of President Truman. He managed to take control over prices and increase minimal salary. His Employment Acts made government responsible for social relations. He also introduced a number of other social reforms, even though some of them were never realized.

Great social changes were also caused by rapid technological development. It particularly concerned the structure of labor force. Many spheres, such as industry and transportation encountered the reduction of employment. However, in science absorbing industries there was a great demand for labor force. As a result, less people were involved in physical labor. The number of highly qualified specialists surpassed the number of low-qualified workers.

A positive result of the post-war technological development was improvement of life standard. However, the country also faced many social problems, caused by the introduction of innovative technologies. Thus, the level of job loss quickly increased, because of considerable changes in the structure of production.

7. The Vietnam War did not have a significant impact on American Society and US Foreign Policy.
False. First, the Vietnam War bitterly divided the nation. Many Americans thought that it was wrong for the country to fight in Vietnam. Some of them did not like the means applied by the government. Others believed that the USA ought to send guns and planes, but not troops. It caused conflicts and contradictions among American people. It split American society into two groups: one group for fighting the war to the end, other one for getting out of Vietnam as quickly as possible. After the war, Americans helped European countries to prevent starvation and rebuild homes and cities. No one would argue that if people have enough to eat, live in proper housing and have clothes to wear they are less likely to become involved in revolution. It was the idea of the US government in post-war years. It sent thousands of Americans to many developing countries to help build schools, hospitals and roads. On the other hand, because a great number of soldiers were sent over from America to fight, there were numerous cries of protest and social unrest. The protest took place mostly in the university campuses, as people tried to make them heard more and more. More than 46,000 American soldiers had died in Vietnam by 1973, when all American forces were removed and the North Vietnamese took control of the whole Vietnam. There were no manifestations of job when the war ended. The country had been defeated and the death of so many soldiers could not be justified. It had a great impact on American society. As for the foreign policy, during the war in Vietnam, the US government aimed to improve relations with the Soviet Union. The United States also established normal relations with the new communist government in China. Probably, Vietnam War influenced all these diplomatic actions, as the government tried to avoid further conflicts and wanted to establish peaceful relations. In such a way, it is clear that the Vietnam War had a significant impact on American society and US Foreign Policy.

8. Watergate did not have a great impact on the American Political scene.
False. First, it should be mentioned that the Watergate Crisis led to President Nixon’s resignation, which was already a great change on the American Political scene. The events of Watergate rocked the American nation. It started during the 1972 election campaign. Some Republicans formed a committee called the Committee to Reelect the President. This committee hired burglars to get secret information from the Democratic campaign headquarters in a building called Watergate in Washington, D. C. The burglars were caught, and the crisis, which followed “Watergate”, demonstrated the work of the system of checks and balances. It should be mentioned that Watergate Crisis took place in the conditions of sharp political struggle in the USA. In addition, President Nixon was severely criticized. «Watergate» caused a chain of great political scandals in the USA, which often concerned Presidents of the country.

“Watergate” had a great impact on American society and their attitude to presidency. It was undoubtedly a tragic event in the American history, which defined the course of state development in many ways. American nation changed its views on relations between government and press. Besides, people radically changed their opinion about Nixon’s presidency. One of the consequences of “Watergate” was lack of trust to the representatives of state power from the side of American society. Besides, unsuccessful foreign policy was caused by instability throughout the country. American society began to reject any war conflicts, no matter what purposes the government wanted to achieve. The matter is that people could not trust authorities any more, and did not want to get involved in new conflicts. In such a way, “Watergate” brought about social protest and change of values in American society. Moreover, it undoubtedly affected the American Political scene.

9. Foreign Policy, domestic American politics and diplomacy were changed by the mistakes made during the Vietnam War era.
False. The Vietnam War is certainly one of the most tragic epochs in American history, but observing Foreign Policy, domestic politics and diplomacy, we cannot say that they underwent significant changes under the war. The USA actually had no economic interests in Vietnam, and the majority of Americans had never even heard of this country before. John Kennedy decided to support to regime of Southern Vietnam only because he wanted to prevent the spread of totalitarian regime. The main mistake of American governors during the Vietnam War was underestimation of the enemy. For many years different nations desperately tried to gain control over Indochina, but their attempts were fruitless. Vietnamese leaders showed a vivid national resistance to foreign superiority, and the conflict between Vietnam and the USA was considered one more kind of foreign oppression. The strategy of the US leaders was full of flaws, as they could not understand the nature of the war to full extent. However, mistakes made by the US government did not affect foreign and domestic policy, as well as diplomatic relations with other nations. Many historians consider that history tend to repeat. They also compare Vietnam War with the war in Iraq. Why did the USA fail to achieve its goals? First, it should be mentioned that they lost the war on the strategic level. Sometimes the US leadership is criticized for its wrong war strategy, and its confidence in future victory. However, they undervalued the abilities and determination of Vietnamese people. They could not predict such strong resistance from the side of the enemy, and as a result, they lost the war. However, they did not learn from their mistakes and repeated them in their further foreign and domestic policy. Vietnamese loyally defended their traditions and rights for freedom. Numerous American soldiers served in Vietnam and even intensive bombing could not overcome resistance of Vietnamese people.

As a result, Americans lost the war. The number of casualties and the cost of blood frustrated American people, and they did not understand what they were fighting for. The Vietnam War seemed unnecessary and groundless. Only after a long period, the US authorities began to understand how persevere and determined their enemy was. They understood how dangerous it was to attack an enemy, whose strength and subtle abilities were unknown to them. Besides the US diplomacy did not work well, and they did not know their allies at a proper level. The true reason for the US participation in the war was an attempt to contain Communism. The US authorities thought that if to preserve one country from Communist spread, other countries would follow its example. A question of whether a more efficient and flawless strategy would lead to American victory in the war, remains under discussion, but anyway what is done cannot be undone. It is better to learn from past mistakes and not repeat them in future. However, some historians consider that the War in Iraq shows that the USA did not learn much from previous experience, and did not change its policy and diplomacy after the war.

10. Since the fall of the Soviet Union the USA is not generally recognized as the only remaining great world power (super power) presently existing in the world. Other countries are classed as super powers.
False. The United States still remain the strongest country in economy and military affairs, as well as in politics. In a century, the USA became isolated from the Western hemisphere and turned into a great world power. Though it is clear, that after the Cold War there remained only one super power in the world, some historians consider that the world is gradually becoming multipolar, as many other countries strengthen their positions in the world. They keep to the point that the very phenomenon of super power is vanishing, and the concentration of power in one state is eventually becoming unnatural. Be that as it may, the 21st century will belong to America in all regards. America will remain the only guarantor of international security and global trade. This statement can be proved by the following hypothesis. First, no other state finds it necessary to challenge the USA. The European Union is too disjoint at the moment. As for Russia, certain internal problems will not allow it to play the central role on international scene. Japan, however, may be the only rival of the USA. Its rapid technological development has long surpassed the development of the United States, and represents a threat for the existing world power. However, Japan remains too isolated and concentrated on internal state of affairs, and it does not lay a claim for the position of the world power.

Thus, the USA remains vitally important for the whole world. The United States maintain political and economic stability in the world and guarantees global order. It is clear that if the world looses its leader, it is likely to become dangerous, unstable and disorderly. However, it is also evident that due to rapid development of other countries, in perspective we may expect certain decline in the US economy. It should be taken into account that the situation in the world is gradually changing. China has the fastest growing economy in the world, which makes it a dangerous competitor of the United States. However, the ambitions of China would take a lot of time to realize. Some historians consider that it is time to make some changes and probably they are right. However, it does not depend on how rapidly other countries develop, as the USA will obviously remain the world power for a long time to come. Maybe, only when China, Japan or Russia grow to the highest stages of their development, they will replace the USA and become strong economic and military powers. But this is evidently not a quick process.
Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on US History topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

Order Custom Research Paper on US History
If you need a custom research paper, research proposal, essay, dissertation, thesis paper or term paper on your topic, will write your research papers from scratch. Starting at $12/page you can order custom written papers online. We work with experienced PhD. and Master's freelance writers to help you with writing any academic papers in any subject! High quality and 100% non-plagiarized papers guaranteed!