I'm working on a history multi-part question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
1.What were the main characteristics of Roosevelt’s foreign policy and why was the American public bent on isolationism during the 1930s?
2.What were the steps that America took to try to remain neutral as Europe headed into World War II?
3.Describe the fierce debates between internationalists and isolationists, especially from 1939 to 1941.
4.In December 1937 Japanese aviators bombed and sank an American gunboat, the Punay, in Chinese waters. How was America’s response to this incident different than when the U.S.S. Main went down in 1898 in the Cuban harbor of Havana?
5. Examine the rise of Mussolini, Hitler, and the Japanese militarists. Consider why Americans were appalled by their doctrines, even if they did not want to fight them. (See boxed quotes on pages 774 and 777.)
6.Watch Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (1940). Discuss the imagery and symbolism in the movie—what was Chaplin’s purpose of satirizing Adolph Hitler? Was it effective? Why do you think the movie was so controversial? imagery and symbolism in the movie—what was Chaplin’s purpose of satirizing Adolph Hitler? Was it effective? Why do you think the movie was so controversial?
7.What steps did Germany and Japan take to lead America into the European conflict?
8.Instigated by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, what happened on November 9, 1938, “the night of broken glass”? What does it tell us about life for the Jews in Germany?
1.How did America transform from a peacetime to a wartime economy? What were the steps that America took to mobilize for war with the Axis powers?
2.What was the impact of the war on domestic America?
3.What was America’s strategy for winning the war against the Axis powers?
4.What turned the tide of the war in the Pacific for American troops?
5.How did World War II end, and what were the terms of settlement?
6.How did America’s domestic response to World War II differ from its reaction to World War I?
7.What was the wisest strategic decision in World War II, and what was the most questionable?
8.How were the European and Pacific theaters similar, and how were they different? (See boxed quote on page 803.)
9.What was the significance of the dropping of the atomic bomb, then and now? (See boxed quote on page 813.)
10.What did President Roosevelt claim in 1944 would be the result of WWII at home regarding race relations?
11.How did the black soldier see his experience during the war?
12.Should the World War II internment experience be seen as the most significant event in the Japanese-American experience? How did it affect those who lived through it and their descendants?
Gar Alperovitz, Atomic Diplomacy (rev. ed., 1985).
A view of the atomic bomb as aimed at Russia rather than Japan:
“The decision to use the weapon did not derive from overriding military considerations.… Before the atomic bomb was dropped each of the Joint Chiefs of Staff advised that it was highly likely that Japan could be forced to surrender ‘unconditionally,’ without use of the bomb and without an invasion.…Unquestionably, political considerations related to Russia played a major role in the decision; from at least mid-May American policy makers hoped to end the hostilities before the Red Army entered Manchuria.… A combat demonstration was needed to convince the Russians to accept the American plan for a stable peace.”
Martin Sherwin, A World Destroyed (1975).
A view of the atomic bomb as primarily aimed at Japan:
“Caught between the remnants of war and the uncertainties of peace, policymakers and scientists were trapped by their own unquestioned assumptions.… The secret development of this terrible weapon, during a war fought for a total victory, created a logic of its own: a quest for a total solution of a set of related problems that appeared incapable of being resolved incrementally.… As Szilard first suggested in January 1944, the bomb might provide its own solution.… The decision to use the bomb to end the war could no longer be distinguished from the desire to use it to stabilize the peace.”
13.Assess the validity of the claim that the dropping of the bombs on Japan was not so much an attempt to end the war against the Japanese, as it was “the first salvo in the emerging Cold War.”
14.What does each of these historians see as American officials’ thinking about the relationship between the bomb and the ending of the war against Japan? What does each regard as the primary reason for the use of the bomb?
15.What conclusions might be drawn from each of these views about the political and moral justifications for dropping the bomb? Could the use of the atomic bombs have been avoided?
1.Was the primary threat from the Soviet Union military or ideological—that is, was the danger that the Soviet army would invade Western Europe or that more and more people in Europe and elsewhere would be attracted to communist ideas? (See boxed quotes on pages 825, 826, 832, and 842.)
2.Were there any legitimate concerns behind the red-hunting anticommunism of the late 1940s and early 1950s? How were McCarthy and others able to turn the search for spies and subversives into an assault on freethinkers, adulterers, homosexuals, and others deemed different in some way? (See boxed quote on page 839.)
3.Was Truman right to fire MacArthur when and how he did? What would have happened if MacArthur had gotten his way and expanded the conflict with the Chinese?
4.Which development caused the greatest change in American society in the immediate postwar years: increased affluence, the migration to the suburbs, the entry of women into the workforce, or the baby boom? Explain.
1.Was Eisenhower’s seeming caution and inactivity a lack of vigorous leadership or wise prudence in the exercise of power? (See boxed quote on page 871.)
2.Was the 1950s a time of American triumph abroad and affluence at home, or was it a period that actually suppressed many problems of race, women’s roles, and cultural conformity? (See boxed quotes on pages 859 and 860 as well as section Examining the Evidence on page 855.)
3.Which writers and artists best expressed the concerns of American culture in the 1950s? (See boxed quotes on pages 872 and 873.) Was there a connection between the rise of pop-culture figures such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe and the changes in art and writing (such as the Beats and the new southern writers)?
4.What benefits did African Americans gain from their migration north and west, and what problems did they still have?
5.How did the Brown decision and the confrontation in Little Rock set the stage for the civil rights movement of the 1950s?
6.After watching "The Murder of Emmett Till" discuss how his murder was a galvanizing moment for civil rights activists.
1.Was the nonviolent civil rights movement of the 1960s a success? Why or why not? Can it be argued that the violent protests of the civil rights movement were more successful than the nonviolent protests?
2.What were the causes of the Vietnam War?
3.Was America justified going into Vietnam? What if the Communist countries invaded a country to “contain the spread of Democracy,” would this be justified? What is the difference between the two situations?
4.Were the cultural upheavals of the 1960s a result of the political crisis, or were developments like the sexual revolution and the student revolts inevitable results of affluence and the baby boom? (See section Thinking Globally on pages 898-899.)
1.Could any of Nixon’s achievements in office compensate for his Watergate crimes? What should history say about the Nixon presidency?
2.What were the short- and long-term consequences of the communists’ victory in Vietnam? How do these affect an assessment of the war? What could America have done differently to win the war in Vietnam?
3.What were the consequences of America’s new economic vulnerability? How did it affect politics at home and abroad during the 1970s? (See boxed quotes on pages 928 and 931 and section Thinking Globally on pages 918–919.)
4.What were the major challenges faced by the Carter administration, both foreign and domestic?
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