Term papers writing service


An introduction to the western civilization and the causes of the world war ii

It brought profound and permanent social, governmental and cultural changes in the United States, and has had a great impact on how Americans regard themselves and their country's place in the world.

This global clash -- with the United States and the other "Allies" on one side, and Nazi Germany, imperial Japan and the other "Axis" countries on the other -- is routinely portrayed in the US as the "good war," a morally clear-cut conflict between Good and Evil. Whatever doubts or misgivings Americans may have had about their country's role in Iraq, Vietnam, or other overseas conflicts, most accept that the sacrifices made by the US in World War II, especially in defeating Hitler's Germany, were entirely justified and worthwhile.

For more than 60 years, this view has been reinforced in countless motion pictures, on television, by teachers, in textbooks, and by political leaders. The reverential way that the US role in the war has been portrayed moved Bruce Russett, professor of political science at Yale University, to write: Whatever criticisms of twentieth-century American policy are put forth, United States participation in World War II remains almost entirely immune.

According to our national mythology, that was a 'good war,' one of the few for which the benefits clearly outweighed the costs. Except for a few books published shortly after the war and quickly forgotten, this orthodoxy has been essentially unchallenged.

As we shall see, it does not hold up under close examination. First, a look at the outbreak of war in Europe. When the leaders of Britain and France declared war against Germany on September 3, 1939, they announced that they were doing so because German military forces had attacked Poland, thereby threatening Polish independence.

In going to war against Germany, the British and French leaders transformed what was then a geographically limited, two-day-old clash between Germany and Poland into a continental, European-wide conflict. It soon became obvious that the British-French justification for going to war was not sincere.

When Soviet Russian forces attacked Poland from the East two weeks later, ultimately taking even more Polish territory than did Germany, the leaders of Britain and France did not declare war against the Soviet Union. And although Britain and France went to war supposedly to protect Polish independence, at the end of the fighting in 1945 — after five and a half years of horrific struggle, death and suffering — Poland was still not free, but instead was entirely under the brutal rule of Soviet Russia.

Sir Basil Liddell Hart, an outstanding twentieth-century British military historian, put it this way: The immediate purpose was to fulfill their promise to preserve the independence of Poland. The ultimate purpose was to remove a potential menace to themselves, and thus ensure their own security. In the outcome, they failed in both purposes. Not only did they fail to prevent Poland from being overcome in the first place, and partitioned between Germany and Russia, but after six years of war which ended in apparent victory they were forced to acquiesce in Russia's domination of Poland — abandoning their pledges to the Poles who had fought on their side.

In his famous "Blood, Sweat and Tears" speech, the great British wartime leader said that unless Germany was defeated, there would be "no survival for the British empire, no survival for all that the British empire has stood for. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.

Even though Britain supposedly "won," or at least was on the winning side in the war, the once-mighty British empire has vanished into history. No British leader today would dare defend the often brutal record of British imperialism, including killing and bombing in order to maintain exploitative colonial rule over millions in Asia and Africa. Nor would any British leader today dare to justify killing people in order to uphold "Christian civilization," not least for an introduction to the western civilization and the causes of the world war ii of offending Britain's large and rapidly growing non-Christian population.

Americans like to believe that "good guys" win, and "bad guys" lose, and, in international affairs, that "good" countries win wars, and "bad" countries lose them. In keeping with this view, Americans are encouraged to believe that the US role in defeating Germany and Japan demonstrated the righteousness of the "American Way," and the superiority of our country's form of government and society. But if there is any validity to this view, it would be more accurate to say that the war's outcome showed the righteousness of the "Soviet Way," and the superiority of the Soviet Communist form of society and government.

Indeed, for decades that was a proud claim of Moscow's leaders. As one official Soviet history book, published in the 1970s, put it: The war further demonstrated the social and political unity of the Soviet people. Once again it underscored the significance of the guiding and organizing role of the Communist Party in socialist society.

The Communist Party consolidated millions of people in their fight against the fascist aggressors. The selfless dedication demonstrated by the Communist Party during the war years further solidified the trust, respect and love it enjoys among the Soviet people. Some 70-80 percent of German combat forces were destroyed by the Soviet military on the Eastern front.

The D-Day landing in France by American and British forces, which is often portrayed in the United States as a critically important military blow against Nazi Germany, was launched in June 1944 -- that is, less than a year before the end of the war in Europe, and months after the great Soviet military victories at Stalingrad and Kursk, which were decisive in Germany's defeat. In 1941 President Franklin Roosevelt, together with British prime minister Winston Churchill, issued a formal declaration of Allied war aims, the much-publicized "Atlantic Charter.

At the outbreak of an introduction to the western civilization and the causes of the world war ii in 1939, Britain ruled over the largest colonial empire in history, holding more millions of people against their will than any regime before or since. America's other great wartime ally, the Soviet Union, was, by any objective measure, the most tyrannical or oppressive regime of its time, and a vastly more cruel despotism than Hitler's Germany.

As historians acknowledge, the victims of Soviet dictator Stalin greatly outnumber those who perished as a result of Hitler's policies. Robert Conquest, a prominent scholar of twentieth century Russian history, estimates the number of those who lost their lives as a consequence of Stalin's policies as "no fewer than 20 million. In fact, the record of Allied misdeeds is a long one, and includes the British-American bombing of German cities, a terroristic campaign that took the lives of more than half a million civilians, the genocidal "ethnic cleansing" of millions of civilians in eastern and central Europe, and the large-scale postwar mistreatment of German prisoners.

Jones served as "an ambulance driver, a merchant seaman, an Army historian, and a war correspondent," he wrote an article dispelling some myths about the Americans' role in the war. In doing so, the US and its allies held German leaders to a standard that they did not respect themselves.

The Transformative Impact of World War II

US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson was not the only high-ranking American official to acknowledge, at least in private, that the claim of unique Allied righteousness was mere pretense. In a letter to the President, written while he was serving as the chief US prosecutor at the great Nuremberg trial of 1945-1946, Jackson acknowledged that the Allies "have done or are doing some of the very things we are prosecuting the Germans for.

The French are so violating the Geneva Convention in the treatment of [German] prisoners of war that our command is taking back prisoners sent to them [for forced labor in France]. We are prosecuting plunder and our Allies are practicing it.

We say aggressive war is a crime and one of our allies asserts sovereignty over the Baltic States based on no title except conquest. Among crimes against humanity stands the offence of the indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations. Can the Americans who dropped the atom bomb and the British who destroyed the cities of western Germany plead 'not guilty' on this count? Crimes against humanity also include the mass expulsion of populations. Can the Anglo-Saxon leaders who at Potsdam condoned the expulsion an introduction to the western civilization and the causes of the world war ii millions of Germans from their homes hold themselves completely innocent?.

The nations sitting in judgment [at Nuremberg] have so clearly proclaimed themselves exempt from the law which they have administered. In fact, on each side there were regimes that were repressive or dictatorial, as well as governments that had broad public support.

Many of the countries allied with the US were headed by governments that were oppressive, dictatorial, or otherwise non-democratic. In crass violation of their own solemnly proclaimed principles, the US, British and Soviet statesmen disposed of tens of millions of people with no regard for their wishes.

The deceit and cynicism of the Allied leaders was perhaps most blatant in the infamous British-Soviet "percentages agreement" to divide up South Eastern Europe.

At a meeting with Stalin in 1944, Churchill proposed that in Romania the Soviets should have 90 percent influence or authority, and 75 percent in Bulgaria, and that Britain should have 90 percent influence or control in Greece. In Hungary and Yugoslavia, the British leader suggested, each should have 50 percent.

Churchill wrote all this out on a piece of paper, which he pushed across to Stalin, who made a check mark on it and passed it back. Churchill then said, "Might it not be thought rather cynical if it seemed we had disposed of these issues, so fateful to millions of people, in such an off-hand manner? Let us burn the paper. The three Allied leaders accomplished what they accused the Axis leaders of Germany, Italy and Japan of conspiring to achieve: During a 1942 meeting in Washington, President Roosevelt candidly told the Soviet foreign minister that "the United States, England and Russia, and perhaps China, should police the world and enforce disarmament [of all others] by inspection.

Once Germany and Japan were defeated, though, the US and the Soviet Union squared off against each other, which made it impossible for the UN to function as President Roosevelt had intended.

While the US and Soviet Union each sought for decades to secure hegemony in its own sphere of influence, the two "super powers" were also rivals in a decades-long struggle for global supremacy.

Both these countries now went to work — without swastikas, goose-stepping, or officially declared racism, but under the cover of 'socialism' on the one side, and 'democracy' on the other, to carve out their own empires of influence.

  1. In 1941 President Franklin Roosevelt, together with British prime minister Winston Churchill, issued a formal declaration of Allied war aims, the much-publicized "Atlantic Charter.
  2. We are prosecuting plunder and our Allies are practicing it. Yet, paradoxically, it was the threat from one super power and the protection of the other that provided the context for the post-war success of European supra-nationalism and the most important reason for it, the rapprochement of France and Germany.
  3. Until then, the US was officially a neutral country, and most Americans wanted to keep out of the war that was then raging in Europe and Asia.

They proceeded to share and contest with one another the domination of the world, to build military machines far greater than the Fascist countries had built, to control the destinies of more countries than Hitler, Mussolini, and Japan had been able to. They also acted to control their own populations, each country with its own techniques — crude in the Soviet Union, sophisticated in the United States — to make their rule secure. Until then, the US was officially a neutral country, and most Americans wanted to keep out of the war that was then raging in Europe and Asia.

  1. The ultimate purpose was to remove a potential menace to themselves, and thus ensure their own security. The war had also prompted the country to invent a miraculous economic machine that seemed to grant as many wishes as were asked of it.
  2. It confirmed the warning of past experience that victory is a 'mirage in the desert' — the desert that a long war creates, when waged with modern weapons and unlimited methods.
  3. They served in the armed forces and worked in government offices, in fields and factories, and in Hitler's bunker and Churchill's underground Cabinet War Rooms; Hitler's pilot, Hanna Reitsch 1912—1979 [ ] flew the last plane in and out of Berlin, when Soviet troops were already in the German capital. Weber, "The Danger of Historical Lies.
  4. The Economist London , August 11, 1945.

In spite of the country's neutral status, President Roosevelt and his administration, together with much of the US media, prodded the American people into supporting war against Germany.

A large-scale propaganda campaign was mounted to persuade Americans that Hitler and his Nazi "henchmen" or "hordes" were doing everything in their power to take over and "enslave" the entire world, and that war with Hitler's Germany was inevitable. As part of this effort, the President and other high-ranking American officials broadcast fantastic lies about supposed plans by Hitler and his government to attack the United States and impose a global dictatorship.

Among those who have sought to justify his policy is the eminent American historian Thomas A. He was like the physician who must tell the patient lies for the patient's own good.

The country was overwhelmingly noninterventionist to the very day of Pearl Harbor, and an overt attempt to lead the people into war would have resulted in certain failure and an almost certain ousting of Roosevelt in 1940, with a complete defeat of his ultimate aims. But because the masses are notoriously shortsighted and generally cannot see danger until it is at their throats, our statesmen are forced to deceive them into an awareness of their own long-run interests.

This is clearly what Roosevelt had to do, and who shall say that posterity will not thank him for it?

  • Also quoted in P;
  • Although the fate of Eastern and Central Europe was largely decided at Yalta in February 1944, the future political shape of the continent was formally agreed at Potsdam , 17 July to 2 August 1945, where the Allied leaders decided that there should be an inter-allied council to co-ordinate the four occupied zones of Germany and agreed that Austria should be independent, France be returned Alsace-Lorraine , and Czechoslovakia the Sudetenland, and that Poland's western frontier should be the Oder-Neisse Line previously the Curzon and then the Molotov-Ribbentrop Line;
  • As he said to Milovan Djilas 1911—1995 , the Yugoslavian partisan, who eventually fell out with Marshal Josip Broz Tito 1892—1980 , "This war is not as in the past;
  • A Short History Moscow:

This was reinforced by a presidential "shoot on sight" order to the US Navy against German and Italian ships. Roosevelt's goal was to provoke an "incident" that would provide a pretext for open war. Hitler, for his part, was anxious to avoid conflict with the United States. The German leader responded to the US government's blatantly illegal provocations by ordering his navy commanders to avoid clashes with US ships.

Other equally unneutral acts followed — the seizure of Axis shipping, the freezing of Axis funds, the transfer of tankers to Britain, the occupation of Greenland and, later, of Iceland, the extension of lend-lease to the new ally, Russia, and. Fuller, President Roosevelt "left no stone unturned to provoke Hitler to declare war on the very people to whom he so ardently promised peace.

He provided Great Britain with American destroyers, he landed American troops in Iceland, and he set out to patrol the Atlantic seaways in order to safeguard British convoys; all of which were acts of war.

In spite of his manifold enunciations to keep the United States out of the war, he was bent on provoking some incident which would bring them into it. Stark, chief of US naval operations, acknowledged in a confidential September 1941 memorandum for the President: Americans, though, were spared the horrors of large-scale bombing, combat fighting on their home soil, or occupation by foreign armies.

At the end of the war the United States was the only major nation not shattered in the global conflict. It emerged as the world's preeminent economic, military, and financial power. For the US, the half-century from 1945 to the mid-1990s was an era of spectacular economic growth and unmatched global stature. Lapham, author and for years editor of Harper's magazine, put it this way: The war had also prompted the country to invent a miraculous economic machine that seemed to grant as many wishes as were asked of it.

The continental United States had escaped the plague of war, and so it was easy enough for the heirs to believe that they had been anointed by God. Among those who has not thought so is Prof.

Bruce Russett, who wrote: In fact, most Americans probably would have been no worse off, and possibly a little better, if the United States had never become a belligerent. In cold-blooded realist terms, Nazism as an ideology was almost certainly less dangerous to the United States than is Communism.