The United States of America has a rich political, economic and diplomatic history between 1914 and 1991. During this era, the country undertook many turning points in its internal and external policies that influenced its foreign relations with other nations. In this period, the nation faced many turning points in its history that affected its development and millennial goals. To give an effective a historical account of the United States turning points between the eras, I would chronologically arrange the events to provide students with a clear insight of the facts as they occurred in history. Although many events took place in America’s history, World War 1, treaty of Versailles, the great depression, attacks on Pearl Harbor, World War 2, cold war, and the success of conservation are the main turning points that the country faced between 1914 and 1991. In 1914, the World War 1 broke out in Europe after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that ended the long peace era that Europeans enjoyed (Foner, 56). He was the heir to Austria- Hungary’s throne and it led to Austria- Hungary declared an ultimatum and continuing war on Serbia. The conflict later spread across the globe with worlds superpowers testing the economic strengths. The battle spread over Europe due to the tension that developed among the world’s superpowers. Modern war machinery and technology contributed to the spread of World War 1 between two groups, the central powers, and the allied powers (Foner, 60). The central powers comprised of Germany, ottomans, Austria and Belgium while the allied forces were, Britain, France, and Russia. Unlike other wars in the past, the war utilized lands, aerial and sea military equipment that claimed the lives of many soldiers and civilians. The United States of America under the leadership of Wilson Woodrow remained neutral to the European war for two and a half years. The American citizens especially the Irish Americans and religious leaders campaigned for neutrality in the war although the country leaned towards the allied power by selling them armory. Germans attempt to starve Britain to surrender made the United States join the allied nations in the war in 1917 (Foner, 77). The United States had prior grudges with Germany when it sunk America Lusitania ship. After the sinking of the Lusitania ship in 1915, the eastern states advocated for the preparedness movement that ensured the country had a competent and sizeable naval force. The war ended in 1918 after Germany conceded defeat. In 1919, the allied powers coerced Germany into accepting the treaty of Versailles in which it was liable for the economic damages that occurred during the war. The WW1 was not only a turning point for the United States but also for the rest of the world as it caused a lot of economic deactivation. The great depression in the United States foresaw the end of prolonged years of business prosperity to its stock market crash the worst the country had ever experienced in history. The economic crisis lasted elevated in 1929 and led to many families having reduced living standards, for example; people could work multiple jobs to cater to their family’s needs. The collapse of the United States stock market on 29 October 1929 led to the outbreak of the great depression in the world (Foner, 185). The recession affected everyone the wealthy, poor, middle-class earners and most nations and cities that depended on factories and industries. The depression spread faster since the world’s financial system could not deal with the stocks crash. America’s great business economy crumbled with all the people that depended on it suffering the pangs. The gross domestic income in the country reduced tremendously across the nation. In 1932, the harsh economic situation in the country forced war veterans to demonstrate in Washington to request the government to pay their bonus payment early that it had promised to pay in 1945. Draught and unemployment caused devastation among the people, and approximately five thousand banks closed in the United States despite the attempts of president Hoover to recreate the economy. The world war 11 was the most significant war that the world ever experienced and started in 1939 and continued until 1945 (Foner, 88). Adolf Hitler led Germany’s invasion to Poland and led to the outbreak of the war. The United States joined the allied powers against Germany and its allies. US got involved in the fight after Japanese led an invasion of Pearl Harbor and destroyed US marine ships. The war ended in 1945 after the United States launched two nuclear booms on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan and the allied ha defeated Germany. The damage and Havoc caused in Japanese made the warring parties end the war to prevent further similar catastrophes. The United States and the soviet unions emerged as the world’s superpowers. After World War 2, the United States feared that the Soviet Union would spread communism, in the world and thus commencement of the cold war. The cold war characterized itself with the tension between the western and eastern superpowers. The two sides did not participate directly in war but aided in proxy wars. The specific dates of the commencement of the cold war debut historians claim it took place between 1947 and 1991 (Foner,, 96). The Soviet Union supported a communist form of government while the western supported capitalism. The cold war made the US as the only superpower as it continued to compete technologically with the Soviet Union. It is due to the technological competition that led us to be the first to land in space. In 1954, the US joined the Vietnam War with the aim to stop the spread of communism in South Vietnam. President Eisenhower described the spread of communism in Vietnam and other parts of the world with the Domino Theory. In 1963, Martin Luther King it led protests in Birmingham in protest over unequal rights and African American segregation. He sent black students to demonstrate in the streets. In the same year civil societies, church, and labor organizations organized a march in Washington to campaign for economic and racial justice. President John F Kennedy failed to protect the protesting groups and dismissed police brutality. On 22 November 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. In 1964 after President Lyson assumed office, he encouraged black and white integration, and the Congress passed the civil rights act (Foner, 200) In conclusion, historical events that the United States faced had both positive and negative effects on the country’s economic and social aspects. Global wars in the nineteenth century had a devastating impact the economies of many nations. The countries foreign policies shaped its relationship with other worlds superpowers. The turning events proved that the state has a mature democracy and economic power top maneuver global challenges. Lastly, to keep students interested during the history class, teachers should ask questions to capture and maintain the student’s attention.
Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! An American History: Seagull Fourth Edition. Vol. 1. WW Norton & Company, 2013.
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